Injury Claim Deadlines After a Car Accident in Lakewood

Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Injury Claim Deadlines After A Car Accident In Lakewood Image

A car accident can instantly alter your life. From painful injuries and overwhelming medical bills to having to miss work while you recover, there’s a lot to deal with – and if another driver caused your Lakewood car accident, you might also be facing a complicated insurance claims process to recover compensation. But how long after a car accident can you claim injury?

It can be tempting to put off initiating a legal process when you have so much on your plate. However, if you miss this deadline, you’ll likely lose your right to seek compensation, even if you have a strong case.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injury Lawsuits in Washington

The statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits, including those arising from car accidents, gives victims three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court.

However, do not mistake the statute of limitations deadline with the timeframe to make an insurance claim. Insurance companies require notification of an accident much sooner, often within days. If you wait too long, the insurer may deny your claim outright.

To protect your rights, contact an experienced Lakewood car accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash. They can assess your case, gather evidence, and communicate with insurers on your behalf. Most injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out for legal support.

When to Report an Injury After a Car Accident

How long after a car accident can you claim injury? Assess yourself and your passengers for injuries at the scene of the accident. Call 911 right away if anyone is seriously injured or unresponsive. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Some car accident injuries may not show symptoms immediately. It could take hours, days, or longer for pain and other symptoms to appear. Seeing a doctor immediately documents your injuries and links them to the crash. This medical record becomes vital evidence in your injury claim.

When speaking with police, other drivers, and insurance companies, exercise caution. Stick to the facts of what happened and avoid admitting fault or downplaying your injuries. Statements like “I’m sorry” or “I’m okay” can later be used against you to challenge your injury claim.

Deadlines for Making an Auto Insurance Claim

Washington is a fault-based state when it comes to car accidents and insurance. This means the at-fault driver’s auto insurance is responsible for compensating the other parties.

How long after a car accident can you claim injury? After an accident, you typically have two options for pursuing an injury claim in Washington:

Note that in some cases, you may file a claim with your own insurance company. For example, you can turn to your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage if the at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage.

No matter which approach you choose, act quickly after the accident. Insurance companies have strict notification requirements if you want to file a claim. Check your policy or contact the insurer directly to find out their specific reporting deadlines.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side – their goal is to pay out as little as possible. Insurance adjusters may pressure you to accept a quick, lowball settlement before you know the full extent of your losses. They may also try to use your words against you to shift blame and avoid liability.

An experienced car accident lawyer acts as your advocate during the claim process. They communicate with the insurance companies, gather evidence, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Most importantly, they protect your rights and ensure you do not miss any critical deadlines that could jeopardize your claim.

What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Injury Claim Deadlines After A Car Accident In Lakewood Image 2If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you can file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This is not mandatory in Washington but provides critical protection if an uninsured driver hits you.

You must notify your insurer promptly after an accident to utilize your UM coverage. Your insurer essentially steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver and covers your expenses up to your policy limits. However, you may need to prove your injuries and other losses to secure a fair payout.

Speak to an Experienced Lakewood Car Accident Lawyer Today

For over 70 years, The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs has advocated for Lakewood car accident victims and their families. We know the devastating toll a crash can take on your health, finances, and future. Our mission is to fight for your rights and secure the maximum compensation possible in your case.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action. Contact us at (253) 588-6696 to schedule your free case review and learn more about how we can help.

Related Posts:

4 Ways to Prevent Car Accidents

What You Need to Know About Your Car Accident Claim