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What is the Time Limit to File a Truck Accident Claim in Arizona?

March 12, 2024 Legal Team

In Arizona, and any jurisdiction, understanding the time limits to file a personal injury claim is vital for anyone involved in a truck accident. These deadlines – known as statutes of limitations – are set by state law and dictate how long you have after an accident to initiate a lawsuit.

Failing to abide by this timeline usually means forfeiting your right to seek compensation later on. Keep reading to learn about Arizona’s statute of limitations.

Deadline to File a Truck Accident Claim in Arizona

The General Deadline For Arizona Truck Accident Claims is Two Years

In Arizona, the basic rule for personal injury claims arising from a truck accident is that you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. 

12-542. Injury to person; injury when death ensues; injury to property; conversion of property; forcible entry and forcible detainer; two-year limitation

Except as provided in section 12-551 there shall be commenced and prosecuted within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions:

  1. For injuries done to the person of another including causes of action for medical malpractice…

Delays in filing will often lead to your claim being dismissed because time has run out.

Exceptions to the Two-Year Deadline in Arizona Truck Accident Lawsuits

While two years is the standard period for most personal injury claims in Arizona, there are important exceptions that can affect this timeline:

Claims Against a Government Entity

If your truck accident involves a government entity, such as an accident with a city-owned vehicle, you have one year from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. However, you must also notify the appropriate governmental body of your claim through what’s known as a “Notice of Claim.” 

Persons who have claims against a public entity, public school or a public employee shall file claims with the person or persons authorized to accept service for the public entity, public school or public employee as set forth in the Arizona rules of civil procedure within one hundred eighty days after the cause of action accrues. 

This notification typically must be served within 180 days following your injury. If you fail to prove this notice on time, you won’t be able to initiate a lawsuit.

Legal Disabilities and Minors

In cases where the individual involved in the truck accident is under a legal disability, Arizona law tolls, or pauses, the statute of limitations.

For minors younger than 18 years old who have sustained injuries in a truck accident, the countdown to file a lawsuit typically begins on their 18th birthday, allowing most injured parties who were minors at that time to file up until they turn 20.

For those considered to be of “unsound mind” – meaning they are not mentally competent enough to handle their affairs – the statute of limitations does not begin until the point in time when they have been declared to be recovered from their incapacity.

12-502Effect of minority or insanity

If a person entitled to bring an action other than those set forth in article 2 of this chapter is at the time the cause of action accrues either under eighteen years of age or of unsound mind, the period of such disability shall not be deemed a portion of the period limited for commencement of the action. Such person shall have the same time after removal of the disability which is allowed to others.

The Discovery Rule

The discovery rule is another exception to Arizona’s statute of limitations. This legal principle acknowledges that injuries or harm isn’t always immediately apparent following an incident.

If you don’t become aware of your injury right after the accident, you have longer to file the lawsuit: two years from the date you knew or should have known through reasonable diligence about the injury and the negligence that caused it.

These timelines are for filing lawsuits and do not apply to insurance claims – which typically should be filed much sooner after your accident.

If you have been involved in a Phoenix truck accident and need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.