Statute of limitations laws exist in all states and impact the timeline for a variety of legal cases. It’s important to know the laws for your state, as they could mean the difference between a valid and invalid claim. If you think you may have a personal injury claim in Illinois, a Chicago personal injury lawyer will help you file before your time runs out.
What are statute of limitations laws?
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the time limit in which you have to file a personal injury claim to recover damages from an accident, wrongful death, or medical malpractice. Each state has various timeframes for various types of claims, so it’s important that you hire a Chicago personal injury attorney who is familiar with the Illinois statute of limitations laws.
The Illinois Statute of Limitations Laws
The Illinois statute of limitations laws apply to more than just personal injury claims. They also set the time limits for claims involving fraud, professional malpractice, and challenges against wills. In regards to filing a personal injury claim, the state of Illinois has set the following statutes of limitations:
- Basic personal injury – 2 years
- Wrongful death – 2 years
- Medical malpractice – 2 years (4 years if injury could not be reasonably discovered during the initial 2-year-period)
The time within which you have to file your personal injury claim begins from the date you report or record the injury. In the case of medical malpractice, the time starts from the date of treatment where the injury is considered to have begun. A personal injury claim against a government entity normally has a 1 year restriction but these claims also follow a different process with other time limits and considerations.
There are many exceptions and nuances to the Illinois statute of limitations laws. An experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer will be well-versed in the Illinois statute of limitations and know how this can impact your personal injury claim. Continue reading for more information on the importance of filing your claim quickly and how a Chicago personal injury lawyer can help.
Act Quickly on Your Personal Injury Claim
The sooner you act on your personal injury claim, the better your chances are for obtaining a fair settlement. By failing to seek damages soon after your accident, you not only run the risk of passing the 2-year-mark of the Illinois statute of limitations, but you may also damage the seriousness of your claim.
If you are injured in an accident and take too long to seek compensation, a judge or jury may think your injuries were not that severe in the first place. However, many injuries can take months to manifest. That is why it is important to document your injuries from the time of the accident and act quickly to file a personal injury claim.
Dangers of Filing a Personal Injury Claim Too Late
Many lawyers will refuse to represent personal injury claims too close to when the Illinois statute of limitations expires. This is due to many reasons, including:
- there is inadequate time to investigate the claim
- parties involved (such as witnesses) may have forgotten what happened
- important evidence may have been lost or destroyed
- defendants may have changed, such as the store owners involved in a slip-and-fall accident that resulted in paralysis
Another reason lawyers are reluctant to take on personal injury claims too close to the expiration of the statute of limitations is because there is a greater chance that the case will be taken to trial. A good Chicago personal injury lawyer will try to avoid a trial because they result in additional expenses for you and often take longer to process.
How a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
When dealing with the nuances and exceptions to Illinois statute of limitations laws, it’s best to have legal counsel on your side that knows the laws. A Chicago personal injury lawyer is your best source of guidance when it comes to filing a personal injury claim.
If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim you’ll want the help of a trusted Chicago personal injury lawyer. The Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. can evaluate your case for free and begin your personal injury claim well before the Illinois statute of limitations expires. Contact us today – (312) 263-1080