If you’ve got a personal injury claim, you’ve probably run into the term statute of limitations. “What does it mean, and how does it impact my case” are questions you’re likely asking. I wrote this blog post to give you an idea of things you need to know about this deadline that will impact your claim.
A statute of limitations means:
a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim.
You can think of this concept like a deadline that determines a date for which you must file a claim. If you wait to file until after that deadline has passed, you won’t be able to sue. So whatever monies you received, if any, would be the entirety of what you’ll be awarded.
The reason there is a statute of limitations is that memories fade, witnesses die, and the facts get harder to uncover. To enact a time limit on claims means to encourage suits to be filed relatively soon after they develop.
Different kinds of claims have different statutes of limitations, but generally they are at least one year in length. For the full list of statutes of limitations in Washington State, click here.
Best rule to go by if you’ve got an accident injury claim is to simply talk to a good, experienced lawyer. Collect and document all the evidence you possibly can, through written testimony, photos, and medical records and bills. The more information you can give to an attorney during that initital consultation, the better, as it allows the lawyer to fully assess the state of your claim and advise you from there.
Bill Coats Law, located in downtown Bellingham, Washington, is a personal injury law firm dedicated to helping accident victims. Bill Coats has decades of experience finding fast, full, claims for his clients. To reach him for your initial, free consultation, contact him here.