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FOUNDATIONAL LEARNING
Claims and lawsuit filing deadlines
  • Every process of a claim has a timeline laid out in the CFR and the USC.

The time limits for carriers to file claims and lawsuits are listed below, along with where to find them in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or the United States Code (USC).

Overcharge claims — billing disputes initiated by shippers

If a shipper wants to dispute any charges (both those originally billed or any additional charges subsequently billed), they may request that the Surface Transportation Board determine whether the charges must be paid. The shipper must contest the original bill or subsequent bill within 180 days of receiving it in order to have the right to contest such charges. (13710(a)(3)(B))

Acknowledgment

Upon receiving a written or electronically transmitted claim, the carrier must acknowledge that it received the claim (either in writing or electronically) to the claimant within 30 days after the date of receipt, except when the carrier has paid the claim or declined it within that period. (378.7)

Disposition

A carrier must pay, decline, or settle each claim within 60 days after receiving it, unless the claimant and the carrier agree to a specific extension. If the carrier declines the claim or makes a settlement in an amount that differs from the claim request, they must provide a reason. (378.8)

Civil action

A person must begin a civil action to recover overcharges within 18 months after the claim accrues. (14705(b))

Undercharge claims — billing disputes initiated by carriers

If a motor carrier (other than a motor carrier providing transportation of household goods or in noncontiguous domestic trade) wants to collect charges in addition to those billed and collected, which are contested by the payor, the carrier may request that the Surface Transportation Board determine whether any additional charges must be paid. A carrier must issue any bill for charges in addition to those originally billed within 180 days of the receipt of the original bill in order to have the right to collect additional charges. (13710(a)(3)(A))

Civil action

A carrier providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under Chapter 135 must begin a civil action to recover charges for transportation or service provided by the carrier within 18 months after the claim accrues. (14705(a))

Loss or damage claims — filing period

A carrier may not provide by rule, contract, or otherwise, a period of less than nine months for filing a claim against it. (14706(e)) Damage claims are filed within nine months after delivery of the load. Loss claims must be filed within nine months after a reasonable or expected time for delivery has passed.

Acknowledgment A carrier must respond to any claim within 30 days after it is received unless the carrier has paid or declined the claim within these 30 days. (370.5)

Disposition When a claim is received for loss, damage, injury, or delay of delivery, the carrier must pay the claim, decline the claim, or make a compromise settlement offer in writing within 120 days. If the claim cannot be processed within 120 days, the carrier must advise the claimant of the status of the claim during that time period, and at the end of each following 60-day period until final disposition. (370.9 [a])

Civil action

A carrier may not provide by rule, contract, or otherwise, a period of less than two years for bringing a civil action against it under this section. The period for bringing a civil action is computed from the date the carrier gives a person written notice that the carrier has disallowed any part of the claim specified in the notice. (49 USC 14706(e))