The Basics of the Indiana Tort Claims Act

Apr 30

In the State of Indiana, the Indiana Tort Claims Act (ITCA, Indiana Code 34-13-3) guides tort claims brought against governmental entities at the local level, and there are considerable regulations involved. If you have a claim against a governmental entity or employee, working closely with an experienced Indiana tort claim attorney is in your best interest.

Your Tort Claim

A tort claim is just a legal way of saying that you have a personal injury claim against a local governmental entity – or one of their employees. Such claims might arise from car accidents or other injury-causing incidents. Because the defendant is a governmental entity, the legal rules and regulations are more restrictive, which makes proceeding swiftly and with professional legal counsel on your side paramount. 

The Basic Process

The State of Indiana outlines the very basic tort claim process. To begin, you must make your claim of either personal injury or property damage against a governmental entity in writing and in accordance with all filing rules, including that you have only 180 days (about six months) from the date of your loss to file a claim against a city or county, or 270 days (about nine months) if your claim is against the State of Indiana or its agencies. The steps forward include:

  • You must complete the Notice of Tort Claim according to the instructions provided and should retain copies of the notice as well as the receipt for your use of either certified or registered mail.
  • The governmental entity will proceed to investigate your claim (if it was filed properly). 
  • The governmental entity will provide you with notification regarding whether or not your claim was approved within 90 days of its receipt. 
  • If a claim is not settled within 90 days, it is considered denied in the eyes of the law. 

In other words, a lot hinges on your Notice of Tort Claim, and a failure to follow every requirement almost always will result in your claim being barred. 

Your Best Steps Forward

The Tort Claim process is very brief – when compared to the personal injury process – but even a relatively minor error can derail your claim. While you are not required to have legal representation, it is important to understand that – other than the most basic guidance – you should expect no help from the governmental entity itself, including no legal advice. 

The best path forward is to build your strongest claim from the outset, timely file, and fight for your legal rights throughout the legal process. All of these are challenging tasks that are best left in the very capable hands of an experienced Tort claims attorney. If your claim is denied, the next course of action is likely filing a lawsuit against the governmental entity – a lawsuit in which you fight for the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to reach your fullest recovery.

An Experienced Indiana Tort Claim Attorney Is in Your Corner

The experienced Indiana tort claim attorneys at Blackburn Romey take great pride in helping clients like you resolve tort claims , and we’re here for you, too. For more information, please don’t put off contacting us for more information today.  

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.