Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

What to Know About King County Car Crashes

Posted Friday, December 29, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a story on Kiro 7 news, on November 28, three southbound I-5 express lanes were blocked by a crash. The crash involved a school bus and another vehicle north of Stewart Street in Seattle at about 9:05 a.m. during the morning commute. Emergency crews responded to the scene, and at around 10.30 a.m., the express lanes were reopened.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash, talking with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can help provide peace of mind.

*Laws Impacting Washington Drivers*Most drivers are familiar with the laws impacting drivers. However, it can be useful to review the laws in Title 46 of the Revised Code of Washington to reinforce understanding of the state’s rules.

*Duty of Care is Required in Washington*Washington requires that drivers exercise what is considered reasonable care to avoid harming others. This means that legally, you operate the vehicle as a reasonable person would.

*Washington is a Fault-Based State*Washington is considered an “at fault” state. This means that the driver who is responsible for the accident is responsible for the damages resulting from the collision. Contrary to “at fault,” some states operate with “no-fault” rules. In these states, drivers file a claim with their own insurance company. The question of fault does not influence where they file the claim.

Pure comparative fault is the law in Washington. What does it mean? It indicates that each driver is assigned a percentage liability in an accident. In Washington, if the plaintiff has a percentage of fault, their damages are reduced by the same percentage.

*Washington’s Limitations Period on Car Accidents*A statute of limitations is a legal term defining the time limits for when you have a right to file a lawsuit. Some cases, such as medical malpractice cases, have different limitations than car accident cases.

In Washington, the statute of limitations to file a legal suit is three years from the date of an auto accident. If you have been involved in a car collision, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident.

In some special cases, there can be exceptions, but it is important to realize these are not the rule. Exceptions are cases where the limitations may be stopped for some period, also called “tolled.” This is not the norm, but an experienced Washington lawyer may be able to address this question.

While three years may seem like a lot of time right after the accident, it is important to realize that not filing within the time limit can cost you the right to file. This is why it can be very useful to speak with an experienced attorney early on in the process.

*What if You Miss the Deadline in Washington?*Typically, if you miss the deadline for filing a car accident lawsuit, the court will dismiss your case. Legal experts emphasize that once the statute of limitations runs out, you lose your right to sue - forever.

*When to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in King County*If you have questions about a unique situation or car crash, talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can find out about making a car accident claim, learn about the process, and get your questions answered.