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Is there a time limit to file a car insurance claim and in Washington

Spokane, WA |

i was in a car accident back and February. the police were called but did not show up. i heard that in Washington state if the damage is more then $500 the police must come out. and then i did not hear anything from anyone until April or May. i also heard that there there was a time limit for filing a claim

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Washington is 3 years from the date of the accident.

The information provided is general in nature based on the limited information provided and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. This attorney is licensed only in the State of Washington and is not rendering you legal advice. The information given is for educational purposes only. The best advice would be to consult with an attorney in your local jurisdiction for answers and opinions based on specific and more detailed information relevant to your case specific question and the relevant laws in your area.

Martin Wade Hodges

Martin Wade Hodges

Posted

This answer pertains to automobile accidents and NOT medical malpractice claims.

Posted

An action must be commenced within 3 years for a negligent act (See RCW 4.16.080). Commenced means the lawsuit must be started by filing the complaint or serving the summons and complaint by the statute of limitation date. (Note, filing and service must be accomplished within 90 days of the filing of the complaint). This statute of limitation will be tolled if you are under 18 years of age. See RCW 4.16.190.

Posted

An action must be commenced within 3 years for a negligent act (See RCW 4.16.080). Commenced means the lawsuit must be started by filing the complaint or serving the summons and complaint by the statute of limitation date. (Note, filing and service must be accomplished within 90 days of the filing of the complaint). This statute of limitation will be tolled if you are under 18 years of age. See RCW 4.16.190.

Posted

You have several different "claims" going on here, and several different time periods you must consider.

Most insurance policies require that you submit your insurance claim "as soon as practicable" after the accident. So, it is important that you alert your insurer as soon as possible about the accident, and file your damage claim with your insurance company.

If the insurer does not provide coverage and they should have, then you may have a claim against the insurer for breach of contract or bad faith. State law says that you have to sue for breach of contract within 6 years, and for bad faith within 3 years. HOWEVER, your insurance policy likely overrides these provisions. Most insurance policies say that, if you are going to sue the insurer, you must sue them within either one or two years of the accident.

Now, you may also have a claim against any other drivers (or others) involved in the accident. In that case, the three-year statute of limitations mentioned by the others will likely apply.

This response does not create any attorney-client relationship. This information is purely informational and is not legal advice or substitute for legal counsel.

Posted

Whether the police investigate a matter is, I believe, a matter for their own departmental policy and may depend on the particular circumstances regarding whether they have more urgent things to do at the time, etc. Most insurance companies prefer to be notified as soon as possible about a claim or potential claim because investigations are more likely to be productive when they are done soon after the collision.
Civil actions about car crash cases must be commenced, if at all, within three years of the collision. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=4.16.080. Commencement of a lawsuit can be done either by filing or serving process. Once the lawsuit is commenced, both filing and service must have been done within 90 days. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=4.16.170.

[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]

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