Each state applies a statute of limitations to its personal injury cases. These statutes aim to keep the civil cases that judges consider relevant or up-to-date. Many courts believe that memories and interpretations of an accident and its related losses grow less reliable after a certain expiration date.
With that in mind, Indiana residents have limited time in which the state allows them to pursue a motorcycle accident lawsuit. You can learn more about your relevant statute of limitations when you consult with an Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer. Vaughan & Vaughan can both help you identify your deadline and file your claim long before it expires.
You Have Two Years to File an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Indiana classifies its motorcycle accidents under the broader category of personal injury cases. As such, the state’s personal injury statute of limitations applies to motorcycle accident cases. Indiana defines its personal injury statute of limitations in Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4. This code subsequently states that:
“An action for (1) injury to person or character; (2) injury to personal property; or (3) a forfeiture of penalty given by statute; must be commenced within two (2) years after the cause of action accrues.”
This means that you have no more than two years to investigate your motorcycle accident claim. The lawsuit you intend to issue against another party must make it to the desk of an applicable judicial party by the second anniversary of your accident.
Indiana takes this deadline seriously. If you try to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit after your statute of limitations expires, the courts can waive your right to post-accident compensation.
When to Start Investigating a Motorcycle Accident
Because Indiana’s two-year deadline is particularly strict, it is in your best interest to begin investigating your motorcycle accident as soon as you are comfortably able to do so. You should not, however, stress existing injuries or otherwise put yourself in harm’s way. The most important thing you can do for yourself after an accident is to prioritize your recovery.
If you do move forward with an investigation, try to take the following steps:
- Speak with bystanders about what they witnessed at the time of your accident
- Collect social media posts describing your accident
- Secure video or photo footage of your accident from nearby storefronts, stoplights, Ring cameras, and similar devices
- Request a statement from your insurance provider, police officers, and first responders
- Communicate with the liable party, if appropriate
- Gather physical evidence of a liable party’s negligence
- Request input from expert witnesses, including medical professionals and accident recreationists
You are, of course, not obligated to undertake an investigation into your losses without help. An Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can spearhead this process on your behalf. You can even rely on an attorney’s professional network to better secure the expert witness statements you need to uphold your case in court.
When to Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You don’t have to wait to call on a motorcycle accident attorney. Even if you’re unsure whether you want to pursue a civil case against an offending party, an attorney can help you navigate the troubling days immediately following your accident.
Our team can interface with insurance providers on your behalf, for example, and make sure police officers fully understand the nature of your accident. In other words, we strive to make your road to recovery as straightforward as possible, no matter what you want that road to look like.
You can learn more about the legal services that Vaughan & Vaughan make available to motorcycle accident survivors during an initial case consultation with our team.
Understanding Your Negotiating Timeline
Once you submit a motorcycle accident claim to the applicable civil court, the court can take as much time as it needs to consider your case. You cannot act until the court decides whether or not to move your case forward.
If you’re permitted to pursue compensation for your losses, you can choose to negotiate for post-accident coverage out-of-court. The complaint you’ve filed gives you the right to summon a liable party and their legal representative to these out-of-court meetings.
You can conduct out-of-court negotiations on your own time and up to the point where you feel satisfied with the settlement offer that the defendant makes. Motorcycle accident settlement negotiations tend to resolve quicker than traditional trials, often concluding within a month or two. You can discuss your specific timeline with an attorney.
Preparing for a Motorcycle Accident Trial
Of course, not every motorcycle accident lawsuit settles out of court. In cases where the liable party proves belligerent or uncooperative, it may be in your best interest to take your case to trial. Motorcycle accident trials can be lengthy, sometimes lasting months or even years. That said, these trials put control over your right to compensation in a judge’s and jury’s hands.
Most motorcycle accident trials require you to undergo:
- Opening statements
- Closing statements
You have the right to negotiate for a settlement while a case progresses, but not once an attorney’s delivered your closing statement. You can discuss the flexibility of a trial approach during an initial case consultation with the Vaughan & Vaughan team.
Vaughan & Vaughan Can Help You File Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Today
What can you do in two years? Grow a garden, change careers, and file a motorcycle accident complaint. If you’re recovering from motorcycle accident injuries, let the Vaughan & Vaughan team pursue your right to legal action for you. Our team of motorcycle accident attorneys can investigate your losses without introducing additional stress to your life.
You can contact our offices in Indiana to learn more about the legal services we offer or to schedule your initial case consultation. We’re available to discuss the details of your case via our online contact form or over the phone. The sooner you get in touch, the more we can do with the two years the Hoosier state allows for your investigation.