A new law takes effect in Illinois July 1st which imposes a 6% prejudgment interest on personal injury and wrongful death actions.
Governor Pritzker signed SB72 into law on May 28, 2021 and it takes effect on July 1, 2021. The law applies a 6% interest to personal injury or wrongful death actions arising out of any theory of tort liability. Interest begins to accrue on the date the defendant has notice of the injury from the incident, or by written notice. For pending claims, the interest begins to accrue from the date the law become effective. This pre-judgment interest applies to most categories of damages, including non-economic and future damages.
The interest can be limited by settlement offers made within 12 months of the suit being filed which are not accepted within 90 days, or that are rejected by the plaintiff. If the judgment is greater than the highest offer, then the plaintiff only gets prejudgment interest on the difference between the highest offer and the judgment. If the judgment is less than or equal to the highest offer, then the plaintiff gets no prejudgment interest. Defendants will need to be mindful of the prejudgment interest in evaluating settlement.