The Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Personal Injury Or Wrongful Death Claim
The statute of limitations (or, “time limit”) on personal injury and wrongful death claims is two years from the date of loss or date of death. The exception to this is called the Discovery Rule. While not common, the discovery rule allows for an extended timeframe.
If you don’t discover that a negligent act has occurred until sometime later when you start experiencing symptoms or problems, the Discovery Rule overrides the statute of limitations. Then, the statute of limitations of the claim starts the day you discovered that negligence occurred.
Another extension to the Statute of Limitations applies to minors. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to file their own under Indiana law – so an adult has to file a suit for them on their behalf. Thus, injured minors have an extension, two years from their eighteenth birthday, to bring a lawsuit on their own.
But while the Discovery Rule allows for the timeframe of a claim to be extended, other rules may limit the time frame. One example of this is in claims where a governmental entity is allegedly at fault for causing someone’s injury. This situation falls under the Tort Claims Act.
Because the state government and local governments have different claim periods, you have to prepare what is called a “tort claim notice”. Then, this claim notice must be sent to the right party within either 180 days (6 months) or 270 days (9 months), depending on whether it is a local or a state government.
It is not uncommon for you to slowly investigate a claim and realize, “Oh goodness. There’s a governmental entity involved here that shortens the timeframe to file a claim.” If this happens, you need to work to put them on notice at once.
The Role An Attorney Plays In Preserving Your Right To File A Claim
These various rules underscore the importance of consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney early on. This way, you can find out about who might be liable for your injuries — and what you need to do next.
What’s more, consulting with an experienced lawyer won’t just make sure you don’t miss legal deadlines. You need assistance as early as possible to strategize how to make your situation a viable claim. The sooner you address injuries and document facts and damages, the better position you are going to be in.
You can do things that harm the value of your case. You can do things that have a negative impact on the value of your case. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible allows for the best possible outcome.
We at the law firm of Thomas E. Scifres, PC, focus exclusively on what puts you, our client, in the best possible position or situation that results in a positive outcome.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Personal Injury Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Personal Injury Law In Indiana, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 359-8007 today.