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What is the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in state of IL, what happens if driver does not have insurance

Illinois |

first i have to apologize for my english :) it was almost 3 years ago, one of my friends hit a woman with his car, it was snowing and the car slid he couldn't turn to any other way he tried to stop it but couldn't , the woman looked ok she had just bruises in her knees and the car was perfect; he went to court twice and the case was dismissed because the women didn't show up. Now after 3 years he received a paper where it says he has to pay $100.000 because injuries and court costs; and probably go to another court process, by that time for his insurance was cancelled the same day; does he have to pay all this amount of money? And why after 3 years?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Please note that I am not licensed in Illinois, but I can give you some general information:

    Your question raises a few points that I would like to clarify -

    1. You will need to find out what the Statute of Limitations for Negligence Actions in the State of Illinois. The statute starts running, usually, from the date of the accident.

    2. Was the prior lawsuit dismissed by the court with or without prejudice to renew? If it was dismissed with prejudice, then a subsequent lawsuit should not be brought. If it was dismissed without prejudice (and assuming the Plaintiff is within the Statute of Limitations) then it could lawfully be brought.

    3. What type of paper was your friend served with? Was it a Summons and Complaint or a Judgment? They are addressed differently, and either should be sent to your friend's insurance company. If the company denies coverage because the policy was cancelled prior to the accident, then your friend should immediately contact an attorney to help him.

    4. Your friend's insurance policy was cancelled the same day - do you mean the date of accident or the date he received the new lawsuit. If a policy was in force on the date of accident, the insurance company would still be obligated to owe your friend defense and indemnification for the accident. Did an attorney for the insurance carrier represent him during the prior lawsuit? If so, the policy was most likely still in effect.


  2. Although your English is fine, it's a little hard to decipher what's going on with your friend. Assuming the woman who your friend hit was over 18 at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations in Illinois would have expired two years from the date of the accident. This means that the woman would have had to file suit against your friend on or before the two year anniversary of the accident. If she waited longer than 2 years, her lawsuit is subject to being dismissed.

    What makes it hard to give you specific advice is that I can't quite tell what kind of "paper" was served on your friend. If it's a new lawsuit, then it's probably too late. If, on the other hand, the woman already filed a lawsuit and this is her attempt to collect a judgment which she obtained earlier, a different set of rules and advice would apply. Your friend needs to take the paper that he received to a lawyer right away and get an explanation about what is going on. Waiting could result in something bad happening, so he really shouldn't wait.

    It is also hard to understand what was going on with his insurance. If he had insurance on the date of the accident and it was cancelled later, he should be covered. If his insurance company had cancelled his insurance on the date of the accident, someone will have to look to see why the insurance was cancelled. If there is no insurance, then your friend will be responsible for hiring a lawyer to defend him in the lawsuit and, if he loses, paying the judgment. As a practical matter, most people can't pay judgments of this type so lawyers for people who have injured by drivers who don't have insurance typically file what is called an uninsured motorist claim against the insurance of the injured driver. The end result of this is that the uninsured driver (here, your friend) doesn't actually end up paying the judgment.

    The best advice that anyone can give your friend is to get to a lawyer immediately with the paper that he's been served with. Good luck


  3. Generally the statute of limmitations in Illinois for a personal injury is 2 years. The statute may be longer if the injured personis a minor, or if the personal Injury resulted from construction activities.
    Your friend should report the lawsuit to his insurance company right away. If he had insurance the insurance carrier should provide him with a lawyer.


  4. Generally the statute of limmitations in Illinois for a personal injury is 2 years. The statute may be longer if the injured personis a minor, or if the personal Injury resulted from construction activities.
    Your friend should report the lawsuit to his insurance company right away. If he had insurance the insurance carrier should provide him with a lawyer.

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