Indiana has several statutes of limitations that set deadlines for filing different types of personal injury claims, from wrongful death and medical malpractice claims to product liability and car accident cases.
If the deadline for your particular claim passes, you will not be able to file a lawsuit and you will lose maybe your only chance to recover compensation for the physical, financial or emotional damages you have suffered.
Review the statutes of limitations for personal injury in Indiana to find out how much time the state gives you to file different types of lawsuits. This will help ensure you get your claim filed before the deadline passes with the help of a South Bend personal injury attorney.
Personal Injury Claims
The statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits and most other personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident or injury that is the basis of your claim, according to Indiana Code (IC) 34-11-2-4(3).
However, there are some situations where there is no reasonable expectation that an injury victim would know that an injury gives him or her grounds to file a lawsuit.
For instance, you might discover new evidence a month after a slip and fall accident indicating that the property owner was negligent and this may have been the primary cause of your injuries.
Unless you had additional evidence indicating negligence prior to discovering the new evidence, the statute of limitations would start running on the date that you discovered the new evidence.
Exception for Legal Disabilities
Another exception to the personal injury statute of limitations is for people who are considered legally disabled. The statute of limitations begins to toll, or run, on the date the legal disability status is removed.
This applies to situations where your injury causes you to be temporarily disabled, either physically or mentally. For example, this would apply if your accident left you unconscious or in a coma.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If you suffered an injury due to medical negligence, you have two years from the date of the alleged malpractice or the date you discovered malpractice to file a lawsuit, whichever date is later.
However, if the victim is a minor who is less than six years old, he or she has until his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit, according to IC 34-18-7(b).
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
When someone is killed by another party’s negligence, the personal representative of the decedent has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Product Liability Claims
If you were injured by a defective product, you have two years to file a product liability claim, according to IC 34-20-3-1.
However, there are two exceptions in this statute:
- Claims must be filed within 10 years of the date you purchased the product
- If the product causes an injury at least eight years after purchase, you have two years to file a claim, even if two years would take you past the 10-year limitation
Our Attorneys Can Ensure Your Claim is Filed On Time
The best way to ensure your claim is filed on time is to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
The South Bend personal injury lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak can quickly review your claim to determine how much time you have to file a lawsuit.
We have decades of combined experience investigating claims, building strong cases and fighting for fair compensation.
Contact our firm today for a free, no obligation legal consultation.