If you have been in injured an accident, the last thing on your mind is thinking about how much time you have to file a legal claim. Unfortunately, you need to be aware of these time limitations as they can significantly impact your case and your ability to pursue compensation for your sustained harm. These time limits are called the personal injury statute of limitations, and in this blog post, we will discuss what they are and how they can affect your claim.
What Exactly is the Statute of Limitation?
The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time an individual has to file a legal claim following an alleged offense. If the lawsuit is not filed within this allotted time, the individual can be barred from pursuing compensation for their losses and injuries.
What is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Illinois?
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date the accident occurred. However, these time limits can differ for the various injury claims and therefore you must contact a personal injury attorney to determine the statute of limitations in a specific case. For instance:
- Personal Injury Accidents: The statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the injury.
- Medical Malpractice Incidents: The statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the injury.
- Wrongful Death: The statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the death.
- Product Liability Accidents: The statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the injury.
- Libel and Slander Incidents: The statute of limitations is generally one year from the date of the incident.
- Property Damage Accidents: The statute of limitations is generally five years from the date of the accident.
Exceptions to the Illinois Statutes of Limitations
Even though the general timeframe for which an individual can file a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident, there are numerous exceptions to this two-year statute that can result in the clock being tolled or paused, ultimately pushing back the timeline, or even shortening the time in which you have to file a lawsuit.
Consider the following:
- Minor Children: If a victim is under the age of 18 at the time of their accident, the two-year statute of limitation will not begin to run until the child turns 18 years old.
- Legal Disability: If the victim was under a legal disability when the accident caused their injury, they will have two years to file their lawsuit once the disability is removed.
- Disability After the Accident: If the victim comes under a legal disability after the accident but before the lawsuit is filed, the two-year timeline can be extended until after the disability is removed.
In addition, for personal injury claims against a county or a city, the statute of limitations will typically be one year from the incident date.
Do Not Miss A Deadline — You Need To Get Going
Although there are strict rules regarding the statute of limitations, there are also exceptions and considerations that are not covered in this article which may affect the time in which you can file your claim. As such, to properly determine the statute of limitations in your case, you should contact a Belleville personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Failing to file your claim before the statute of limitations runs will bar you from doing so in the future and will therefore bar any recovery on your claim.
It is also important to note that just because you have time to file a personal injury claim, you should not hold off for too long. This is because the longer you wait, the higher the likelihood is of evidence disappearing, witnesses no longer being able to testify, and memories of the incident fading.
Get the Help You Need — Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If a personal injury disrupted your life or the life of a loved one, do not wait any longer to seek legal help. Once you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer, they can help you determine not only how much time you have to file your case but also ensure that your legal documents and motions are adequately prepared and filed before time runs out. That is why if you have been injured because of another person’s wrongful, careless, or negligent actions, speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer today.