In general, the statute of limitations for a car accident in Illinois is 2 years from the date of the car crash. This means that, for example, if you were rear-ended while at a stop light in Chicago (or any other place in Illinois, for that matter), you would have 2 years from that date to file a lawsuit against any responsible parties. The case does not have to be resolved by that time, and unfortunately, many cases last longer than 2 years – all that has to be done protect your rights is to have the lawsuit filed by that time.
However, even though the law gives you up tp 2 years in which to file a lawsuit, there are at least 5 good reasons to hire a Chicago personal injury lawyer before the statute of limitations is about to expireThere are a couple of exceptions to the 2 year statute of limitations for Illinois car accidents:
If you are involved in an accident with a vehicle belonging to a local governmental entity, such as a park district, city, or county, the statute of limitations is only 1 year from the date of the car crash. Also, claims and lawsuits against the CTA for accidents involving CTA buses or other vehicles have their own set of rules. Please see our section on Claims and Lawsuits Against the CTA for more information.
- If a child under the age of 18 is involved in an accident with a car, such as being the passenger in a car or hit while riding a bike or hit by a car while a pedestrian, the child would have until his or her 20th birthday in which to file suit, or 19th birthday if a local governmental entity is involved. See our article on handling cases for injured children for more information.