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How to File a Car Accident Injury Claim in Washington State

August 10, 2023Car Accidents

Car accidents can happen in a split second but leave long-lasting physical and emotional scars. When you are involved in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages.

However, filing a car accident claim can be a complex process, involving several intricate steps and legal considerations. In these situations, it is best to work with a Redmond car accident lawyer who can provide guidance and support.

Does Your Accident Qualify for an Injury Claim?

Washington is a fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the driver who caused a collision is financially responsible for any damages that the victims sustain. To recover compensation, injured motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance or pursue a lawsuit against him or her in civil court.

To file a successful car accident claim, you must prove that the other party was at fault for the accident and that you suffered injuries as a result. You can leverage several pieces of evidence to prove your right to compensation, such as:

  • Photographs and videos
  • Medical records
  • Surveillance footage
  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Evidence from experts

What Happens When You File an Insurance Claim?

After gathering evidence and establishing the other party’s fault, the next step is to file an insurance claim. This involves submitting a detailed account of the accident, your injuries, and other damages to the at-fault party’s insurance company. 

The insurer will then investigate your claim, which may include reviewing medical records, accident scene photographs, and other relevant evidence. Once the investigation is complete, the insurance company may offer a settlement. If the offer is inadequate, you may need to engage in negotiations or proceed to litigation.

How Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Work in Redmond, Washington?

If you decide to file a lawsuit, your Redmond personal injury attorney will draft a complaint outlining the specifics of your case, the nature of your injuries, and the compensation you seek. The defendant will be served with this complaint and will have a set period to respond. 

The case will then go through a discovery phase, where both parties share evidence. If settlement negotiations fail during or after discovery, your case will go to trial where both sides present their evidence and arguments. A judge or jury will then determine the outcome, including any compensation you may receive.

What Is the Timeline for Filing a Car Accident Claim?

In Washington, there is a statute of limitations that governs the time frame for filing a car accident claim. Specifically, you have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a lawsuit. Insurance companies usually have their own deadlines, but many of them honor the statute of limitations.

If you don’t file on time, the court or insurance company may dismiss your claim and prevent you from recovering compensation. Because of this, it is important to initiate your car accident claim as soon as possible. An attorney can evaluate your case and determine your appropriate deadline.

Contact a Redmond Car Accident Lawyer

Although you may proceed on your own, the complexities of a car accident claim often warrant professional guidance. An attorney can help you navigate the process, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, fight for your rights in court. As soon as possible after your collision, contact a Washington car accident lawyer to plan your next steps.