A statute of limitation is the time within which you may bring a claim in court. In Washington, many of the periods of limitation can be found in Chapter 4.16 RCW. For example, an action upon a written contract must be brought within six years; an action for trespass upon real property must be brought within three years; a personal injury claim following an automobile collision is three years, and a claim for a workplace injury is generally one year.

The statutes of limitation for some claims can be found buried in the statute that creates the claim. For example, an action to foreclose on a materialmen’s lien used by many contractors and builders must be commenced within eight months of recording of the lien. RCW 60.04.141.

Not all limitations periods begin to run upon the happening of some event. For example, the time within which to bring certain personal injury claims begins to run when the harm is “discovered” as opposed to when the harm actually occurred. For an occupational disease claims through the worker’s compensation system, a claim must be made within two years following the date the worker is provided “written notice” from a physician of the existence of the disease and that a claim maybe filed.

In order to preserve your right to bring a claim, consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you of any statute of limitation, otherwise, the opportunity to bring your claim may pass you by. If you, or someone you know, need legal representation, call Althauser Rayan Abbarno at (360) 736-1301!