Visitor Question

Not enough insurance coverage?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Washington)

I’m involved in an insurance claim and have been tendered an offer of the full policy amount from the other party’s insurance company, but it does not even cover my lost wages. This is in Washington State.

Can I accept the offer, then go after the at-fault party for the rest of the loses (pain and suffering, medical and future surgery, etc.)? How can I go about filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party personally? Is there anything else I should know before pursuing this course of action? Thank you.

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.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You can certainly file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who injured you. If the person has substantial assets, you may be able to find an attorney to represent you. Absent sufficient assets to cover not only your financial requirements, but the attorneys fees as well, you will likely not find an attorney to accept your case. This means you will have to file your own lawsuit against the person.

The State of Washington has a small claims court jurisdictional amount of $5,000. This means the maximum amount you can sue for in small claims court is $5,000. If you are seeking a higher amount you must file in a higher court. Once you do, you will probably need an attorney.

Even if you were to successfully sue the person in small claims court or a higher court, unless he or she has sufficient assets to cover the requirements of your lawsuit, you will be left with a paper judgment, and not much else.

There is another matter you must be aware of. In the State of Washington there is a three (3) year statute of limitations on filing a personal injury lawsuit. That three (3) years starts on the day of the injury.

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) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 3, 2015

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