Handling a mass tort claim can differ from a standard personal injury claim in Ft. Wayne, as in a mass tort each plaintiff seeks compensation for their individual damages rather than each plaintiff seeking a uniform settlement.
Another difference between a mass tort claim and a standard personal injury claim is the statute of limitations. Some mass torts cause issues related to the statute of limitations based on when a plaintiff knows he or she was injured and when the full effects of the injury manifest.
How the Statute of Limitations Works in a Mass Tort Claim
Under Indiana law, the statute of limitations for a personal injury or product liability claim is two years. Plaintiffs who join a mass tort claim must also abide by this rule as it applies to their individual injury and damages, but application of the rule may differ for some plaintiffs who join the mass tort.
Sometimes the statute of limitations is extended based on the discovery rule, which may apply when the cause of injury wasn’t immediately evident. Many mass tort claims involve injuries that take time – months or sometimes years – to cause serious impairment.
For instance, a pharmaceutical drug that causes cancer may initially present itself with other symptoms. Thereby it might not develop into a serious condition until some time has passed. Thus, an individual may be unaware of the injury until one year after exposure. In this case, the statute of limitations begins to toll on the date of discovery, or when the individual should have discovered the illness.
The full extent of damages may not be immediately evident before the statute of limitations runs out. Plaintiffs need to ensure they adequately address the potential for future damages by thoroughly examining their condition and subsequent illness or injury.
While there isn’t a unique statute of limitations that applies to a mass tort claim, there are numerous challenges that plaintiffs could face. To better understand the proper procedure for filing – when to file and how much to seek – contact an attorney who is familiar with these types of claims.
Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel for a Mass Tort Claim
The premise of a mass tort claim is that by combining the claims of the many people injured as a result of using the same product saves the court’s time and resources.
A mass tort claim for a defective product is usually argues with one of the following as the basis:
- Defects in design and/or manufacturing
- Failure to warn of dangers/hazards
- Strict liability
Mass tort litigation can be an extremely complicated area of law. If you or a loved one has suffered severe or fatal injuries because of a product and live in Indiana, contact an attorney at Hensley Legal Group.
Legal counsel can help make sure you have a valid case for joining a mass tort and that you file your claim on time. Call us at 317-472-3333 to set up a consultation or contact us online.