CHICAGO, IL – The statute of limitations on a personal injury claim in Illinois is 2 years which means you have from the time of the incident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. In a civil lawsuit, victims who have suffered personal injury can sue for damages including medical bills, ongoing care, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
However, there are other factors that may impact how long you have to file a lawsuit. If an accident is fatal, family members of the victim also have 2 years from the date of the crash to file a wrongful death claim. If an injured party succumbs to their injuries sometime after the accident, the family has 2 years from the date of death rather than from the date of the crash.
A medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor is similar to a wrongful death claim in the sense that the 2-year statute of limitations begins when the injury is discovered. Once the patient discovers a problem, the suit must be filed no more than 4 years from the time of treatment. For victims under the age of 18, they have 8 years from the medical error with no claim being filed beyond the person’s 22nd birthday.
Starting at a “discovery date” rather than the incident date also applies to accident injuries that don’t show up immediately, which is called delayed onset of injuries.
Things That May Buy Your Case More Time
There are a few instances that may postpone or pause the time a victim has to file a lawsuit in Illinois, despite the statute of limitations. The following will adjust the 2-year personal injury statute of limitations:
- If the victim is under 18 years old in which the 2-year clock will begin on their 18th birthday.
- If the victim has a legal disability deeming them mentally incompetent in which the clock starts when it’s determined that the condition has been resolved.
- If the victim becomes legally disabled within the statute time period, the clock will be paused until they are deemed mentally fit.
- If the defendant leaves the state of Illinois during the statute of limitations time period, the clock will pause and resume again upon their return.
These circumstances may buy time for a victim to file a personal injury lawsuit, but they should not be relied upon. For instance, a judge might deny a request to delay the statute of limitations if there isn’t sufficient proof of a disability or that the defendant left the state. It’s important to move quickly to file the appropriate documents to begin a lawsuit. Personal injury attorneys like the Dinizulu Law Group are here to help review your case and ensure that all deadlines are met.
Special Circumstances for Personal Injury Lawsuits
The statute of limitation rules apply to all instances of personal injury unless they happen on government-owned or public land. For example, if someone gets hurt on city or county property in Illinois, a formal claim must be made in accordance with the Illinois Court of Claims Act with the State Attorney General within one year of the incident. If the matter is not resolved and the victim wishes to file suit, they have 2 years from the incident to file a lawsuit.
Why is Filing on Time so Important?
Missing the deadline set by the statute on personal injury in Illinois means you can miss the chance to collect fair compensation. There is nothing preventing a victim from filing the necessary paperwork with the court; however, the defendant’s attorney needs to file a motion to dismiss the case. Unless there is a valid reason, the judge will grant the motion.
Statutes of limitation are put in place to ensure the legal system proceeds efficiently. They also prevent people from holding an accident over someone’s head by threatening a lawsuit indefinitely. Even if the victim has injuries or the defendant is guilty, the rules are strict for not filing on time.
If you have suffered a personal injury in Illinois through no fault of your own, you deserve compensation from the at-fault party.
Contacting the Personal Injury Attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group Located in Chicago, Illinois
If you have suffered personal injury in Illinois, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. You may have a limited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit for your car accident, truck accident, motorcycle crash, work injury, or slip and fall injury under Illinois’ statute of limitations laws.
Contact the Dinizulu Law Group today for guidance on your rights, insurance filing requirements and legal options toward damage compensation. Call us today for a free consultation by calling (312) 384-1920.