The “Statute of Limitations” is a law that puts constraints on just how long people have to bring a lawsuit after they have suffered harm or loss. Each state has its own set of regulations regarding the deadlines set for bringing lawsuits of every kind.
Depending upon the kind of claim you plan to file, there are different time limits in the State of Illinois. The statute of limitations that affects a car accident personal injury claim is oftentimes the same as the larger statute that applies to other personal injury cases filed in Illinois. Statute 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202 reads, “Actions for damages for an injury to the person…shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued.” What that means is that one has two years following the accident (or the knowledge of injuries resulting from an accident) to bring a lawsuit to court on the claim. In cases where the victim is unaware of injury at the outset (perhaps like use of a dangerous product or exposure to a toxic chemical), plaintiffs have two years from the date they first become aware of the injury or injuries to bring a lawsuit on their claim.
The deadline is slightly different when filing a wrongful death suit for those killed in a car accident. In Illinois, per 735 ILCS 5/13-209, a wrongful death lawsuit has to be filed within the time limit the state has set for the underlying case (in this case a car accident case), or within one year of the date of decease (or whichever date is later).
Therefore, if an individual was severely injured in an auto accident and a lawsuit is filed to recover compensation for damages within the space of two years following the accident and at the end of two years, the individual passes away as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, a wrongful death suit must be then filed within a one-year period following the date of decease, even though it is beyond the two-year deadline following the initial.
If the lawsuit concerns vehicular damage and only vehicular damage, statute 735 ILCS 13-205 allows for five years to bring a lawsuit to recover damages for repair, replacement of property.
Lawsuits brought after the appropriate deadlines will be refused. For this reason it is extremely important to have the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney like those of Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago.
We understand the variety of limitations set for Illinois personal injury claims and work assiduously to meet all limitation deadlines to ensure we recover the highest damages available to our clients.
If you have been injured in a car accident and believe you may be in danger of missing the statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit in your case, call the offices of Bizzieri Law at 773.881.9000. We can help