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Illinois Statute of Limitations: What You Need to Know

Posted on in Personal Injury
By Dan Kotin

Illinois statute of limitations, Chicago personal injury lawyerAfter you have been injured in a personal injury accident, you cannot sit on your legal rights indefinitely. If you do not take action to assert your rights within a specific period of time, you can be prevented from attempting to exercise your rights in the future. The law that authorizes this to happen is referred to as Illinois’ statute of limitations. It is important to understand the specifics of the statute of limitations that may pertain to your case.

Purpose of the Statute of Limitation

Being threatened with a lawsuit or believing you may have exposed yourself to legal liability can be extremely disruptive to your personal life. You may take certain actions or refrain from taking other actions because you fear what may happen if a lawsuit is filed against you. The idea behind the statute of limitations is to prevent this sort of fear and confusion from existing for a prolonged period of time. By requiring those who have legal claims against you to exercise their rights promptly, you are able to move on with your life quickly.

What are the Statutes of Limitations in Illinois?

The precise amount of time you have to file your personal injury case in Illinois depends on the type of lawsuit you are filing. The following deadlines apply:

  • Personal Injury: This includes personal injury cases, car accident cases, truck accident cases, and other similar situations. The statute of limitations for these actions is two years; and
  • Medical Malpractice: A medical malpractice claim must be brought within two years, but no medical malpractice action can be brought more than four years after the incident.

These are just two of the statutes of limitations that are often implicated in personal injury cases. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney will need to review your case in order to determine the specific amount of time you have to file a case.

The “Clock” Starts Running When There is an Injury

In most cases, the time period you have within which to file a personal injury case begins to run on the date your injuries are sustained. So (for example), if you are injured in a car crash on January 1, 2016, you have until January 1, 2018 to file your case.

What about situations in which you do not know that you are injured until sometime after the actual accident? In this situation, the “clock” begins to run on the date you reasonably should have known that you were injured. To use the car accident illustration above, assume you feel okay after the accident. The following week, however, your neck feels stiff and painful. Nevertheless, you wait six months – until June 2016 – before you go to the doctor and discover extensive spinal cord injuries. Because you should have reasonably been able to discover your injuries in January, you still will have only until January 2018 to file your case.

We Are Available to Assist Personal Injury Victims 

If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, contact Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC right away. Our skilled Chicago personal injury attorneys are committed to helping protect your legal rights and obtaining compensation for you swiftly. We may be able to assist you even if your accident occurred a year or more ago. Contact us right away to discuss your case by calling (312) 605-8800.   Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=97500000&SeqEnd=103300000

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073500050K13-212.htm
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