Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim for a Car Accident?

Perhaps your car accident on 21st Street, Madison, 38th or Franklin Road was more serious than it seemed. Sometimes, it takes weeks to notice car damage. Some injuries remain undiagnosed for months.

Can you still seek compensation for your losses when you discover them? How long is too long? The best way to answer this question is to consult an Indianapolis auto accident attorney. They will analyze your case details and tell you how much time you have left if any. They can even help you build and defend your case.

The best way to avoid losing your right to compensation is to consult a car accident lawyer. You should do so immediately after the accident. You may be tempted to postpone legal matters until you recover or assess all your losses. Unfortunately, this is not a viable strategy.

In Indiana, civil actions are subject to clear statutes of limitations. These are deadlines for filing a civil lawsuit. They vary according to the actions they refer to and the defendant. You can find them detailed under Title 34, Article 11, Chapter 2 of the Indiana Code. We will provide a brief overview in the following lines.

Indiana Statute of Limitations – When to Contact an Indianapolis Auto Accident Attorney

In Indiana, the deadline for filing an auto accident claim is within two years. It covers both injuries and property damage. When the claim defendant is a government agency or official, the time period drops significantly. The law allows claimants a period of 180 days or maximum 270 days to file the notice of claim.

Once this period has passed, the claimant can kiss their right to compensation goodbye. As if this were not enough, there is a cap on claims against the government of $700,000. In the case of multiple claimants, the overall compensation per event cannot exceed $5,000,000.

Leaving claims against the government aside, there are two important exceptions to the two-year rule. One of them refers to underage car accident victims. The law allows them to wait until they become of age to pursue justice. For them, the two-year deadline starts running when they become of age.

Another exception to the rule refers to injuries and damage discovered later. These are subject to the “discovery rule”. It means that, for the claimants, the clock starts running on the discovery date.

Two years may seem like a lot of time. Unfortunately, time flies by when you are injured or busy fixing your car. Caught up with doctor visits, treatment sessions, and repair shop invoices, you forget everything. To avoid that, you should contact an Indianapolis auto accident attorney as soon as possible.  

Why Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Immediately after Your Accident

If possible, it helps to contact a car wreck attorney right from the scene of the accident. They will advise you on the steps to follow and mistakes to avoid. They may be able to come to the scene and help you gather evidence and information. Assuming that is not possible, there are several reasons why you should not delay seeking legal help. These are:

  • The more you wait, the more difficult finding evidence and witnesses will be.
  • With time, evidence may get lost and witnesses may forget important details.
  • Car accident claims take time to prepare and negotiate, so it is better to start early.
  • The sooner you file the car accident claim, the sooner you will get paid.
  • If you wait too long, the defendant may stall the claim process to avoid paying.
  • If one party denies your claim, you will need time to seek compensation from another party.

Consulting an Indiana car accident lawyer brings about numerous benefits and no downsides. After hearing their opinion, it is up to you to decide whether you act immediately or wait. What matters is that your decision will be an informed one and your rights will be protected.

Contact an Indianapolis Auto Accident Attorney from Rowe & Hamilton Now!

At Rowe & Hamilton, we value your time, money, and effort. That is why we provide free preliminary consultations and contingency agreements. Call us if you’re not sure how much your car accident claim is worth or when you should file it.  We can help.

Schedule a consultation with our Indiana auto accident lawyer by calling 317-482-7888. It is free, and you have nothing to lose. On the contrary, you will receive all the advice and information you need, no strings attached!


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