If you have been in an accident in Washington State, it does not pay to wait to file a legal claim. If you want to get back damages for any injuries, medical bills, lost wages, or anything else, then you need to file before the Statute of Limitations (SOL) has run out. It can run out in a hurry if you have not taken all the steps needed to file. Besides, the faster you file, the sooner you may be able to recover those damages.

Three years

With some exceptions, the law in Washington State (RCW 4.16.080) has deemed that someone has three years to complete these actions: “(2) An action for , detaining, or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not hereinafter enumerated;”. Once three years has gone by, you will never be able to file a claim for damages. There are some exceptions to this, so you can consult an attorney to see which, if any, of those exceptions could affect your situation. Three years seems like a long time, but in that period you need to find and consult with an attorney, and get any paperwork and evidence in order. The faster you claim, the better the odds are that you will get the outcome you want.

Why you should not wait

By waiting too long, you open yourself to all sorts of issues, including dismissal, if something goes wrong. For instance, by waiting until the last minute, the defendant might not be found in time to serve them. If that happens, then your claim could be dead in the water. Getting an attorney as soon as possible will mitigate these potential disasters. As well, your attorney will be able to properly investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, and make sure that all the pieces are in place to file your claim and improve the odds of being successful.

If you are considering filing a claim after an accident, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer. At Gustad Law, we will be able to properly assess your case, and will work to make sure that you recover the maximum amount. You can contact us online or by phone at 206-533-2222.