15
Jan

My Loved One Was Prescribed Opioids and Became Addicted—Can I Sue?

January 15, 2020

If you have suffered as a result of someone you love becoming addicted to prescription opioid drugs, you and your family may be eligible for compensation. The first thing you should do is discuss your case with a drug injury attorney so they can advise you on the next steps to take.

In the past, doctors have prescribed opioids in an attempt to help their patients manage their pain, but opioid manufacturing companies withheld information that could have highlighted the risk of addiction to doctors and patients.

The Opioid Epidemic in the US

Thankfully, opioid prescriptions have decreased by 30% in the United States since 2012 when over 80% of prescriptions involved opioids in an effort to treat chronic pain. Still, over 1/3 of opioid deaths occur as a result of an addiction that began as an opioid prescription by a doctor. This issue is especially serious for Americans 65 and older as they are often prescribed opioids by their doctors to treat severe chronic pain. Countless patients and their families have been affected by addiction that started out as a prescribed medication. However, doctors and their patients are now better understanding the risks and looking for safer ways to treat chronic pain.

The Fight Against Opioid Use in Indiana

Due to the unique opioid crisis in the state of Indiana, state officials have initiated lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and sellers. The mayor of Indianapolis has spoken out on the topic, saying, “The companies contributing to this [opioid] crisis have failed in their duty to be responsible gatekeepers. These potential defendants spread the false message that opioids were safe for chronic pain and not addictive.” By naming opioid drug manufacturers as “potential defendants,” the mayor indicated that legal action is clearly necessary, both for state lawmakers as well as the patients and families who were affected. Government officials hope to force manufacturers to own their product liability and see fewer opioid addictions and overdoses in the state.

Holding Opioid Manufacturers Accountable

Those being prescribed opioids should talk to their doctor about alternative treatments that are less likely to end in drug addiction and/or overdose. At the same time, drug manufacturers are obligated to properly warn doctors and users of the dangers and possible side effects.

Product manufacturers that allow their products to harm users are liable for injury, both through a failure to warn customers and possible product defects. These charges and more may be made in your opioid addiction case. If you or someone you love has developed an addiction after being prescribed opioid medication, you must speak with a drug injury attorney right away.

Those who file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers could receive compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and damages for pain and suffering. For more information about how a drug injury attorney in Indianapolis can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

27
Dec

5 Common Places for Slip & Fall Accidents

December 27, 2019

Slip and fall accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Here is our list of the top five common places that slip and fall accidents occur.

1. Work

Slip and fall injuries occur most frequently on the job. This is especially true for manual labor jobs that make frequent use of scaffolding, ladders, and/or heavy equipment. Not only are employers expected to enforce regulations that keep the workplace as safe as possible, but those who are injured at work are also entitled to worker’s compensation.

In more extreme cases where an employer’s negligence created a hazard that should not have existed, or when an employer tries to intimidate their employees from claiming worker’s compensation, there may be cause to file a claim against the employer. If you or someone you love has suffered due to employer negligence and/or intimidation, you should speak with a worker’s compensation attorney right away.

2. Stairs and Escalators

In a 2017 study, experts found that stair injuries have increased by over 20% since 1996. Hospital emergency staff also point to escalator mishaps as contributing to a significant number of slip and fall injuries.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining stairs and escalators. Most importantly, they are responsible for warning and roping off any stairs/escalators in disrepair until such hazards are addressed. When invitees (such as customers or invited visitors) injure themselves in a slip and fall as a result of hazardous conditions on stairs or escalators, the property manager assumes premises liability and may be forced to compensate the injured party in a personal injury claim.

3. Ice on Sidewalks and Parking Lots

During winter, Indiana can see its fair share of snow and ice. For businesses, they must take extra care to make sure that all pedestrian areas are reasonably clear of snow and ice. If a jury finds that a commercial property owner failed to address snow and/or ice conditions in a reasonable amount of time before the slip and fall accident occurred, that owner will be required to pay damages to the injured party.

