One thing you have to be aware of when you are involved in an accident is the statute of limitations in your state. The Illinois statute of limitations places a two-year limit on claims for personal injuries no matter where they occur. If you don't file a claim before that point, your ability to claim compensation can be lost forever.
One Illinois woman recently discovered this the hard way. While working as a custodian, the woman was in an area that was being remodeled and a desk that had been put aside by the contractor fell onto her. She was injured, so she filed a workers' compensation claim against A&R Janitorial, her employer -- and rightly so, so since she was injured on the job.
However, the contractor who put the desk in an unstable position should also have been sued through a third-party claim. Such claims often provide compensation far in excess of what workers' comp can provide. She'd already been awarded her workers' compensation claim, but she waited too long to file the additional personal injury claim, missing the two-year statute of limitations.
What this story shows is that it's important to know your rights as an employee to seek compensation for third-party injuries -- and to understand the time limits for doing so. If you don't file a lawsuit in the right amount of time you won't find the court sympathetic to your case.
Situations like these are why it is so important to talk your injury case over thoroughly with your attorney. A personal injury attorney can often identify avenues for redress that you aren't aware are possible.