Have you or your loved one ever been hurt in an accident If so, you need to understand that time is of the essence. You only have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys won’t be able to pursue damages if you miss the deadline.
As far as filing your personal injury lawsuit in Chicago, there are special rules you have to follow. This includes the statute of limitations.
Make Sure You Ask Your Chicago Injury Lawyer What the Statute of Limitations Is for Your Case
Every state has a set of laws that dictate how long plaintiffs have to file suit against another party. Missing this window may mean that your Chicago injury lawyer won’t be able to demand damages on your behalf.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Here, we’ll discuss the way the statute of limitation laws work in Illinois and help ensure you don’t miss your chance to get justice.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit in Chicago, Illinois?
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a third party, you have rights. To protect these rights, you need to understand what they are.
You also need to be aware of the rules that apply to filing civil actions. For example, the statute of limitations explains how long people have to file a civil lawsuit.
Like Many Other Statutes, Illinois’s Statute of Limitations is Two Years
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years. This means that your Chicago personal injury attorney must file your complaint within two years of the date of the accident. If they fail to do this, you will be prohibited from doing so.
If you are unsure how the Illinois statute of limitations applies to your case, it’s okay. You can speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney and find out.
Your Chicago injury lawyer will help you understand how to protect your right to compensation. They will also do their best to make sure you file your complaint before the filing deadline expires.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Start?
So, we’ve established that you only have two (2) years to sue the individual or company that hurt you. For instance, if a plaintiff was hurt in a car or SUV accident, they’d have two years to file their civil complaint.
If you don’t file your papers on time, you will be prevented from doing so. This means you won’t be able to hold the defendant financially accountable for your losses.
As with most other rules, there are exceptions to the rule.
For example, if the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, your Chicago injury lawyer will be fine as long as it doesn’t take longer than five (5) years to file suit. It all comes down to the specific facts of your case.
Why Do the Courts Impose the Statute of Limitations?
You may wonder why the courts implemented these laws in the first place. It seems a bit arbitrary for the court to tell you exactly how long you have to sue someone.
Our Chicago injury lawyers wonder the same thing at times. However, there are legitimate reasons for why the courts require you to file your complaints within a certain timeframe.
The purpose of laws outlining filing deadlines is to encourage people to resolve their disputes as quickly as possible. These laws are meant to prevent people from bringing stale claims.
If a claim is filed too late, it may be near impossible for a defendant to gather the information and witnesses to support their defense. In addition, memories may have faded, and key witnesses may no longer be available.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
As stated above, there are certain situations where the filing deadline may be extended. The good news is that you don’t have to figure this out on your own.
If your Chicago injury lawyer can demonstrate any of the following, the judge may allow your complaint to be processed:
- If the victim is a minor the clock doesn’t start until they turn 18.
- If the victim is mentally disabled, the clock will not start until their disability is resolved.
- Cases involving fraud.
- Your Chicago personal injury attorney can prove that the defendant intentionally misled you or concealed information about the accident
- The defendant is a public entity or agency, such as a city or state government
Again, you don’t have to figure this kind of stuff out on your own. Your Chicago injury lawyer can help.
What Happens if You Miss the Statute of Limitations Deadline?
If your Chicago injury lawyer misses the filing deadline the court will dismiss your case. There are two ways this can happen.
The court clerk will review your papers upon receipt by the court. If they see that two years have passed, they’ll reject your claim.
What’s more common is that the defendant’s attorney realizes that two years have passed, they will ask for your case to be dismissed.
The judge won’t have much of a choice if this happens. Legally, they have to grant the defendant’s motion.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Retain a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
There are several reasons why you should retain a Chicago injury lawyer sooner rather than later. It will take a couple of months for your lawyer to prepare your case.
If you wait until the last minute to meet with them, they might not have enough time to file your complaint. If this happens, you’ll lose any chance to pursue damages.
Your Chicago personal injury attorney will generally make sure all deadlines are met. They’ll also make sure your papers are properly submitted. This will help maximize your potential recovery.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Injury Lawyer Sooner Rather Than Later
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, there’s a good chance the other party is responsible. If you truly believe the other person was at fault, you should call a Chicago personal injury attorney right away.
Our Chicago injury lawyers have decades of combined experience handling all types of personal injury cases. They understand how important it is that your complaint is filed on time.
We recommend you call today and schedule your free, initial consultation. Or, if you prefer, you can always go online and do this through our website.