For other issues pertaining to “winter liability,” there is no clear standard wherein property owners are tried. However, many victims of a slip and fall injury as a result of ice/snow have successfully taken their personal injury case to court and won. If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall case as a result of snow/ice, it is best you consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

4. Restaurants

More so than other types of business, restaurants can be hotbeds for slip and fall accidents. Not only do customers roam the aisles, but the servers are often moving about quickly while holding drinks and food. When food and liquids spill onto the floor, the establishment must address the spill right away and post warning signs if the floor remains slippery. Failure to address these hazards can result in slip and fall injuries that may end in a personal injury lawsuit.

5. Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Slip and fall injuries at assisted living and nursing homes abound. As such, any licensed facility must meet rigorous demands in order to protect elderly residents and visitors from injuring themselves accidentally. Due to the frequency with which residents are reportedly falling and injuring themselves, it is not always the fault of the facility (or the facility’s staff).

However, if the facility and/or its staff fail to meet industry regulations and provide reasonable care to patients, that facility may be liable for slip and fall injuries to their patients in a personal injury claim.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your slip and fall accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

19
Dec

How is Fault Determined If There Are Multiple Vehicles Involved in an Accident?

December 19, 2019

In a vehicle accident that involves only one or two vehicles, it is pretty simple to determine who was at fault. However, in a multi-car pileup, it is not always clear who was ultimately or partially responsible. 

Determining At-Fault Driver or Drivers

Every motorist in Indiana is expected to exercise a reasonable “duty of care” with regard to traffic laws and defensive driving.  

In some cases, expectations of driver responsibility can be higher. For example, drivers with limitations that could impair driving are expected to compensate for those limitations or not drive at all. Similarly, car drivers are expected to be extremely vigilant when looking out for pedestrians and motorcyclists, due to the fact that that pedestrians or motorcyclists may be harder to see and are less protected when involved in a car accident. Lastly, commercial truck drivers are expected to exercise even greater care since their larger vehicles pose a greater risk of injury in the event of an accident. 

After a multi-car accident, any driver(s) discovered to have been negligent may be faulted for the accident. Police officers that respond to the scene typically examine damage to vehicles and the area where the accident occurred. They will also take statements from anyone involved or who witnessed the accident.

In the state of Indiana, more than one driver can be faulted for the accident. Particularly in a multi-car pileup, there are sometimes a few drivers who were not exercising an appropriate level of care to prevent the accident.

Indiana Is a Comparative Negligence State

What is Comparative Negligence?

In the event that more than one driver is faulted for the accident, Indiana applies fault on a sliding scale, meaning that they assign each at fault driver a percentage of negligence. For example, Driver A was deemed 50% at fault, while Drivers B and C are deemed 20% and 30% at fault respectively. 

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident that involved multiple vehicles and found at fault for less than 50%, you should consider filing a personal injury claim against the other drivers.

Insurance Liability vs. Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most situations, an Indiana police report names the at fault driver (or drivers), files a report, and each at fault party’s insurance assumes their percentage of liability. When a driver’s insurance company accepts liability for the accident, then they agree to pay for damages according to the driver’s policy stipulations.

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident, and the other driver’s insurance has claimed liability, insurance claim limits may keep you from receiving full compensation for your medical bills. Additionally, if there were lost wages and other damages, the at-fault driver’s insurance may not be set up to pay those bills either.

In that case, you may be eligible to seek compensation for those bills and damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, once the at fault party (or parties) have been named, the same fault is applied in the courtroom. This is provided, of course, that you and your attorney are able to demonstrate that your injuries and damages are directly linked to the accident.

However, there are cases where a police report faults one driver, and the insurance adjusters attempt to fault another driver instead. Insurance companies will conduct their own investigation and may discover things that they believe the police missed. It is important that you follow-up with the police report that was filed after your accident, and that you provide as much evidence as possible to your own insurance company to prove that the other driver was at fault.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motor vehicle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

13
Dec

3 Things to Know When Filing a Claim After an Auto Accident

December 13, 2019

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, here are three things you should know before filing a claim.

