Early investigation at the time of a loss may avoid costly litigation. A careful, prompt and thorough investigation that preserves important evidence greatly increases the likelihood of success in a later lawsuit. In Washington, the statute of limitations on general negligence claims is three years. In some contract and construction matters the statute of limitations can stretch to six years.
Many lawsuits are filed years after the loss. During these years witnesses disappear, memories fade and important records and physical evidence is lost. A careful investigation that preserves evidence should be undertaken whenever there is a possibility of a lawsuit.
It is not easy to conduct an effective investigation. The preservation of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine are key considerations. Forsberg & Umlauf attorneys understand the proof necessary to prevail in a later lawsuit. We identify key records and evidence relevant to a potential suit. It is also important to properly safeguard the information obtained during the investigation. This may involve chain of custody issues and may require formal declarations from witnesses.