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How Long After an Illinois Car Accident Do You Have to Claim an Injury?

Not everyone needs or wants to claim an injury immediately following a car accident – in Chicago, or anywhere. This is understandable. Car accidents are unexpected events that can be emotionally jarring, not to mention disruptive to everyday living. But if the crash doesn’t cause significant damage to your person, you may not feel the need to go to the doctor, let alone go through the time-consuming steps and paperwork required to claim a car accident injury.

Injuries from car accidents are tricky, though, because they don’t always show up immediately following the crash. Car accidents trigger stress. In response, your body produces endorphins to cope, which can actually block any pain and lead you to believe you are fine. This is one of the reasons accident injuries can take days, if not weeks or months, to surface.

Don’t ignore the role of the accident itself if your injury surfaces late. In many cases, you are within your rights when it comes to pressing a claim.

In the State of Illinois, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for injuries. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it applies to injuries when the other driver is at fault or if there is another factor (like a manufacturing defect) that causes the injury. Note, however, that when the accident involves making a claim against a local public entity or one of its employees (such as a school bus driver), the statute of limitation drops to one year from the date of the accident.

All that said, no two car accidents are alike, and some circumstances could mean you have less than two years, while others give you more than that time frame. It all depends on the details. This is why it’s so important to contact an attorney as soon as possible, so they can help you determine the time frame with which you’re dealing and make the best possible claim.

To avoid some of this confusion, we strongly suggest seeing a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if it’s just for minor things like headaches or joint pain. As Hon. Henry R. Simmons (Ret.) noted in a recent interview, “Having a physician diagnosis and treat your injuries and prepare the required medical charts provides the evidence that you were truly injured.” He also noted that getting professional medical advice and care can be for your peace of mind and well being — two things you’ll definitely want at your side when you start to work on filing your claim.

Clifford Law Offices’ car accident attorneys have decades of experience handling Illinois car accident cases. Because of our extensive experience, we have the experience to handle nearly every situation involving personal injury – no matter the circumstance.

Contact Clifford Law Offices to help your family maximize financial recovery and move forward. Call (312) 899-9090 or contact us online today for your free legal consultation.