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What is the Statute of Limitations and How Will It Affect My Case?

According to Wikipedia, “A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated. In civil law systems, similar provisions are typically part of the civil code or criminal code and are often known collectively as periods of prescription.”

Basically, this means that after in incident occurs, you have a certain period of time within which you are able to take legal action against a liable party. The amount of time differs based on the type of incident. Additionally, different states have different laws regarding the statute of limitations.

Illinois Legal Aid has a helpful compliation of the statute of limitations for the state of Illinois which shows that you often have as few as 180 days for some types of offenses and over ten years for others.

The statute of limitations is just one of a few reasons that it makes sense to contact a qualified legal professional as soon as an incident occurs. Other reasons include:

Evidence: The sooner you contact an attorney about a personal injury case, the sooner you can begin building evidence regarding a potential case. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to recreate the incident.

Medical Attention: If you did not immediately seek medical attention for an accident or incident, your Chicago personal injury attorney will have you do so right away.

Memory: The longer you wait to file a claim, personal injury suit or other action the further from the incident you will get. As a result, it may become increasingly difficult – especially for elderly people – to accurately recall important details regarding the incident.

For these reasons, you should contact a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Most reputable law firms offer 24/7 assistance and are able to travel to you to discuss your case in the event that your injuries prevent you from coming into their office.

DISCLAIMER: All information on this website
is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be
construed as legal advice. Malman Law shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

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