In the State of Washington how long does one have to SETTLE an Uninsured Motorist Bodily Claim against own insur. company?

Asked almost 2 years ago - West Seattle, Seattle, WA

I know that you have up to 3 years after an accident to file a suit in court, but does it have to be SETTLED within 3 years? I was hit then sideswiped almost 3 years ago. My knee was painful after that and I sought treatment, which lasted about a year and a half, with medical bills totaling $6000. Although treatment ended it is harder to move, especially as a cook. The doctor was writing prescriptions for painkillers and recommended PT. Then when an X-Ray was taken by specialists revealing arthritis that degenerated the knee, the doctor ended treatment, reporting a split percentage of pain/damage attributable to the injury, used for claim valuation.To me, it doesn't matter because it comes down to the amount out of their pockets regardless of %s.Offer was low, wrote letter, they added 500.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Christopher Lee Thayer

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . I agree that most likely you have 6 years from the date of the incident; but it would be best to have your situation and a copy of your insurance policy reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. To answer your specific question, you have to settle the claim within the time period proscribed; or, before it lapses, file a lawsuit to preserve your claims. Your police may include an arbitration provision, in lieu of a lawsuit. All the more reason to have a lawyer look at this for you so you can fully assess your rights and an appropriate strategy.

  2. Richard Eugene Lewis

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    Answered . You probably have at least six years from the date of injury. The Washington Supreme Court struck down a limitation in a policy that was less than three years and applied a six year statute. However, the court has not ruled on whether a policy could provide a longer limit, say three years and be valid. So, i always get a copy of my client's policy and read it. You can ask your insurer for a letter telling you how long you have to file a lawsuit.
    You should see a competent personal injury lawyer about your claim.

  3. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Statutes of limitation vary state to state, but cases are supposed to be filed by the deadline and can take longer to settle. Call a local personal injury lawyer to represent you for your UM claim...don't try to do it yourself.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  4. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Great advice from Attorney Lewis. If you have $6,000 in medical bills you really should consider talking with a personal injury attorney.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  5. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . My understanding is the statute of limitations for an uninsured motorist claim is 6 years based on the statute of limitations that applies to contracts. You should consult an attorney in Washington about your rights and how to resolve your claim.

    Good luck.

  6. Crystal Grace Rutherford

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    Answered . Was the party that hit you uninsured? Nonetheless, UIM claims are governed by the written policy. Because it is considered a written contract, the statute of limitation is six years rather than three. Nonetheless, a personal injury attorney could help you. It sounds like your doctor thought you had a pre-existing condition and made apportionment. A good attorney can help you recover more, especially if you had symptoms prior to your injury. Your doctor may not understand that in Washington, if someone has a symptomless pre-existing condition that is "lit" up by a injury caused by a third party, it is injury, not the pre-existing condition that is considered to blame for the condition of the plaintiff. Please see a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

  7. Michael Ryan Juarez

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . I agree with Attorney Lewis.

    -Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.... more
  8. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . I agree with Mr. Lewis's response. It would benefit you greatly to consult with a local personal injury attorney to represent you in your case.

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