Lawmakers in Springfield are giving those facing damages in civil litigation a financial incentive to come up with the cash in the form of interest that’s applicable to demands for compensation. The nine-percent rate accrues from the date that defendants are notified of a claim and is applied when they settle or if judgements go against them at trial. Personal injury and wrongful death suits will be subject to the annual charge should Gov. JB Pritzker sign the bill that passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate during the lame-duck legislative session. Illinois is one of four states with no prejudgement interest rules in its civil code.
The changes to the Code of Civil Procedure makes persons and legal entities, such as business and hospitals, liable for the tariff should they be found negligent. Pending suits will be subject to prejudgement interest from the date the law takes effect, while those against government bodies are exempt. Legislators claim the new rules will provide a powerful inducement for parties to settle cases that often take years to work their way through the judicial system. Critics contend that because the legislation forces defendants to shoulder a potentially greater risk should they choose to defend themselves, it could inspire firvolous lawsuits Among the bill’s flaws, they add, is the failure to include a statute of limitations that could see interest sums exceed demands should suits play out over long time horizons.
The DuPage Civil Litigators at The Chicagoland Law Firm represent clients in civil cases, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. We welcome changes to improve the pace of settlement as they provide a faster route to compensation. And, at a lower cost. To discuss the facts in your case with our experienced team of DuPage County Civil Litigation Attorneys, contact our offices in Downers Grove and downtown Chicago. This free consultation will help us to understand your claim. Should you retain us, we will provide legal representation that can help you achieve the best results possible for the facts in your case.