Surprisingly, many Indiana car accident victims are unaware that their case comes with strict time limitations.
If a car accident victim fails to resolve their personal injury claim or file a legal complaint within a lawfully designated period of time, they risk losing all rights to future compensation, even if they have no fault for the collision.
However, as is the case with many personal injury-related matters, the amount of time a car accident victim has to resolve their claim is not always straightforward.
In fact, depending on the circumstances and specific case-type, there are a number of contingencies that can potentially affect a victim’s statute of limitations date, such as:
- The state where the accident occurred
- The victim’s age on the date of the accident
- Whether or not a government entity was involved
- Other specific facts based by state statute
For these reasons, we strongly recommend you contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to determine the exact amount of time you have to resolve your specific car accident case based on your unique circumstances.
In most instances, attorney Boulton will be able to pinpoint your statute of limitations date during an initial consultation.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at Indiana’s statute of limitations for car accident victims and discuss why you should never depend on the insurance company to protect this date for you.
What is Indiana’s Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Injury Claim?
According to Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4, if you were injured in a car accident that occurred inside Hoosier state lines, you will have (in most instances) two years from the date of the collision to either resolve your personal injury claim or file a legal complaint to protect your case from expiring.
(A “legal complaint” is an official notice prepared by your attorney that notifies the defendant of your intention to seek damages for the injuries caused by that party’s negligence. Once a legal complaint is officially and properly filed, your case’s statute of limitations is protected.)
And though we are using the term “car accidents,” Indiana’s two-year statute date refers to various types of auto-related cases, including but not limited to:
As alluded to above, there are instances in which an Indiana car accident victim may have more or less than two years to resolve their accident claim or file a legal complaint, however, these cases must adhere to the state’s legal guidelines.
One such example that can serve as an exception to Indiana’s 2-year statute date involves a victim’s age at the time of the car accident. The following scenario helps to explain further:
Brian is a passenger in his friend Paul’s car. They are traveling on I-465 in stop-and-go traffic when they are suddenly rear-ended by someone who was texting and driving. As a result, Brian and Paul both sustain broken bones in the collision.
On the date of the accident, Brian was 16-years-old and Paul was 18.
According to Indiana’s statute of limitations laws, Paul will have two (2) years from the date of the accident to settle his personal injury claim or file a legal complaint, otherwise, he risks being barred from any recovery options.
However, because Brian was 16 at the time of the collision, his two (2) year statute date does not begin until the date of his 18th birthday.
In addition to age factors, there are additional scenarios in which car accident victims may have longer than two years to resolve their personal injury claim, however, these exceptions are rare.
Again, because Indiana’s statute laws are comprised of numerous sections and are continually updated, we highly recommend that you contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to determine your specific statute date.
Do Not Rely on the Insurance Company to Help You
Our experience has taught us that insurance companies are an occasional source of confusion for accident victims. Because each one operates in a unique manner, they may use different terminology and tactics in an attempt to settle accident claims.
For example, we have received a number of calls from car accident victims who were worried that their claim was about to expire because they received a letter from the insurance company stating: If we do not hear from you by such-and-such date, we will be closing your file.
After investigating similar claims on the victim’s behalf, we have found that such statements were an attempt by the insurance company to have the caller contact the insurance company, likely in an attempt to settle their claim more quickly.
Whether you are seeking compensation from the defendant’s insurance company, or you are filing an uninsured claim under your own policy, we recommend that you consult with an attorney that will work on your behalf and have your best interests in mind.
Unsure of Your Car Accident Case’s Statute of Limitations?
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience handling car accident claims on behalf of injured Hoosiers. No matter the size of your claim, Matt can help you determine your statute of limitations date at no cost to you.
In fact, Boulton Law Group offers Indiana car accident victims a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise means you will never pay for legal consultation, and the only time the firm receives payment is after we win your case.
Never rely on the insurance company or a non-attorney to pinpoint your case’s statute date. One mistake or instance of confusion can be the difference between deserved compensation and being barred from any financial recovery.
To determine how long you have to resolve your car accident claim, contact Matt direct at 317-350-2680.
If you prefer to reach us via email, use our website’s confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews all website contacts received at our firm.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.