Visitor Question

Example of a “Complaint for Personal Injury”…

Submitted By: James (Seattle, WA)

I was involved in a motor vehicle accident on December 13th 2007. On Monday morning I have to file a complaint for personal injury and a summons to preserve the statute of limitations. What i need is an example of these two forms so that it is done correctly so I do not lose my claim.

Long story short: The insurance adjuster showed up at my house with a check for my car the day after I got home from the hospital (vehicle intrusion, I was hurt pretty bad). The adjuster’s words were: “Mr. Bump I apologize for your inconvenience, here is the money for your car, It is 100% our fault and all your bills and work insurance will be reimbursed, however I can’t give you any money until you are better.”

My medical provider said “we can’t fix you, all we can do is manage your pain.” I am a registered longshoreman in Seattle I’m supposed to make $100,000 per year. For the last 3 years because of physical and mental pain I haven’t.

A month ago a new adjuster tells me on the phone that I only have a claim with them and that if I don’t accept their offer by the 13th I will lose everything. I had to get all the doctor’s notes and bills and employment verification together by myself. The claims adjuster said if I got it to them fast enough he would work with me to negotiate a settlement.

There isn’t enough time for me to get this information to them now. I am really worried, I had no idea that handling a motor vehicle claim was so complicated, I need some help, and possibly a lawyer to deal with these guys.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear James,

What you have been faced with is the statute of limitations of three years for your state. The adjuster was correct that you would need to have filed the summons and complaint by the 13th because that would have marked three years.

The problem is the timing. Insurance adjusters are required to inform you of the applicable statute of limitations within a time frame that allows you to exercise your option to settle or file a suit. Filing the suit is called “protecting the statute” and it is required in order to preserve your right to settle the case.

Many people mistakenly believe that by submitting a claim to the insurance adjuster that they have covered their bases re: the statute of limitations, however this is not the case. You must formally file a civil law suit in order to do that.

Learn more here: Personal Injury Laws by State

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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