Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in Washington
October 6, 2023 | Personal Injury
Sustaining a slip and fall incident can lead to serious injuries and major expenses for a victim. Recovering compensation can be challenging, and one of the main challenges involves filing a claim against another party on time. Here, we want to review the statute of limitations for slip and fall injury claims in Washington. We strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled Seattle slip and fall accident lawyer who can help you with every step of this process.
What the Law Says About Personal Injury Time Limits
When examining Revised Code of Washington section 4.16.080, we can see that the personal injury statute of limitations in this state is three years from the date an injury occurs. This means that an injury victim has a three-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. Failing to do so will likely result in the case being dismissed, leaving the slip and fall accident victim unable to recover any compensation for their losses.
Slip and fall accident victims in the state of Washington need to closely monitor the date. The three-year time period starts the day the injury occurred.
However, we strongly encourage any slip and fall accident victim to initiate claims much sooner than this three-year overall limitation. Injury victims should reach out to a skilled attorney soon after the incident occurs in order to start the claim filing process. The longer an individual waits to file a claim, the less likely they are to find success. Evidence begins to get discarded, and memories fade. Claims that are filed promptly and investigated soon after the injury occurs are more likely to find success in the civil court system.
Other Time Limitations Associated With Washington Injury Claims
Aside from the overall three-year statute of limitations for filing civil court claims, this is not the only deadline slip and fall accident victims should monitor. In many slip and fall accident cases, there will be an insurance carrier involved. For example, this could include insurance carriers associated with a business or specific property, homeowners’ insurance carriers, renter’s insurance carriers, and more.
Any insurance carrier will have fairly strict reporting deadlines, though they may not typically say that. The reality is that failing to promptly file a claim with the insurance carriers involved opens up the possibility of the carrier challenging or even denying the claim.
We encourage you to reach out to an attorney soon after your incident occurs so they can determine whether or not there are insurance carriers involved and file the initial claim on your behalf.
Will You Have to Go to Court for a Washington Slip and Fall Claim?
The vast majority of slip and fall personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, which means individuals typically do not go to court. However, that is not always the case. If an insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement or if they deny the claim, the injury victim may need to file a personal injury lawsuit, which does place the case into the civil court system. However, actually going to court in front of a jury takes quite some time. It is not uncommon for claims to be settled during the discovery process, in which case a victim would not have to go to court.