There are thousands of car accidents in Washington every year. Some result in little more than property damage or minor injuries, but all too many result in serious or even fatal consequences for drivers and their passengers. These more serious accidents often have far-reaching consequences, but your right to seek compensation can be severely limited by the Washington personal injury statute of limitations.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, there were 3,327 serious injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents in 2023. An additional 749 fatalities occurred in traffic crashes in our state that same year. Among the most common causes of these accidents are speeding, distraction, and drug and alcohol use, along with many other factors that are often beyond the control of car accident victims.

When an injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for all related damages—often above the settlements offered by insurance—but promptness is crucial when it comes to filing a claim. The clock for the statute of limitations for car accidents in Washington begins to tick the moment a collision occurs.

If you have been injured in a car accident, acting quickly can help to preserve your rights. Call Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC at (800) 570-4878 to schedule a FREE consultation at our Tacoma or Olympia location right away. During this consultation, our experienced lawyer will provide clear information about Washington’s car accident statute of limitations to help you better understand your rights and options.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Washington?

In Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from car accidents is typically three years (see RCW 4.16.080). Under most circumstances, this three-year period begins on the date of the accident, but there are some exceptions. Failing to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires might result in the loss of your right to seek compensation for the injuries and damages related to the accident.

Exceptions to Washington State’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

While the standard three-year statute of limitations applies in most personal injury cases in Washington, several exceptions can extend or modify this deadline. These include provisions for minors—who may have up to three years after their 18th birthday to file a claim—and for the latent onset of injuries in some types of cases. This latter exception is known as the discovery rule. Another exception is for people who are adjudged legally incompetent.

When Should I Talk to a Car Accident Attorney?

The statute of limitations for car accidents in Washington sets the basic timeframe for filing a personal injury claim. Adhering to this deadline helps to preserve your right to seek compensation through legal action.

By consulting with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible, you can help to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to file your claim within this legal timeframe. Equally important, the sooner you contact a car accident attorney, the faster they can begin to gather and preserve critical evidence, obtain witness statements, and work to ensure no detail is overlooked in the building of your case.

Olympia car accident lawyer Marya Fuller has decades of experience helping victims of serious injury seek compensation. By reviewing the specifics of your situation, she can advise you on the feasibility of pursuing a claim and help navigate any complexities that may arise, ensuring that your rights are fully protected.

Consulting with Attorney Fuller is a reliable way to understand your legal options. During your cost- and obligation-FREE consultation, she will evaluate your claim and listen to your story to help you determine how best to proceed with your case.

Rely on Fuller & Fuller for Compassionate Representation

With decades of experience in personal injury law, Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC is known for our unwavering commitment to client welfare along with our proven success in car accident claims. Attorney Marya Fuller, upholding the firm’s long-standing dedication to justice, has extensive experience in accident and injury law, enabling her to effectively navigate the specific complexities of car accident claims, including the statute of limitations.

We Treat You Like Family is more than our motto; it’s our absolute commitment to treating each client with care, respect, and compassion. This approach ensures tailored legal services that address your unique needs and take into account all of your personal circumstances. We take a holistic approach, providing support for all of the ways your injury has impacted your life while fighting tirelessly to secure fair and full compensation for your claim.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your FREE Case Review

We are here to listen to your story and help you understand your rights. Contact Fuller & Fuller online or call us today to schedule a FREE case review and learn more about your options. We maintain offices in Tacoma and Olympia. We welcome clients from all nearby areas of Washington.

by Fuller & Fuller Attorneys at Law
Last updated on - Originally published on

Posted in: Car Accidents, Personal Injury