After engaging in an accident in the state of Indiana, you may have determined that the state was liable for causing it to occur. For instance, perhaps a state worker was driving distracted and rear-ended your vehicle or you sustained an injury on government property because it was poorly maintained. While you may be under the impression that the state should automatically be held accountable for your injuries and/or damages, not always will you be permitted to file a claim against it.
You see, there are times when the government and government employees may be protected by immunity. This means they cannot be sued or held accountable for your injury or loss as long as the employee was acting within the scope of their employment or the loss resulted from one of several circumstances the state identifies. Some examples include:
- The natural condition of unimproved property.
- Entry upon any property where the entry is expressly or impliedly authorized by law.
- The condition of an unpaved road, trail, or footpath, the purpose of which is to provide access to a recreational or scenic area.
[Source: State of Indiana].
So, to be sure your accident qualifies you to file a claim, it is recommended that you consult with a Hammond, IN personal injury attorney first as they can review all the details of the incident and see whether the laws prohibit you from filing a claim. The state’s attorneys are not permitted to provide you with any sort of legal guidance or advice which is why it is best you obtain it from a lawyer of your own.
Once you speak with a personal injury lawyer in Indiana and you are given the green light to file your claim, you will need to fill out and file the form titled Notice of Tort Claim for Property Damage and/or Personal Injury. Here are a few things you will want to keep in mind when filling this form out:
- Be sure to include all copies of accident/incident reports that were written up, vehicle registration, paid receipts for repairs or two estimates for what the repairs will cost, medical reports, photographs, and any additional documentation that will support your claim.
- Each person who is claiming a loss must submit a form of their own.
- You only have 270 days after the loss to submit your claim.
- You must submit your claim in person or it must be sent via Certified or Registered mail to the following address:
Office of Attorney General
Attn: Tort Claim Investigations
Government Center South, 5th Floor
302 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Now, if your claim is approved, you will receive notification from the Office of the Attorney General within 90 days from the day they received your submission. However, if you do not receive any notification that your claim was approved within those 90 days, your claim was denied. Unfortunately, this does happen which is why it is beneficial for you to have a lawyer working with you to not only ensure you submitted all the required documentation, but that the state is handling your claim fairly.
So, if you were recently involved in some sort of accident in Gary or Hammond and you are looking to hold the State of Indiana liable for your injury or loss, call us at Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC to speak with a reputable personal injury attorney. We will work with you to help determine if you have a valid claim on your hands and what your next steps should be given that you do.
You can also visit Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC at:
51 W. 112th Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307