Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations
People injured in a car accident, workplace accident, or slip and fall may consider filing a personal injury case. A personal injury lawsuit gives victims the opportunity to hold liable parties accountable for damages caused by their injury.
While injury victims should carefully weigh their legal options, they need to be aware of the personal injury statute of limitations. This legal limit sets a deadline on the amount of time someone has to file a personal injury suit. Here, personal injury attorneys from Quick Law Group, PLLC, explain the statutes of limitations that apply to individuals in Bellevue, WA, and surrounding areas.
What Is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?
Each state sets their own statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits. The amount of time that someone has to file a civil suit in their state will depend on what type of case is being filed. In the state of Washington, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is three years.
When Does the Countdown for Statutes of Limitations Begin?
If an injury victim is contemplating filing a personal injury lawsuit, they need to understand when the deadline for the statute of limitations begins. Washington law stipulates that the statute of limitations deadline begins on the day of their accident or injury.
What If I Miss the Deadline?
The statute of limitations deadline is not flexible. If someone attempts to file a personal injury claim in a Bellevue court after the statute of limitations deadline has passed, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. Unless there are unique circumstances that warrant an extension of the statute of limitations, the court will dismiss the case, and the injury victim will lose their right to pursue financial compensation for injury damages.
Are There Any Exceptions?
The personal injury statute of limitations is firm, but there are a few situations in which the clock for the deadline may be paused in the state of Washington.
If a person is under the age of 18 when they are injured in an accident, they will be unable to file a personal injury lawsuit on their own. If their parents do not file a suit on their behalf, the statute of limitations will be paused until the victim reaches the age of 18. At that time, they will have three years to file a suit in civil court.
The statute of limitations can also be paused if the defendant moves out of the state. The plaintiff and victim must both live in the state for a civil suit to be filed. If the statute of limitation is paused, the countdown will resume again once the defendant returns to living in the state.
Time Is of the Essence
Statutes of limitations set a deadline for when a suit needs to be filed in court, not when the lawsuit needs to be settled. Still, time is of the essence when considering a personal injury case. Prior to filing a suit, our attorneys need to collect evidence and any witness statements. In addition, we may try to reach a pre-trial settlement, which would prevent the need for clients at our Bellevue firm to appear in court. It is important that we have ample time to build a case and work towards a settlement before we hit the statute of limitations deadline.
Contact Our Attorneys
If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, you should act quickly. The attorneys at Quick Law Group, PLLC, can listen to the details of your accident and advise you of your best course of legal action. To learn more, send us a message as soon as possible, or call (425) 576-8150.