It comes as a surprise to many people that their legal claims have deadlines and a personal injury lawsuit is no exception. Those who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, for instance, can seek recovery from the at-fault party in court, but only if they do so before the statute of limitations has expired.
The statute of limitations is an important deadline that dictates how long plaintiffs have to file a claim. In Illinois, this deadline is usually two years from the date of the accident in question. To ensure that your own claim isn’t automatically dismissed due to a failure to file on time, please call our experienced Rockford personal injury lawyers today.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Illinois?
Each state has its own rules regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. As we mentioned previously, the standard time limit for Illinois personal injury lawsuits is two years. This means that accident victims who are seeking a civil remedy for their losses only have two years to file the initial documentation required to initiate legal proceedings with the court.
When calculating this time period, plaintiffs should understand that generally, the clock will start on the date of the accident that caused the injury. This deadline applies to most personal injury claims, including those involving car crashes, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice.
What Happens if I Miss the Filing Deadline?
When more than two years have passed since a person’s accident, but he or she tries to file a claim in court, a judge will almost always dismiss the case. This means that the plaintiff has essentially lost his or her right to ask a judge for a damages award, no matter how serious the injury might be, or how obvious the defendant’s responsibility for those injuries. This deadline can even play a role in settlement negotiations, as insurers are usually less willing to make a fair offer to claimants who no longer have the threat of legal action to strengthen their claims.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases?
There are a few different exceptions to the general two-year statute of limitations in Illinois. If, for instance, an injured party was under the age of 18 years old when the accident occurred, the two-year clock won’t actually start to run until that person reaches the age of majority. Similarly, if the person accused of causing an injury flees the state before the lawsuit can be filed, his or her period of absence won’t typically be counted as part of the two-year timeframe.
Experienced Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have questions about the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Illinois and how it could apply to your own case, please call the dedicated Rockford personal injury lawyers at Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. You can reach a member of our legal team by calling 815-315-0576 or by completing one of our online contact forms.