- November 16, 2021
- Jed Strong
- Vehicle Accidents
If you are a victim of an injury accident that another party caused, you may wonder how long you have to sue after an accident. To seek compensation after a crash, you have up to three years to start the process of filing a lawsuit, according to Washington state Statute 4.16.080. This simply means that you have up to three years to file the paperwork required to initiate the lawsuit, not that the lawsuit has to end within three years.
If you did not cause the accident, you have the right to seek damages for your injuries. If the other person’s negligence led directly to your pain and suffering, you should not have to suffer financially. When you are facing increasing medical costs and missed time at work, hiring an attorney can help you recover the settlement you deserve.
How Long After a Car Accident Can I Claim Injury?
After an accident, some people understand the severity of their injuries immediately. They may have facial trauma or a broken leg that requires emergency medical care. When the facts in the case show that the other party caused your injuries, it’s easy to understand that you deserve a settlement.
At other times, though, you may not realize the extent of your injuries immediately. You may believe you’re feeling fine, or you may want to try to convince yourself there’s nothing wrong. However, the effects of a concussion or a traumatic brain injury may take several months or longer for doctors to fully diagnose. If you’ve delayed contacting an attorney about a lawsuit, you may worry that too much time has passed and wonder how long after your car accident you can claim your injuries.
Although it’s not ideal to delay the filing of a lawsuit while waiting for your injuries to fully manifest, this situation does happen sometimes. We understand why a delay in starting the process may occur. We will be ready to step in and start working on your behalf whenever you are ready.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in WA?
Each state has a different statute of limitations when it comes to filing a personal injury claim after an accident. While Washington’s statute of limitations for injury cases is three years, Oregon allows a two-year window. Utah’s statute of limitations is four years in a negligent injury case. So, the answer to how long after a car accident can you sue varies from state to state.
Why Is There a Statute of Limitations at All?
States set up a statute of limitations in personal injury cases to provide some protection for the defendants. Without any statute of limitations, the party that caused the accident could potentially receive notification of a lawsuit decades into the future. It would be almost impossible for investigators to be able to track down the facts in an accident case that occurred decades earlier.
State lawmakers set the statute of limitations with the idea that any injuries for the victim should show up within this amount of time. Without a statute of limitations, someone might try to blame a new injury on an accident that occurred several years earlier. Placing a time limit on the ability to file new lawsuits after injury accidents protects defendants from fraudulent lawsuits several years down the road.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?
With a three-year statute of limitations in Washington, you may have concerns about why the process takes so long. After suffering an injury, you probably want the lawsuit to come to a conclusion as quickly as possible. The idea of requiring a few years or more to settle your lawsuit may leave you so frustrated that you feel like forgetting about filing a case altogether.
However, some cases simply take a few years or more to settle because of the circumstances. Some of the reasons a car accident case may take longer to settle include:
- Severe injuries that take a long time to fully diagnose
- Disagreement about who is at fault for your injuries
- Insurers who try to stall or who don’t negotiate in good faith
- Taking the case to trial because negotiations with the insurer fail.
Helping You Receive the Best Possible Settlement As Quickly As Possible
When it feels like your case is dragging on, you may experience frustration. We understand these feelings. You can count on the team at Strong Law to work through your case as quickly as we can. We want to help you receive the settlement you deserve fast, so that you can attempt to return to your normal life. However, we will not sacrifice the best possible outcome for you just to end the case faster. We balance our desire to reach a favorable outcome quickly with ensuring that you receive the financial settlement you deserve.
How Long Do You Have to Sue After an Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault in Washington?
The type of accident doesn’t affect the three-year window of the state of Washington statute of limitations. Injury accidents in which victims must adhere to the statute include:
- Car accident
- Truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bicycle accident
- Pedestrian accident.
The statute of limitations doesn’t mean you have to settle the case within three years of the accident. It simply means you have to start the process of filing a claim.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim?
We always recommend that victims contact our team as early as possible after the injury accident. This gives our car accident lawyers the ability to begin investigating the case while the evidence remains fresh in the minds of witnesses.
However, in some cases, it is understandable that the victim delays filing the lawsuit. Perhaps you weren’t certain about the severity of your injuries initially. Perhaps you didn’t understand your rights about seeking compensation for your physical and emotional trauma. Perhaps you were hoping the entire thing would just take care of itself.
Let Strong Law Handle Your Case
We Will Let You Know How Long You Have to Sue After Your Car Accident
Whether you delayed starting your case for a couple of years or you decided to start a lawsuit within hours of your accident, we are ready to help. We take pride in delivering high-level representation for our clients. We listen to your concerns. We will tailor our representation to match the specific situation you are facing. Strong Law always has the best interests of our clients in mind.
When you are wondering how long you have to sue after an accident, understand that the three-year window applies in a typical case. There are exceptions, although they are rare. Even if you believe you are beyond the statute of limitations deadline, call Strong Law at 206-741-1051 today for a free consultation. We can help you determine the best way to move forward.