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Changes in Civil Settlement Laws in Illinois will affect Insurers and Defendants

Settlements and liens in civil cases were dramatically altered when Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 098-0548 into law, an act which amends the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. The new statute strictly regulates the deadlines for exchanging settlement documents and payments after a civil matter has been adjudicated or settled. The most notable change is that the defendant is required to provide a settlement draft within thirty days of the receipt of specific legal documents, or else he/she may be subject to monetary penalties.

According to the experts, section 2301 applies to settlements that involve property damage, personal injury, wrongful death, or tort actions related to claims for monetary damages. However, the statute does not apply to state agencies, employees, municipalities, or local governments. It will also not cover class-action lawsuit in the state of Illinois.

The most important change is that the new statute will require the defendant to remit all sums due to the plaintiff within 30 days of the settlement. The hope is that this new legislation will help expedite the civil process and move lawsuits through the courts in an orderlyfashion.