What Is the Statute of Limitations in Chicago Personal Injury Cases?

After a person has been hurt in a Chicago accident, they often put off filing a personal injury lawsuit—whether because of commitments, family obligations, or other reasons. However, many people do not realize that there is a time limit for bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Because states differ in their statute of limitations, it is important for people to be aware of the time limits they are facing—especially if they are relying on the financial compensation that comes from the lawsuit.

Recently in Chicago, a woman was killed while trying to pass the street after two cars crashed into each other. According to a local news report, the driver of the first vehicle was headed north when it slammed into another car coming from the opposite direction. The pedestrian was in the crosswalk when this occurred, and she was hit. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and people in the second vehicle were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. If either the victim’s family or the injured people were to bring a lawsuit against the responsible driver in the above case, they would have to file the case within a certain timeframe to ensure they are not barred by the statute of limitations.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is the time limit a plaintiff has to file a civil lawsuit. Statutes of limitations vary depending on the time committed—for example, trespassing has a five-year statute of limitations, whereas a lawsuit over a breach of contract has a ten-year statute of limitation. While it may be irritating to many plaintiffs that a statute of limitations is in place, they help to ensure the incident—and its evidence—is fresh in the minds of the parties and other key witnesses. For example, without a statute of limitations, people would be forced to testify about their recollection of an accident that occurred decades prior.

What is the Statute of Limitations in Illinois?

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years in most cases. This is the same timeframe for wrongful death lawsuits, where an individual was killed in the accident. The statute of limitations “clock” begins when the injury is suffered. This means, in general, the person has two years from the time of the accident to file the lawsuit in Illinois court.

However, it is important to be aware that there are shorter and longer statutes of limitations in certain cases and there are many requirements to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois—it is difficult for many first-time plaintiffs to be aware of them. Because of this, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, so they can advise you on your case.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago car crash, contact the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. With years of experience fighting on behalf of victims of car accidents, our knowledgeable attorneys will make sure your lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations along with the other requirements in Illinois courts. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 312-924-7575 today.

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