The Indiana Statute of Limitations for civil actions sets a time limit after an injury or civil wrong occurs, during which an injured party can file a lawsuit. After that period of time expires, the injured party is no longer permitted to file a claim in an Indiana state court to litigate that matter. The statute ensures that lawsuits that have merit and worthy of being heard are filed within a reasonable time or not at all.
How Does the Statute of Limitations Operate?The period of time to file a claim will vary depending upon the type of incident that occurred. A claim against a doctor for medical malpractice may be for a different length of time than against an accountant for negligence or fraud. The Indiana statute of limitations can generally be found within the Indiana Code, Title 34, Article 11, Chapter 2 and covers the following rules and exceptions in greater detail.
When does the Indiana Statute of Limitations Begin?Other than for specific exceptions, the Indiana statute of limitations generally begins to run at the time when a "cause of action arises" - in other words, at the time when an injury occurs that would qualify for a lawsuit to be filed in an Indiana state court.
What is the Discovery Rule?There are times when a person is unable to discover that they have been injured. For example, fraud that is concealed and is not easily discoverable and only visible to a reasonable person later in time. It wouldn't be fair or reasonable to require the injured party to file a lawsuit when they could not have detected the injury. As a result, in some instances the Indiana statute of limitations begins to run from the time the injured party discovers or should have discovered that they have been injured.
Delaying or Tolling the Indiana Statute of LimitationsIn certain circumstances, fairness would require that the statute of limitations be delayed for a period of time. A party may not have the ability to bring a case even though they are aware of an injury or damages. Delaying or "tolling" the statute of limitations typically occurs when the plaintiff is "disabled" - such as a minor child or a person who is mentally incompetent. Once the disability ends, the statute of limitations begins to run.
Calculating the length of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit is complicated and involves many factors and exceptions. Parties that have suffered significant injuries or damages may wish to consult with an Indiana attorney to ensure that all claims and notices are filed within the time limits set forth by law.
Indiana General Assembly: Indiana Code
Personal Injury and Negligence2 years, use the Discovery Rule for issues that concern later discovery of the injury. See §34-11-2-4(1)
Wrongful Death2 years from the date of death. In the case of death due to radiation or asbestos, from the date of knowledge of the injury.
Medical Malpractice2 years. Injuries to minors under age 6 is extended until age 8.
Legal and Professional Malpractice2 years. See §34-11-2-3
Products Liability2 years (age of injury party does not matter, no tolling for infants). Potentially up to 10 years.
Assault and Battery2 years.
False Imprisonment2 years.
ContractsWritten contracts 6 years. Oral contracts 6 years. Employment contracts may have a lower time limit.
Fraud6 years. See §34-11-2-7
Injury to Personal Property and Trespass2 years. See §34-11-2-4
Libel / Slander / Defamation2 years from the date of publication (or the date when spoken). See §34-11-2-4
Debt Collection Accounts6 years. See §34-11-2-7
Collection of Rent6 years. See §34-11-2-7
Judgment Enforcement20 years. See §34-11-2-12
DisabilitiesGenerally 2 years from the time that the disability ends. Infants (minors up until age 18). Products liability claims have no toll of the statute for infancy.
Liability of State and MunicipalitiesNotice of claim required - see statutes for specific time period. In some situations, municipalities are immune from suit.
Consumer Fraud ComplaintsIndiana Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection
Telephone: (317) 232-6330
Toll Free: (800) 382-5516
Please Take Note: The statute of limitations laws presented are strictly provided to you “as-is”. While we believe that the legal information is accurate as of the date created, we cannot and do not provide any guarantee, analysis or conclusions. The law may have changed since this article was published. The only way to ensure that the statute of limitations law you are reading is up to date and applies to your specific issue, is to have a legal consultation with an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Indiana.
- Lawsuits, Disputes:
- Statute Of Limitations
Statute of Limitations Indiana Statute of Limitations, Civil Actions
By Michael Wechsler |
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!