There is a Difference Between an Insurance Claim and a Personal Injury Claim

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims, the terminology surrounding the word “claim” can be confusing. After an accident, it is important that you get your insurance company involved as soon as possible. It is their job to help you seek compensation for damage to your vehicle and any medical bills.

 However, if your injuries (and the injuries of your passengers) exceed claims limits, you may be liable for those costs. Depending upon the severity of damage and injuries, these costs could end up being tens of thousands of dollars beyond claim limits.

Insurance Claims Limits

In Indiana, insurance liability minimums are on the low side at $25,000 per person (up to $50,000 total). If your injuries end up costing you $60,000, then, after insurance pays for $25,000 of your medical bills, you will still be left with another $35,000 to pay on your own. 

Indiana requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured (UI/UDI) coverage to deal with situations where the other driver doesn’t have insurance. However, there are also claims limits for UI/UDI coverage as well.

 That’s why it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. If the other driver is at fault for the accident (and hence, your injuries), then you will be able to seek compensation for damages. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Personal Injury Claim Process

Many people injured in an auto accident reach their insurance claims limits and seek additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Much of the evidence you will need has already been supplied to your insurance company. Additionally, the responding police officer will have drafted an accident report naming the other driver as the at-fault party.

You will need to demonstrate the costs of your injuries, which would include medical bills, transportation costs, lost wages from missing work, and even emotional trauma you suffered as a result of the accident. If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, it is important that you seek assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney to help you file your claim.

A filed claim signals your intent to sue the at-fault party. The other person has an opportunity to respond before the discovery process takes place. If the at-fault party belongs to a commercial truck company, the employing company usually offers you a settlement to prevent the claim from going to trial. Your personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not it is in your best interest to accept a settlement.

There is an Indiana Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims After a Car Accident

As with any personal injury claim, you must file your claim within two years of the accident and subsequent injuries. While there are exceptions to this statute of limitations, they are rare and unlikely. It is vital that you seek medical attention immediately following an accident and leave yourself time to file a personal injury claim should it be necessary. 

Indiana is a Comparative Negligence State

Comparative negligence means that both (or all) parties were at fault for the accident. Driver 1 may have been going too fast while Driver 2 merged without signaling. In this kind of scenario, each driver will be faulted for a certain percentage of the accident. This approach of comparative negligence is usually considered in some insurance claims as well as in personal injury claims.

If you were assigned fault of 50% or more for the accident, then you are not eligible to receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If you were less than 50% at fault, but more than 0%, then whatever damages would have been awarded to you are simply decreased by the percentage for which you were at fault. For example, if you were at fault for 20% of the accident and total damages amounted to $50,000, then you would be awarded $50,000 minus 20%, which is $40,000.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

9
Dec

How Can I Get My Motor Vehicle Accident Report?

December 09, 2019

After a car crash, it is typical that all involved drivers want a copy of the accident report. Police officers on the scene take statements, declare who was at fault, and then file their report later on that day or within a week. 

That being said, the paperwork that Indiana police officers give to involved drivers on the scene is NOT the vehicle accident report. It does, however, contain each driver’s contact and insurance info, along with a report number. These details are crucial and should be passed on to your insurance company to file a claim. You can also use the report number to locate your vehicle accident report online.

When Motor Vehicle Accidents Must be Reported

It is highly recommended that you always contact the police after a vehicle accident. However, it is legal to not report the accident as long as there were no injuries and property damage amounted to less than $1,000.

Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to know the costs of damage to property in the wake of an accident, so it’s always important to report the accident to the authorities.

How Indiana Accident Reports Work

The state of Indiana partners with BuyCrash.com to help drivers access their vehicle accident reports. Indiana state drivers should first visit IN.gov (see here) and select the button “Request Your Vehicle Crash Report Online.”

Non-Indiana drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident while traveling through Indiana would essentially need to follow the same instructions demonstrated in this article. All Indiana police reports following an accident are uploaded the same way.

Guide to Using BuyCrash.com

After selecting the button “Request Your Vehicle Crash Report Online,” your browser will redirect you to BuyCrash.com. Since BuyCrash.com supports many state and municipality reports, you must first select Indiana from the “Start Search” dropdown menu.

