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Cargo claim deadlines under the Carmack Amendment

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2022 | Transportation Law |

If you’re dealing with a cargo claim, whether based on a contractual arrangement or one that is dictated by the Carmack Amendment, then you need to be aware of the timelines involved so that you can protect your interests. Let’s look at some of those timeframes here.

  • Filing a cargo claim: Under the Carmack Amendment, a carrier can’t force a cargo claim to be filed in less than nine months.
  • Acknowledgement of a claim: One a cargo claim is received, the carrier has to acknowledge it within 30 days. If additional documentation is needed in order to proceed with the claim, then the carrier should specify as much.
  • Investigation: An investigation of a cargo claim is supposed to be prompt, although federal law doesn’t specify what that means. However, given that a decision has to be made on the claim within 120 days, the investigation should be completed within that timeframe.
  • Claim decision: Within that 120-day window, the carrier is required to either pay the claim, deny it, or offer a settlement. If there’s any delay in making that decision, then the carrier is required to provide written notice that specifies the justification for the delay.

Beware of contractual provisions

Remember that if you’ve been subjected to a contractual arrangement, then certain aspects and timeframes related to your claim may change. The same holds true when you want to file a cargo claim lawsuit, in which case you may need to look at your contract or state law to determine the filing deadline.

Dealing with cargo claims that are subjected to the Carmack Amendment can be challenging to navigate. But there can certainly be a lot on the line, which is why it’s imperative that you know how to navigate this area of the law. If you’d like assistance in that regard, then please consider discussing your circumstances with an attorney of your choosing.


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