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When is My Case Deadline?

Dexter Evans

Illinois law

Like every state in the Union, Illinois has statutes of limitations for cases. For personal injury cases alone, there are many statutes of limitations that one should be aware of so that an injured victim does not run out of time to file their lawsuit. This blog is intended to give you a brief overview of personal injury statute of limitations in Illinois.

For most personal injury cases: motor vehicle accidents and falls on someone’s property (residential, commercial, retail etc.), the general time limitations is 2 years from the date of accident. What that means is you either have to settle your claim or file a lawsuit by the 2-year anniversary of your injury or you will be forever barred from filing a lawsuit.

Some cases have shorter statutes of limitations. Cases against a municipality or governmental body (cities, villages, etc.) must be commenced within 1-year of the date of your injury to be preserved. It is very important to determine if an entity could be considered a governmental entity as it is not always clear by the name of the corporation or company you are suing. For example, many hospitals are owned or run by a governmental entity so that they are also covered under the 1-year umbrella.

Some cases have longer statutes of limitations. If the injured victim is a minor, he or she generally has 2 years from the date on which they turn 18 (i.e. age 20) to file suit. However, keep in mind that if the defendant is a governmental entity, the time period would be 1-year from the date on which the minor turns 18 (i.e. age 19). There can also potentially be longer time limitations if the injured person is disabled.

For medical malpractice cases, a person has 2 years from the date on which they discovered or should have discovered that the medical provider committed negligence. However, there is also something called a “statute of repose” which bars any medical malpractice claims that are filed more than 4 years after the alleged malpractice. If the medical malpractice victim was a minor, he or she would have 8 years from the date of the alleged malpractice. Again, however, there is a statute of repose that bars any medical malpractice action filed after the minor turns the age of 22.

There are many statutes of limitations and statutes of repose that can affect someone’s ability to file a lawsuit in Illinois. This blog covered some but not all of Illinois’ personal injury statute of limitations. There are many others, such as ones that deal with defective products and federal statute of limitations that can greatly vary from state laws.

If you are injured in any type of accident, you should consult with an attorney immediately to make sure that you are properly advised on the statute of limitations for your type of case. Call us any time at (866) 400-4450 or fill out our contact form. It’s free, it’s confidential and we cover all of Illinois. Workers Compensation Attorney Chicago, Aurora and Champaign.

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