Those looking for Indiana Vehicle Crash Reports are then redirected to the Indiana page on BuyCrash.com. You may choose to either enter the report number (which should be listed on the paperwork the police gave you on the scene) or search via your name, plus the date or police department that issued the report.

After entering the correct information, select your report from the results page and follow the instructions for delivery and checkout. The cost to retrieve your report can vary. 

If you wish to avoid the online fees altogether, you may try speaking directly with the police department that filed the report. However, it is not guaranteed that the reporting agency will agree to give you your report.

Indiana is an At-Fault State: What Does That Mean?

Indiana police officers who arrive on the scene must take statements from the drivers and declare a party at fault in the accident. If you were in an accident where the other driver was found at fault by the police, it is vital that you request a copy of the vehicle accident report and submit it to your insurance company. Though this does not necessarily guarantee that the other driver’s insurance company will accept liability, it does carry a lot of weight.

In some cases, Indiana may declare comparable at fault. That is, more than one driver is partially at fault for the accident. This would have an effect upon rulings in a personal injury lawsuit where one party seeks damages from the other party as a result of injuries and property loss after the accident.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

25
Nov

Do I Need Special Insurance If I Drive Both a Car and a Motorcycle?

November 25, 2019

In short, the answer is that you need to meet state minimum insurance requirements for both your car and your motorcycle. Both vehicles must also be registered with the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before you are permitted to drive them.

Vehicle Insurance

Before you can register your car or motorcycle, you must have the proper insurance for each vehicle. Every driver will need to bring proof of insurance to their local DMV. Here is a quick rundown of minimum insurance requirements. A licensed insurance agent can help with making sure a vehicle will have appropriate insurance.

For a car, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $25,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage (in case the other driver is uninsured or underinsured): $50,000

For a motorcycle, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $10,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage: $50,000

Drivers can often save money each month by bundling insurance plans for multiple vehicles with the same company. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of many accidents can exceed the above coverage limits. Additionally, should a vehicle become harmed or destroyed in an incident other than a traffic accident, drivers won’t likely be covered unless they have proper comprehensive coverage.

For those reasons (and more), many choose to carry insurance coverage for both their car and motorcycle that exceeds state minimum requirements.

Vehicle Registration

In Indiana, drivers must register cars and/or motorcycles within two months of purchase or moving from out of state. If purchasing either vehicle from a dealership, sellers may be able to handle vehicle registration directly with the DMV on their customers’ behalf. Buyers should confirm this before assuming vehicle registration has been completed.

In order to obtain car registration, vehicle owners must complete a VIN inspection, present a valid driver’s license, and be prepared to complete an emissions inspection within two years of registering (an emissions inspection will need to be completed every other year to retain your vehicle’s registration). Be sure to bring the car title (or if held by the auto lender, proof of ownership such as the lien agreement), proof of residency and proof of insurance.

For motorcycle registration, drivers must complete a VIN inspection, as well as have a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Additionally, proof of home address (residency), proof of social security number and proof of the state’s motorcycle insurance minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage is required. Currently, the cost for registering a motorcycle in Indiana is less than $30 before taxes.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

 

18
Nov

What to Do If You’re at Fault for a Motorcycle Crash

November 18, 2019

Because motorcyclists are far more likely to become fatally injured in a crash, getting into an accident with a motorcycle can be extremely frightening. Everyone’s first priority should be making sure that any injured drivers receive medical attention.

However, in the aftermath of the accident, you may be accused of being the one responsible for the accident, especially if the motorcyclist was badly injured. If you’ve been found at fault for a motorcycle crash, here are some things you need to know.

Speak as Little as Possible

In the moments during and after the accident, what you say can be used against you or even twisted by witnesses. Therefore, say as little as possible while you exchange insurance information with the other driver. Let the responding police officers do their job of taking statements.

Gather Your Own Evidence

While on the scene, you should take pictures of the scene of the crash, including the damage to all vehicles involved. Record information that could demonstrate that the motorcycle driver could have been negligent.

