Is there a time limit for filing a personal injury claim?

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Time Limit for Filing Personal Injury LawsuitYes. All states have a time limit for filing a personal injury claim. If a claim is not “commenced” within the appropriate time limit, the statute of limitations will forever bar a person from bringing their claims. The time limits vary depending on

  • the type of action brought
  • when the person discovered or should have discovered their claim
  • and what state the wrong occurred in.

As a general rule, if negligent conduct occurred in Washington, the lawsuit must be “commenced” within 3 years. The lawsuit must not only be filed with the court, but it must also be properly served on the party being sued. Both filing and service must be timely or the lawsuit will be forever barred.

In Washington, if the lawsuit alleging negligence is filed and served within 3 years of the negligent conduct it will be timely. Further, if a person bringing the lawsuit can only file the action within three years of the negligent conduct, then a special Washington statute, RCW 4.16.170, allows the party an additional  90 days to perfect the lawsuit by properly serving it. Likewise,  if the lawsuit is served but not filed before the 3 year deadline, RCW 4.16.170 allows the party bringing the lawsuit 90 days from the time it was served to file it.

At Buckley & Associates, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our personal injury clients recover the compensation they need when they have been injured in an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured, please call Buckley & Associates today at (206) 622-1100. We represent clients in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.