Illinois Contract Law and the Statute of Limitations

Web Admin - Thursday, March 27, 2014

illinois breach of contract attorneyLawsuits are based around some sort of legal claim, an event or controversy where someone was harmed. For contracts this harm is usually comes in the form of a breach, where one party fails to fulfill its obligations. However, people are not allowed to simply lie in wait indefinitely after a breach of contract and file a suit decades later. Instead, the law imposes a rule called a statute of limitations. This rule acts as a time limit on filing a case, though the time limit varies based on the particular circumstances of the case.

After learning about statutes of limitations, many people wonder why they exist.

Intuitively, it seems unfair that an injured party should have a countdown placed on their ability to seek compensation. In reality there are two reasons for it, fairness to the defendant and the accuracy of the trial. From the standpoint of fairness, the law believes that even if someone has done something wrong, they still have the right to deal with it in open court and then put it behind them, rather than having the threat of a lawsuit hanging over them for the rest of their life.

As for the accuracy of the trial, evidence often degrades over time. Crucial objects can be lost, and witnesses’ recollections of events can grow hazy. Consequently, courts want plaintiffs bringing cases swiftly in order to have the best information available.

How Long is the Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract?

For the purposes of contract law the statute of limitations can be as long 10 years or as short as one depending on what type of contract it is. The longest time limit, 10 years, belongs to breaches of standard written contracts. However, if the contract breached was an oral one rather than a written one, then Illinois law brings the statute of limitations down from 10 years to five. Certain sales contracts can have even shorter limits, four years by default, but the terms of the contract can opt to limit it to as little as one year.

In addition to the question of how long the statute of limitations is, the other major concern is the question of when the clock starts to count down. The general rule is that the time limit starts running from the moment of the breach, not the moment that the breach causes the injury. However, there is an exception to this normal starting point if something called the Discovery Rule applies.

The Discovery Rule "tolls" the statute of limitations, meaning that it prevents the time from counting down, until the injured party either discovers the breach or should have reasonably discovered the breach. Importantly, the Discovery Rule does not function for all breach of contract claims in Illinois, so whether it applies will depend on the specific facts of a case. There are also other rules that can toll the statute under certain circumstances such as if the injured party is a minor or away on military service.

If you believe you have a claim against someone for breaching a contract, contact a Palatine civil litigation attorney before the statute of limitations on your claim expires. Our experienced lawyers help clients across northwest suburban Cook County, in towns like Barrington, Des Plaines, and Crystal Lake.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Recent Posts