Inform Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your insurance provider and give them the necessary details of the accident. If your insurance company unfairly finds you at fault, you should challenge their decision.

Talk to an Attorney

After seeking medical attention, nothing is more important in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash than talking to a personal injury attorney. They will be able to help you deal with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and possible personal injury lawsuits that may be filed against you later.

Understanding Negligence

In a typical motorcycle accident case, the injured motorcyclist will claim that the vehicle driver was negligent. The reasoning is that because motorcyclists are less protected on the roads, vehicle operators must exercise greater care while sharing the road with motorcyclists. 

However, this isn’t always the case. Your motorcycle accident attorney will review the evidence to see what other factors contributed to the accident. Gathering your own evidence that demonstrates other drivers’ (including the motorcycle driver) negligence could be crucial in the event of a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding the “Reasonable” Standard in Negligence

When discussing negligence in a personal injury case, the overarching concern is whether or not both parties exercised reasonable care and took sensible steps to avoid a crash. It is possible that neither party did the “reasonable” thing in an accident, particularly if someone intentionally caused the accident to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

No-Contact Motorcycle Crash

If a motorcycle driver sees that a crash is about to take place, they may put the bike down in order to minimize damage and injuries. These crashes are known as no-contact crashes. In a no-contact crash, the vehicle driver may still be found at fault for injury and property damage sustained by the motorcyclist. Therefore, if you or someone you love was involved in a no-contact accident with a motorcycle driver, you should speak with a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents.

For more information about how an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

5
Nov

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

November 05, 2019

If you were injured in a car accident, you should start working with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills and more. Here are three tips to help you find the right attorney for your case.

Check Years of Experience

First, the attorney that you select to help you with your car accident case should have a thorough understanding of Indiana traffic laws. The top car accident attorneys know how unique each car accident can be. They will be able to spot and address each crucial nuance involved in your case.

Second, your attorney should have a good intuition when it comes to investigating. That is, knowing the right questions to ask, the right evidence to collect, and even the right attitude during the discovery phase of personal injury claims. Gathering evidence and testimonies can be tedious. Good attorneys know how to prioritize their investigation and get key evidence fast.

Third, a skilled car accident attorney will feel at ease in high-pressure situations, including depositions or jury trials. They are not easily discouraged or intimidated by changing circumstances or strong opposition.

Research Fee Structure

While the standard fee structure for personal injury is around 30% of awarded damages, some car accident attorneys may charge more. An attorney that charges more may or may not be worth the extra cost. However, in many cases, attorneys with the highest amount of experience and success charge more because their clients tend to win more.

On the flip side, just because a car accident attorney charges less than someone else doesn’t mean the attorney lacks the experience or ability to get the job done. Either way, you should definitely examine the firm or attorney’s fee structure in addition to the track record to get a better idea of whether or not those fees are worth the investment.

Establish Trust

A qualified attorney will need to know all the details of your car accident case. As such, you need to feel that you can trust the attorney you choose. An attorney who makes you feel small and insignificant may not inspire the honesty and courage your personal injury claim will require of you.

Additionally, car accident lawsuits can be a long and arduous process. Those who remain patient are the ones who win their cases and receive compensation for damages. Furthermore, the best attorneys will help you manage your expectations for the long journey ahead so that you do not feel misinformed or alone.

Attorneys who build a strong relationship with their clients will remain in contact with them, providing regular updates and making sure that their clients’ questions and concerns are addressed at all times. You need to feel that your personal injury attorney is deeply invested in your case, even while they juggle other cases. The right attorney will make sure that you know you are a priority to them. 

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.

 

31
Oct

What Should I Do If I Get Into a Truck Accident in Indiana?

October 31, 2019

In the United States, accidents involving commercial vehicles typically cause more damage and injury than a routine car accident. Because of the many risks associated with large trucks on the road, Indiana traffic law takes truck accidents very seriously. If you are involved in a truck accident in Indiana, you should take the following steps.

Call the Police

Regardless of the extent of damage or injuries, you should call the police. They can file an official report holding responsible parties accountable. This report is an important aspect of a personal injury claim.

