FAQs About Illinois Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law is extremely complex because of the breadth of injuries it covers, but also because the laws change depending on which state you file in. The best way to get answers about your case is to consult with a Chicago personal injury lawyer, but here are some questions–and answers–to get you started. 

  • How long do I have to file a case? 

The most frequently cited answer is two years, but the more complex answer is that it depends on the type of personal injury case you wish to file. The statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years from the date of the injury, as is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case from the date of the death. It is similarly two years from the date of injury for a medical malpractice case or a product liability case. However, for a libel and slander case, you have only one year from the date of the incident to file and for a property damage case you have up to five years from the date of the incident to file.  While the time periods vary, generally it is best to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible after an incident as it is easier to gather evidence. The more time has passed from the incident the harder it can be to get accurate witness testimony. 

  • Can I sue for pain and suffering in Illinois? 

Yes, Illinois law does allow for victims to sue for pain and suffering. This can be difficult to quantify and is ultimately up to the court to decide, but a personal injury lawyer can provide guidance on how to quantify pain and suffering for a legal case. 

  • Does Illinois place a cap on the amount of money you can sue for in the case of medical malpractice, wrongful death or injury? 

No, there are no caps on damages for these types of lawsuits. While conducting your own research, you may see that there is a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages against doctors and $1 million cap on damages against hospitals, but this is outdated information. That was briefly the case between 2005 and 2010, but was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court in the case of Lebron v. Gottlieb

  • What is the difference between economic damages and non-economic damages under Illinois law? 

Economic damages, as the name implies, include reimbursement for expenses the victim had to pay including past and future medical expenses or lost wages. Non-economic damages include things a victim has to live with after an accident that they did not have before. This can include such pain and suffering, the loss of a partner, scars, disfigurement, post traumatic stress disorder among other things. 

 If you have been a victim of an injury due to the negligence of another, the best way to understand what compensation you could be entitled to is to schedule a consultation with Disparti Law Group to discuss the specifics of your case.