Illinois Personal Injury Law FAQ

“Statute of limitations” in civil laws provides time limits to the plaintiffs to file a suit for civil claims. These laws ensure that personal injury claims are supported with admissible evidence that is still fresh. It also sets a limit to settle the lawsuit within the given time frame. This prevents the lawsuit from being carried on indefinitely and avoids uncertainty. The time limit for personal injury lawsuits is two years and for personal property lawsuits is five years.

The time period calculation starts when the personal injury occurs. But it may not be so all the time. In technical terms, the important reference point is “accrual of claims”. This is the time when the injury or its cause is known. This “discovery rule”offers the facility to file a suit within a certain time after the injury is discovered or is supposed to be discovered.

Further, there are certain provisions for a minor (less than 18 years) and mentally-challenged plaintiffs at the time of injury. These provisions come in force when the “statute of limitations” is “tolled” (paused) for some time. It can also be reduced through contract.

Illinois State has many major laws concerning personal injury cases. These laws are applicable if a lawsuit is filed in the state’s civil court and also when settling injury-related claims with an insurance company.

Time Limit of Two Years

A time limit of two years is set for filing a personal injury lawsuit in the court in Illinois. This limit is known as the “statute of limitations”and typically becomes operative on the date of the accident. But in some cases, the statute of limitations may become applicable from the date you found out about your injury and not when the incident that caused the injury occurred. This is called the “discovery date”.

When an injury claim lawsuit is filed against a city or county, a longer limit of one year is available to file it. Though a two years limit to sue the state exists, a formal claim needs to be filed within one year to enable you to sue the state. It is important for litigants to follow this time frame and guidelines for a personal injury lawsuit. It is useful to consult a personal injury lawyer for correct information and guidance in this matter.