A “personal injury” is any form of injury including physical, financial, or psychological that affects an individual. When an individual or group of individuals experiences a personal injury because of the negligence of another person or business, a personal injury case may be filed. Personal injury damages can be recovered for a wide range of injuries caused by everything from car accidents to workplace accidents to defective products. Personal injury laws are complicated and vary from state to state. If you have been injured, it is in your interest to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Most attorneys provide a free case evaluation and a contingency fee plan. A contingency fee plan means that you will pay your attorney with a percentage of the damages you win but you will not owe any fees if you do not win any damages. Damages are a sum of money claimed or awarded in compensation for a loss or an injury. It should also be noted that personal injury cases have a statute of limitations.
A Statute of Limitations is a type of federal or state law enacted by the legislature that restricts or extends the time within which legal proceedings may be brought after a personal injury occurs. Courts are generally not given the authority to extend a statute of limitations and it is considered unconstitutional if it immediately curtails an existing remedy or provides so little time that it deprives an individual of a reasonable opportunity to start a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations actually date back to Roman law and are designed to prevent fraudulent or old claims from being made after the evidence or facts have been lost over the passage of time or the faulty memory, death, or disappearance of a meaningful witness.
Typically, the statute of limitations is used by the defense team to try and defeat an action from a plaintiff after the state’s statute of limitation has elapsed. The defendant must plead this defense immediately upon responding to the plaintiff’s complaint. If the defense is not made at that time, it is noted that the defense has waived their right to use it in any subsequent proceedings.
You have a limited amount of time to file your personal injury claim in Washington. Washington statute of limitations laws may differ from those of other states.
Statute of Limitations by Type of Personal Injury Claim
It is always recommended that you do not wait until the last minute to file a personal injury claim. You risk damaging your claim in the following ways by waiting:
If you have been injured in an accident, hiring a personal injury attorney may be crucial to getting the financial compensation you deserve. When hiring an attorney to represent you in your injury claim you should look for:
Disclaimer: State and federal laws in the United States change on a regular basis. Any information provided in this guide is meant solely for informational purposes and should not take the place of the advice of a lawyer. Only a qualified attorney can assess the merits of your case and provide an effective plan for counsel.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!