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How long do I have to file my Illinois car accident lawsuit?

Illinois currently has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims of two years. Generally, that is understood that you will have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against a responsible party. Illinois also allows residents up to five years from the date of the accident to sue for damage to their property.

Although you have two years to file your personal injury claim, you should not wait until the 23rd month before taking action. In fact, there are some steps you should do immediately. Depending on how badly you were injured, you should consider taking photographs of the accident scene before the vehicles are moved. You should also consider interviewing any available witnesses who might have seen the accident occur. Additionally, you should request a copy of the police accident report just as soon as possible.

Many car accident victims fail to realize that time is constantly working against them. As time passes, witnesses may move away from their current residences and their memories may begin to fade. It's best to talk to witnesses and record their statements before they have time to forget many important details.

You should also contact your Illinois personal injury attorney soon after your accident for several reasons but one most importantly. It's likely that the individuals responsible for your car accident or their attorneys may attempt to contact you in an attempt to settle any potential claims. Speaking with your attorney first can prevent you from making statements that may imperil any future lawsuit.

Remember, time is of the essence with your personal injury lawsuit in Illinois. Don't let your opportunity to recover compensation for your medical bills and lost wages slip away forever.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Ill. Ann. State. Ch. 735, Art. 5, Sec. 13-202. Personal injury" accessed Mar. 13, 2015

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