Skip to content

Statute of Limitations in Illinois

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

If you have been hurt in any type of accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent behaviors, the state of Illinois allows you to recover your financial losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, most injured victims will begin the process by filing a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance company.

In car accidents, you would file this claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company. If you slipped, tripped, or fell at a supermarket, you’d file your claim with the store’s insurance company. Many times, these claims are needlessly denied by the insurance companies or they offer an incredibly low sum of money that is insufficient to cover your medical bills and other financial damages caused by this situation.

When that happens, you will want to take action as quickly as possible to make sure you file it before the statute of limitations in Illinois runs out. It is best to contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer who can ensure the process is completed in a timely fashion, allowing you the chance to recover the compensation you deserve.

Agruss Law Firm, LLC is a dedicated and experienced legal firm with a deep understanding of the Illinois statute of limitations and the complexities of all laws surrounding your personal injury case. We are committed to seeking justice for our clients while obeying the time limits for legal claims in Illinois. This blog post provides information about the statute of limitations in Illinois along with the few possible exceptions to the rule, and why it is imperative that you seek legal representation from an Aurora injury lawyer in a timely manner.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that is put into place to limit the amount of time that an injured party has to file a personal injury lawsuit. This length of time varies from state to state, and while it may seem like a way to hinder plaintiffs from recovering the money they deserve after someone’s wrongful actions caused their injuries, it benefits everyone.

When there is a statute of limitations, it forces injured parties to quickly begin the legal process. The more time that elapses after your accident, the less likely you will be to track down key witnesses who saw what happened to you. Other evidence such as footage from traffic cameras or surveillance cameras from nearby stores may be erased if you take too long.

Essentially, the statute of limitations in Illinois is a good thing as it encourages those who have been hurt in accidents involving negligence to quickly get moving on the legal process.

Overview of the Illinois Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

The Illinois statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is a two-year time limit.

If your efforts to collect from the at-fault party’s insurer were fruitless, you can take action and seek the compensation you deserve through a personal injury lawsuit.

It is key to understand that this time limit is imposed for personal injuries brought by negligence as well as intentional torts. If someone deliberately harmed you, they may also face criminal charges and have an additional case with the criminal courts. The biggest point to understand about these statutes is that they can pass by very quickly. By the time you’ve discovered the other party is either blaming you for your injuries, offering too low of a settlement, or simply refusing to pay for the damages they’ve caused, a good portion of your statute of limitations will have already passed.

The statute of limitations begins on the date of your accident but certain circumstances may permit you more time to file your lawsuit. It’s best to discuss the specifics of your case with a Chicago car accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

Understanding the Exceptions to Time Limits for Legal Claims in Illinois

The time limits for legal claims in Illinois may be extended in certain situations. An example is if your spouse is in a serious car crash that resulted in life-threatening injuries caused by a drunk driver, the paramedics will rush them to the hospital. Your spouse may spend a lot of time receiving treatment and trying to recover from these devastating injuries. If they do not survive, then the statute of limitations does not take effect in this scenario until the date of their passing, not the date of the accident.

Certain cases involving medical mistakes may also warrant this type of extension, which would permit four years for the time limit. This is known as the discovery date and it can also be applied in other personal injury cases when injuries do not show up immediately. In car accidents, some injuries may not present in the first few days, weeks, or even months after the crash. Naturally, insurance companies will try to thwart your attempts by saying you were injured after the accident, usually resulting in the denial of your claim. You should not face them without solid legal representation in your corner to protect your rights.

There are many gray areas when it comes to bending the statute of limitations that may apply in your case. Often, those who are under 18 when they are hurt can file their lawsuit starting when they turn 18. If you are diagnosed with a legal disability, the statute time period will be paused. Additionally if the person who caused your injuries left Illinois, the statute of limitations will also be put on hold until they return.

Even though these scenarios may give you more time, it is always best to start your personal injury case as quickly as possible to have a better chance at recovering the maximum allowed compensation.

How Agruss Law Firm, LLC Can Help You with the Statute of Limitations in Illinois

The Illinois statute of limitations may give you more time in certain cases, but in other cases, such as ones that involve government entities, you have to give notice of your lawsuit within one year. Due to these circumstances and the modified comparative negligence laws in the state, you should not proceed with your personal injury case without the legal representation of a qualified attorney.

Agruss Law Firm, LLC is here to help ensure that you file your case within these set time limits. If you aren’t sure if you have enough time left to get your lawsuit filed with the courts, reach out for a free initial consultation.

Submitted Comments

No Comments submitted yet. Sharing your story will help others!

We are listening

We will respond to you at lightning speed. All of your information will be kept confidential.

Form successfully submitted!