Updated on: 4/18/2014
If you suffer from personal injury because of the fault or negligence of another person or party, chances are you’re left dealing with some of the financial costs of your injury. So what do you do now? How do you make sure that your medical bills are paid for and you’re not left emptying your bank account to pay for the injuries that were someone else’s fault in the first place?
Whether your injuries were the result of a car accident or other type of incident, there are a number of ways in which you may receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other costs. Many accident victims are unaware of their legal rights in the event of personal injury. But there are a number of factors that make it extremely important for accident victims to have an understanding of the personal injury legal process in order to avoid financial disaster.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is an enactment in common law which sets a maximum time limit after a particular event that legal proceedings based on that event may begin.
For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations essentially places a limit on how much time accident victims are allowed before filing a claim. If the victim waits until after the statute has expired, their claim may no longer be brought forward and the case is closed forever.
In Washington state, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. The statute is also three years for wrongful death and medical malpractice actions. However, victims of medical malpractice may pursue legal action within one year of discovering the malpractice if it took them longer than three years after the incident occurred to realize their injuries.
Types of Recoverable Damages
Beyond costly medical bills, unforeseen personal injury can have a crippling effect on your day-to-day life and the responsibilities that you are normally capable of fulfilling. For example, many injury victims miss time at work, require long-term rehabilitation or care and have trouble keeping up with regular duties around their homes.
Filing a personal injury claim will entitle accident victims to compensation for their financial damages and losses that resulted from the accident. This compensation may reimburse the plaintiff for things like wages from time that was missed at work, future long-term care, and even a loss of essential services.
If you were injured in an accident in Washington state because of someone else’s negligence, it is extremely important that you act quickly to explore your legal options and determine the best way for you to make a physical and financial recovery from the accident.
Acting quickly allows accident victims to preserve time-sensitive evidence and get statements from expert witnesses. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able to best serve your legal interests and handle your case in a timely manner to avoid missing the statute of limitations.