Prejudgment Interest Starting as Early as the Time of Injury? At a Rate of 9% Interest? A Bill Sits on Illinois’ Governor’s Desk.

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Personal injury plaintiffs in Illinois could soon be awarded pre-judgment interest at a rate of 9% per annum starting as early as the date of alleged injury if a bill passed by the Illinois Legislature is signed in to law. 

The bill, formally titled Amendment to House Bill 3360, states that “[p]rejudgment interest shall begin to accrue on the date the defendant has notice of the injury from the incident itself or a written notice.” It goes on to propose that the judgment shall be “calculated at the rate of 9% per annum.” The proposed law applies to any “damages for personal injury or wrongful death…whether by negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, intentional conduct, or strict liability” of any defendant, other than municipalities.

The bill, which passed the Illinois House and Senate and now sits on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law, would amend Illinois’ current law that allows for interest to be accrued on verdicts only after a judgment is entered. Significantly, the proposed amendment would be retroactive stating that prejudgment interest begins to accrue on the later of the effective date of the law or the date the alleged tortfeasor has notice of the injury.

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