Illinois Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Like all civil claims, there is a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit known as the statute of limitations. Wrongful death cases filed after this deadline can and will be dismissed.

Under Illinois law, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois. The date the clock begins to run is the date of your loved one’s death, which may be later than the date of the incident that leads to their death. For example, your loved one may be in a catastrophic car crash yet remain in a coma for several months before passing away. You would begin the two-year count down on the date of their death.

However, there are rare situations in which you may have longer than two years to file. One exception is if a minor under the age of 18 years is killed. The surviving parents have two years after what would have been their child’s 18th birthday to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

To discuss the statute of limitations and how long you have to file a wrongful death claim, call our Springfield death attorneys right away. The sooner you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, the sooner you can file a claim.


A Survival Claim Differs From a Wrongful Death Claim

In Illinois, a wrongful death claim is based on the injuries suffered by the surviving family members. This is different from the claim the deceased individual would have had, had they lived. The legal claim the decedent had typically dies with them. However, under the Survival Act of Illinois, there are times when a lawsuit survives a person’s death.

The Survival Act states that actions to recover damages for an injury to the person, except for slander and libel survive. This means a personal injury claim may survive a person’s death if the individual did not die immediately following an accident. The days, weeks, or months between the date of the incident and the date of the person’s death give rise to a personal injury lawsuit, which the surviving family can pursue after the injured individual’s death.

Through a surviving personal injury lawsuit, you can seek the compensation your loved one would have fought for had they lived. You can fight for your relative’s estate to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

To learn more about the differences between a survival action and wrongful death claim, and whether you and your family can bring one or both, call a Springfield wrongful death lawyer.


Contact Our Springfield Wrongful Death Law Firm

When you lose a relative unexpectedly, it is natural to want answers. You want to know why they passed away and who is responsible. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we want to get those answers for you. We are here to look into unexpected and suspicious deaths in order to determine if you have a legal claim. When another person or business is liable for your loved one’s injuries and death, we can guide you through the process of pursuing compensation in a wrongful death case.

Never hesitate to call us with your questions. You can reach us via our online contact form or at (217) 528-9955 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.