After an auto accident that was the fault of another driver, you can file a claim against the negligent party to recover financial compensation for your losses. In Indiana, as in all other states, you only have a limited amount of time to file this claim. If you let that time limit expire, you will likely forfeit your right to claim any damages at all. Below, our Indiana car accident lawyer explains the time limit, known as the statute of limitations, on these claims.
The Statute of Limitations is Usually Two Years
Generally speaking, accident victims have only two years from the date of their crash to file a claim against the negligent driver. If you have lost someone in a car accident, you also only have two years to file a wrongful death claim. Again, if you do not file within this timeframe, in most cases the insurance company and the courts will throw out the case and you will lose your legal right to claim any damages at all.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
While the statute of limitations is a fairly strict law, it does allow for some exceptions. These include:
- The discovery rule: The clock on the statute of limitations usually starts ticking on the day of the crash. However, the law recognizes that not all injuries present themselves right away. As such, you can file a claim within two years of the date you discovered, or should have reasonably discovered, your injuries. This is known as the discovery rule.
- Child injury: If a child was injured during the crash, they have until two years after they turn 18 years old to file a claim. Children do not have the mental capacity required to file a claim and so, the statute of limitations is tolled, or delayed until they are adults.
- Claims against government entities: The statute of limitations is much shorter when the negligent party is a government entity. In these cases, you file a Tort Claims Notice within. 180 or 270 days of the car accident, depending on which entity you are suing.
The Importance of Speaking to a Lawyer Quickly
Many people think two years is a long time after a crash, but it is not. Prior to filing your claim, a lawyer will need to conduct a thorough investigation and collect evidence to determine who was liable for the crash. All of this takes time and so, it is imperative that you speak to an Indiana car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyer in Indiana Today
If you have been injured in a crash, do not let time run out on your claim. Our Indiana car accident lawyer at Delventhal Law Office, LLC, knows how to conduct a full investigation and collect the necessary evidence to prove your case and help you obtain the full settlement you deserve. Call us today at (260) 484-6655 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.