Dealing with an insurance company over a personal injury case can be stressful and time-consuming. The problem is that negotiating a settlement can take so long that an injured person may run out of time to file a lawsuit within the allowable statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois
Each state has its own deadline as to when a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. Waiting too long could result in an injured person recovering no damages, even if another party was completely at fault for an accident.
In the state of Illinois, individuals have two years to file a suit for personal injury. This might sound like a lot of time but if a claim is first filed and attempts are made to settle with the insurance company, it can run short by the time a decision is finally made to file a lawsuit.
However, certain types of personal injury cases have different statutes of limitations that may apply. For instance, if it’s a lawsuit stemming from medical malpractice, it is still a two year time limit, but it may be extended if the cause of injury wasn’t immediately discovered.
This is where the discovery rule kicks in; under this rule, the clock doesn’t start to run until the injury is discovered. Under these guidelines, the statute of limitations extends to up to four years from the date of injury.
Do you need legal help to file an injury claim and lawsuit?
Most personal injury cases arise out of circumstances such as traffic accidents. What typically happens is that a personal injury claim against the other driver is filed. Sometimes this can be done with or without legal help if injuries are minor or damages are not significant.
But when negotiations stall or there is a dispute concerning fault, it can go from a personal injury claim to a lawsuit. At this point it will likely be necessary to secure legal representation. Call Franks & Rechenberg, PC at 847-854-7700.