A statute of limitations is a law that places a time limit on pursuing legal action in relation to wrongful conduct. Once the statutory period has expired, unless there is an applicable legal exception, the injured party loses the right to file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages or other forms of relief.
Though there is frequent speak of the “statute of limitations” there are many statutes which apply limits to time periods in civil actions, making it difficult to keep track of all the statues and the exceptions. If you are concerned about losing your right to sue, it is within your best interest to consult with a qualified legal professional that specializes in the area of law where you would be suing. For instance, if you are suing because of a personal injury, contact a personal injury lawyer. If you are suing due to a medical malpractice, contact a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice.
A lawyer can do a much better job at telling you which statute applies, while also helping to preserve the right to sue and recover damages.
Specific Civil Actions in Indiana
- Professional Malpractice: Professional negligence actions, including medical malpractice lawsuits, must be filed within 2 years.
- Personal Injury: 2 years.
- Fraud: 6 years.
- Libel / Slander / Defamation: 2 years.
- Injury to Personal Property: 2 years.
- Product Liability: 2 years, regardless of the age of the victim.
- Contracts: Written, 10 years; Contract for payment of money, 6 years; Oral, 6 years; Employment Contracts, 2 years.
Statute of Repose
After the statutory period has expired, it is not possible to file a lawsuit even if an injury occurs after that time. For instance, if there is a 20 year statute of repose on an airplane manufacture, but an injury occurs after 20 years, it is impossible to sue.