How long do you have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Accidents do happen, yes – but when an accident is caused by another person or a business, and you’re injured in the process, it can turn your life upside down. To get it back on track, a personal injury lawsuit may be your best option. But you need to understand that waiting can do you more harm than good.

There is a legal time limit

Illinois law requires that every person and entity act with a reasonable amount of care at all times. This applies to people who are driving cars, businesses who allow customers on their property and the owners of dogs or other animals.

When one of these individuals or businesses fails to act reasonably, and you’re injured, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit so that you can be made whole again.

However, at the same time that Illinois gives you the right to sue, it also places a time limit on that right. This time limit is called the statute of limitations – which is 2 years, in most cases, counted from the date that you suffer the injury. If you fail to file your lawsuit within those two years, you lose the right to do so forever.

There’s also a practical time limit

Let’s say you decide that a personal injury lawsuit is your best option. Two years seems like a long time – there’s no hurry, right? Not true. The problem is that the strength of your lawsuit depends on the evidence that supports your case. Whether it’s eyewitness statements, documentation or anything else, that evidence must be collected before it can be presented in court.

Evidence does not remain fresh forever – instead, it degrades over time. Witness memories fade and documentation gets lost or disposed of. Acting quickly ensures that the evidence is preserved, giving your lawsuit the best chance to succeed.