Illinois Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
Illinois Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims After suffering an injury in an Illinois accident because of another party’s negligence, you can obtain compensation from the negligent party by filing a personal injury claim. When it comes to personal injury claims, there are several things you need to understand and comply with to ensure you protect your legal right to compensation. One of the most crucial things you need to understand and comply with is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets forward the amount of time you have to file a claim. Under Illinois law, actions for damages for an injury to a person should be commenced within two years after the cause of action has occurred. In simpler terms, in Illinois, you have two years after another person's intentional or careless act causes you injury to file a personal injury claim in court. In most cases, the “clock” starts on the date of the accident that caused your injury. It is important to note that the two-year deadline applies to most types of personal injury claims, including dog bite cases, auto accident cases, and truck accident cases. What if You Miss the Filing Deadline? If you try to file a personal injury claim after two years have passed, the person you are trying to sue will most likely file a motion to dismiss your lawsuit. Unless an exception entitles you to extra time, the chances are, if a defendant files a motion to dismiss, the judge will grant that motion, and you will not be able to recover compensation. After suffering an injury in an accident because of another party's fault, it is crucial that you act fast even if you decide to settle your personal injury case outside court. Suppose you start pursuing a settlement with a defendant or defendant's insurance company after two years have passed since you suffered your injury and damages. In such a case, if the other side discovers that two years have passed, you will have lost your leverage unless an exception entitles you to extra time. Generally, in such a case, telling the other side, "I will see you in court," will not help you unless an exception entitles you to extra time. Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations Below are some situations that could result in the statute of limitations "clock" being paused:
- A plaintiff was below the age of 18 when they suffered an injury. In such a case, the “clock” starts to run after the individual turns 18.
- A plaintiff was under a legal disability when they suffered an injury. In such a case, the “clock” starts to run after the disability is removed.
- A plaintiff came under a legal disability after their accident before they could file a personal injury claim. In such a case, the "clock" will start to run after the disability is removed.
- A defendant left Illinois before a plaintiff filed a lawsuit. In such a case, the defendant's period of absence will not be counted as part of the two-year period.