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The law requires that you file a lawsuit within a specified period of time depending on the nature of the claim and the entity that caused your injury. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. Failure to file suit within this time frame prevents you from filing suit at all. In some instances, there are various exceptions to the statutes of limitation that may extend or limit the limitation periods. There may be special claims presentation requirements for claims against state and local government. For these reasons, it is important to consult an attorney as early as possible to be sure you don't miss a crucial deadline.
In Washington, most actions for personal injury must be brought within three years from the date when the cause of action accrues. The statute of limitation for intentional torts such as libel, slander, assault and battery is two years. In many cases, the cause of action accrues on the date of the incident, but there may be exceptions when the injury could not have reasonably been discovered until a later date. An action for wrongful death must be commenced within three years from the date of death. If a claimant is a minor, mentally incompetent or imprisoned at the time the cause of action accrues, the limitation periods are tolled until the disability is removed.
Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.