A trucking accident often leaves a victim with serious, even fatal, injuries. If you were recently injured in a trucking accident in Lake Charles, you are likely focused on healing and getting your life back to where it was prior to the accident. If you are the surviving family member of someone who was fatally injured in a trucking accident you are undoubtedly grieving the loss of your loved one. As either a victim or survivor your thoughts are likely not on legal matters right after a trucking accident. While this is certainly understandable, it may be detrimental to you to not consider your legal options shortly after the accident because there is a deadline for filing a personal injury or wrongful death case after a trucking accident in Louisiana.
Individual states determine the length of time a party has to initiate legal action in different types of cases. Known as a “statute of limitations” these deadlines are extremely important to know because failing to initiate legal action within the applicable statute of limitations means you will forever be barred from recovering for your injuries or your loss. The purpose behind a statute of limitations in a personal injury case is to provide a balance between the right of a victim to pursue compensation and a defendant’s ability to defend accusations of wrongdoing. If the statute of limitations is too short a victim may not have enough time to prepare and file a lawsuit. Conversely, if the state of limitations is long a defendant may be at a disadvantage because over time evidence disappears and witnesses become impossible to locate, making it difficult for a defendant to mount a defense.
In the State of Louisiana, however, the relevant statutes of limitation are relatively short for a trucking accident lawsuit. For a personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations is just one year from the date of the accident in most cases, as is the statute of limitations for wrongful death and even product liability in case the truck was defective. The statute of limitations sets the date by which you must have initiated legal action, meaning you need to have filed a lawsuit. It could take years after that date to actually litigate the case. The important thing is that the case is filed by the deadline because courts are typically inflexible when it comes to missing a statute of limitations deadline. Failing to file by the deadline means losing the right to file at all.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the applicable statute of limitations in your potential trucking accident case, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.