How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, contact the attorneys at Cellino LawTruck accidents often leave injured victims with lengthy recovery times and mounting medical expenses. To make it worse, injuries can mean time off work and the loss of income. You deserve compensation, but getting it isn’t always an easy process.

Several laws can affect how, how much, and when you can obtain compensation. These vary widely from state to state, leaving victims wondering what to do. Fortunately, a truck accident attorney from Cellino Law can help if your accident occurred in New York, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time you have to initiate a legal claim or lawsuit after a qualifying event. State legislatures set these statutes and often have differing periods for different kinds of incidents. If you don’t file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you’ll likely lose any right to pursue a claim.

The statute of limitations for truck accidents can vary significantly by state. Some states allow up to four years, while others require you to file a claim within one year of the accident date. Cellino Law serves accident victims in these states:

  • New York: three years
  • New Jersey: two years
  • Pennsylvania: two years

Although these time frames are general rules, some exceptions can apply. For instance, you may have only a few months to file a claim if your accident involved a truck registered to any form of government.

It’s crucial to find out the statute of limitations that applies to your specific truck accident because you could miss the opportunity to obtain damages. Your truck accident lawyer will help.

How Long Should You Wait To Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?

You don’t have to hire a lawyer right away, but contacting a truck accident attorney immediately after the collision can ensure that you’re able to file a claim within the statute of limitations.

Truck accidents are typically more complicated than car accidents, and it can take your attorney longer to investigate and prepare your case. If you wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire, they might not have enough time to file a claim on your behalf.

Other factors indicate that hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later is better. We can:

  • Speak to witnesses while their memories are fresh
  • Obtain evidence that might be unavailable later
  • Prepare and file required paperwork
  • Speak to insurance company representatives on your behalf
  • Use our investigators and resources to find the cause of your accident and hold the guilty party or parties responsible
  • Advise you of your options as the case progresses
  • Arrange for examinations by experts who can testify on your behalf
  • Negotiate a favorable settlement or take your case to trial

Truck accident claims have more moving parts than many other personal injury cases, and you may have trouble understanding how they affect you. You could unwittingly make mistakes early on that hinder your ability to recover compensation. The advice provided by a truck accident attorney can make the entire claims process easier to understand and navigate while preventing you from making costly errors.

What If You’re Partially Responsible for the Truck Accident?

Another type of statute comes into play when more than one party is responsible for a truck accident. Most states use modified comparative negligence, although some follow pure negligence rules.

Each driver (or other parties, as explained later) involved in a truck accident receives a percentage of blame for causing the wreck. This percentage reduces the amount of compensation you can receive proportionally.

Suppose total damages in a truck accident are $100,000 and you are 20% responsible. Deduct 20% of $100,000; the most you can receive is $80,000.

In some states, laws state that you can’t recover any compensation if you’re 50% or 51% at fault. Understanding your state’s laws regarding the percentage of blame is important because they affect the damages you may qualify to receive.

In addition to investigating the accident to place blame appropriately, your truck accident attorney will also find evidence to support your innocence. Insurance company attorneys may try to blame you unfairly, and they might get away with it without a competent lawyer from Cellino Law on your side.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accidents?

Cars and other vehicles can cause truck accidents, but we’ll look at the fault involving the truck. Not only might the truck driver be at fault, but other parties can hold responsibility as well:

  • Trucking company
  • Truck owner
  • Truck and parts manufacturers
  • Companies responsible for maintaining the truck
  • Cargo shipper or owner
  • Cargo loader

As you can imagine, it takes significant amounts of time to dig into the root cause of the accident to hold the guilty people accountable. You likely don’t have the time, know-how, or resources to conduct a thorough investigation, but Cellino Law does.

How Can Trucking Companies Contribute to Driver Fatigue?

Many truck accidents result from a fatigued driver. Everyone gets tired, right? Yes, but fatigue takes it a step further. Fatigue can have physical effects similar to those associated with alcohol and drug usage:

  • An inability to focus or concentrate
  • Blurred and limited vision
  • Delayed response times
  • Impaired judgment
  • Lack of control
  • Risk of falling asleep at the wheel

Any of these conditions represent a potential risk, so drivers won’t drive if they’re fatigued, correct? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Laws regulate how many consecutive hours truckers can drive and mandate rest periods.

