How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Washington State?

statute of limitationsThe Statute Of Limitations (SOL) is a law that sets a strict limit on the amount of time that an accident victim has to file a legal claim or action in order to recover damages for their injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and more. 

According to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 4.16.080:

Actions limited to three years.

The following actions shall be commenced within three years:
(2) An action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not hereinafter enumerated;

There are some exceptions to this rule, and you should consult with an attorney to determine whether any of those exceptions might impact your case. After the SOL has expired, injury victims are forever barred from pursuing a claim for damages. In Washington state, the SOL for many types of personal injury cases is three years from the date of the accident.

Even though your SOL may not expire for quite some time, you may still want to promptly consult with an attorney in order to protect your rights, maximize the value of your claim, and increase the odds of a favorable outcome. Watch the video below to hear attorney Chris Davis of Davis Law Group explain the Statute Of Limitations in more detail:

Warning: Don't Wait to Pursue Your Claim

As Mr. Davis said in the video above, it is a dangerous practice to wait until the statute of limitations period is about to expire before filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the lawsuit is filed right before the deadline and if the defendant cannot be found, or if the wrong defendant is served, the case will be dismissed and the injured person may be left with nothing.

For this reason, it is very important to hire a personal injury attorney long before the statute of limitations expires. Many attorneys will refuse to accept a case when the statute of limitations period is about to expire because there may be insufficient time to investigate the case, file a lawsuit, and locate and properly serve the proper defendants.

The lesson: Do not wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire before you protect your rights. In many cases, an experienced personal injury attorney who is hired early enough in the claims process can help you avoid mistakes that may harm your case and perform work to greatly enhance the value of your claim.