Indiana injury lawyer discusses the two year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
The statute of limitations is the time limit that an injured person has to bring a personal injury claim in Indiana. If a lawsuit is not filed by the time the statute of limitations runs, the injured person loses their right to pursue their claim forever. As a general rule, personal injury claims must be filed by two years or the claim is forever bared. As with all rules, Indiana has exceptions but when reviewing your claim it is always best to look at the general rule.
Even though it may sound easy, file a lawsuit within 2 years or your barred forever, this issue comes before the courts more often than one would think.
The Indiana Court of Appeals in Webster v. Walgreen Co. recently issued an opinion involving the 2 year statute of limitations, which was bad for the injured person and worse for the lawyer representing the injured person.
Facts of the Case
- On December 17, 2008, the plaintiff slipped and fell at a Walgreens store.
- On December 13, 2010, the personal injury lawyer sent the summons, complaint and filing fee to the court by certified mail. Indiana allows filing by certified mail and the date of the certified mail receipt is considered the date of filing in Court.
- The package was $.17 short of postage and the clerk's office returned the package to the personal lawyer's office.
- The attorney's office sent the package back to the clerk's office with sufficient postage on December 21, 2010 – after the 2 year statute of limitations had run.
- The trial court dismissed the case.
Indiana Court of Appeals Ruling
The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal finding that the first package was not considered “mailed” because it had insufficient postage. The injured person lost her ability to pursue a claim against Walgreen.
Lessons to be Learned
This case has a lesson to be learned by all of us. Even though the statute of limitations rule appears to be easy, there are many twists that can happen that can negatively impact a personal injury victim's claim. It is important that both claimants and attorneys be diligent when it comes to statute of limitations issues.
If you have any questions about the Indiana statute of limitations as it applies to all types of personal injury cases, contact our LaPorte County personal injury lawyers at (219) 874-4878 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.