One of the most importants laws pertaining to filing a civil action for damages is a statute of limitations. This law places a limit on the amount of time that you have to file your lawsuit with the court. In most states, including Indiana, the clock starts ticking from the time that you incurred your damages (or from the time that your injuries were discovered).
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Involving Car Accidents
In Indiana, the statute of limitations is two years in personal injury cases, per Indiana Code Section 34-11-2-4. If you do not file your lawsuit within two years’ time from the date that your car accident occurred, you will be permanently barred from filing a legal action in the future for the same injuries, and you will be barred from recovering compensation.
Because of the strict statute of limitations, the clock of which starts ticking the moment your crash occurs, it is important that you take legal action as soon as possible.
How Much Does an Accident Lawyer Cost?
Above, the importance of hiring a car accident lawyer was discussed. But despite the benefits of an attorney, many people are dissuaded from hiring one based on the fact that a car accident attorney seems like an expensive investment. In some cases, this is true – there are a handful of attorneys who work on an hourly basis and charge a high hourly rate. But for the most part, hiring an attorney is not only very affordable, but it can result in more money in your pocket in the long run.
The best type of car accident lawyer to hire after a car wreck in Indianapolis is an attorney who works on a contingent fee. A contingent fee means that you being charged a fee by the lawyer is contingent on the lawyer winning your case; if the lawyer does not win your case (and recover you a settlement check), you will not pay the lawyer. Further, the amount that you will owe the attorney in the event that your case is settled in your favor is agreed upon in advance. Usually, this amount is equivalent to approximately one-third of your winnings. In other words, if you were to recover $100,000, you would owe the attorney approximately $33,000, and the other $67,000 would be yours to keep. In the event that your case goes to trial, the attorney may recover a slightly higher percentage amount.
The types of lawyers to avoid are those who require an upfront retainer fee for their services, which is a fee that is paid in advance, similar to how a deposit works. Another type of lawyer you want to steer clear of is an attorney who will charge you an hourly fee, as this can quickly get expensive fast.
The best thing that you can do before hiring an attorney is to schedule a free case consultation where you can ask questions about how the attorneys charges and how much you will be held liable for when all is said and done.