All Indiana personal injury cases must be filed within a certain amount of time, or the case will be dismissed and the plaintiff will be without any means of recourse. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury. However, this time period can be extended in certain situations.
Earlier this month, an appellate court in Georgia issued a written opinion in a premises liability lawsuit raising the question of which of two potentially applicable statutes of limitations applied to the plaintiff’s case. The case goes to show the lengths to which defendants will go to get a case dismissed when there is a potential statute of limitations defense.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiffs were the parents of a young boy who was injured after a wall collapsed on him while he was living at a home owned by the defendant and rented to the boy’s parents. After their son’s injury, the plaintiffs filed a personal injury case against the defendant. However, while that case was pending, the plaintiffs’ son turned 18. At that point, the plaintiffs agreed to withdraw their case against the defendant so that their son could proceed on his own behalf.
The plaintiffs’ son obtained a judgment of $50,000 against the defendant. However, that figure did not include any of the medical bills that he sustained because they had been paid by his parents. Thus, the plaintiffs filed this case, seeking the medical expenses they incurred as a result of their son’s injury. The case was filed just about four years after the accident.
The defendant sought the dismissal of the parents’ claim, arguing that it was filed well beyond the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. The plaintiffs argued that, under state law, parents have a property interest in the medical expenses of their children, so the four-year statute of limitations for personal property claims should apply.
The court rejected the plaintiffs’ claim, finding that the two-year statute of limitations was properly applied and barred the plaintiffs’ claim. The court explained that, while it is true that there is a personal property interest in a child’s medical expenses, that interest will not change the nature of a case from a personal injury case to a personal property case. Here, the court held, the case was always about recovering for the injuries the plaintiffs’ son incurred. And as a result, the court explained that the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases should apply.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in an Indiana accident, such as a child injury incident, your claim must be filed within a certain period of time. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Indiana law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse have extensive experience handling all types of Indiana personal injury claims, and they comply with all of the procedural rules to ensure their clients’ cases are fairly heard. Call 888-532-7766 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
Plaintiff’s Appeal Dismissed for Failure to Raise Issue at Trial, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2017
Court Upholds Jury’s Fault Determination in Favor of Plaintiff in Recent Product Liability Case Brought Against Vehicle Manufacturer, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2017