After sustaining an injury caused by the actions or inactions of another party, recovering compensation for your losses can be critical. When attempting to collect damages through a personal injury lawsuit, you need to be mindful of the personal injury statute of limitations. In Indiana, this statute gives injury victims two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we can help ensure that your lawsuit is filed correctly and on time. Having served accident victims in Indiana for over 100 years, we are quite familiar with the statute of limitations deadline and all applicable exceptions. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers.
When does the Clock for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Start?
In most cases, the two-year clock for filing a lawsuit after a personal injury starts from the date of your injury. However, if your injury is not immediately apparent, the two-year clock will begin on the day you discover or reasonably should have discovered that you sustained damages.
Exceptions that Permit You to File Outside of the Standard Deadline
Under certain circumstances, you can file your personal injury lawsuit outside the normal statute of limitations. The specific details of your case will determine whether or not an exception applies. The most common exceptions include:
- Injured children
- Liable parties leaving the state
- Liable parties concealing their fault
When a child under 18 suffers an injury due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions, their clock for filing a lawsuit will not immediately begin. While the parents of the injured child can file a lawsuit within two years of the accident, should they fail to do so, the child will have the right to pursue a lawsuit on their own behalf.
The minor who suffered the injury will have two years from the day they turn 18 to submit the necessary paperwork to file a lawsuit.
This same delayed start to the two-year clock occurs when a person suffers a temporary disability as the result of an accident. In this situation, the injury victim would have two years to file from the day they are no longer disabled.
Liable Parties Leaving the State
The two-year clock will typically pause if the person responsible for your injury leaves the state and becomes a nonresident before you file your lawsuit. If they later return to the state, the clock will restart, and you will have the remainder of the two years to file your lawsuit.
Liable Parties Concealing Their Fault
If the person responsible for your injury takes steps to prevent you from discovering their fault, you will generally have two years to file a lawsuit from the date their involvement is revealed.
Filing a Claim Against the Government
It is essential to note that when filing a lawsuit against the government, you will have less time to take legal action than normal. Whether attempting to recover compensation from local, county, or state government, Indiana’s Tort Claims Act requires that you submit your tort claim notice to the responsible government agency within 180 days of your injury.
Additional Benefits of Acting Quickly After Sustaining an Injury
In addition to ensuring that your filing window does not pass, there are other benefits to taking action on your case as quickly as possible. If you delay hiring an attorney, they will likely have a much more challenging time recovering evidence that supports your claim. Crucial evidence can become lost or corrupted if action is not taken immediately.
Furthermore, any witness testimony you rely upon will be far more valuable the closer it is given to the date your injury occurred. Your personal injury lawyer in Indiana can record witness testimony in a deposition shortly after the incident to ensure that these eyewitness accounts will be as reliable as possible.
Acting quickly helps ensure that your lawyer is able to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Reach Out to an Experienced Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
After suffering an injury where another person was at fault, it is critical that you pay attention to all the deadlines that may apply to your case. An experienced attorney can help identify all the applicable deadlines and make sure that all your paperwork gets filed correctly and on time.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have helped countless clients successfully recover the compensation they need and deserve. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. There is no obligation to retain our services, so don’t hesitate to get started.