Request an Ambulance If There Are Injuries

The law requires that non-injured parties in a vehicle accident immediately tend to the care of injured parties. If someone has been injured, make sure to request an ambulance while on the phone with 911.

If possible, move those who are injured from the scene to a safe place. However, if it appears that the injured party has suffered a head or spine injury, do not attempt to move them. Once the emergency response team arrives, they will handle the patient in a way that will not further aggravate the injuries.

Collect Names and Contact Info from Involved Parties

If you are able, get names and contact information from all who witnessed the accident. Should you file a personal injury claim, your attorney will need to speak with them.

Make sure to note if anyone noticed any unusual behavior in the other drivers involved. Anyone exhibiting signs of sleep deprivation or drunkenness should be reported to the responding police officers at the scene.

Collect Insurance, Driver’s License Info, and UDOT Numbers from the Involved Parties

In order for you and the other drivers to receive compensation for damages or injuries caused by the accident, you will need one another’s information. This includes information proving that the drivers involved have a valid driver’s license and insurance coverage for the state of Indiana. If truck drivers were involved, make sure to get their UDOT numbers.

Take Pictures of the Scene

If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident. Focus on the damage to your car, as well as damage to property around the scene where the accident took place. Additionally, take pictures of license plate numbers. Make sure to also take pictures of any injuries once the injured parties have been tended to.

Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your car insurance provider to file a claim. In the days following the accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters from the other drivers’ insurance companies. Decline to speak with them. Simply deal directly with your insurance company and your attorney.

Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney

The aftermath of an accident involving a commercial truck can be complex. Because several companies may be liable for the accident, they will all try to make the case that the other drivers (namely you) were at fault for the accident. Therefore, you should talk to a truck accident attorney right away. They will be able to advise you on your next steps.

Additionally, if you or someone you love was injured in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation. These damages include medical expenses, cost of ongoing treatment, damage to property, and even emotional losses sustained as a result of the accident.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your truck accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

25
Oct

Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?

October 25, 2019

In the state of Indiana, personal injury claims for motor vehicle accidents have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. 

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In personal injury law, a statute of limitations is the time limit in which the plaintiff (the individual suing for damages) may file a claim for a personal injury lawsuit. Individuals suing the responsible party for damages must do so within the statute of limitations, or else they risk losing an opportunity to seek compensation.

Those injured in a car accident must seek medical assistance as soon as possible to determine the extent of the injuries. Waiting too long could result in Indiana courts dismissing the claim since it is more likely that any injuries were caused by events after the car accident.

What Are Some Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are some exceptions to the standard two-year statute of limitations. However, most exceptions actually shorten the time frame rather than extend it. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana government organization responsible for injuries and property damage are allowed a nine-month statute of limitations from the date of the car accident.
  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana city or county responsible for damages in a car accident case are allowed only a six-month statute of limitations.
  • Minors are not allowed to file a personal injury claim for themselves. Therefore, they are allowed a two-year statute of limitations from the date of their 18th birthday.

While there have been rare exceptions granted to plaintiffs seeking damages after the standard statute of limitations, most people who attempt to file a personal injury claim late often see their case dismissed by Indiana courts.

What Is Involved with Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

When filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, Indiana courts grant the defendant (the individual or organization you claim to be at fault for the accident) an opportunity to respond to the claim.

If the defendant does not admit guilt, then your attorney will begin building your case. Both sides proceed to gather evidence through the discovery phase before taking your personal injury case to court.

Most personal injury lawsuits take anywhere from six months to three years in the state of Indiana. Because of the length of time it may take to defend their case, as well as court costs, many defendants make a settlement offer to the plaintiff early on in the process. 

Is It a Good Idea to Accept a Settlement Offer?

Not all settlement offers are fair. That’s why you should allow a personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. They will be able to advise you whether it is in your best interest to take the settlement or to settle your case in the courtroom.

Your entire personal injury case doesn’t need to be resolved within the two-year statute of limitations. It is only required that you file your intent to sue (known as your complaint) within the statute of limitations.

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.