How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue

The law doesn’t allow unlimited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes, filing a lawsuit is the best way to recover the compensation you deserve and move forward with your life after someone else’s actions injured you. However, managing strict legal deadlines can be daunting. Being hurt in a car accident can be painful and overwhelming. You may struggle to manage your recovery and daily tasks. Concentrating on making it through another day and worrying about your medical bills can take all your time and energy.

At JJ Legal, our experienced legal team understands what you are going through and has the skills and resources to help you navigate the legal process and manage vital deadlines. Even though you have a limited time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, we can prepare you for what to expect and advise you about what can happen if you wait too long to file your case.

How Much Time Do You Have to Sue After a Car Accident?

That depends. Each state has a unique statute of limitations law that outlines how long an individual has to file a personal injury lawsuit against another individual or entity for the harm they caused. Car accident cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury lawsuits. In Illinois, the law gives individuals two years from the accident date to file their personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault party.

Two years seems like plenty of time to get your situation in order and decide whether pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to pursue the compensation you deserve. However, two years can pass quickly, especially in back-and-forth negotiations with a potentially uncooperative insurer.

It is always wise to consult an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to review your situation. Not only can an attorney help you manage the claim process, but they can review the specifics of your unique case and take steps to ensure you don’t miss your window of opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.

Factors That Can Extend the Statute of Limitations

The two-year statute of limitations period for personal injury cases applies to most car, truck, motorcycle, rideshare accidents and other injury accidents. However, certain circumstances can impact the statute of limitations and extend your time to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Exceptions to the statute of limitations time period usually occur because of a legal disability. One exception to the two-year filing deadline occurs when an accident involves a minor. If the injured party is under 18, the statutory period doesn’t begin to run until they turn 18. Another exception occurs when the injured party is mentally incapacitated. Once the injured party recovers from their disability, the statutory period begins to run.

Another exception to the statute of limitations occurs when the at-fault individual leaves or flees the state. When the person responsible for causing the car accident leaves the state of Illinois before your personal injury lawsuit gets filed, the period of their absence does not count as part of the two-year deadline.

There may be other circumstances that can impact how long you have to sue after a car accident. You should always discuss the specific details of your case with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand and manage legal deadlines.

What Happens When You Fail to File a Lawsuit in Time?

There are consequences for filing a personal injury lawsuit after the legal deadline expires. Attempting to file a personal injury lawsuit more than two years after a car accident allows the opposing party to file a motion to dismiss. In their motion, the at-fault party can point out to the court that you failed to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expired.

In many cases, the court may choose to dismiss the case, either in response to the motion or of its own volition. That means the court will not hear your case, and you lose the leverage that a potential court case gives you when negotiating with the insurance company for the maximum compensation for your financial losses.

Why You Need an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue

Managing the intricacies and deadlines of a car accident claim can be challenging when you are dealing with mounting bills and a painful recovery from your injuries. Why do you need an experienced car accident attorney working for you? Because an attorney knows how to navigate the legal process and can manage essential legal deadlines, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

An attorney can also tenaciously pursue maximum compensation for your financial losses. At JJ Legal, our seasoned personal injury team has the resources and skills to manage a range of personal injury claims such as:

We never want you to settle for less than what your case is worth, especially not because of a technicality like failing to file your case in time. Has a careless motorist injured you in a car accident? Then, it is time to discuss your situation with an attorney from JJ Legal.

Contact JJ Legal for Help with Your Case

At JJ Legal, we fight to win. Our legal team has helped clients recover over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements in our twenty years of practice. We understand how time-consuming and frustrating the legal process can be for injured car accident victims. Give yourself peace of mind and hand your case to our experienced personal injury team.

We manage the ins and outs of your case. We’ll handle all communications with the insurance company and at-fault party and keep you in the loop every step of the way.

Call our office today at 312-200-2000 and meet with our team to discuss the details of your situation. We offer a free initial consultation to help you understand your rights and learn more about your legal options. We look forward to hearing from you.

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