How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana?

personal injury claimYou’ve been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault. At first, you thought you might be okay. You did your best to get back to normal after the accident. You tried to go back to work–to resume your normal activities. All you want to do is put this whole mess behind you. But that’s just not working. You’re still in pain. A lot of it. Life is not the same as it was before, and you’re afraid that the aftermath of this accident is going to affect you for years to come. You’re wondering if it’s too late to file a personal injury claim. How long do you have?

States have varying laws when it comes to personal injury claims. In the state of Indiana, the statute of limitations to file most personal injury claims is two years. But if you happen to have been in an accident involving a government entity–a city, county or state employee, for example–you have only 90 days!

How do you know if your injuries are serious enough to file a personal injury claim and how do you avoid missing your window of opportunity to be compensated for your injury and loss before it’s too late? Here are some things to consider if you’re wondering when you should file a personal injury claim in Indiana.

Don’t leave it in the hands of insurance agents.

At the end of the day, insurance claims representatives don’t work for you. They work for a company that has an eye on their bottom line, and it’s not in their best interest to settle your insurance claim too quickly, nor will they be inclined to grant you extra damages for your pain and suffering. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve and ensure that the clock doesn’t run out before your claim is settled.

Think about the future.

You may have found ways to “live with” your injury at this point. Maybe you’re parking your car closer to work or have received some consideration at work for a lighter load. Perhaps a significant other, family or friends have taken over some of your previous household duties. But you can’t expect the special treatment to continue long terms. So you must think about how your injuries will affect your ability to make a living five or ten years from now? What if you lose your job and can’t get another one because of your limitations? Don’t get complacent in your current situation. If you’re not 100 percent in the months that follow the accident, and you haven’t filed a personal injury claim yet, don’t jeopardize your future. Get help right away from a personal injury attorney you can trust.

Consider the process.

A personal injury lawsuit can take as long as two years to be settled. In the meantime, you still have bills to pay and day-to-day responsibilities to attend to. If your injury has caused you to adjust your schedule or work shorter hours, even temporarily, that shortfall is going to catch up with you sooner rather than later. If you realize that you need to be compensated for that loss, but haven’t started the process yet, it could be years before you see that compensation. That’s why it’s best to speak to a personal injury attorney as as soon as possible after your accident, so you’re not starting from scratch after you’re already behind the eight ball.

Get a fighter on your team.

When you’ve been hurt in an accident, you need to focus on taking care of yourself and healing. You probably don’t have the time or emotional energy to fight for what you deserve. That’s why it’s so important to get a fighter on your team, before it’s too late to make things right.

If you live in Jackson County, in or near southern Indiana or central Indiana, and need the services of a trusted, compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney, contact Zach Miller today. His offices are in Brownstown, Indiana and he serves clients in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Columbus, Jeffersonville and Seymour, as well as neighboring towns. Zach can also help with other legal matters, like estate planning, criminal record expungements, divorce, He’s just a phone call away.

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Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer?

lawyer seymour indiana

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. And sometimes you just get involved in something you shouldn’t have. Either way, there may come a time when you find yourself in a circumstance that leaves you wondering, “Do I need a criminal lawyer right now?”

When you’re searching for a general practice attorney for issues like estate planning, family law, divorce, real estate transactions, probate concerns or business litigation, you have a little time to shop around. Most folks don’t have a lawyer on speed dial for emergencies. But it’s a good idea to do a little research into attorneys near you so if you find yourself in an unexpected legal situation, you’re not scrambling to find representation when you need it immediately. Here are some situations in which it’s better not to try to go it alone, and instead make a phone call to an attorney you can trust.

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Planning a Name Change After a Divorce in Indiana: FAQs

Navigating the rocky waters of divorcename change is stressful. Your life has taken an unexpected turn, and you’re faced with choices you never thought you’d have to make–like whether to sell the home you’ve shared or try to find a way for one of you to stay in it. If you have children, negotiating custody issues can be emotionally draining for everyone and planning a name change just adds to your stress. There are many other legal issues that will arise during the time between the time you file for divorce and the time it’s final.

If you took your spouse’s name when you got married, deciding whether or not to change it back can be among the most personal choices you’ll face. During this time when your emotions are running high, it’s important to understand the facts about name changes before you decide what to do. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions regarding name changes with divorce in the state of Indiana.

Q: Is my name change automatic when my divorce in Indiana is issued?

A: No, it’s not.

You must petition for your name change during the proceedings. Indiana law allows for a woman to restore her maiden name (or even a previous married name) when the decree of dissolution is entered, but the name change is not automatic. If you have requested restoration of a previous last name, your changed name takes effect when the divorce decree is issued. That decree will serve as proof of ID for the license branch, your creditors and places you’re not even thinking of yet, so keep it handy.

Q: Does it cost anything extra to change my name during a divorce in Indiana?

A: No, it doesn’t, provided you request the name change prior to the divorce decree being finalized.

While you might have to pay a small administrative fee for copies of your divorce decree, there is no extra charge from the courts for a name change. (And it’s a good idea to pay for at least one extra copy of the decree, as it will be your official proof of identity immediately following the divorce.)

Q: If I change my name through my Indiana divorce, can I change my kids’ names too?

A: Not necessarily, but it’s possible.

The courts have long held the (somewhat archaic) belief that the father of the children has a right to insist that the children keep his name, as long as he continues to fulfill his parental duties. However, some courts are taking a more modern approach to this issue and area considering what might be in the children’s best interests. They’ll weigh issues like the age of the children, the strength of their relationships with both parents and the potential benefits and negative impacts that a name change might bring to the children’s lives. Custody issues will also be factored in. Consult your Indiana divorce attorney for guidance on this.

