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How Long Do I Have to File Suit?

In order to successfully bring a lawsuit, you must file suit within a specified time limit, called the statute of limitations. How long you have to file suit will vary depending on the type of case you are bringing and the state you are bringing it in. Below is a list of different types of suits and the time frame you have to file a timely lawsuit in Illinois:

  • Personal Injury – The statute of limitations is two years for personal injury claims. This means you have two years from the date of the accident or incident that caused your injury to file suit.
  • Medical Malpractice – Medical malpractice claims also have a two year statute of limitations. However, in some medical malpractice claims, you may not be immediately aware of your injuries or their cause. In this case, you are required to bring a lawsuit within two years of when you discovered, or should have discovered, your injuries. No claim may be brought more than four years after the incident of medical malpractice, even if you discover your injury later.
  • Car Accidents – Car accident claims are a type of personal injury claim, so you have two years from the date of the accident to file suit. If personal property is damaged in the accident, however, the statute of limitations for the property damage claim extends to five years.
  • Defective Drugs & Devices – Although a defective drug or device may seem somewhat similar to a medical malpractice lawsuit, for the purposes of the statute of limitations, the time frame is two years from the date you know, or should know, of your injury with a much longer ten or twelve year outer limit. If you do not discover your injury from an implanted device for years after it is implanted, you still may be able to make a timely claim.
  • Trucking Accidents – As with other vehicle accidents, the statute of limitations for trucking accidents is two years from the date of the accident.
  • Nursing Home Abuse – Nursing home abuse cases are another form of injury case where the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident.
  • Product Liability – With product liability claims, the time frame to bring a case depends on if the damage is to an individual or to personal property. If a person has been injured, the statute of limitations is two years. If property has been damaged, the statute of limitations is five years.
  • Premises Liability – As with product liability, a claim of personal injury has a two-year statute of limitations, while damage to personal property has a five-year statute of limitations.
  • Sexual Assault – Most sexual assault cases have a two year statute of limitations on the civil side. Note that on the criminal side, certain types of assault, such as childhood sexual abuse, can and should be reported to the authorities regardless of how much time has passed.
  • Wrongful Death – In Illinois, wrongful death actions normally must be filed within one year of the deceased person’s death. This may be different than the date of the accident which caused their death.
  • Workers’ Compensation – You must file a workers’ compensation claim within three years of the date you were injured, or within two years from the last payment of compensation from the job, whichever is longer.

To ensure you don’t miss your time window to file a claim, be sure to reach out to a lawyer from Spiros Law, P.C. as soon as possible to get started.