Illinois law, like the law in other states, limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit. The law that governs how much time you have to file a case is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations exists for a few reasons. For example, it provides certainty to potential defendants by creating a date beyond which they are no longer legally liable for damages. While this may seem unfair to a nursing home victim, the law also protects the victim by requiring the victim to file a lawsuit quickly before evidence that would support the claim disappears.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, then you can expect that the defense will motion the court to dismiss your complaint and that the court will promptly grant that request. You will be left without any recovery of damages and the nursing home will not be held accountable. Accordingly, it is important to know your rights and to take prompt action to protect those rights as soon as possible.
In Most Cases You Have Two Years to File a Nursing Home Injury Case in Illinois
The two-year statute of limitations begins when you knew, or reasonably should have known, that you were hurt.
There are some exceptions to this general statute of limitations, however. Your time may be shorter if you were hurt in a government-run facility, for example.
There Are Good Reasons Not to Wait the Full Two Years
While you may technically have two years to file many nursing home abuse cases in Illinois, you may want to take action sooner. By taking prompt action you may:
- Have an easier time finding a lawyer to represent you. It can be difficult to find an attorney when the statute of limitations is about to expire.
- Make sure that evidence in the case is preserved. It may be easier to find witnesses and other evidence sooner rather than later.
- Speed up your possible recovery. The sooner you pursue damages, the sooner you may recover damages.
Of course, the first step on the road to recovery is not simply to file a complaint in court. Instead, it is to find out more about your rights and about how nursing home abuse cases work in Illinois. Please contact us directly, via this website or by phone, to schedule a free and confidential meeting to learn more.