Washington is a tort liability state, also known as a fault state. In a fault state, drivers must file claims with their own insurance companies and if needed, the other party’s insurance companies in the event of an accident. In addition, Washington drivers must carry, at minimum, the 25/50/10 insurance coverage, which consists of $25,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the bodily injuries or deaths of additional individuals, and $10,000 in property damage coverage. However, in lieu of insurance coverage, drivers in Washington have to option to buy a certificate of deposit or a liability bond in the amount of $60,000, which will serve as protection in the event of a car accident.
If the insurance company doesn’t cover the total amount of damages incurred after the car accident, you’ll be able to sue the responsible party for the remainder. Washington follows the pure comparative fault rule, meaning that you’ll be awarded for the damages that the other driver is responsible of regardless of percentage. However, if you are found at fault for any part of the accident, you’ll be responsible to pay those damages.
The Revised Code of Washington section 4.16.080 states that anyone who wishes to file a personal injury or property damages lawsuit, must do so within three years of the accident. Keep in mind, however, that seeking the assistance of a car accident lawyer and filing as soon as possible is highly recommended.