Illinois Statute of Limitations for Defective Products

Each year, many people are seriously injured by unsafe and dangerous products. According to public policy, consumers should not have to worry about whether a product they buy or use is dangerous due to a defect of design, improper manufacturing, or an inadequate warning label about the possible dangers of using the product.

When people are injured by defectively designed or poorly manufactured products, companies that make or sell the dangerous product can be held responsible. However, there are time limits to when a person can seek compensation for their injuries from a defective product.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations on civil cases such as product defects are intended to create general fairness and reliability when it comes to filing lawsuits. Plaintiffs are required to decide whether to file a lawsuit or not in a timely matter. On the other hand, potential defendants should receive notice that they may have committed some harm against another party. The limitation ensures they will not have a legal matter hanging over their head indefinitely.

Types of Product Defect Claims

There are basically three types of liability that may be used in an Illinois product liability claim:

  • Strict liability – applies to defective products that are sold or leased and may have an expectation to cause injury.
  • Breach of warranty – breach of an implied warranty and/or breach of an express warranty, which means that the product did not do what it was designated to do.
  • Negligence – negligence applies to the manufacturer, distributor, retailer or others involved in the making or selling of the product. This could cover claims where there was a manufacturing defect or a failure to warn consumers about the product’s dangers.

Illinois Product Defect Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, a product liability lawsuit must be filed with the court within five years for claims related to property damage and two years for personal injury claims. The following table lists the main provisions of Illinois's statute of limitations for product liability, while additional background information follows. See FindLaw's Product Liability section for more information.

Statute Ill. Comp. Stat. 735 ILCS 5/12-901
Time Frame

The statute of limitations is five years for claims related to property damage and two years for personal injury claims.

Note: Because of how important it is to understand the specific statute of limitation in the state where a lawsuit may be filed, you'll want to seek legal advice as soon as possible after suffering an injury from a defective or dangerous product. You can get started with a free legal review of your potential claim. Contact an Illinois product liability attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Illinois Product Liability Laws: Related Resources

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