Car Accident Laws for Washington State
With our fast-paced society, it is inevitable for most car drivers in Washington state to be involved in a car accident. If you live in the Puget Sound area and have been injured in a car accident, you should know what the laws are for reporting your accident and how the process works to recover damages. The following Washington state rules should be considered.
Your Legal Options
To recover damages for your injuries after a car accident, you have at least three options
- You can file a personal injury claim with the driver-at-fault’s insurance company
- You can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
- You can file a lawsuit for damages in a Washington civil court.
If your injuries and damages exceed the at fault car insurance companies’ policy limits, prior to settling your claim you should consult with a competent personal injury attorney to discuss the best legal option for you.
Car Insurance Requirements
Every person operating a car in Washington state is required to have bodily injury insurance. Washington state requires the person who caused the car crash to pay for the damages. The at fault party is responsible to make you whole by paying money damages for your medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering and loss of ability to enjoy life (this is not the entire list).
Every driver in Washington state is required to have the following amounts of minimum insurance cover.
- $25,000 coverage for injuries or death of one person.
- $50,000 for the total injuries or death to all people involved in an accident.
- $10,000 for property damage to another person’s property.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Car Accident Report?
You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the car crash so they can open the claim. You can also contact the other persons insurance to notify them of your personal injury and property damage claim. Notably, you are not required to give a recorded statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company. It is recommended that you do not give the at-fault party a recorded statement until you have consulted with a competent personal injury attorney.
Importantly, Washington state has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. These “statutes of limitation” vary depending on the law and type of case involved and are strictly enforced. In most car crash claims in the state of Washington, a person has 3 years from the date of the injury. If a lawsuit is not properly commenced within the applicable time limit, the claim will be forever barred.
At Cunnane Law, we are expert personal injury attorneys, and we are here to help you. Navigating all the Washington laws, rules, and regulations can be like walking blindfolded in a maze. And each step of the way the insurance companies will attempt to decline, delay, and deny. You need a tough, trusted partner to help you each step of the way. Call Cunnane Law today and we will fight for you.
Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in board and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never to early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.