The answer varies based on the type of case that you have. For example, in most injury cases it’s two years. In most contract cases it’s ten years. But there are exceptions to everything. For example, an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit against Cook County Hospital would have a one year time limit. On the other hand, if there is a birth injury at a private hospital you would have up to eight years to file a lawsuit. There are similar exceptions to almost every type of case out there.
We are lawyers and if you want to know how long you have to file a case, you can call us (for free) and we’ll try to help you determine that. Sometimes we don’t have enough information to answer that question, but when we do we will give you advice.
We’ve also created a specific page that answers some general statute of limitation questions, http://illinoislawyers.com/illinois-statute-of-limitations-faq.asp There is also a link on that page that provides the Illinois statutes on various areas of law and the applicable time limits. Please don’t rely on these pages, but use them as a guide. As we said, there are exceptions so you should always speak with an attorney.
The best advice you can get though is to not delay if you think you might have a case. While we don’t want to encourage frivolous lawsuits, we do want you to determine what your options are and if there is a valid case. If you delay because you were too busy, grieving over the loss of a loved one or just didn’t know that a case could exist, you may lose your rights forever. It’s harsh in some instances, but that’s what the law is so you and we have to deal with it.
And as always if you want an attorney referral or just have general questions, please contact us at any time. It’s always free and confidential.