How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in Washington?
If you or a loved one has been in a truck wreck, the clock is ticking. Washington’s statute of limitations restricts your ability to file a personal injury claim and recover the compensation you need and deserve.
A statute of limitation is a set period in which you must file a claim or lose all rights to pursue a personal injury case. Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial to recovering compensation, but these statutes aren’t the only reason you need to act fast after a truck wreck.
Keep reading to learn more.
RELATED ARTICLE: How Do I File a Truck Accident Claim?
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Wreck Claim in Washington?
In Washington, truck wreck claims typically fall into at least one of three categories depending on the crash. For the most part, the type of case will determine the statute of limitations The statutes of limitations regarding truck wrecks are:
- Personal Injury Claim: 3 years from the date of the crash
- Property Damage Claim: 3 years from the date of the crash
- Wrongful Death Claim: 3 years from the date of passing
Exceptions and Extensions to Washington Statute of Limitations
Although rare, there are a few exceptions that may affect the statute of limitations for your truck wreck claim.
Discovery Rule: The discovery rule extends the statute of limitations to three years from the time the injury was discovered. This rule applies in cases where the victim did not immediately know they were injured. For instance, a traumatic brain injury can take days or even weeks after the crash to start presenting symptoms.
Underage Victims: If your teen driver or child passenger was injured in the truck crash, the statute for their personal injury claim can be extended. In cases involving injuries to a minor, the statute of limitations is three years from the child’s 18th birthday. This exception is called tolling or delaying.
Disabled Victims: An extension might be possible for victims who were psychiatrically or physically disabled prior to the truck wreck. If this applies to your truck crash and you need the statute extended, you should speak with an attorney. While there is no set rule in these cases, sometimes exceptions can be made.
Defendant Out-of-State: If the truck driver left the state after your truck wreck, you might be able to get an extension for the time they were out-of-state. However, please know that this exception can be difficult to prove and is granted very rarely.
Act Fast: Why You Can’t Waste Time After a Truck Wreck
Besides ensuring that you get your claim filed within the statute of limitations, there are other reasons you need to contact an attorney and act fast after a truck accident.
Truck Wreck Cases Are Complex and May Require More Time and Investigation
Truck wreck cases are often more complex than typical car accidents. Because of their complexity, attorneys may require more time to investigate and develop your case. For instance, your attorney might need to look at other parties besides the truck driver when determining who is at-fault for a commercial vehicle crash. Company negligent hiring or training practices often contribute to a truck driver crashing but are not obvious causes nor easy to prove.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side, But They’ll Be Contacting You
Another reason to start working with an attorney right away is that they can help when the insurance companies contact you. Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies are not trying to help you recover your rightful damages from a crash. They are trying to get you to settle as soon as possible for as little as possible. Speaking with an attorney before the insurance companies can help educate you about the terms of a fair settlement based on your specific circumstances.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why You Can’t Trust the Insurance Company After a Truck Accident
Seattle Truck Law Represents Truck Wreck Victims Throughout Washington
If you or a loved one has been in a truck wreck, you must contact an experienced attorney straight away. It may take time to investigate and settle your truck accident case, and the investigation will only become more difficult and time-consuming the longer you wait.
If you have questions about whether you can still file a claim related to your truck-related crash, please contact the attorneys at Seattle Truck Law as soon as possible. Call us today at 866-580-HURT (4878) or complete this brief online form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.