After a car accident, you have a limited amount of time to either settle your case out of court or file a lawsuit. This time period is known as the statute of limitations, and it begins on the date of the accident. Failure to settle your case or file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires will result in the loss of your right to financial recovery.
Statute of limitations for Cook County car accidents can vary depending on the specifics of the case, so it is important to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer regarding any issues with filing your case before the deadline.
Most car accident cases have a two-year statute of limitations but there are certain circumstances where the deadline may be longer or shorter. If the vehicle involved is a municipal vehicle, meaning owned by the state or locality, the statute of limitations may be as short as one year. The statute remains the same regardless of whether injuries show up immediately after the accident or much later, as can be the case with traumatic brain injury.
When the injured person is under 18, the statute of limitations is extended until two years after their 18th birthday. For an individual with a disability that does not allow them to comprehend the legal implications, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the disability is lifted. It is essential to get advice from a qualified Cook County attorney to ensure the plaintiff does not lose their rights because the statute of limitations was misinterpreted.
When an injured party chooses to go to trial rather than settle their case, they need to file before the statute of limitations expires. With few exceptions, they must settle or file their lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. Court cases can take many years and a trial may occur long after the expiration of the filing deadline. The trial itself does not affect the statute of limitations, even if it expires while the trial is in progress.
As long as a lawsuit is filed before the expiration of the statute of limitations, there is no direct impact on any other aspect of the case. Once the lawsuit is filed, the applicable deadline has been met and a case will proceed. If, however, a lawsuit is not filed within the statute of limitations, it will mean there is no trial, because there will be no viable case. A Cook County lawyer with experience in car accident cases could help ensure the injured party correctly files their suit or settles before the statute of limitations expires.
Because there is no defense against missing the statute of limitations, it is important to be accurate regarding the exact time of your accident and to know when you must file a suit. An experienced lawyer may be able to advise you on the applicable car accident statute of limitations in Cook County. Call our firm for a free case consultation to ensure your rights are protected.