Illinois Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Per 740 ILCS 180/1, there is generally a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death actions. While true in many cases, certain entities are entitled to statutory immunities. For example, a case against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) resulting in death would need to be brought within one year of the death. If you lost a loved one through negligence or wrongdoing and you are unsure if you still have time to file a wrongful death action, we encourage you to contact our Chicago wrongful death attorneys directly.

Why is there a statute of limitations?

The purpose of the statute of limitations as it refers to tort law is to facilitate a swift resolution to cases involving wrongdoing. The statute of limitations ensures two main things:

  • That plaintiffs with valid cases pursue them with reasonable diligence
  • That both parties do not lose valuable evidence (the more time passes, the more likely this becomes)

How Statutes of Limitations Protect Evidence

Having a statute of limitations in place actually benefits the plaintiff, because the sooner a case is investigated, the more reliable the evidence will be. Over time, documents get lost and people forget the details. For this reason, the sooner you contact an attorney about your wrongful death action, the better.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

Once you determine that you have not exceeded the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, your attorney can begin to establish the following elements that every wrongful death claim must have:

  • Duty of the defendant to the decedent
  • Breach of that duty
  • Breach proximately caused the death of the decedent
  • Pecuniary damages resulted to next of kin, as defined by the Act

You may still have many unanswered questions as it pertains to wrongful death, so we encourage you to contact a Chicago wrongful death lawyer at our firm for the answers you need. We are available for free consultations, so call (312) 313-0202.