Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 6:17 pm
Being involved in a car accident is shocking and often traumatic. If you suffer injuries in the crash, your life can turn upside down in an instant. Your injuries may force you to take time off work or even prevent you from returning to work at all. At the same time, you will have to deal with the costs of not only the damage that your vehicle sustained but also an endless stream of medical bills. This mix of circumstances often leads many accident victims to believe that they are headed toward financial ruin.
However, if you were not at fault for the collision, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of your accident. Here’s what you need to know about filing a car accident claim in Washington.
How Much Time Do I Have?
In the state of Washington, there is a three-year statutory period for filing a car accident claim. This means that you must file your claim within three years of the accident. However, in some circumstances, when a victim might not have had a way of knowing that they had been injured right away, the clock starts ticking from the moment you discover your injury instead.
Similarly, if your injury was the result of a car part that only later proves to have been defective, you may have more time to file your claim.
How Do Car Accident Injury Claims Work?
If you decide to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, you will submit your case to their insurance company. They will investigate the accident so that they can determine what occurred, who should be held responsible, and the extent of your injuries. As part of this investigation, they will want to review your medical records and bills so that they can be sure that your injuries are as bad as you are claiming that they are and that the medical expenses you’ve submitted for compensation are appropriate.
This is one of the main reasons it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can after an accident. By doing so, you not only improve your chances of recovering more quickly, but your medical records will also demonstrate that you took your injuries seriously from the very beginning.
While the insurance company may choose to make a settlement offer at any point in this process, it is not advisable to speak with them directly. Unfortunately, many insurance adjusters do not operate in good faith. They may try to tempt you with a lowball offer that does not cover the full extent of your expenses. They may even claim that this is their final offer, which may be untrue.
You should consult with a personal injury attorney so that you can get an accurate assessment of what you are owed for your losses. If you let your lawyer handle the negotiations with the insurance company, you are much more likely to achieve a fair settlement.
What if I Can’t Reach a Fair Settlement?
Sometimes, even after lots of negotiation, an insurance company will decide not to make the offer that your attorney knows you deserve. In such situations, a good lawyer will take the at-fault party to court so that they can be held publicly accountable for the harm they have caused you. In many cases, taking the initial steps of a lawsuit is enough to get the insurance company to finally offer a fair settlement. If not, you will have the opportunity to make your case before a judge and, perhaps, a jury of your peers.
Contact an Experienced Washington State Car Accident Attorney
Filing a car accident claim is almost never straightforward. With an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, you will have someone who knows how to handle the paperwork, the insurance agents, and the courtroom if necessary. The Lakewood car accident lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs have the skill and knowledge necessary to build the strongest claim possible. For over 60 years, our lawyers have been helping people injured by the wrongdoing of others recover the compensation they deserve. We are ready to do the same for you today.
Don’t let someone else’s negligence ruin your future. Call us today at (253) 588-6696 or contact us online to see how we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.