What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Claim, and Other Accident-Lawyer Questions

After a car accident with a reckless driver, most people rest assured that the insurance system will work the way it’s meant to work. They believe that the other driver’s insurance will cover their own injuries, which makes the incident seem a little more manageable.


Too often, this isn’t the case. Accident victims often receive a letter or call informing them that their claim has been denied.

Insurance companies use many tactics to avoid paying out on legitimate claims, the worst of which involves blaming the victim for his or her own injuries. This adds insult to injury, forcing the victim to either take action or face the medical bills without help.

If you find yourself in this situation, you don’t have to fight the battle yourself. At Richard McKinney Law, we’re here to help you seek the compensation you deserve. We’ve been in the business for more than 40 years, and we know what it takes to handle stubborn insurance companies.

If you would like to schedule a free case review with a Seattle accident lawyer, call us at 206-933-1605

What is the statute of limitations in Washington for car accident lawsuits?

As you may know, a statute of limitations defines the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit. The Department of Motor Vehicles explains that the length of time varies depending on the type of lawsuit, as well as your state of residence.

Even within personal-injury law, there is some difference in the time limit. In certain situations, the statute of limitations starts to elapse when you realize there was an injury.

In Washington, you have three years from the date of the accident to file your claim. After that time, you lose the right to sue. This limit becomes especially important to keep in mind while you negotiate with the insurance company.

If the limit passes and you haven’t reached a settlement, then you won’t receive any compensation.

Can I sue if I am partially to blame for the accident?

Washington operates on a comparative fault rule that allows you to file a lawsuit even if you partially caused the accident that caused your injury.

Let’s say that you suffer an accident with a driver who was texting and swerved into your lane. Then, let’s assume that a witness claims you failed to leave enough room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, which was also involved in the accident.

If the court attributes 10 percent of the fault to you and 90 percent to the distracted driver, then your compensation would drop by 10 percent.

Of course, accidents are rarely so simple, and the percentage of fault is usually highly contested, which is why you need an experienced accident attorney on your side, to fight for your interests in court.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Seattle and you suffer through serious injuries as a result, we can help you decide whether or not to file a lawsuit to recover damages.

To arrange a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Seattle, call us today at 206-933-1605

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