What Are The Different Statute Of Limitations On Personal Injury Claims In Illinois?

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, you will likely be able to pursue compensation against the person who caused you harm. However, there are various aspects of these cases that you need to be aware of. There are time frames in place that dictate how long you have to file a personal injury case in Illinois. These are called the statute of limitations.

What are the Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury claims?

Two Years

In general, the timeframe for which a person may file a personal injury claim against a person for their careless, negligent, or intentional action is two years from the date of the underlying incident.

Failing to file a case within this two-year time frame will almost always result in the case being dismissed by the court. Once this happens, a plaintiff (the injured party) loses their right to ask the court for damages for their injuries, regardless of how significant their injuries are.

The exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations in Illinois

The state of Illinois has carved out several exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations that could result in the “clock” being paused, effectively pushing back the timeline. These exceptions include:

  • If a person was under the age of 18 at the time they were injured, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until that person turns 18 years of age.
  • If the person who allegedly caused the plaintiff’s injury left the state of Illinois at some point after the incident, but before a lawsuit could be filed, their period of absence will not be counted as part of the two-year statute of limitations.
  • If the plaintiff was under a legal disability at the time of the incident that caused the injury (temporary disability, permanent mental illness), they will have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit once the disability is removed.
  • If a plaintiff comes under a legal disability after the incident that caused them harm, but before a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the two-year timeline will be extended until after the disability becomes removed.

Medical malpractice statute of limitations

In general, medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years from the date a mistake is made by a medical professional. However, the language of Illinois law says that the claim may be filed within two years from the time a plaintiff knew or should have reasonably known that a mistake was made and caused them harm.

Regardless of when a plaintiff discovers that a mistake has been made by a medical professional, no medical malpractice claim may be filed more than four years from the date the underlying medical error occurred.

In cases which a victim of medical malpractice Is under the age of 18 at the time they are harmed, the malpractice claim must be filed within eight years from the date of the underlying medical mistake. No claims in these cases may be brought beyond the plaintiff’s twenty-second birthday.

Questions about Statute of Limitations? Call Us Today

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to another person’s careless or negligent actions, speak to a qualified Chicago personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will thoroughly understand all statutes of limitations and deadlines that apply to your case and will ensure the case is filed on time.