How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim?

The statute of limitations in Virginia is crucial to follow after a truck accident. Discover how long you have to file a truck accident claim in Virginia!
A turned over tractor trailer from an accident that will need a plaintiff to file a truck accident claim for.

​​In 2021 Virginia reported 2,645 accidents involving large trucks, with 52 of those crashes involving fatalities. Truck crashes are often severe, leaving victims with catastrophic injuries requiring intensive medical treatment. If you have suffered injuries from a truck accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or reckless actions, you deserve financial compensation for the losses you incurred and need to file a claim.

Although you can settle your claims amicably with the negligent truck driver, trucking company, and other liable parties, sometimes filing a lawsuit is the only way to get the compensation you deserve.

The truck accident attorneys from Renfro & Renfro, PLLC can help file your claim within the stipulated legal deadline. We will gather enough evidence, build a strong case and seek the compensation you deserve for your damages. But you still may be asking yourself, “How long do I have to file a truck accident claim?” — we can answer that for you plus a few other questions you might have.

What is the statute of limitations for a truck accident claim in Virginia?

The statute of limitations refers to the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit in your truck accident case. This time period is typically strict, and you risk being barred from filing the claim if you ignore the deadline.

In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim is as follows:

  • Two years from the date of the crash for personal injuries sustained
  • Two years from the date of a victim’s death caused by truck accident injuries
  • Five years from the date of the crash for property damage

Statute of Limitations Exceptions for Truck Accident Lawsuits

Even with the strict filing deadlines, there are certain situations where the statute of limitations can be paused or tolled in the interest of fairness.

This includes when:

  • A victim is in a coma or physically or mentally incapacitated. In such a situation, the statute of limitations is paused until the plaintiff can pursue compensation. Once the disability ends, the clock begins to tick.
  • A victim is a minor. If the plaintiff is a minor, they have two years after their 18th birthday to settle the claim.

Apart from these exceptions, the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a truck wreck is firmly set at two years. Talk to an experienced attorney from Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, to determine whether any exceptions apply to your case.

Why is time important for Virginia personal injury cases?

Virginia’s statute of limitation for filing a truck accident claim compels the plaintiff to act quickly after an accident. This is because your attorney must investigate the accident and gather crucial evidence to build a compelling case. Unfortunately, witness memories fade with time, and the longer you wait, the greater the risk of losing credible evidence. The primary purpose of the statute of limitations, therefore, is to protect parties from unfair legal action arising from lost, obscured, or irretrievable evidence from significant passage of time.

The Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Virginia

As mentioned earlier, truck accidents can leave you with severe injuries and substantial medical expenses. There are things you should do soon after the crash to protect your legal rights and seek full compensation.

These include:

  • Call the police: Call 911 and report the crash as soon as you are safe to do so. The responding officers will investigate the crash and create a police report detailing what happened and who might be at fault. This documentation is crucial during your settlement negotiations and lawsuit.
  • Get medical attention: Regardless of the severity of your injuries, get emergency medical attention right away. Your injuries may be more serious than initially thought and could worsen with time. Besides, if you wait too long before seeking treatment, the insurance company may argue you didn’t sustain the serious injuries you claim. Seeing a doctor also creates documentation for your injuries.
  • Take photos: Document the accident scene using photos and videos. Take pictures of the entire accident scene, the position of all involved vehicles, and your injuries.
  • Talk to witnesses: Witness statements can help you prove your claims. Talk to bystanders and ask what they saw. Take down their statements and ask for their names and contact information.
  • Contact a truck accident attorney: A truck accident attorney can help investigate the crash and gather evidence. They will also build a strong case and take action to protect your rights.

If you plan to pursue a lawsuit after a truck accident, do so before the Virginia statute of limitations deadline passes. Waiting for too long before taking action may compromise the credibility of your case. Crucial evidence could be lost, making your claim weak and harder for your attorney to negotiate a fair settlement.

Contact Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Truck Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a truck accident and need help with your case, Renfro & Renfro’s experienced personal injury attorneys are here to assist. We understand the process can be complex and intimidating, so call us today at (804) 601-4433 or contact us online for a free consultation. Let our team guide you through your claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve.


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