In the blink of an eye, a car accident that you never saw coming can change your life. When it does, having a Claim Your Justice attorney on your side will help you to understand what rights you have, how to pursue damages, and what compensation you’re entitled to. At Claim Your Justice, our experienced Schaumburg, IL car accident attorneys are here to support you every step of the way.
As you navigate the personal injury claims process, there’s a lot to think about — evidence, how to prove fault, how to maximize your compensation, and the statute of limitations. The following will focus on the statute of limitations and how much time you have to file a claim after an Illinois or Wisconsin auto accident. To learn more how we can help you with your personal injury case, call our law firm directly or send us a message at your convenience.
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In its simplest sense, a statute of limitations is a limit on the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit against another party or take some other sort of legal action. It’s easiest to think of a statute of limitations as a clock; once the time on the clock is up, the right to bring forth a claim is over. Because statutes of limitations are critical, it’s smart to work with an attorney who can help you to understand and protect which time limit applies in your case.
The statute of limitations is not the same for all case types. Even within the category of civil claims, the statute of limitations varies by type of action. While this will be discussed more below as it pertains to a car accident, it’s important to know that the amount of time you have to bring forth a civil suit will look differently depending on if you’re injured in a car accident or just filing a claim for property damages; have been injured due to a doctor’s medical malpractice; etc.
Depending on the details of your case, there may be three different statutes of limitation that apply. Again, it’s important to not delay in talking to an attorney who can explain the statutes of limitation and which one(s) may be relevant for your case.
In other words, if your loved one has died from injuries sustained in a car accident, you either have two years from the date of the accident or one year from the date of your loved one’s death, whichever is later, to file a wrongful death claim.
One other thing to know about the statute of limitations in Illinois is that there are important different rules for individuals who are bringing a claim against a government entity. For example, if your car accident occurred due to the negligence of a state, county, school employee, or a CTA bus driver, you can still bring a claim for personal injuries, but there is a significant Statute of Limitations.
You must file a lawsuit within one year of the date of the accident. Note that claims against the government are complex due to the rules of sovereign immunity and if you have been in a car accident with a government employee or vehicle, you should prioritize seeking legal counsel.
It is very rare for the statute of limitations to be extended, but sometimes it is possible. A court in Illinois may recognize the “discovery rule,” which holds that the clock on the statute of limitations doesn’t start ticking until the injured person knows or should have known that they had a cause of action for injuries. While a delay in the knowledge of one’s injuries is common in medical malpractice claims, it is rare in car accident cases. That being said, if you didn’t discover your injuries until well after the date of the car accident and have good evidence as to why you may be able to have the statute of limitations extended.
The other time that the statute of limitations will be extended in a personal injury case is when a minor is the injured person. In these cases that statute of limitations is two years after the minor turns 18. .
If you have been injured in a car accident, suffered property damage in a car accident, or lost a loved one in a car accident, you do not want to miss the statute of limitations. If you miss the statute of limitations, you will be permanently barred from recovery.
It’s important to note that initiating a claim with an insurance company and filing a lawsuit is not the same thing. The statute of limitations refers to your right to bring a lawsuit in court. As such, if your claim isn’t settled within the statute of limitations, then you won’t be able to file a lawsuit For this reason, it’s important to start the claims process as early as possible; this way, if a settlement can’t be reached, you’ll still have plenty of time to think about filing a civil action in court.
Following a car accident, you should contact Claim your Justice and initiate your case as soon as possible to ensure that a) you maximize the recovery of damages that you are entitled to as soon as possible and b) you don’t risk breaching the statute of limitations. Tips to help you act in a timely manner include:
Once you call Claim Your Justice our attorneys can take over handling the details of your case — including ensuring that you don’t breach the statute of limitations — so that you can focus on your recovery.
If you have been in a car accident, working with a Schaumburg, IL car accident lawyer is essential. To learn more about how we can help and what you should know about the statute of limitations, call our law firm directly at 847-434-3555 or send us a message online to request a free case consultation.
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