What Are Illinois Statutes of Limitations? It May Be Less Than You Think!
Nearly every legal claim is subject to a statute of limitations, thereby making the claim time sensitive.
Any case, no matter what the legal cause of action, has a specific applicable statute of limitations within which an injured party is required to bring the claim before the court. Failure to assert a legal claim within the statute of limitations forfeits the right to initiate a lawsuit for that particular claim at some point in the future.
Statutes of limitations exist to establish a sense of fairness in legal proceedings and also serve to promote the resolution of disputes within a reasonable amount of time after the injury or harm was suffered or discovered by the victim. Consider how unfair it would be if a person or entity were sued over something that happened many, many years in the past. Evidence would be hard to produce after such a length of time and witnesses would be difficult to locate. Even if witnesses were found, their memories may have faded and their recollections of events or details might be poor.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for My Claim?
Each type of civil legal claim has its own statute of limitations requirements under Illinois state law. The length of each claim’s statutes of limitations depends largely on the type of claim being made, as well as the severity of the injury or damage suffered by the suing party. For instance, most personal injury claims must be brought within two years of the victim suffering his or her injury. However, some personal injury claims must be brought within one year.
Take a medical malpractice claim as an example. As a general rule, under Illinois law, a medical malpractice suit must be brought within two years from the time that the injured patient became aware of the injury, or should have become aware of the injury, and thus the malpractice. Yet, if the harm from the medical malpractice was of a type that the victim could not readily discover it within the prescribed two-year statute of limitations period, the victim gets an additional two years within which to bring his or her claim. However, if no claim is brought within this maximum time frame of four years, the victim loses his or her ability to bring a suit for medical malpractice.
Contact an Attorney to Help Identify Your Applicable Statute of Limitations
Since a statute of limitations provides a limited window of opportunity in which an injured party may assert his or her legal claim against a defendant, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney to help you determine the appropriate statute of limitations that applies to your specific claim. Different types of claims carry different time limitations, which need to be determined and adhered to in order to preserve your rights. Please contact Willens & Baez today for your free consultation. We can be reached online or by telephone at (312) 957-4166.