Generally, you have two years to take legal action after getting hit by a car in Illinois
After getting hit by a car as a pedestrian, as with other types of injury cases, the State of Illinois imposes strict time limits in how long you have to take legal action. This is called a Statute of Limitations and in most cases, you will have two years from the date of the accident. After that date, you lose your right to sue. There are some exceptions to this, as is the case if you are hit by a CTA bus or have a claim against another municipality or governmental entity. In some cases, notice has to be provided as early as within six months of your accident.
Why waiting to talk to a personal injury lawyer could hurt you
The two year time frame to sue does not mean that you have the luxury of time and should wait until the last minute to contact a lawyer, even if you have been trying on your own to deal with the insurance company. The reason that you don't want to wait until the statute is about to run is because many lawyers will simply refuse to take your case at that point. Holding drivers responsible for their own actions, even in car v. pedestrian cases, is complex. Even if a driver admits to hitting a pedestrian, some will try to find defenses or make it look like the pedestrian's own behavior played a role, in order to minimize what they might have to pay out by way of compensation. Or the injuries themselves could be disputed. There are many factors that go into a successful claim for personal injury, and the facts will be carefully investigated by both your lawyer and by the insurance company for the driver who hit you. Careful investigation takes time and should take place before a lawsuit is filed. Even if you have been dealing with the insurance company for a while and are coming close to the two year statute date, it is normally a good idea to have an attorney take a look at your case and deal with the insurance company for you. The sooner you can get an attorney involved to handle your injury case, the better- even if just to find out if you "have a case" or if it is the type of matter that you may want to continue to handle on your own. Don't leave yourself without a chance just because you waited too long. Contact us today if you or your child has been hit by a car and you'd like to discuss your options.