Q: If I didn’t request a name change during my divorce, can I still do it later?

A: Yes, but it’s not as simple.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to obtain your name change using your divorce decree without filing a special petition. If not, you’ll have to file a petition in the local circuit court, prove you’re a US citizen, describe any criminal convictions you’ve had and publish your petition in the local newspaper once per week for three weeks, 30 days prior to the hearing. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through post-divorce, so you should consider your choice carefully prior to your divorce being finalized. Don’t allow the emotions of the moment override your best judgement, and trust the advice of your family law attorney who can help you weigh the pros and cons of your name change.

Q: How do I choose the best divorce attorney in Indiana to help me navigate my name change and other issues in my divorce?

A: Do your research, check references and look for experience, compassion and approachability.

Finding a compassionate, experienced divorce attorney in Indiana who will take the time to listen to your concerns, consider your best interests and help you see the big picture of what your life will look like once you get past this time in your life is invaluable. If you live in southern Indiana, interview several divorce attorneys throughout the areas of Seymour, Brownstown and Columbus before you make your choice. Remember that the big names don’t necessarily mean the best choice. You’ll be spending a lot of time and confiding very personal information with your attorney, so make sure you’re working with someone you like. Don’t make any decisions about your name change, custody issues, real estate matters or anything else related to your divorce until you have a trusted divorce attorney by your side.

About Miller Law

Zach Miller is a private practice attorney in Brownstown, Indiana who serves southwestern and central Indiana communities including Indianapolis, Seymour, Bloomington, Columbus and Jeffersonville and other cities and towns throughout Jackson County. Zach serves clients in family law and personal injury cases as well as other areas, including criminal law, probate law, business litigation, real estate law and general legal counsel. Zach prides himself on creating personal relationships with his clients and delivering one-on-one service. He lives and works in the community he serves. Keep up with the latest news from Zach by subscribing to his newsletter.

Five Qualities to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Attorney

Being seriously injured or losing a loved one in an accident is devastating and overwhelming. If you or your family member has become disabled or can’t work as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be thinking of talking to a personal injury lawyer and wondering if you have a case. You’ve seen billboards and television commercials where big name attorneys tell you they’re the ones who can get you biggest settlement. It can be difficult to cut through the clutter. Who you can trust to handle your case with compassion and integrity while fighting for the settlement you deserve? Choosing the right personal injury attorney from the start, before you talk to the insurance companies, will increase the chances that you get the outcome you’re hoping for. When you’re interviewing personal injury attorneys, look for the following qualities:

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Three Factors to Consider if You Think You Might Have a Personal Injury Claim

personal injury You’ve been in a serious accident that wasn’t your fault and now you can’t work. Or perhaps you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.  Either way, bills are piling up and you’re not sure what to do. Your friends and family might be saying that you should pursue a personal injury claim, but there’s conflicting information about the process and you don’t know what to believe. You might be feeling overwhelmed or unsure if a personal injury suit is possible in your situation. Here are three things to consider if you’re wondering if you have a personal injury claim:

  1. You must have personal injury– not just property damage. Personal injury is defined as injury to a person’s body, mind or emotions. In order to have a viable personal injury claim, you must have suffered serious physical injury and/or emotional distress. While it’s certainly financially devastating to have your vehicle totaled or otherwise suffer the loss of valued personal property, personal injury suits are meant to help those who have suffered debilitating personal injuries that prevent them from going to work for an extended period of time or cause disfigurement, disability or death.
  2. You must be able to show negligence. Accidents happen and sometimes it’s difficult to determine fault. This is where having a skilled attorney on your side is really useful. If you were badly injured in an accident but can’t prove that the other driver was at least 50% negligent (for, example, texting while driving, driving under the influence or driving in a reckless manner,) it will be difficult to prevail in a personal injury suit.  But keep in mind, that in Indiana, you can still receive compensation even if the accident was partially your fault.
  3. You must have recoverable damages. In order to have a viable personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that you were in fact seriously injured. Serious injuries are proven through medical bills. Recovering medical costs is only part of what you are entitled to recover as a victim of someone else’s negligence. You can also recover money for lost wages, pain and suffering. These are called compensatory damages. In cases of extreme negligence, punitive damages may also enter the equation. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages at the court’s discretion as punishment when the defendant’s behavior is considered to have been especially harmful.

personal injury Personal injury lawsuits shouldn’t be taken lightly. They take time and money to pursue. However, if another person’s negligence has caused you to be seriously injured in an accident, or lost a loved, you should strongly consider seeking justice and compensation. Most personal injury attorneys will give you a free consultation and let you know if they think you have a case. Make sure you do a little research first and check out their references from previous clients to be sure you’re working with someone you trust. You’ll most likely only have one opportunity to present your case, so it’s important to choose wisely.


About Miller Law

Zach Miller is a private practice attorney in Brownstown, Indiana who serves southwestern and central Indiana communities including Indianapolis, Seymour, Bloomington, Columbus and Jeffersonville. Zach specializes in personal injury law, but also serves clients in other areas, including criminal law, family law, probate law, business litigation, real estate law and general legal counsel. Keep up with the latest news from Zach by subscribing to his newsletter


Zach prides himself on creating personal relationships with his clients and delivering one-on-one service. He lives and works in the community he serves.