Statutes of Limitations and the Discovery Rule
Every state has time limits for filing civil suits. Whether you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit or a premises liability claim, every state has its own regulations regarding statutes of limitations. This time is restricted to ensure that the legal process runs quickly and smoothly and to ensure that any evidence used in a case is available to all parties involved in the suit.
It is a serious responsibility to determine whether to file a lawsuit, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you make an informed decision about your situation. Contact our firm to schedule a free initial consultation with a Chicago personal injury lawyer.Benefits To Speaking With A Lawyer Early On
After losing a loved one, it is difficult to think about moving forward, let alone pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important to recognize, however, that there are several benefits to filing a suit as early as possible. In Illinois, there is a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits, and if you wait beyond this period, you can no longer seek compensation.
In addition, the earlier you bring your case to our firm, the more accurate and timely our investigation will be. This timeliness allows us to collect information that may not be possible to collect at a later time, and it strengthens the importance of the information we gather that can make our settlement negotiations or jury verdict that much stronger later on in your case.How The Discovery Rule Impacts Your Wrongful Death Case
In a typical statute of limitations case, the time runs from the moment the injury occurs or is "discovered" to occur. For example, if you were in an accident, but your injury did not manifest itself until a year later, your statute of limitations timeline would begin upon this "discovery" rather than the date of the injury. If you broke your leg, however, that injury is well-known immediately and thus the timeline begins immediately.
In a wrongful death case, the same statute of limitations timeline applies. However, it is possible for the "discovery rule" to come into play if the wrongful death of a loved one resulted from an accident that happened previously and its effects were only manifesting at a later date, resulting in your loved one's death. Similarly, if your loved one's cause of death is not discovered until a later date, that would also constitute a date of discovery and can be used for the statute of limitations.The Earlier You Come In, The Better
Even if you simply suspect that your loved one's death was a wrongful death, the earlier you speak with an attorney about your concerns, the earlier you can get answers. You will not have to worry about the statute of limitations issue or rules of discovery if you are working with an attorney throughout the process as he or she will ensure that everything is handled within the proper time frame. Call our office at (312) 781-1977 to discuss how the statutes of limitations and the discovery rule in Illinois could impact your case.