Delivery deadlines sometimes mean more to trucking companies than driver safety does, and they may require truckers to keep driving beyond their permitted hours to make on-time deliveries.

To make things more difficult on drivers, many deadlines are early in the morning. This means they must drive at night, which can add to fatigue.

What Is a No-Fault State?

Some states, including New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, are known as no-fault states. This refers to auto insurance. Licensed drivers in no-fault states must obtain personal injury protection insurance which pays for your medical and certain other expenses up to your policy limit. As with most regulations, some exceptions apply.

You’re not eligible to recover some types of damages if your PIP policy is the one paying. However, your insurance company can attempt to recover its payout from the guilty party’s carrier. Your personal injury lawyer can help you understand how the no-fault status can affect your compensation.

How Can Cellino Law Help You?

If you sustain injuries in a truck accident, you need to focus on your recovery. You likely don’t have the time or knowledge to deal successfully with the challenges a truck accident claim presents. For over 60 years, Cellino Law has represented injured accident victims like you, recovering billions of dollars worth of settlements. We want to assist you too.

We at Cellino Law understand that now isn’t the time for you to have extra expenses, so we make it easy for you. You won’t pay us unless we win for you. We have several offices to serve you, but we’ll make arrangements to come to you if it’s more convenient.

We’ll begin with a free case evaluation. We’ll ask for details about your accident and tell you how we can help. Cellino Law is available 24/7, so don’t wait to contact us. Call us at (888) 888-8888 or submit our contact request form.



Free Case Review



  • Mark Kochanowicz is from far the best attorney you can have. Mark treats you like a friend more than a client. He truly cares and go the extra mile for you and your case, contacts you to update you in regards to your case and keep you informed at all times. Mark represented me twice and settled my cases for way more than I expected. I highly recommend Mark Kochanowicz because he is just the best on what he does!!! Thank you Mark!!!!


  • I just want to let you know that I did receive my settlement check. More importantly, I want to thank you again for all you did for both me and my family. I could not be more pleased with my experience at Cellino Law. From the moment I first spoke with you I felt comfortable - you took a sincere interest in my case, clearly explained the process and effected a quick settlement. From this day forward, when someone asks if I can recommend a good lawyer I will, without hesitation, say "Cellino Law". Thanks again.


  • Cellino Law and more specifically my attorney, Gregory V. Pajak, Managing Attorney, and as a whole the Cellino Law Firm and its organization. This is by far one of the most professional law firms and attorney I have ever engaged with and retained in my 35 years. The level of professionalism goes beyond words, the care and constant engagement with me as the client was touching. I was never ever just treated as simply a CASE with potentially a significant dollar number attached to my file. I was engaged regularly, Tracey (Ass’t) and Greg always made sure to remain constant, as well as consistent in overseeing that my case was handled properly and that it did matter in many ways - ensuring that the end result(s) would be fair and reasonable to my case/injury. The regular follow-up calls were very satisfying, knowing that you’re involved in your case matters significantly AND always. One of my main items to recognize Cellino Law and Gregory is that whenever I called, I was able to get through to speak directly to my Lawyer and he would answer any if not all of my questions in a very professional and genuinely caring manner. I always felt cared for and protected legally and more importantly, I was made feel as a human being that was being cared for and always keeping me abreast of all matters connected to the case. There was never a point I felt let down, on the contrary -the level of service was “STELLAR”. Greg is the consummate professional, a ‘role model’, if you will, for what other attorneys should strive to become when dealing with their clients.


  • My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a fantastic job as our attorney. We could not have been more pleased with the work you and your team has done on this case. This past four years or so has been such a roller coaster for our family. We are very pleased and grateful with the result. We have made a good choice by choosing you. Thank you.


  • I am writing this letter to say how much I appreciate your services pertaining to my case. Your injury attorney took a hands-on approach and left me fully informed at all times as to where my case was going as well as how much ground we had to cover; leaving the final decisions in my hands but making sure that I knew all of the risks involved in the choices. I have dealt with a few law firms in my life on various different cases and this is the first time that I never had to call and/or track down my lawyer… because of this, I have and will continue to recommend Cellino Law to my friends and associates.


  • Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.