How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim in Chicago?

Time limits to file specific types of lawsuits are governed by states’ statutes of limitations. Failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitations could cause your lawsuit to be dismissed.

In Illinois, you will usually have two years from the date of your crash to seek compensation from the at-fault party. However, there are some exceptions to the standard deadline. During a free case assessment, our lawyers can help explain the time window for filing your case.

If you wish to file a car accident lawsuit in Chicago, then you should contact our Chicago car accident attorneys as soon as you can. Our team at the Rhatigan Law Offices can help review your claim. Call us today at (312) 578-8502.

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Chicago?

The time window to file a car accident lawsuit in Chicago has been established by 735 I.L.C.S. 5/13-202. It follows that you will usually have two years from the date of your collision to take your car accident case to court. If you do not adhere to this deadline, then you may be unable to obtain compensation for your car accident injuries. Therefore, you should contact our Chicago accident lawyers quickly after your crash, so that we can help file your case in a timely and efficient manner.

There are certain exceptions for the two-year statute of limitations for car accident claims. For instance, if a crash victim is under the age of 18, then their parents can file a case on their behalf at any point up until the child’s 18th birthday. Once the injured party turns 18, they will then have two years to file a case related to a car crash they sustained as a minor.

Furthermore, an exception to the statute of limitations may arise in cases where the plaintiff suffers from a legal disability. If a plaintiff is disabled at the time of their collision, then the two-year countdown to file their case will not begin to run until their disability has been overcome.

Lastly, if the defendant in your case leaves the state of Illinois, then their period of absence likely will not be counted against the two-year deadline for filing your case. During your free case assessment, our Chicago personal injury lawyers can explain if an exception to the standard statute of limitations exists in your case.

Are There Other Requirements for Filing a Car Accident Case in Chicago?

In addition to filing your lawsuit on time, there are several additional requirements that must be complied with. For instance, you must bring your case to the right court, attach required supporting documents, pay filing fees, serve defendants, and refrain from filing an incomplete claim. If you fail to adhere to one of these conditions, then you may be forced to re-file your lawsuit. Therefore, it may be beneficial to attempt to file your lawsuit as soon as possible. That way, you will have time to re-file your case if you need it.

How Long After a Car Accident Should You Wait Before Contacting a Lawyer in Chicago?

If you were injured as the result of a motor vehicle collision in Chicago, then you should not wait to contact our attorneys. Although you may have up to two years to bring your case to court, the process for building your claim can be complex and tiresome. Large amounts of evidence may be required to establish key elements of your case. For example, any of the following types of evidence may be utilized:

  • Witness statements
  • Expert witness statements
  • Physical evidence from your crash scene
  • Photos from your crash scene
  • Your accident report
  • Your personal recollection of the crash
  • Footage from surveillance cameras

Accordingly, you should contact our Lincoln Park car accident lawyers as soon as possible after your crash, so that we may begin gathering the information needed to win your case. The support of our experienced lawyers can be highly beneficial when collecting and preserving the evidence you require.

When to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Chicago

Negligent drivers can be sued for car crashes they cause. There are several forms of careless conduct that can lead to harmful crashes. For instance, the following are all potential causes of car accidents in Chicago:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Running red lights
  • Illegal lane changes
  • Improper left turns
  • Drunk driving
  • Tailgating

If you suffered an accident that stems from one of the aforementioned sources, then you should file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Our experienced Joliet, IL car accident lawyers can help prove your case and hold the other motorist accountable for your crash.

What is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Chicago?

Statutes of limitations establish time limits for filing specific types of lawsuits. The time limit for filing car accident cases in Chicago exists for multiple reasons. First, the evidence needed to support such a claim may deteriorate or become lost. By establishing a deadline to file, we can increase the chances that relevant evidence is still recoverable and avoid unjustly hindering the plaintiff or defendant.

Furthermore, courts believe it is simply unjust to bring a claim against a defendant for an action they committed a long time ago. In other words, defendants who have not committed new offenses and have lived law-abiding lives should not have to live under constant fear of being persecuted for crimes committed in the distant past.

Accordingly, statutes of limitations are an integral part of our justice system. Understanding how they apply to your claim is a crucial step toward recovering monetary damages.

If You Were Hurt Because of a Motor Vehicle Collision in Chicago, Our Law Firm Can Help

If you wish to file a car accident lawsuit, seek support and guidance from our experienced Streamwood car accident lawyers by calling (312) 578-8502. Our team at the Rhatigan Law Offices can help evaluate the strength of your claim.