A HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE MY PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT?

Most simply, under Illinois law, injured persons generally have 2 years from the date of injury to file their lawsuit. This deadline is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” Most of the time, such as when you are in a car accident or slip/trip and fall at the store, you know when your injury was sustained and you can calculate the deadline to file your lawsuit very easily. Sometimes, however, you may not discover your injury until much later. For instance, a patient at a hospital may not discover that he was injured during the course of treatment for months, or even years, after the injury occurred. Therefore, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice contains a provision known as the “discovery rule,” which provides that a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known of the existence of the injury or death.

If you were injured in an accident, or believe you suffered injury caused by another, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. There may be other statutes of limitations that apply to your claim, which may further reduce the time you have to file a lawsuit. For instance, there is only a 1-year statute of limitations for personal injury if the action is brought against a local public entity or any of its employees. There are also “statutes of repose” which provide a deadline to file a lawsuit, regardless of whether you knew or should have known of the injury (your lawsuit could be time-barred before you even knew you were injured!). An attorney will know what statutes of limitations apply, and will also work to ensure that all the relevant evidence is preserved.

For more information about our personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at [email protected]. Our personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, but now they are on YOUR side!

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