Illinois Statute of Limitations—Breach of Contract Related Deadlines
When one of the parties violates the contract, you need to act appropriately and on time. The deadline for filing a lawsuit is state-specific, so it is paramount to be well-informed on local laws and punctual. DoNotPay will provide you with all the relevant information about the Illinois statute of limitations for a breach of contract.
We can also help you send a demand letter to the breaching party before taking the case to court because you may resolve the matter more quickly.
Before filing a breach-of-contract lawsuit, you need to determine how much time you have for this task. The deadline for taking legal action is called a statute of limitations, and it varies across the States. Not respecting the set time frame will lead to your claim being time-barred and dismissed.
Take a look at the list below to see how much time you have to file a lawsuit for different types of contracts:
- Oral contract—five years
- Written contract—ten years
- Contracts for the sale of goods—four years
The statute of limitations period for breach-of-contract actions in Illinois does not accrue when you sustain damage but when the violation occurs. In case a contract entails a demand for performance, accrual starts on the day the demand is rejected.
Illinois has special rules and exceptions that may toll the statute of limitations. Depending on the case and the cause of action, these rules and exceptions could affect the statute of limitations timeline:
- Fraudulent concealment rule—If the defendant conceals a cause of action from you, it is your right to sue at any time within five years after the discovery
- Equitable tolling—This rule stops a statute of limitations from running under specific circumstances, such as:
- The defendant has actively misled you
- You being prevented from asserting your rights in some way
- Defendant’s absence from the state—The running of the statute of limitations may be tolled if the defendant:
- Resides outside of Illinois
- Is not subject to jurisdiction in Illinois
- Minority and legal disability—If you are under 18 or have a legal disability at the time the cause of action accrues, you can take action within two years after you turn 18, or the disability is removed
To be able to take legal action against the violating party, you will need to prove a breach occurred by demonstrating the breach-of-contract elements. Check out the table below for more information:
|A valid and enforceable contract||It is essential to prove that both parties agreed to the terms of the agreement|
|Performance by the plaintiff||You should provide evidence that you have completed all of your obligations listed in the contract. If you have not, you must explain why and whether the defendant’s actions prevented you from doing so|
|Breach by the defendant||You must demonstrate that the defendant failed to complete their obligations. The breach should be material, i.e., rendering the deal broken|
|Damage inflicted by the defendant’s actions||Once you prove the previous element, you need to show that the defendant’s action incurred significant losses|
The first step you should take when dealing with a breach of contract is to send a demand letter to the breaching party. This document should state why you believe there has been a breach, what actions should be taken next, and what you expect in terms of compensation.
While you might not be able to write the letter on your own, hiring expensive lawyers is not the only solution you have. DoNotPay has a product you can use! With us, you can get a professional, case-specific document instead of using generic online templates or paying a pretty penny for lawyer fees. These are the only steps to take:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Choose the Client Breach of Contract product
- Answer a few questions about the client and the agreement you made
- Include a payment deadline for the client
- Attach photos as evidence, if you have any
If your breach-of-contract demand letter yields no results, and the violating party ignores your requests, you should sue them in small claims court. We received the Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access in 2020 and can assist in this tricky legal matter.
DoNotPay streamlines the process entirely by:
- Gathering the essential paperwork
- Filling out the required court forms
- Making a script with solid arguments to boost your chances of winning
- Submitting the complaint on your behalf
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