Yes. Each state has a time limit to officially start an injury lawsuit in the civil court system, called the statute of limitations. In Indiana, the statute of limitations on car accident or personal injury claims is two years. The two-year limit usually begins on the date of the accident.
There are some exceptions to the two-year rule. For instance, minors who are injured in car accidents cannot file lawsuits on their own behalf, so the statute of limitations will begin on his or her 18th birthday. If your accident case involves an injury claim against a city or county, you have only 180 days to file a formal claim. If your claim names a state government agency, you have 270 days to file your lawsuit with the court.
The statute of limitations can affect your right to seek compensation for:
Injury. The state of Indiana allows remuneration for people who are injured in a car accident. This can include drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, skateboarders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If a child is injured as a passenger or pedestrian, his or her parents can seek damages on the child’s behalf. Possible damages in these cases can include pain and suffering, costs of permanent disability, loss of companionship, and loss of the ability to earn a living as an adult.
Property damage. Accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to recoup the costs of damage to their personal property. Courts can award compensation for damage to a person’s vehicle, home, yard, contents of the crashed vehicle, or other belongings that were lost in the crash.
Wrongful death. Relatives of a person killed in a crash have two years to file an Indiana wrongful death claim. However, the two-year timespan begins on the day of the accident victim’s death rather than the date of the accident, so relatives may have a longer filing period.
It is always a good idea to begin your car accident case as soon as possible. If the deadline passes, the person named in your lawsuit can have the case dismissed, and you will lose your right to compensation forever. Early filing also gives you a greater chance of winning your case, as evidence may be collected before it is destroyed and witnesses can be tracked down before their memories fade. Contact us today to talk to an attorney about your legal options.