The Illinois General Assembly has passed a bill that includes prejudgment interest in the recovery of damages in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
HB 3360 specifies “that in all actions brought to recover damages for personal injuries or wrongful death resulting from or occasioned by the wrongful conduct of any other person or entity, the plaintiff shall recover prejudgment interest on all damages set forth in the judgment,” a legislative summary of the bill states.
According to an analysis of HB 3360 by the law firm Holland and Knight, “Illinois law has not recognized the award of prejudgment interest in tort actions for personal injury or wrongful death.”
The bill was passed by both houses of the General Assembly on Jan. 13 and sent to Gov. JB Pritzker for his signature. If it becomes law, the bill becomes effective at that time.
The prejudgment interest rate specified in the bill is 9%. The bill states: “Prejudgment interest shall begin to accrue on the date the defendant has notice of the injury from the incident itself or a written notice. In entering judgment for the plaintiff in the action, the court shall add to the amount of the judgment interest on the amount calculated at the rate of 9% per annum.”
Holland and Knight noted in its analysis that if and when the bill becomes law, the impact will be immediate. “It provides that for any personal injury or wrongful death occurring before the effective date of the bill, prejudgment interest shall begin to accrue on the later of the effective date or the date that the alleged tortfeasor has notice of the injury,” the law firm said.
Local public entities are not liable for prejudgment interest in cases “brought directly or vicariously against it by the injured party,” according to the legislative summary.
This article was first published in Insurance Journal.