pedestrian accidents llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association insurance claim dispute wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney auto accidents Crystal Lake tax lawyer Palatine employment lawyer insurance disputes Deer Park employment law attorney marijuana caregiver Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Kenilworth estate planning attorneys insurance negligence probate lawyer traumatic brain injuries Mt Prospect Attorney insurance dispute Illinois business law atorneys Illinois insurance attorney hands free device landlord tenant law eluding a police officer Barrington litigation attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Forcible Entry modern family estate planning Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act privacy laws Illinois workers compensation lawyer Illinois employment laws mortgage Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Inverness accident lawyer Chicago estate planning lawyer medical malpractice license suspension Illinois collections attorney Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines accident attorney Illinois small business Palatine drug lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer Landlord Tenant Ordinance Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Illinois lawyer golf accidents estate planning lawyer life insurance rollover car crashes Inverness DUI lawyer new real estate form personal injury lawyer sexual images trauma after an accident Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Illinois real estate lawyer Illinois personal injury criminal defense Transfer on Death Instrument Rolling Meadows employment attorney Arlington Heights injury attorney Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney digital information dealing with problem employees liability employment attorney swimming pools Do Not Resuscitate estate planning attorney Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer wrongful death rollover accidents Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act pet bites Schaumburg estate planning attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer boating accidents traffic violations defense LLCs Barrington criminal defense lawyer Inverness corporate attorney Class A misdemeanor Barrington estate planning attorney Arlington Heights criminal lawyer insurance claims civil rights violation healthcare Schaumburg estate attorney distracted driving accidents drug crimes income distribution deducation defective products startup company Des Plaines criminal attorney Illinois injury lawyer traffic accidents Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Crystal Lake business law attorneys whistleblower protections employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys trench injuries Inverness estate planning lawyer Illinois workplace discrimination attorney life insurance claims personal injury law firm medication errors Palatine civil attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation speeding Colin H. Gilbert unfunded trust Barrington Traffic Lawyer underage DUI Illinois medical malpractice claim natural gas Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Illinois DUI attorney paid sick leave accidental death benefits employees Illinois employment law pet law unpaid assessment digital assets pay when paid contract Attorney Ken Apicella right to work drunk driving statistics Thanksgiving insurance agents Buffalo Grove probate lawyer workers compensation Illinois medical malpractice attorney workers comp creditors living wills Illinois tax attorney Illinois employee rights attorney. problem employees estate plan car accident Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Palatine elder law attorney vacation home motorcycle accident employee rights Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Chicago biking tips Barrington business law firm blended families TBI Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney Fourth of July Schaumburg real estate lawyer Schaumburg corporate attorney pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney landlord slip and fall accidents insurance claim DUI Palatine estate planning lawyer irrevocable trust Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Illinois workers compensation attorney Barrington employment law firm Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer employment law Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois boating accident lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Schaumburg Des Plaines Illinois bicycle safety Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Home Remodeling Repair Act denial of life insurance Des Plaines collections attorney insurance adjusters Arlington Heights insurance attorney Illinois defective products attorney medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Rolling Meadows traffic law firm real estate lawyer life insurance lawyer Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois pet lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer Crystal Lake car accident attorney Rolling Meadows Schaumburg employment law attorneys Illinois registered agent Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney holiday statistics license Schaumburg estate planning lawyer insurance dispute attorney estate tax filing a medical malpractice claim Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Inverness civil lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer workplace sexual harassment consent to a search FMLA Crystal Lake will lawyer car accidents tax attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Schaumburg car accident attorney jet ski uninsured motorist Whistleblower Claims forming a corporation in Illinois Rolling Meadows tax attorney Illinois wills and trusts attorneys ken apicella Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney civil litigation murder defense real estate zoning insurance claim denial Illinois real estate privacy wage theft in terrorem provision CAM employment law, Illinois employment laws Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney advance healthcare directive commercial real estate investment property probate process Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Retaliatory Discharge Deer Park traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument deed transfer college kids Des Plaines claims law firm Deer Park accident attorney agent Detainer Actions automated cars underfunded trust rumble strips manufacturing traffic offenses fiduciary rule Illinois insurance lawyer subcontractor Chicago will attorney Palatine Attorney caretaker rights Long Grove estate planning attorney bicycle dooring accidents Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer cell phone accidents wills home inspection lawyer Barrington injury attorney Inverness probate lawyer Des Plaines DUI attorney Palatine trusts lawyer Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers real estate estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers sexual harassment Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers trucking accidents Crystal Lake employment attorney living trust benefits drunk driving Inverness traffic law firm Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney spinal cord injuries preventing accidents insurance claim delay business litigation pedestrian accident internet Affordable Care Act small business drug crimes lawyer truck collisions driving Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys digital evidence Illinois wills and trusts Palatine business attorney homestead rights special needs trust Illinois job attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer IRS personal injury claim Des Plaines pet law attorney installment contracts Illinois estate planning law firm criminal Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows real estate attorney pregnant women Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Illinois Human Rights Act revenge porn Arlington Heights tax lawyer Schaumburg criminal law attorney Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer first degree murder premises liability Inverness injury lawyer comparative negligence liability claims ObamaCare Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Illinois medical malpractice case criminal record Barrington attorney brain injury elder abuse Barrington boating accident attorney Illinois insurance disputes Crystal Lake law firm Illinois traffic accident lawyer field sobriety test Employment Discrimination Law reckless homicide rest breaks Rolling Meadows Attorney life insurance policy fault based insurance Deer Park personal injury lawyer medical malpractice claims motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois mortgages Joliet general practice lawyers Des Plaines injury law firm residential real estate jet ski accidents Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer suspended license Illinois Probate Act of 1975 institutional trustee traffic