In Virginia, there is a two-year statute of limitations on collisions involving trucks. This means you have up to two years from the date of the event to sue for compensation in this state. It’s best to start the process as early as possible, consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney in Southwest Virginia who knows the laws here inside and out.
While two years may seem like plenty of notice to file a lawsuit, it takes time to build a case, compile evidence, find out who was liable, negotiate with the insurance companies and file the actual lawsuit. By hiring an attorney who has specific experience in investigating truck collisions, you can let them handle the details while you focus on your recovery.
The Difference Between Filing a Lawsuit and Filing a Claim
After experiencing a truck collision, the first step is to file an insurance claim. Let’s say the truck driver was completely at fault for the resulting collision; you would then file a claim solely with their insurance company. If it turns out there were multiple parties at fault for the event (more common than you may think), you will have to file several claims with several insurance companies.
Again, this is a great reason to hire a Southwest Virginia truck collision attorney. It can be difficult, time consuming and stressful to keep everything straight on your own. Things can get complicated very quickly, and a lot of back and forth negotiation will take place. The insurance company will likely come back with a very low offer, which you can either accept or reject. Your attorney will tell you if it’s a good deal or not, but in most cases, the first offer is almost always too low.
It’s also quite rare for an insurance company to accept a claim outright for full damages. They aren’t in business to make you happy. They’re in business to save money. Your attorney will counter, and they will come back again; sometimes this can go on for a while.
Your attorney has your best interests in mind, constantly striving to negotiate a higher settlement for your claim. Most cases are eventually settled this way. In fact, you want your claim to be settled during this stage, as it can be very costly and time consuming to head to court with a formal lawsuit.
But sometimes, fair settlements can’t be reached. If you can’t reach a settlement with the insurance company, even after repeated negotiations, your next step is to file a lawsuit.
It’s important to note that whether you are seeking compensation through an insurance claim or a lawsuit, the statute of limitations for either one is two years from the date you sustained the injury.
In any case, it’s advisable to take fast action no matter what, so that your lawyer can gather evidence, including photos, witness statements, police reports, and medical records. This will also allow for adequate time to get the required medical treatment for your injuries and start the negotiation process with the insurance company. Two years will go by quicker than you think!
Contact Altizer Law
If you have been involved in a truck accident recently and want to know your rights for compensation, consult with our team of Southwest Virginia truck accident attorneys for free when you contact us at 540-345-2000.