Statutes of limitations are the time limits on when a legal claim can be filed and, as such, they are incredibly important to personal injury cases. If an injured party fails to file a personal injury lawsuit, or accept an insurance settlement, within the applicable statute of limitations, he or she will lose the right to pursue a claim for money damages. The applicable statute of limitations varies depending on the jurisdiction, the defendant, and the cause of action. In Illinois, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. In the case of medical malpractice, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical error. If a personal injury accident or medical error results in death, however, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. Many times, an injured party will receive a settlement offer from the negligent party’s insurance company, and there are several things to consider when deciding whether to accept the insurance settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit. First, insurance settlements are subject to policy limits, which means that the settlement offer may not adequately compensate you for your injuries. Additionally, insurance companies are in the business of generating profits so they often try to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. Moreover, because insurance settlements can only compensate the injured party for medical expenses and lost wages already incurred, they often do not include compensation for future medical expenses or lost wages that might be incurred because of the accident. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, allows a judge or jury to award compensation for all damages – including current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress – without being subject to insurance policy limits. Moreover, you will be able to pursue multiple causes of action against multiple defendants by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Because statutes of limitations play such a critical role in accident claims, you should consult with personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to act in a timely manner, will lose your right to seek money damages in a court of law. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish focus on representing accident and injury victims, including those who were injured as a result of negligence. We will listen to your concerns, assess any legal claims, inform you of the applicable statute of limitations, help you determine whether to file a personal injury lawsuit and file the necessary legal documents. Contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury lawyers. Additional Information:
- Why You Need to Act Quickly Following a Personal Injury Accident
- Everything You Need to Know about Negligence, Torts, and Personal Injury
- What Happens in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
- When to Accept Insurance Settlement and When to Sue
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.