Legal Guide

How Long Does a Car Accident Case Take in Illinois?

With car accidents, the conclusion of lawsuits only makes sense on paper. In reality, the period a suit takes is highly dependent on a variety of factors that build up depending on the ultimate direction a case takes. However, this is not to discourage you from seeking justice, provided you keep in mind the two years statutory time limit for filing lawsuits in Illinois.

What is the first thing to do after a car accident in Illinois?

If you or your loved ones suffer an injury due to a car accident in Illinois, the first thing to do is to reach a personal injury lawyer.  The lawyer will fight for you aggressively, and you don't have to pay a single sent for fees unless the recovery amount is in your favor.

What processes are involved in a car accident lawsuit?

Gaining clarity on what to expect in a car accident lawsuit will enable you to have a realistic perspective on the amount of time the suit will take, from start to finish.

Pre-trial stage

Pre-trial is the formative stage in a car accident lawsuit. The plaintiff serves a complaint against the defendant. The plaintiffs' attorney drafts three copies of a plaint (initial complaint). He then gives a copy to the defendant and files one with the courthouse. The plaint shows the claims against the defendant and the amount needed as compensation.

If the defendant agrees to the plaintiff's claims, he will pay for the damages, in which case the matter ends just like that.


Settlements are the best direction a car accident case can take. Both the plaintiff and defendant agree on the time and location of where the settlement will take place. It is paramount to note that by choosing to deal with the car accident case by way of settlement, you will have saved money and time than you would a trial. If, after a settlement, the parties have not found common ground, the case proceeds to trial.

Discovery and deposition

At the beginning of a trial, the parties share evidence. This process is known as discovery. It seeks to ensure that all parties have fair access to evidence. This stage may take weeks or months, after which depositions begin.


The questions raised during depositions can be clarified further at the beginning or during the trial. The trial stage can be long or short, depending on the number of sessions the court will sit. Upon satisfaction, the jury will give a verdict; hence, the case is closed.


After you or your loved ones have sustained injuries from a car accident, it is vital to know that the lawsuit will take so long. A better way to resolving the case is out of court settlements; it helps settle the dispute early and quickly. However, it is not too late to opt-out if you proceed to trial because you can still go for alternative dispute resolution.

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