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Illinois Statutes of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a statute, or law, that restricts the period of time, after certain events, that a person may initiate legal proceedings.  These time limits vary depending on the type of case and the state where the particular cause of action occurred.  After the time limit has passed, the injured person no longer has the right to sue to recovery money damages, unless a legal exception applies.  The following provides a brief summary, in alphabetical order, of some of the limitations periods for the state of Illinois for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability.  Please contact a qualified Illinois lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation. 

Fraud:
Actions based on fraudulent concealment must be filed within 5 years.  Actions based on fraud by a decedent must be filed within 2 years. 

Libel-Slander-Defamation:
These types of actions must be filed within 1 year from the date of the action.

Medical Malpractice:
All actions against medical professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date of the act resulting in the injury, or within 2 years of the date the injury was discovered.  No suit, however, may be filed after 4 years have passed from the date of the act resulting in the injury.  If the injured party is a minor, the suit must be filed within 8 years from the date of the act resulting in the injury.  This extension ends on the injured minor’s 22nd birthday.   

Personal Injury:
Personal injury actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Actions Chart

Product Liability:
Product liability actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury.  If the plaintiff does not discover the injury within the initial 2 year limitations period, the plaintiff may still file suit within 2 years from the date the injury was discovered.  No suit, however, may be filed after 8 years have passed from the date of the act resulting in the injury.    

Professional Malpractice:
All actions against professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date of the act resulting in the injury.

Wrongful Death:
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 2 years of the date of death.

Special Rules Tolling the Statute of Limitations:
A statute of limitations is tolled when certain conditions are present.  When a statute is tolled, the limitations period is essentially put on hold for a period of time.  Some typical reasons that a statute is tolled include situations when the victim of the injury was a minor at the time of the injury (minority), when the victim of the injury was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury (mental incompetence), and when the defendant has filed bankruptcy. 

In Illinois, when the injured party is a minor, that minor has 2 years after his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.  This exception does not apply in medical malpractice cases, however.  In those instances, the limitations period is extended to a period of up to 8 years after the act resulting in the injury.  This extension ends on the injured minor’s 22nd birthday.  If an injured party is deemed to be mentally incompetent or insane, he or she will have 2 years after the disability is removed to file his or her claim. 

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Disclaimer: The information throughout The Personal Injury Directory is not intended to be or to replace legal advice. The information throughout The Personal Injury Directory is intended to provide general information regarding personal injury law. If you are interested in bringing a personal injury lawsuit, contact an accident attorney in your area.
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