If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, there is a time limit to filing a lawsuit. These statutes of limitations in Illinois vary depending on the type of case and injury you have suffered. The statute of limitations sets the time limit you have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit. Whether you were in an automobile accident or the victim of medical negligence, statutes of limitations in Illinois prevent you from bringing a lawsuit – even if you were hurt or wronged – after a certain time period.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE?
The time you have depends on the type of lawsuit you want to file. The three most common types of statutes of limitations we encounter at The Collins Law Firm involve negligence, products liability, and wrongful death lawsuits.
- Negligence cases involve personal injuries and/or property damage caused by someone else’s failure to use reasonable care.
- You have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury claims.
- For property claims, you have five years to file suit.
- The statute of limitations begins to run on the date the injury occurs.
- Products liability cases are cases involving dangerous or defective products which have caused either personal injuries or property damage. These cases can range from toxic products like asbestos to dangerous drugs.
- Typically, you must file your products liability action within two years.
- The “discovery rule” allows the plaintiff to commence her action within two years after the date she first knew, or should have known, of the existence of the personal
injury, death or property damage alleged but not more than eight years after the personal injury, death or property damage occurred.
- Typically, the discovery rule applies in cases where the plaintiff is exposed to a harmful substance, but does not experience any ill effects until many years after they were exposed.
- Illinois’s law provides that the limitations period for certain product-related claims does not accrue until the date the plaintiff first knew, or should have known, of the injury.
WRONGFUL DEATH AND SURVIVAL
- Wrongful death cases arise when the negligence of others has caused death.
- The estate of the person who has died can file the lawsuit before the expiration of the limitations period for the underlying claim (i.e. 2 years for personal injuries); or within one year from the date of the decedent’s death.
- The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of death.
- There is a one year statute of limitations for survival claims.
WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW THAT I HAVE BEEN INJURED?
This is a common question that we are asked by our clients so we have made a list of essential steps to take when you have been injured:
- If you are injured Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention;
- If the police are at the scene explain to them in detail what happened;
- If you are in a place of business or a hospital, ask that an incident report be prepared;
- If possible, you or someone with you should take photographs of your injuries and any vehicles or conditions that caused your injury;
- If you are at work, immediately inform your supervisor and/or co-worker of your injury and how you were injured;
- Call John Risvold at 630-527-1595 immediately;
- Once you have been released from the hospital, you should follow-up with your primary caregiver and follow all of their instructions;
- You should keep track of your medical treatment, we will provide you with a log to make this task easier;
- Do not make any statements to any insurance companies without speaking to one of our trial lawyers first.