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Personal Injury: Illinois Statute of Limitations


How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit against a defendant? This is one of the most important questions people have after having suffered an injury caused by another party or entity. And it is a good question because there are many circumstances under which an individual suffers injury and might not file a claim for sometime thereafter.

In some circumstances, individuals who suffer an injury may not know who the responsible party is or may not be able to identify them (i.e. a hit-and-run car accident); an injured party may not readily be aware of the injury at the very outset (i.e. an accident that causes pain well after the fact); one might even suffer harm from the effects of a product's use (product liability) and not realize it until years later.

A statute of limitations is known to begin at the time of “accrual” of the injury. Typically, courts recognize that an injury accrues at the time the victim becomes aware of the injury (i.e. at the time of the car accident, fall, dog bite, etc…).

Because of the complexity of varied personal injury cases adjudicated in courts every day, each jurisdiction institutes its own statute of limitation laws to govern how long a claimant has to file suit against a defendant for personal injury in a variety of situations.

Because there are a number of statutes on the books in Illinois governing the length of time a claimant has to file suit and because there are also a variety of exceptions that apply in a myriad of these cases, it is imperative that anyone seeking information about the Illinois statute of limitations in personal injury claims speak with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney.

After the statutory period to file suit for a claim expires, a claimant loses the right to sue for damages or relief—unless there is a legal exception that applies. The personal injury attorneys at Panio Law Offices are able to identify which laws and exceptions apply to your case. For example, the “Discovery Rule" allows for an exception extending the statutory period from the date the claimant is actually injured to when the claimant becomes aware of the injury (i.e. medical negligence claims). And it may be argued that certain situations may have "tolled" (put on hold) the statutory period in question. Illinois courts also recognize that conditions such as being a minor or mentally disabled may also extend the general statutory period.

So, given the complexity surrounding personal injury litigation, it is vital that anyone suffering harm seeks medical assistance for their injuries and then immediately consults with experienced personal injury attorneys like those at Panio Law Offices.

We are able to help discern which statute of limitations period applies to your own case to ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner, recovering damages and relief consistent with your injuries.

Have more questions about personal injury claims? Call us: (708) 928-8680. We can help.

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