The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In other words, if you wait too long to file your lawsuit, you will not be able to collect any compensation.
In general, the statute of limitations for a nursing home abuse and neglect suit is 2 years from the date of injury. However, if the nursing home is operated by a local governmental entity, then the statute of limitations is only 1 year.
Determining the statute of limitations in a nursing home abuse and neglect suit can be complex.
The statute of limitations begins to run when the injured person either knows or reasonably should know that they have been injured and that their injuries were wrongfully caused. However, that can be difficult to determine:
- Nursing home fall statute of limitations – In some cases, such as where there is a fall, the occurrence of a traumatic injury starts the statute of limitations running.
- Bed sores statute of limitations – In other cases, such as where a patient develops bed sores, the statute of limitations can be more difficult to compute. To be safe, you should plan on the earliest possible date of discovery in computing the statute of limitations date.
- Legal disability statute of limitations – In the case where a person is under legal disability and cannot handle his or her own legal affairs, the statute of limitations does not run until the disability is lifted. This means that for patients with advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s, there is no real statute of limitations.
NOTE: I know the statute of limitations can be difficult to determine for your abuse and neglect lawsuit. It also could be the most important thing you need to understand in your lawsuit. If you do not file within the statute of limitations, you can be barred from collection of any compensation. For this reason, you would do well to contact an experienced Chicago nursing home lawyer to determine the statute of limitations on your Illinois abuse and neglect case.