Your entire life can come to a halt after a car accident. Traffic collisions are common in Tacoma and the rest of Washington, but it often takes considerable work for victims to recover compensation after fault-triggered mishaps. This is a fault state, which means if your injuries were a result of someone’s negligent action, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. The process typically starts with informing the defendant’s insurance company and filing a claim. Before you make a major move, you should consider seeking legal consultation from an expert. Instead of hiring any other lawyer, look for a local lawyer in Tacoma who has commendable experience working on auto accident cases. Below are some quick aspects worth knowing.
Adhere to the deadline
The statute of limitations states the deadline for civil lawsuits concerning personal injuries, and in Washington, you have a three-year cap for filing a car accident lawsuit. The 3-year statute of limitations remains in place if you are just suing for property or vehicle damage.
On paper, three years may look like considerable time to take action, but a car crash requires investigation. The insurance company will do its homework but in their interests. They aren’t concerned whether you have suffered massive losses or need financial assistance. That’s where your injury lawyer can step in. A local lawyer in Tacoma will have the expertise, connections, and resources required to find evidence and gather info from various sources.
A Look at comparative negligence in Washington
In a significant number of car accidents, more than one driver is liable for the situation. The comparative negligence rule is used in such cases. If you were partly at fault for the crash, you may still have the scope to seek compensation, but your settlement, if you win, will be adjusted according to the share in liability. The calculations are complex, and you may have difficulty negotiating with the insurance company as the claims adjuster will also rely on the findings to make an offer. Washington is a pure comparative negligence state, and therefore, even if you are more at fault, you still have the scope to sue the other at-fault defendant.
Don’t let the laws confuse you, and don’t give a statement to the insurance representative. Get an attorney immediately who will guide you on the state laws, factors that can affect your claim, and all other steps you should take for the given circumstances.