If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being involved in an accident, you know the road to recovery can be long and winding. But do you know how long you have to bring forth a personal injury claim in the state of Indiana? To answer that, let’s take a deep dive into this article.
Understanding Statutes of Limitations
Before delving into the specifics of personal injury cases in Indiana, it’s crucial to comprehend what ‘statute of limitations’ actually means.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
In layman’s terms, a statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time parties involved have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense. The purpose of these statutes is to ensure convictions occur while evidence is still relatively fresh.
Why Do Statutes of Limitations Exist?
Without a statute of limitations, legal actions would hang over people’s heads indefinitely. Evidence could degrade or disappear, memories could fade, and it would be nearly impossible to defend oneself effectively. It’s basically the law’s way of saying, “Hurry up or lose your chance.”
So, how does the statute of limitations work in Indiana for personal injury cases? It’s essential to know these rules if you’ve been hurt in an accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana?
Indiana law states you have two years to file a personal injury claim. This means from the day of your accident, you’ve got a period of two years to initiate legal proceedings.
What Happens If I Miss the Deadline?
Miss the two-year deadline, and you’re pretty much out of luck. The Indiana courts will almost certainly refuse to hear your case, and your right to compensation will be lost. If you’re dealing with an injury, it’s critical to get in touch with an Indiana personal injury lawyer or your local area as soon as possible.
Exceptions to the Rule
Just like in any rulebook, there are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Indiana.
If the person injured is under 18 or legally incompetent at the time of the accident, the clock on the statute of limitations doesn’t start ticking until the legal disability is removed, i.e., when the individual turns 18 or is no longer incompetent.
The clock on the statute of limitations may not start ticking until you discovered or should have discovered the injury. This is commonly applied in cases of medical malpractice.
The Defendant Leaves the State
If the party you wish to sue leaves the state before you can file a lawsuit, the time of their absence doesn’t count towards the two-year limit.
1. What is the statute of limitations for personal injury in Indiana?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Indiana is two years from the date of the accident.
2. What happens if I miss the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit?
If you miss the deadline, the Indiana courts will likely refuse to hear your case, effectively eliminating your right to compensation.
3. Are there any exceptions to the statute of limitations in Indiana?
Yes, exceptions include instances of legal disability, the discovery rule, and if the defendant leaves the state.
4. If I was injured as a minor, when does the statute of limitations start?
If injured as a minor, the statute of limitations doesn’t start until you turn 18.
5. What does the discovery rule mean?
The discovery rule can delay the start of the statute of limitations until you discovered or should have discovered the injury.
6. What should I do if I’ve been injured in an accident?
It’s crucial to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you’re in the Indianapolis area, look for a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis with a strong reputation.
Navigating the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Indiana can be tricky. This guide provides the knowledge you need to act decisively following an accident. Remember, when in doubt, the best course of action is to reach out to a qualified personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis or your local area. They can provide expert advice tailored to your specific situation.