tickets murder charges Palatine criminal defense lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney Fair Labor Standards Act Liquor Control Act traumatic brain injury Crystal Lake traffic lawyer pain and suffering changes to mortgage law estate planning trusts boating under the influence Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Illinois corporate lawyer Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney POA Policy Cancellation Buffalo Grove law firm Palatine real estate lawyer compensatory time DUI penalities comp time Long Grove estate planning Barrington personal injury lawyer Inverness real estate attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer wills and trusts employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, disability benefits Arlington Heights employment attorney personal injury claims Deer Park traffic accident attorney estate planning natural gas explosion Illinois employment law attorneys employment contract condo insurance agent negligence anesthesia errors Palatine traffic accidents real estate attorneys Palatine construction attorney Illinois will lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Colin Gilbert criminal law Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer boating DUI Arlington Heights accident attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer icy parking lots slip and fall Palatine corporate attorney Chicago traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney trustee Long Grove real estate attorney FSLA Home Sale Contingencies estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, hit and run accident Des Plaines personal injury lawyers traffic laws underinsured motorist commercial leases denied insurance claims fiduciary rule delay Illinois corporate law crossover accidents no contest clauses commercial leasing Illinois workplace lawyer Illinois estate planning Illinois driving without license DMV nursing home negligence taxes living trust vs will Des Plaines tax law firm insurance denial appeals insurance claim dispute attorney PTSD meal breaks Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer probate fees Barrington employment law attorney breach of contract Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Illinois personal injury attorney overtime pay dram shop law owner responsibility Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers workers compensation benefits Schaumburg personal injury attorney Chicago corporate attorney Inverness real estate lawyer child safety denied insurance claim DNR Des Plaines civil attorney Palatine corporate law attorneys Rolling Meadows business lawyer Palatine employment attorney Exclusions medical research distracted driving accident victims power of attorney for healthcare personal injury Illinois traffic attorney Long Grove real estate lawyer work unions Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Illinois employment attorneys Illinois car accident attorney Illinois red light cameras real estate closing Illinois Sales Representative Act Schaumburg personal injury lawyers estate planning for college students Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Chicago estate planning Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Illinois criminal defense attorney medical marijuana severance agreements Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer texting while driving blood alcohol content Barrington civil litigation attorney fatal car accidents loopholes probate claims process Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Chicago employment attorney real estate attorney mass shooting Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Illinois insurance dispute lawyers wrongful termination car accident lawyers Des Plaines insurance attorney texting and driving personal injury accidents capital gains tax foreclosed rental property Long Grove estate planning attorneys Palatine personal injury lawyer trusts cell phone Illinois construction accident attorney bad faith insurance claims traffic violations breathalyzer test Palatine probate lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers attorney fees Inverness personal injury attorney Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer head on collisions Deer Park criminal attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Des Plaines real estate lawyer cell phone tower data Schaumburg Attorney Illinois LLC creation product liability Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Barrington drug crime attorney estate attorney Illinois estate planning attorney employment lawyer Palatine law firm Schaumburg traffic lawyer Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney Chicago lawyer digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Illinois traffic attorneys Schaumburg personal injury lawyer food poisoning probate sole proprietorship Illinois traffic laws traffic crimes Illinois trucking safety liens Palatine civil litigation lawyer license reinstatement vacation home fines federal crimes Illinois insurance claims lawyers BUI DUI defense Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Barrington estate planning lawyer Schaumburg probate attorney car crashes Inverness insurance attorney elder law ACA federal regulations for LLCs surgical mistakes gift taxes South Barrington real estate lawyer real estate leasing employee misclassification drug possession Palatine injury attorney Palatine employment law lawyer overtime violations contracts Barrington employment attorney unauthorized overtime Illinois Smoke Detector Act expungement back injuries Chicago attorney Illinois employment law firm Illinois employment law attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer personal injury attorney minimum wage Deer Park medical malpractice attorney insurance claim denials Illinois trusts attorney products liability Chicago employment lawyer DGAA Palatine workers compensation lawyer clemency Palatine insurance lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Crystal Lake pet attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer condo association gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer healthcare claims Self-Directed IRA Accounts Schaumburg civil litigation attorney IRELA drugs Crystal Lake insurance lawyer controlled substance Illinois civil litigation lawyer power of attorney IRA trust transfer trucking accident lawyers DUI attorney appealing an insurance claim Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer social media after death Illinois elder law attorney Illinois home inspection Des Plaines personal injury lawyer foreclosure dynasty trusts Illinois rollover accident lawyers Chicago insurance claim attorneys Legal Info construction accidents job lawyers real estate contract Super Mario probate claims car collision independent contractor civil litigation attorney Illinois attorney BAC personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys license revocation rent to own real estate contracts Illinois living will defective products lawyer medical malpractice compensation pizza emoji senior citizens Chicago trucking accident attorney Illinois law unpaid overtime Jay Andrew insurance attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm deadly crashes Illinois personal injury lawyers Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Schaumburg injury lawyer Illinois jet ski accident lawyer GM ignition switches Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Family Medical Leave Act Des Plaines personal injury attorney Palatine traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorney drug crime construction contracts financial advisors Deer Park DUI lawyer Palatine punch death Inverness elder law lawyer marijuana crimes attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys dog bites Barrington criminal lawyer hiring employees health insurance dispute Chicago insurance law firm Illinois probate lawyer car crash injuries car crash guardianship attorney car accident lawyer Des Plaines real estate attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorney Chicago car accident lawyer involuntary manslaughter Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Illinois speeding lawyer Schaumburg employment attorney spinal cord injury Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act traffic deaths Mount Prospect elder law attorney operating agreements Illinois personal injury lawyer preventable medical errors trust payments employee discrimination Arlington Heights car crash attorneys South Barrington real estate attorney Illinois business lawyer IRA benefits loss of consortium murder low-ball insurance settlement bike accident Barrington real estate lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney Arlington Heights lawyer Crystal Lake traffic attorney insurance denials bicycle accidents Arlington Heights traffic attorney Buffalo Grove injury lawyer living trust BAIID Illinois employment lawyer Schaumburg insurance lawyers Des Plaines drug lawyer