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How Long Do I Have to Bring a Claim in an Auto Accident?

Posted by Russell West | Aug 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

Being in an auto accident can be overwhelming and frustrating. For the most part, you are able to go to the doctor and immediately file a claim under the driver's car insurance policy, assuming it was the other driver's fault, and be compensated for whatever injury you have sustained. But what happens when you find out later that an insurance company will not settle with you? How long do you have to file suit? If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Spokane auto accident attorney to help you with your case.

Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents

In Washington, when you have been involved in an auto accident you have a specified time in which to bring a lawsuit against another driver for injuries that you have sustained. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.080, a personal injury claim must be brought within three years of the accident in the state's civil court. If you do not bring a claim within this time frame, then you run the risk of your claim being barred or being dismissed from recovering any compensation for your injuries. If your personal injury claim is against a government entity then you must first file a formal notice with the entity involved, not the court, within the three years' time period, as well as allow a 60-day waiting period before you are able to commence a claim against the government entity.

It is important to note that though you have three years to file a claim in court, this time limit does not apply to filing an insurance claim against the insurance policy. The time limit that a person has to file an insurance claim depends on the insurance policy. However, it is best to file an insurance claim at the time of the accident, so that if you are unable to receive compensation from the insurance company, you still have time to bring an action in court. That is why it is in your best interest to seek legal advice after an auto accident.

Need Legal Advice?

Though you or a loved one have been involved an auto accident, you do not have to feel helpless if a settlement negotiation falls through with an insurance company or if you find out later that you have sustained injuries that were unknown at the time of the accident because you may still be able to file suit as long as Washington's three-year statute of limitation has not run on your claim. However, it is still in your best interest when an accident occurs to contact an experienced auto accident attorney to help you with your case. Contact the West Law Office online or call at 509-993-0748 so that we can help you today.  

(image courtesy of Wouterhagens)

About the Author

Russell West

Russell West from West Law Office, located in Spokane, Washington represents clients in areas of criminal traffic, misdemeanors, and personal injury. DUI’s, Reckless Driving, Negligent driving, Hit and Run, and Driving with Suspended license are the majority of criminal traffic violations. Drug Charges, Theft, and Domestic Violence account for most of the other criminal cases Russell handles.


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West Law Office - Russell West Attorney

Spokane Attorney Russell West practice areas include: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Falls, DUIs, DOL Hearings, Criminal Traffic, Expungement/Vacating Records, and Insurance Bad Faith

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