- April 25, 2023
- Strong Law
- Vehicle Accidents
Have you been injured because of an accident that was caused by someone else?
If so, you may wonder how long you have to sue after the accident. To seek compensation for your injuries after a car crash, you have three years to file a lawsuit, according to Washington state Statute 4.16.080. Note that the three-year deadline refers to the time you are given to begin to initiate the lawsuit, and it has nothing to do with the amount of time you are given to file/solve/settle a lawsuit of this nature.
If you were not the cause of the accident that resulted in your injuries, you have the right to seek damages for these injuries. If another person’s negligence led directly to your pain and suffering, you should not be the one to have to pick up the tab and suffer financially. When faced with accelerating medical costs and missed time at work, hiring a team of attorneys after an accident can be one of the smartest and most important decisions at that time.
Are There Time Limits for Car Accident Claims?
The short answer is yes; however, injuries from car accidents can be tricky. While some injuries are immediately apparent, others sustain injuries that take time to manifest – sometimes days or weeks, or months after a car collision or similar impact. For obvious injuries that need immediate or emergency medical care, if the facts show fault with the other party’s actions/choices, then it is easy to understand that you deserve a settlement.
However, what if you have sustained an injury like a concussion or a traumatic brain injury – which may take several months or longer to fully diagnose? If you’ve previously delayed contacting an attorney about a potential lawsuit, you may worry that there has been too much time since the date of the accident, and you are unable to make a claim for your injuries.
The reality is that while it is not ideal to delay the filing of a lawsuit – for any reason, this situation regarding slow-to-develop injuries does happen. We understand the cause of the delay and are ready to step in and start to represent your interests when you are ready.
How Long Do You Have to Sue After an Accident in WA?
Each state sets forth a specific statute of limitations when it comes to filing a personal injury claim that results from an accident. Washington’s statute of limitations for injury cases is three years, whereas Oregon allows a two-year window to file.
The type of accident that causes the injury does not affect the three-year window of the state of Washington’s statute of limitations. Injury accidents in which victims must adhere to this legal period include:
- Car accidents.
- Motorcycle accidents.
- Truck accidents.
- Bicycle accidents.
- Pedestrian accidents.
Again, if you are wondering what the statute of limitations for car accidents is, remember that you must settle your case within three years after the accident. The time limit established by any state simply means you have to start the process of filing a claim within the defined window.
Why Is There a Statute of Limitations?
State lawmakers define a statute of limitations to provide some protection for the defendants against a potential lawsuit decades after the incident. Placing a time limit on the ability to file new lawsuits after injury accidents protects defendants from fraudulent lawsuits several years after the event.
For example, without a statute of limitations, someone might try to blame a new injury on an accident that occurred several years earlier.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Car accident lawsuits must make their way through an overworked, antiquated legal system. And, after suffering an injury, you probably want the whole legal matter finished as soon as possible.
However, some cases simply take more time or more to settle because of the specific circumstances. Consider that a case may be delayed because:
- There were injuries that needed time to fully diagnose.
- There is a disagreement as to who is at fault for your injuries.
- Insurance company’s parlor tricks to stall.
- Requiring a trial because negotiations with the insurer fall apart.
Helping You Receive the Best Possible Settlement as Quickly as Possible
When it feels like your case is dragging on, we understand how frustrating the process can be. The team at Strong Law works on your case as quickly and vigilantly as possible. We want to help you receive the settlement you deserve so you can begin to find your way back to a normal life.
However, we will not sacrifice the best possible outcome for speed. We balance our desire to reach a favorable outcome quickly with ensuring that you receive the financial settlement you deserve.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim?
We always recommend that injury victims contact our team as soon as they can after the accident. This gives our car accident lawyers the most amount of time to begin investigating the case while the evidence remains fresh in the minds of witnesses.
However, there are reasonable circumstances in which a victim may choose to delay a filing. Perhaps you weren’t certain about the severity of your injuries. Perhaps you did not understand your rights in seeking compensation for your physical and emotional trauma. Maybe you hoped the whole matter 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
If you have been injured in an accident due to another negligence or fault, reach out for the legal guidance you need to make the best-educated decision during a challenging time. If the accident happened last year or yesterday, we are here to help and take pride in representing you as one of our clients.
Remember that in Washington state, there is a three-year window that applies in a typical accident injury case. While there are exceptions, they are rare.
Even if you believe you fall outside the statute of limitations deadline, call Strong Law at 206-741-1053 today for a free consultation. We can help you determine the best way to move forward.