If you have been injured in a car accident, filing a personal injury claim is an option to seek compensation. However, when filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, it is important to understand the statute of limitations in your state. In Washington State, the statute of limitations for filing an injury claim is three years (RCW 4.16.080). This means that you must file your claim within three years from the date of your accident or else risk forfeiting the right to do so.
But what if you miss the statute of limitations? If you are concerned about missing the deadline to file a personal injury claim after a car accident, contact West Law Office. Our Spokane auto accident attorney can start working on your case immediately. We will help you navigate the claims process while you focus on your treatment.
What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?
When dealing with a car accident injury claim in Washington State, time is especially critical as claimants are only granted three years from the date of their accident to file their claims. Otherwise, they may risk forfeiting their right to pursue any form of compensation altogether.
If you miss the three-year window for filing your personal injury claim in Washington State, you will not be able to file it at all. This means that any potential compensation that could have been awarded through your case will be lost forever.
The only possible exception to this is if “fraudulent concealment” applies in your case. In other words, if someone intentionally concealed information about the crash from you and prevented you from knowing that you had a valid claim until after the statute of limitations had expired, then it may still be possible to receive compensation. This situation is rare, however, and should not be assumed as likely without evidence or legal advice.
However, there may be other exceptions to the statute of limitations, but you will have to speak with an experienced attorney to determine if any of these exceptions apply to your individual case.
The Impact of Missing the Statute of Limitations
Missing the statute of limitations can also have other detrimental effects on your case even beyond simply missing out on potential settlement money. For example, if your case goes to court after missing the deadline, then it could actually work against you by making it seem like there were problems with your case or that it was not legitimate—even though this isn't necessarily true.
Additionally, even if fraudulent concealment does apply in your case and allows for successful litigation after missing the deadline, courts might still decide to reduce or deny any compensation awarded based on their perception of how long it has taken for you to bring up your claim.
The Legal Counsel You Can Trust
It is essential for individuals considering filing a personal injury claim after a car accident to seek legal advice and understand their state's laws regarding statutes of limitation before taking any action. Our auto accident attorney at West Law Office can help you understand the law so you can proceed confidently in building your case and seeking justice and fair compensation within your legal rights and timeframe. Call 509-993-0748 to request a free consultation.