When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party, the statute of limitations governs how long you have to file the lawsuit. The time limit begins ticking down from the date of your accident.
There are precious few ways to argue that the statute of limitations shouldn’t apply to your case. If you bring a personal injury lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run out, the court will dismiss your case before it sees a jury. It’s therefore very important to contact a lawyer as soon as you know you have a serious injury.
To learn more about Indiana’s statute of limitations on car accident claims and what you can do to protect your right to receive compensation, speak to a car accident attorney at Hall-Justice Law Firm today.
Two Years From the Date of Your Accident
In Indiana, the statute of limitations on a personal injury claim is normally two years. However, it can be as little as 180 days if someone employed by the government harmed you. This includes nursing homes run by the government, and most everyone who is employed by the state, county, or United States government. Lawsuits filed after the statute of limitations has elapsed are almost always dismissed regardless of the strength of the claim.
What If Your Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?
Each state has different rules on when the statute of limitations begins ticking down. One common problem is that people aren’t aware of an injury until well after the event that caused it.
For instance, let’s say that you went to the doctor to have a lump checked. A scan is done which suggests you should have a biopsy, but the doctor never informs you of this. In this sort of scenario it is possible you may be able to bring a suit. However, the burden will be on you to prove it.
Is There an Exception to Indiana’s Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims?
There is only one exception to the statute of limitations. That is when the party injured is a minor. In that case, the statute of limitations wouldn’t start ticking down until the minor turned 18. But even in those cases, the minor would have been better off bringing the lawsuit against the negligent party sooner rather than later.
What Is the “Discovery Rule”?
In the case of a car accident, it is very rare that an individual wouldn’t become aware of their injuries until two years down the road. However, it does happen. What then?
In the case Landers v. Wabash Inc., the presiding judge ruled on appeal that the statute of limitations begins counting down only after the plaintiff becomes aware of the injury. But there are limitations on this. If the defense can show that the plaintiff, by exercising a basic amount of diligence, could have or should have known that they were potentially injured and did nothing to resolve the problem, the judge can rule that the plaintiff is simply out of luck.
Contact Our Office Early
Lawsuits generally take a long time to resolve. If you have serious injuries during a car accident, chances are you’re going to know what they are early and a doctor will be able to diagnose potential problems before they become serious ones. While you have, by law, two years to file the lawsuit, the earlier our law firm becomes involved in the process, the better off you are. This is because the situation will be freshest in everyone’s minds including yours and the witnesses to the event.
While it’s understandable that you want to focus on your recovery, you can do that simply by hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to manage your claim. Any communications between you and the negligent driver’s insurance company will have to go through your attorney first, which will free up your time to devote to your recovery.
Speak to a Lafayette IN Car Accident Attorney
At Hall-Justice Law Firm, we will work hard to make sure you maximize your chances to receive fair compensation for your injuries. You want to contact us early in the process and we can intervene on your behalf to handle the insurance company. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.