How Long Can I Wait to File a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois?
Many clients in Cook and DuPage County come to Sutter Law Group in Oak Brook to file a personal injury claim on their behalf. We have a tremendous record for monetary awards in personal injury lawsuits and personal injury claims.
That said, we do run into scenarios where the statute of limitations has run out on a personal injury case. When this happens clients are are often disappointed. In this blog post, we’d like to review some of the basics of filing a personal injury claim in Illinois.
If you sustained an injury in an accident and believe another party was at fault in the accident, you may consider filing a personal injury claim with a DuPage County personal injury attorney, like Mark Sutter, to recover compensation for your injuries. There are many types of accidents and injuries involved in personal injury cases, including vehicle accidents, truck accidents, trips, and falls, and other incidents that can result in minor to severe injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident and wonder if you should file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation, today!
The key to a successful personal injury case will be the ability to prove that another party’s negligence resulted in the accident. To recover the damages sustained in your accident you can file a personal injury claim to reach a settlement. However, following any type of accident, you may need to wait before filing a claim to better determine the nature of your injuries and understand the overall situation you face.
In some cases, even minor injuries can last for long periods of time, as long as weeks or months, before you can determine how they have affected your life. You may find that certain injuries require long-term treatment lasting for years after the accident.
Ultimately, you may ask how long it will be before you can build a case and evaluate your injuries and their impact. At the same time, there are certain statutes of limitations in Illinois that dictate how long you actually have to file a claim before a case expires. For example in Illinois, two years is the standard time limit to file personal injury lawsuits. Although there are exceptions, you’ll want to avoid waiting any longer than you have to before filing a claim if you believe you have a case.
The following brief guide can help you determine when you should file a personal injury claim:
File Early to Begin the Process
Some might be hesitant to file a claim while still receiving treatment for their injuries following an accident, but it’s still a good idea to file a claim during this time. If you believe you can prove negligence and recover compensation, you can begin either filing an insurance claim or a personal injury claim.
The sooner you file, the more you’ll be able to avoid running into any deadlines around your case. It’s best to file as early as you can, especially if you want to take your case to court.
While beginning the process early on is important, keep in mind that you may still need some time to better understand your specific case before you can resolve it. Unexpected developments may impact the total amount of compensation you deserve, so avoid settling for the first offer that an insurance company makes.
Obviously no two cases are alike. Depending on the nature of the case and your circumstances, we may consider filing either a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. Sutter Law Group is one of the best personal injury lawyers in Illinois.
Illinois Personal Injury Statue of Limitations
The statute of limitations around personal injury lawsuits is the time you have to file your claim. Immediately following the accident and onset of injuries, the statute of limitations in your state will apply, indicating how long you have to file.
In Illinois the standard time limit to file personal injury lawsuits or claims are two years. In other words, you have two years to provide the initial documentation filed in court after another person’s negligence or intentional act that cause your injury.
Now, there are exceptions to the two year statute of limitation. For examples if the person injured was under a legal disability (temporary or permanent) at the time of the accident, you have two years to file a lawsuit once the disability is removed. Additionally, if the person injured at the time of the accident was younger than 18 the two year clock does not start to run until they turn 18.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim or personal injury lawsuit and live in Naperville, Oak Brook, Elmhurst, Roselle, Lombard, Chicago, Villa Park, Downers Grove or other surrounding suburbs, contact Sutter Law Group today! We offer free personal injury case consultations.
When It’s Possible to Extend Filing Deadlines
If you know you won’t be able to file a claim before the deadline or missed the deadline entirely, there are certain cases that may warrant an extension on the statute of limitations.
One circumstance that may allow for an extension is if the claimant is incapacitated as a result of the accident and is incapable of filing. However, this will require proof of incapacitation. For details about other possible exceptions that may apply to your case, seek some guidance from a personal injury lawyer in a consultation, and determine which documentation you will need to support your request for an extension.
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement
Insurance companies will hope that you take the first offer they present to you, but before you accept this settlement, you should determine if you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement” (MMI).
Reaching MMI means that you have recovered as fully as you can expect to after the accident. Your attorney can also help you estimate the total compensation you deserve based on ongoing treatment and how your injuries will affect your way of life, including your ability to continue working.
Regardless of whether you have reached MMI, it’s best to begin the claims process and file as soon as you can. Once you have a good understanding of the nature of your injuries and the accident, you can begin working to resolve the case.
If you want to initiate the claims process and still have some questions about your case, schedule a consultation with a DuPage County personal injury lawyer, such as Mark Sutter, before filing. He’s an aggressive and knowledgable attorney with the ability to get you the compensation you deserve.
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