How Soon Must I Bring My Products Liability Case?

How Soon Must I Bring My Products Liability Case? Generally, you must bring your Illinois products liability case within either 2 or 4 years. There are the specific rules for the time limits in Illinois that you must be aware of in order to ensure that your case is filed on time.

  1. How Many Years Do You Have To Bring Products Liability Cases In Illinois?
  2. What Laws Dictate These Time Periods For Illinois Products Liability Cases?
  3. Worried It Might Be Too Late To Bring A Suit?

How Many Years Do You Have To Bring Products Liability Cases In Illinois?

Generally, you must bring your products liability case within either 2 or 5 years. Here are the specific rules for the time limits in Illinois:

  • If your products liability case involves personal claims, you have 2 years to bring them as 735 ILCS 5/13-202 (2010) sets forth.
  • If your products liability case involves property damages, you have 5 years to bring the claim as 735 ILCS 5/13-205 (2010) provides.
  • Generally, these 2 and 5-year time limits start to run when the injury or damage occurs unless the person is not aware of it. In that case, the limit starts when the person realizes it or should have realized the injury or damage as 735 ILCS 5/13-213(d) (2010) states. See also Golla v. Gen. Motors Corp., 167 Ill. 2d 353, 360 (Ill. 1995).
  • According to 735 ILCS 5/13-213(b), (c)(2) (2010), Illinois law can still bar your action regardless of the rules above if you do not bring your lawsuit 12 years from when the product was first sold, 10 years from when you first obtained the product, or 10 years from when the product was first altered. The only exception to this is if the seller/manufacturer/retailer specifically warranted a product for a longer length of time and you bring your action within that period. 735 ILCS 5/13-213(b), (c)(2) (2010).

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What Laws Dictate These Time Periods For Illinois Products Liability Cases?

As noted above, the amount of time that you have to bring a products liability case in Illinois is determined by the type injuries you claim. Therefore, you need to specifically identify the statutes that cover your harms and then see how many years they give you to file a cause of action. Here are the statutes of limitations for the most common kinds of products liability lawsuits:

  • According to 735 ILCS 5/13-202 (2010), you must bring an action for personal injuries from a defective product within two years:

    “Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation that may proceed pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 7.1 of the Criminal Conversation Abolition Act, except damages resulting from first degree murder or the commission of a Class X felony and the perpetrator thereof is convicted of such crime, shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued …”

  • According to 735 ILCS 5/13-205 (2010), you must bring an action for property damage from a defective product within five years:

    “Except as provided in Section 2-725 of the "Uniform Commercial Code", approved July 31, 1961, as amended, and Section 11-13 of "The Illinois Public Aid Code", approved April 11, 1967, as amended, actions on unwritten contracts, expressed or implied, or on awards of arbitration, or to recover damages for an injury done to property, real or personal, or to recover the possession of personal property or damages for the detention or conversion thereof, and all civil actions not otherwise provided for, shall be commenced within 5 years next after the cause of action accrued.

  • According to 740 ILCS 180/1(d), you must bring an action for a wrongful death from a defective product within two years:

    “Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e) of this Section, every such action shall be commenced within 2 years after the death of such person but an action against a defendant arising from a crime committed by the defendant in whose name an escrow account was established under the "Criminal Victims' Escrow Account Act" shall be commenced within 2 years after the establishment of such account.”

As you can see, it is important to identify what claims you will pursue as fast as possible because that will determine how much time you have to bring them. If you work with our experienced team, we can ensure that you adequately and timely file your cause of action in an Illinois courthouse.

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Worried It Might Be Too Late To Bring A Suit?

One of the biggest hurdles your products liability suit will face is the time period the statute of limitations gives you to bring a case. If you don’t file within this allotted window, then you won’t be able to recover at all. However, our attorneys will work tirelessly to make sure that this won’t happen to you. Also, we will put all of our resources and energy towards maximizing the compensation that you can get. Just call us today to find out what is possible. Someone from the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers would be happy to speak with you.

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