Sued by the state for repairs to a highway sign...
by Anonymous (Indiana)
I was run off the state highway by another car in Indiana. The other driver did not stop. I swerved into a state highway sign to avoid the other vehicle. The accident was in 2007.
My insurance company covered the damage to my truck. Yesterday I received a summons from the state of Indiana telling me I owe them $2,700 for the repair to the sign. This is the first I've heard about these charges. Apparently they did not file with my insurance company and are now suing me.
How should I handle this?
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ANSWER for "Sued by the state for repairs to a highway sign...":
Any possibility of collecting the $2,700 dollars from the driver who ran you off the rod and into the highway sign are long gone. There is a Statute of Limitations, or time period, in the State of Indiana in which you can file a lawsuit against the driver in a civil action.
This includes the action in which the driver forced you off the highway into the highway sign. That time period is 2 years from the date of the action which resulted in the damage to the victim.
Most states will permit a person who owes the state money for various debts, including damage caused to state property, a compromise of the debt.
We suggest you contact the person in charge of the governmental department handling the collection of debt owed to the state. Contact that person and ask – not demand – for a reduction in the total amount of the debt for the damage to the highway sign.
If they agree you should then ask if they will allow a no-interest payment plan. If they will you might ask if you could pay $25 - $50 dollars or so each month until the sign is paid off.
Because the debt is not a personal one there is probably no reason they won't agree. That way you can take your time paying off what will hopefully be a compromised debt, hopefully much lower than the original amount of $2,700 dollars.
There is another way of contesting the issue. The State of Indiana has apparently ignored this matter for over 3 years. Whether they were able to locate you or not during that period should be irrelevant.
Because the debt they are attempting to have you pay originated in 2007, they may also be barred by the 2 years Statue of Limitations. In the State of Indiana the Statue of Limitations is set out in the Indiana Annotated Code Section 34-11-2-4.
Unless the State of Indiana has threatened to suspend your driver’s license for non-payment we would suggest you contemplate relying upon the Indiana’s Statute of Limitations Code for your benefit. If the State hasn’t sued you within 2 years of the damage to the highway sign, they too may be barred from recovery by their own Statute of Limitations.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.