Catastrophic injuries can alter your life in an instant. Daily activities you take for granted, such as bathing, taking a walk, or cleaning the house, may be difficult or impossible after an accident.

If someone else’s negligence causes harm to you, a Hazel Crest catastrophic injury lawyer could help you fight for justice. With help from a compassionate personal injury attorney, you could seek fair compensation from the parties responsible for your accident.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

Accidents such as falls, sports injuries, or vehicle crashes can cause trauma that permanently impairs physical or cognitive ability. Consequently, a person may become unable to work or live independently. Examples of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Second or third-degree burns
  • Gunshots and knife wounds
  • Loss of any of the senses, such as sight or hearing
  • Loss of a limb or any body part
  • Internal organ damage
  • Head trauma
  • Neck and back injuries leading to varying degrees of paralysis

A local attorney experienced in handling catastrophic trauma cases could help determine who is responsible for a victim’s predicament and file suit to recover damages.

Filing Deadlines May Differ for Catastrophic Injury Claims

The Illinois statute of limitations generally requires personal injury victims to file lawsuits within two years of the incident. Under §735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-212(a), however, the discovery rule applies to certain catastrophic injury cases where the harm does not manifest itself at the time of an accident.

The Discovery Rule

Illinois law recognizes that injured parties, especially in medical malpractice cases, may not know they are injured right away. Thus, the discovery rule allows a victim to file a claim within two years of discovering the injury caused by negligent medical treatment. The statute of repose, however, will still apply in these types of cases under §735 ILCS 5/13-213.

The Statute of Repose Imposes a Different Filing Deadline

A statute of repose places a time limit for filing a personal injury claim depending on the cause of an injury.

Under the statute of repose, medical malpractice and basic personal injury claims must be filed within four years of the act that caused the damage. Medical malpractice victims who are minors have eight years or until they turn 22 years old to file, whichever comes first.

Defective product claims must be filed within ten years under the statute of repose, though the statute may begin to run when a product leaves the assembly line. For example, a car owner who sustains a catastrophic injury attributed to the defective car nine years after it leaves the assembly line would have only one year to file a personal injury lawsuit under the statute of repose.

A local attorney can explain how the statutes of limitations and repose apply to a catastrophic injury victim’s circumstances.

Contact a Hazel Crest Catastrophic Injury Attorney

Illinois statutes that govern lawsuits for catastrophic injuries are nuanced. If you do not understand them, you could jeopardize your chance to receive the compensation you need and deserve. If you are suffering after a devastating accident that was someone else’s fault, contact a Hazel Crest catastrophic injury attorney today to review your options. The consultation is free.