How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

personal injury lawsuitIn most cases, the State of Illinois sets a time limit of two years for an adult to file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil court system. This time limit is known as the Statute of Limitations, and it typically starts to run on the date of the accident.

There are some situations, however, in which the two-year Statute might start running from the date you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you, such as may occur with certain medical malpractice cases. This is known as the Discovery Date, defined as the date when an injured person knew, should have known through the use of reasonable diligence, or received written notice of the injury. Nevertheless, in no event can a medical malpractice action be commenced more than four years from the date on which the injury occurred.

The two-year Statute of Limitations applies to filing a personal injury lawsuit against private individuals and institutions. For a personal injury lawsuit against a city or a county, an adult has a Statute of Limitations of one year from the date of the accident in which to file suit.

The Statute of Limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit against the State of Illinois itself is two years, but notice must be filed within one year of the accident with the state Attorney General and the Court of Claims in order to preserve the right to file suit.

The above Statutes of Limitations apply to cases involving adults. For a personal injury lawsuit involving a minor, the Statute of Limitations would run two years after the Plaintiff’s 18th birthday in cases against private Defendants, or one year after that date for cases against cities or counties.

In cases involving medical malpractice against a minor, a lawsuit must be filed within eight years of the act, omission, or occurrence that caused the injury, or before the Plaintiff’s 22nd birthday, whichever comes first.

How Do I Make Sure That My Personal Injury Lawsuit Is Filed on Time?

One of the most important things that you can do to help ensure that your personal injury lawsuit is timely filed is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after your accident as possible. With over $2 billion recovered for our clients and with offices throughout the state, GWC is Illinois’ largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firm. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives 24/7.