Personal injury claims are generally governed by a two-year statute of limitations. This means that if you’re injured as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have two years to file a lawsuit. But what happens if your injury wasn’t caused by a private citizen, but by an agent of the government? Do you still have a viable claim? The answers to both of these questions are complicated, and you’ll almost certainly benefit from the guidance of an experienced attorney, whether the government’s involved or not.
In Indiana, claims against the State are filed under the Tort Claims Act (TCA). According to the TCA, if you’re injured by a government agent (or on government property), you’re required to notify statutorily-specified entities within 180 days of the incident. This is very different than the two-year statute of limitations that governs ordinary personal injury claims. Because the State is generally unenthusiastic about being sued by its citizens, the TCA is designed to be tricky. A single procedural mis-step can result in your case being permanently barred, which means you’ll have no possibility of recovering damages for your injuries. In some cases, the governmental agency in question may even be immune to lawsuits based in negligence.
From there, things don’t get much easier. While a typical personal injury case is evaluated using the standard of comparative negligence, the TCA employs the contributory negligence standard. Under this theory, you can’t recover anything if you contributed in any way to your own injuries. Thus, if a jury finds that you bear any of the responsibility for the injuries you’ve sustained—even one percent of that responsibility—you get nothing.
Filing a claim against the government is never easy, and these types of cases require a lot of tender loving care. Don’t make the mistake of trying to navigate the TCA on your own. If you’ve been harmed by a State actor or on State property, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced, qualified personal injury attorney. The Marc Lopez Law Firm has years of experience in this field, and we’re ready to fight the good fight on your behalf. Call us at 317-632-3642 to discuss your injury claim today.