What Is a Statute of Limitations?
In every state there are laws governing the length of time a claimant has to file a personal injury case. The “Statute of Limitations,” as it is called, essentially puts a time limit on your personal injury law suit. In some cases, depending upon the kind of claim in question, time limits on filing a claim differ.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Dog Bites in Illinois?
In the State of Illinois, where this statute applies to dog bite attacks, the time limit is the same as those for any other personal injury case. Statute 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202 states:
"Actions for damages for an injury to the person…shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued”
As such, anyone bitten by a dog or suffering injury in fleeing from a dog attack, who believes the dog's owner is liable for their injuries must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date the dog bite occurred in order to sue for damages.
Who Is Liable for Dog Bites?
In Illinois, dog owners may be held “strictly liable” for bites or injuries that spring from an animal attack by their dog. This is the case whether or not the owner is found to be negligent or innocent of mishandling in any way.
Can You File a Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Is Up?
Should a victim of a dog bite file a lawsuit in Illinois after the two-year time limit, it is highly likely that the defendant in that case will request a dismissal from the court. It is also highly likely that the court will grant that request, leaving the claimant with little to no recourse for recovery of damages.
How Panio Law Offices Can Help
There are few options left to you if that is the case, so it's important to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney at the outset to ensure that a claim is filed expeditiously.
Even if you expect your case to settle, it's important not to let things drag on in your case. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Panio Law Offices in Chicago to get the representation you need. We fight hard for every one of our clients, and we'll fight hard for you.