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What You Need to Know about Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are an important - but often overlooked - issue for tort claims. In many cases, the victims of a personal injury or medical malpractice incident are understandably preoccupied with their physical recovery. Unfortunately, if attention isn't paid to the timely filing of a claim, an accident victim may be unable to pursue the claim - even if he or should would have prevailed on the merits of the case.

(Article continues below Infographic)What-You-Need-to-Know-about-Statutes-of-Limitations.jpgBecause statutes of limitations are so important to the viability of personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims, the following are some things that accident victims need to understand:

  • 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.

The statute of limitations varies depending on who the defendant is and the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. For instance, if the defendant is a municipality, the statute of limitations is often shorter than if the defendant is a private party.

  • Aside from statute of limitations concerns, it is important to consult with an accident attorney as soon as possible. Pursing a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death claim requires the collection and review of a great deal of information. In some cases, the evidence might be temporary or at risk of spoliation. For instance, a witness to a car accident might move and be unable to locate. For this reason, it is important to consult with an injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident in order to minimize the risk of evidence loss. An injury attorney can also help you understand the possible legal claims and the statutes of limitations that apply to such claims.

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.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish ( 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.  

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