Personal Injury Claim

JR was offered a settlement of $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

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Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations in Indiana

Statutes of Limitations Indiana

There’s so much going on in the aftermath of an accident in which a person is injured or killed – medical treatment, rehabilitation, changes in routines, job issues. It’s not uncommon that an accident victim will put off seeking legal advice, assuming the courts will still be there as a remedy after all the other details and adjustments have been made. Unfortunately, even though the justice system will still exist, there’s a good chance that one who procrastinates may miss out on the chance to receive compensation through a personal injury claim . . . forever.

Statutes of Limitations in Indiana

This is because of time limits, or statutes of limitation, prescribed by state law, which define the time period during which civil lawsuits may be filed. At the Indiana personal injury law firm of McNeely Stephenson, there’s nothing we hate more than having to tell someone that it’s simply too late for them to seek compensation for their injuries – especially when they otherwise would have had a good case against the reckless driver, or incompetent surgeon, or manufacturer of a defective product.

Here’s what you need to know about the application of the statute of limitations in Indiana personal injury cases.

What You Need to Know

In Indiana, most personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. This is true of car wrecks, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, bicycle and pedestrian injuries, motorcycle wrecks, and other accidents that happened because of negligence. The two-year statute of limitations also applies to wrongful death cases.

Indiana medical malpractice claims are also generally governed by the two-year statute of limitations. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule and there are many exceptions — another reason for contacting a lawyer who is familiar with the intricacies of Indiana injury law. In some cases the time begins running not when the injury occurred but when it was discovered. Indiana also has a rule which allows a potential medical malpractice plaintiff to “toll” – or suspend — the statute of limitations for 90 days by filing a “proposed complaint” with the medical review panel.

Other exceptions in the law apply to situations in which a child was injured. When the injured person is less than 18 years of age at the time of some incidents (like car accidents), the statute of limitations does not begin until the child turns 18. This is not true for medical malpractice or product liability claims, however. In medical negligence cases, the two-year statute of limitations begins to run when the child becomes 8 years of age. In a product liability case, the statute of limitations is two years, regardless of the child’s age.

Another situation in which timing plays a crucial role and varies from the general rule is that in which an injured person seeks to bring a claim against a governmental entity. In that case, the plaintiff must file a Tort Claims Notice within either 180 or 270 days of the event, depending on which entity is being sued. If the person is incapacitated, the notice must be filed within 180 days after that incapacitation is removed.

Filing Deadlines

You should also keep in mind that it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer well before the time limit expires because preparing a legal case can be quite a complex and time-consuming process. Even though complaints can later be amended, they must initially be filed with the court before the statute of limitations has run. And it can take a while to do the necessary fact-finding in order to draft the pleadings that will put the parties on notice and “stop the clock.” If the accident involved multiple individuals, it may take some time to identify all appropriate defendants. It may be necessary to gather medical records and witness statements. The best course of action is to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your injury.


Shelbyville Injury Lawyers

Finally, it is important for you to understand that statutes of limitation are prescribed by state law, and they vary from state to state. The statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident claims in Kentucky is one year, not two, and in Florida it is four years. If you have been injured in an accident in Indiana, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer who is familiar with our state’s laws and legal procedures. At McNeely Stephenson, we have been successfully litigating Indiana personal injury cases since 1982.

Call us at 855-206-2555 or use our convenient online contact form to discuss your potential claim . . . but don’t wait too long.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Your Next Steps...

As you contemplate filing a personal injury lawsuit, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.

Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call today.

Contact McNeely Stephenson today using our contact form, or call 1-855-206-2555.

Personal Injury Lawyer
March 29, 2019 / Premises Liability, Wrongful Death
Brace Yourself: Here are the Odds You’ll Die from a Fall

The statistics are frightening. According to the National Safety Council, one out of 114 people in the U.S. are likely to die as a result of a fall.  In 2017, 36,338 Americans suffered a fatal fall. In addition, over 2,790,000 older Americans are treated in emergency rooms every year for fall injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Your Legal Rights "Slip and fall" is a term used when an individual slips or trips and is injured...


Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

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