There may be no more devastating experience than losing a loved one in an accident. Oftentimes, these accidents happen in the blink of an eye, leaving friends and family members reeling from shock in addition to immense grief and sadness.
If you are in this situation, it is not unusual to feel like you need to wait to talk an attorney about filing a wrongful death claim. You already have so much on your mind, and the thought of adding the complexity of a lawsuit on top of everything can be overwhelming. However, take care not to wait too long to examine your legal options, as you could wind up missing out on critical compensation you need and deserve.
Sadly, there is a clock ticking on wrongful death claims in Indiana. To begin with, there are statutes of limitations that dictate how long you have to file a claim. In this state, you have just two years after the death to take legal action.
Evidence can also be lost or compromised as time goes by. In the case of a fatal car accident, for instance, consider that people get cars fixed or sell them; roads can be repaired and changed over time; other accidents happen, which can make it difficult to separate evidence of the first crash from evidence of the second crash.
Time can also be of detriment to people's memory and willingness to help. Witnesses can forget critical details they saw in the seconds before an accident; they might also decide that they are no longer motivated to testify when they have moved on, even if you have not. Witnesses can also move away or otherwise become unavailable.
Considering all the ways in which time can hinder a wrongful death lawsuit, we encourage you to examine your options and discuss your case with an attorney sooner, rather than later. It may not be easy, but in the long run, you can be glad you did not wait.