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 expire.
There 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.
- 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.