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Statute of Limitations: How Long You Have After a Car Accident to File a Claim

Updated July 31, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

A devastating car accident is a life-changing event. You or someone you love could be seriously injured. Often, hospital stays and surgeries are required after an accident. Your first priority is, of course, the health and safety of everyone involved in the accident—and, when a loved one is injured, your focus is on their well-being, not obtaining compensation.

However, it’s important to understand that the law limits your time for seeking compensation.

Statute of Limitations in Indiana

The statute of limitations is the time period you have to take legal action. When it comes to filing a lawsuit in Indiana civil court, your time is generally limited to two years, with a few exceptions. The clock starts ticking the day of the accident.

While you are focused on your or your loved one’s recovery after a serious motor vehicle accident, time is already slipping away. Being aware of legal deadlines is vital to obtaining fair and adequate compensation. If the statute of limitations passes, so does your chances of collecting compensation for your injuries.

If your accident involved a government entity, your time is limited even further. Formal injury claims involving a city or county must be filed within 180 days of the accident.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Indiana

The car accident lawsuit process is different for every situation, but all cases generally start with filing an official complaint. After the complaint is filed and sent to the defendant, the defendant responds, and the discovery stage begins.

What happens next is entirely up to the specifics of the case: settlement, trial, appeal, etc. It all depends on the unique circumstances of your crash.

Remember, though, that you don’t have to go through this process alone. An experienced car accident attorney can help you file a car accident claim, gather evidence, hire expert witnesses, negotiate a fair settlement, and—if needed—represent your case in the courtroom.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

Indiana laws are complicated. Contacting an attorney after an accident ensures you can focus on what is most important: caring for your family.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car accident, contact an Indianapolis auto accident attorney from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The experienced lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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