What Is The Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents In Illinois?

Car accidents can leave those involved in a stressful situation. In many cases, Illinois car accident victims are left dealing with injuries that require extensive medical care. Even those who are not injured in a car accident can be left with tremendous property damage expenses. Most car accident cases are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. However, there are times when victims need to file personal injury lawsuits in order to recover the compensation they are entitled to. If you or someone you love need to recover compensation after a car accident, you need to be aware of the statute of limitations in Illinois that apply to these claims.

Car Accidents Are Not Uncommon in Illinois

Unfortunately, most people will be involved in a car accident at some point, either as a driver or a passenger. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were nearly 320,000 total vehicle crashes during the latest reporting year. Out of those incidents, there were 94,146 total injuries and 1,035 total fatalities.

Even car accidents that do not result in an injury or a fatality usually involve some form of property damage that requires an insurance claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

First, you need to know that it is necessary to report your car accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Most auto insurance carriers require that you report any accident within a “reasonable” amount of time. If you can, report the incident on the same day. If you fail to report an accident to your auto insurance carrier, you risk not receiving compensation for the crash.

If the auto insurance carrier of the at-fault party denies your claim or refuses to pay a fair settlement amount, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you are entitled to. In Illinois, the time limit (also called the statute of limitations) for personal injury cases is two years from the date the crash occurs. If a car accident victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within this two-year window, they will be unable to recover the compensation they need.

If your car accident claim involved a dispute over only property damage, then you will need to file your lawsuit within five years of the day the accident occurs.

What Kind of Compensation Is Available for These Cases?

There may be various types of compensation available in the aftermath of a car accident in Illinois. Most accidents are resolved through insurance settlements, but even if a lawsuit is necessary, the types of compensation sough remain the same:

  • Full coverage of all medical bills
  • Compensation for any lost wages
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering and loss of personal enjoyment damages
  • Property damage expenses for vehicle repair or replacement

Whether you are dealing with an aggressive insurance carrier or know you need to file a lawsuit, please contact a skilled car accident lawyer for help. At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we are going to handle every aspect of your case. When you need a Chicago auto accident lawyer, please call our Chicago office at (312) 372-8822 or our Joliet office at (815) 723-8822. You can also call our toll free number at (800)-985-1819.