When you’re hurt in a car accident, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the information you need to know and what information you might be skipping over. If you don’t understand these laws, it could even leave you paying out of your own pocket, just to get your medical bills paid. That’s not to mention your other expenses and losses.
Luckily, you have a chance to learn more about these laws before you file a claim or agree to a settlement. Check out our primer on some of the most important laws you’ll need to know after a Washington State car accident.
Time Limits Could Dismiss Your Claim
When you’re hurt in a car accident, time really can be money. Washington law limits the time you have to take action on your car accident claim. You’ll have to act fast to file your claim and get compensated for your injuries.
Washington residents only have three years to file a lawsuit for a car accident. If you don’t act in that time, your claim will be dismissed and you’ll have to pay for any injuries and damages out of pocket. Worse, you might have less time under certain circumstances. A personal injury lawyer can look at the details of your case and walk you through the filing process.
Fault Laws in Washington State
When you’re hurt in a Washington state accident, one of your biggest concerns may be where the fault lies for your claim. Because Washington is a fault state, the person responsible for the accident is the one responsible for your injuries. Often, that means that the other driver, who may have been careless behind the wheel, is responsible for paying for your physical recovery.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s always the other driver’s fault. Road defects, mechanical failures, and other issues can affect your claim, so it will be your lawyer’s top priority to investigate the crash to determine what caused it and who or what could be at fault.
Protecting Yourself from Shared Fault
When it comes to fault, you need to look at more than the responsible party. They’re likely going to put the blame on you, rather than paying out for the suffering you’ve experienced.
That’s because Washington has shared fault laws, which means you could receive part of the blame for your injuries. For example, if you were talking on your phone, the defendant may claim you were 10 percent at fault for the accident. If you don’t fight back, you may only receive 90 percent of the compensation you should have gotten. That can mean thousands of lost dollars.
Learn More About Car Accident Laws
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, chances are good that your finances have already taken a hit. But, did you know you might have a chance to get those funds back?
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may have grounds to sue the responsible party, giving you a chance to regain the compensation you lost because of your injuries. However, knowing Washington laws on your claim is key, and the above laws aren’t the only ones that could affect your claim.
Fortunately, a lawyer can help you understand these laws and more. That way, you can get the compensation you’re qualified for in the wake of a car crash.