Each state in the nation maintains a set of laws referred to as statutes of limitation. These statutes govern how much time can pass before a legal action can be taken, and states maintain both civil and criminal statutes of limitation. If you are injured in the state of Washington and want to pursue a civil lawsuit in order to recover compensation for your injuries, you must file your claim within the time frame dictated by the statute. For this reason, it is essential that you do not delay in gathering evidence, speaking with an attorney, or pursuing your claim.
What Happens If I Do Not Bring Forth My Action within the Statute of Limitations?
If you do not bring forth your civil action within the statute of limitations, then you risk forfeiting your right to pursuing a claim at all. The statute of limitations is designed to protect defendants from suits after an unreasonable amount of time has passed, and to ensure that evidence that is critical to a case is likely to be preserved – for example, it is unlikely that car accident evidence would exist 10 years past the date of the accident, at least in full.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Washington?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Washington is three years from the date of injury. This means that if you were injured on January 1, 2017, you have until January 1, 2020 to file your lawsuit. This law is found in the Revised Code of Washington, Section 4.16.080. If you are a minor, or the parent of a minor, at the time of the injury, then the statute of limitation does not begin until you (or your child) turns 18 years old, with the exception of medical malpractice claims.
When Should I Meet with a Personal Injury Lawyer?
While you may have three years’ time from the date of your injury to bring forth your action in civil court, you should not wait this long to meet with an attorney. In fact, you should meet with a legal professional as soon as possible after your injury. This is because gathering evidence sooner rather than later may be essential to the integrity of your claim, and if you wait too long, evidence may be destroyed. Further, the earlier that you meet with an attorney, the earlier you can file your claim, and the greater the likelihood of receiving your compensation award sooner.
Contact Our Seattle Personal Injury Lawyers Today
At the law offices of Gosanko & O’Halloran, PLLC, we understand the importance of acting quickly after suffering an injury due to the negligence of another. Even if you have delayed in taking action up to this point, if fewer than three years have passed since the date of your accident, you still have a chance to file a claim and recover compensation.
Our talented Seattle personal injury lawyers can help you to understand the statute of limitations and how to bring forth your claim. A consultation with our law offices is completely free, so do not delay in calling us today, or contacting us online.