Each state establishes its own rules when it comes to car accident claims. And the statute of limitations for car accident claims vary greatly across the country. So how long after an accident can you file a claim in Washington?
The answer? Three years. You have three years after the date of an accident to file a claim against a negligent defendant.
Below, our Washington car accident lawyer explains and discuss what you should know about when to file a car accident claim. To learn more, contact the Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff.
You Should File a Claim as Soon as Possible
Filing a claim and settling a claim are two different things. The earlier you file the claim, the sooner you can get the process started. That being said, you may not know the full extent of your injuries until after you have received treatment.
For instance, those that require physical rehab may not be in a position to understand what damage they will have to live with for the rest of their lives and what can be healed over time. That’s important to know. You will only get one chance to settle your lawsuit or litigate your claim. You want to make sure that you get as much money as you possibly can to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. You are also entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering.
In this case, filing a claim against an insurance policy is equivalent to initiating a lawsuit against a defendant. There are a number of reasons why you want to do this earlier rather than later. Those include:
- Fresh memories. In cases where there are witnesses to the accident, the information will be fresher in their memory the earlier they are interviewed.
- Still time to sue. The insurance company will never offer you a fair initial settlement. They’re hoping that you accept whatever the insurance company offers and go away quietly. The process of negotiating takes time. Generally speaking, if you want a fair settlement, you will need to be willing to wait to get one. On the upside, insurance companies don’t like taking cases before a jury.
Is It Ever a Good Idea to Wait?
There’s no good reason to wait to file a claim. Your best order of action is to file the claim with your insurance company as soon as you are able and get the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. The more serious your injuries are (or the more potentially serious your injuries are) the more important it is to involve a skilled personal injury attorney early in the process.
While some will claim that you will provide the insurance company with a more comprehensive claim if you wait before filing, you can always amend your claim as new information becomes available. As your treatment goes on, new complications can arise. This is will impact the value of your claim. But waiting isn’t a great idea simply because you’ll have more information available to you. In the meantime, witness’s memories are degrading.
If your injuries are serious, then acting quickly is especially vital.
Talk to Vancouver, WA Car Accident Attorney to Learn More About How Soon After an Accident Can You File a Claim
Washington is a tort state when it comes to auto accidents. Claims are filed against an at-fault driver’s auto insurance. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to minimize the value of your claim. That includes blaming you as the victim. In fact, that’s their best course of action to avoid a hefty payout.
If you have been in an accident, you likely want to focus on healing from your injuries. But you may be wondering, “how soon after an accident can you file a claim?” You need a Vancouver car accident attorney who understands the process of insurance claims and litigation. The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff have successfully helped our clients recover fair settlements and favorable jury verdicts. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.