In the moments after a car accident, you’re probably more worried about the damage to your car than about Indiana’s statute of limitations.
And rightly so. In the minutes following a car accident, your first priority should be checking for injuries and calling the police, not googling the statute of limitations for car accident claims. If the car accident is a minor one, you might decide that it’s easier to file a claim with your own insurance company.
However, some injuries don’t become noticeable until a few hours or days after the car accident occurs. If you wait for weeks or months to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, is there a chance that your case could close before you reach a settlement?
Statute of Limitations in Indiana
In Indiana, the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits is two years. This means that from the moment you get into a car accident, you have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and any other defendants who may have shared fault.
Note that this time limit only applies to lawsuits, not insurance claims. Most claims are settled before they ever become lawsuits. If the at-fault driver’s insurance offers a settlement that seems small or unfair, then the next step may be to file a lawsuit (a personal injury attorney can help you decide if a lawsuit is right for your case)
You don’t have to settle the lawsuit within the two year limit. The statute of limitations only applies to getting the lawsuit filed, not the litigation and trial itself.
Getting Started As Soon As Possible
It is important to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible after your car accident, even if you don’t feel injured. Like we said before, some injuries don’t become noticeable for days or weeks after the accident. If you delay treatment for an injury that requires long-term treatment or physical therapy, the at-fault driver’s insurance can use your hesitation to justify a smaller settlement that won’t cover all of your medical bills.
Waiting for a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company can take a while. Insurance adjusters have to investigate the crash, the at-fault driver may deny liability or lie on the police report, and the insurance company may give you the runaround.
These delays could push you dangerously close to the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. And while you’re waiting for a settlement offer, you may have to use your own money or insurance for your medical bills.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you suffer a car accident in Indiana, a local personal injury attorney can help you stay on track with your insurance claim. They can deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf and tell you if you’re getting a fair settlement or not. They will do the leg work of gathering evidence proving the extent of your injuries. And if you aren’t offered a fair settlement, they will prepare a strong case on your behalf.
Don’t wait to hire a personal injury attorney. Dealing with the insurance companies can take months, and the litigation process of filing and settling a lawsuit is lengthy. If you wait too long to get an attorney on board, the chance to file a lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve may pass you by.
If you were injured in a car accident, a local personal injury attorney can help manage your claim so you can focus on healing. For a free consultation, call Hensley Legal Group or visit us online today.