Truck accidents are extremely stressful, and you will have many concerns afterward. You may think that now is the focus on your recovery and that there is plenty of time to tend to the aspects of filing a claim. While seeking medical treatment is critical, you only have a limited amount of time to file. If you are filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit you must act quickly. If you do not, you could forfeit your right to any damages at all.
When to Seek Medical Treatment
First and foremost, you must seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the crash. After any truck accident, your health is the most important priority. If you do not see a doctor to receive treatment for your injuries quickly, your injuries could become worse. Even more so, the insurance company will likely use the fact that you did not seek medical treatment right away as a reason to deny your claim. They will state that because you did not receive treatment, or you waited too long to seek treatment, you could not have been injured, so they will reduce or deny your claim.
Reporting a Truck Accident to the DMV
It is imperative that you report any truck accident you are involved in. In Vermont, it is the law that you must report any accident that resulted in an injury or damage exceeding $3,000 or more. Any truck accident is going to result in significant property damage and injury, so you must report the crash to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. You must file this report within 72 hours of the accident.
Reporting a Truck Accident to the Insurance Company
Vermont follows tort laws, not no-fault laws, in regards to truck accidents. This means that to claim damages, your first course of action is to claim damages through the other party’s insurance company. Even though you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurer, you should still report the accident to your own insurance company. Most insurers require this as a condition of the policy and the amount of time you have to report the accident will vary, depending on the policy. In most cases though, you must report the crash ‘promptly’ or in a ‘reasonable amount of time,’ so it is important to check your insurance policy and make this report as soon as possible.
The Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
Most truck accident claims must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. There are some exceptions to this law. If you did not discover your injuries right away the statute of limitations is tolled, or extended, until three years from the date of discovery. For example, if you hit your head during the crash and sustained a concussion but did not realize it until weeks later, the statute of limitations would be extended until the date you discovered the injuries.
Many people think three years is a long time, but it is not. Prior to filing your claim, a lawyer will conduct an investigation and collect evidence to substantiate your claim. You also have to fully understand the extent and nature of your injuries so you can claim the maximum damages you deserve. If you do not file your claim within three years of the accident or of discovering the injury, you will forfeit any claim to damages. While your case does not have to be finalized within the statute of limitations, you must at least file it within that time.
The Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
Tragically, too many people lose their lives in truck accidents every year in Vermont. In these cases, surviving loved ones of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations in wrongful death claims is different from personal injury claims. When filing a wrongful death claim, loved ones have only two years from the date of death to file their claim.
Call Our Vermont Truck Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a crash, do not hesitate to call our White River Junction truck accident lawyers at Sabbeth Law today. Our skilled attorneys have experience in commercial motor vehicle accidents and we have a proven track record of helping our clients secure seven and eight figure settlements to help with their recovery. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a case review and to learn more about how we can help with your case.