You are injured by a governmental entity. What do you do?
In Indiana, injury claims have a 2 year statute of limitations. The claim must be resolved or a lawsuit must be filed against the responsible party within 2 years of the date of the injury. If this deadline is missed, the claim is over forever. There are some exceptions to this rule for minors or adults who are found to be incapacitated.
However, when your claim is against a governmental entity or governmental employee, there is an additional requirement. Depending on whether the governmental entity is the State of Indiana or another governmental entity, you either have 180 days or 270 days from the date of the injury to file a Tort Claim Notice.
A Tort Claim Notice is essentially a letter that provides information about your claim. It places the governmental entity on notice that you may bring a claim in the future. You must serve this Tort Claim Notice before you can file a lawsuit. The entity gets 90 days from the date that the notice is served to respond. If they deny the claim, you can file a lawsuit. If they fail to accept or deny the claim within 90 days, it is considered to be a denial and you can file your lawsuit. If you fail to timely serve your tort claim notice, you cannot bring a lawsuit even if you are within the 2 year statute of limitations.
This is a very important deadline to be aware of if you are injured by the government or a government employee. If you have questions, give me a call.