Timing is of the essence when it comes to accidents and any claim you wish to file must be completed in a timely fashion. The amount of time you have to file a claim in Chicago is governed by the Illinois statute of limitations. A statute of limitations refers to the period of time given to victims to file lawsuits after they have suffered any harm or losses.
The period of time varies according to the cause of action. For car accidents in Illinois, the main statutes of limitations that come into play are those for personal injury and property damage. The details of both are laid out in Illinois by 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/Art. XIII.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
For nearly all car accidents that involve injuries, the Illinois personal injury statute of limitations applies. The injured person has up to two years to put a lawsuit into action. If more than two years have passed since the car accident, a claim will no longer be considered. An exception is made for accidents that result in death. In these cases, a claim must be filed within one year of the death date of the deceased.
Statute of Limitations for Property Damage
When the losses in the car accident are related to vehicle damage, a claim must be filed within 5 years of the accident.
Most often, car accident claims are settled outside of the courtroom. However, even if you are confident that the claim will, indeed, be settled without trial, it is still important to initiate the claim process early in the event that it would need to be taken to court to ensure there is still plenty of time to commence a lawsuit.