Beware The Statute Of Limitations
The decision to initiate litigation can be a complicated calculation fraught with emotional and financial consequences. It behooves individuals to proceed deliberately, and with caution, so that they can see the road ahead of them as clearly as possible. In many instances, this involves consultation with legal counsel to understand the legal ramifications of a course of action. The prospect of hiring an attorney may seem daunting, and this can sometimes lead individuals to sit on their rights until they finally feel ready for the undertaking.
There may be limits, however, to how long an individual can wait before commencing litigation. Many, but not all, claims are subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a statute prescribing a period of limitation for bringing certain kinds of action. In other words, if an individual tries to start a lawsuit on a claim after the applicable statute of limitations has expired, that individual may be completely barred from securing relief on that claim.
It may seem simple to just look up the time limitation on a certain claim. Indeed, in Washington State, Chapter 4.16 RCW lists out many of the applicable provisions regarding limitations on bringing certain kinds of action. However, navigating through the applicable statute of limitations for a particular claim may be a complicated task, depending on the nature of the claim and, sometimes, the factual circumstances that an individual has been facing related to that claim. Some claims may even be governed by the discovery rule, where the statute of limitations will begin when the injury is, or reasonably should have been, discovered, rather than when it actually occurred. In other words, the more prudent avenue is often to consult with legal counsel to determine when, and whether, the statute of limitations has run on a claim. Otherwise, there is a substantial risk of reaching the incorrect conclusion, and the consequences can be severe.
The lawyers at Beresford Booth hold extensive experience assisting individuals in all manner of litigation, and can provide guidance should you find yourself in need of legal counsel.