Washington Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that determines the amount of time that a person has to file any sort of claim or lawsuit within their state. In the case of a car accident, an individual is only allowed a specific time frame to file suit concerning their specific injuries. Each state has different statute of limitations, and different time frames on when claims can be filed.
The State of Washington
In the state of Washington, the court system allows a person to have a maximum of three years to file a claim in the event of a car accident causing personal injury. In the Revised Code of Washington section 4.16.080, it specifically states that an individual can file a claim up to three years later for all actions for any injury to a driver, passenger, or pedestrian for car accident related injuries.
In addition, if an individual is killed in a car accident or succumbs to their injuries, according to the Washington Car Accident Statute of Limitations, the family of the deceased can file a lawsuit against the opposite driver, or against the person responsible for the accident. As long as the suit is filed within a three year time frame, it is still a valid claim.
When the Time Frames Begin
In the state of Washington, the time frame begins the moment the accident happens. 24 hours after the impact of the accident is equal to 24 hours into the time clock. As long as the individual or family files the lawsuit before the three year time clock runs out, the claim will be received and heard in court. In the case of wrongful death due to a car accident, if the person succumbs to their injuries and dies after the accident date, the three year time frame will begin at the moment of their death.
However, if someone tries to file a personal injury claim due to a car accident after the designated time frame has expired, the case will most likely be immediately dismissed in court. Because of this, it is crucial for anyone who has intentions to file a lawsuit to do so in a timely manner.
Outside of Personal Injury
Though most lawsuits arise from personal injuries due to car accidents, other lawsuits can arise as well from the accident itself, including other types of damages. According to the Washington Car Accident Statute of Limitations, if a person wants to file a claim due to their vehicle sustaining damages from the accident, they have a three year time clock to do so. Especially if the case is against a wreckless driver, driver under the influence, or other type of fault, they have three years from the day of impact to present their claim to the Washington court system.
Not every car accident results in a sort of lawsuit. However, since the state of Washington puts a time frame on individuals to file a claim, it is important for all victims to understand their options and to assess their specific situation accordingly with their lawyer.
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