If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim. In Washington, personal injury claims are governed by a filing deadline known as the statute of limitations. To bring a successful case, you must comply with all relevant deadlines. Failure to do so could result in your claim being dismissed. Here, our Spokane personal injury lawyers explain the most important things that you need to know about the statute of limitations in Washington.
Personal Injury Claims: Three Years to Take Action
Under Washington law (RCW 4.16.080), injured victims must comply with a three-year statute of limitations. Injured victims must file any lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident—otherwise their case will almost certainly be automatically thrown out.
There are very few exceptions to the Washington personal injury statute of limitations. If you were under the age of eighteen years old when the accident occurred, you may have additional time to bring a claim. Similarly, if the defendant took active steps to prevent you from seeking justice, the statute of limitations ‘clock’ may be paused. However, it is not advisable to rely on these exceptions.
Special Rules Apply in Cases Involving Government Entities
If you are considering bringing a personal injury claim against the State of Washington, City of Spokane, or any other government entity, it is imperative that you take swift action to protect your right to bring a claim. There are specialized rules and procedures involved in claims against government entities. Be sure to contact an experienced Washington personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident involving the government.
Do Not Wait to Take Action: Successful Claims Require an Immediate Investigation
Although three years may seem like plenty of time to bring a claim, you should never wait to take action. To recover the maximum available financial compensation, plaintiffs must be able to prove liability and the complete value of their damages. A truly successful personal injury claim will be built on a foundation of carefully documented supporting evidence. As time passes by, certain types of evidence will become more difficult to track down.
As an example, you may have a difficult time obtaining eyewitness testimony if you wait months or years to look for that witness. The best thing you can do to protect your rights is to start working with an experienced Spokane personal injury lawyer immediately after a serious accident. Your lawyer will initiate an in-depth investigation, gathering much needed evidence.
Get Help From Our Spokane, WA Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington personal injury lawyers are committed to providing knowledgeable, effective legal representation to our clients. We handle all types of personal injury cases. To set up a free, no obligation review of your case, please contact our personal injury law firm right away. From our office location in Spokane, we serve communities throughout the region, including Cheney, Airway Heights, Mead, and Fairwood.