We know that dealing with the aftermath of an injury can be stressful, and figuring out the legal aspects of it might be the last thing on your mind. However, knowing your rights and the time frame to file a lawsuit is essential. The NY statute of limitations for personal injury accidents is typically three years from the injury date. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. That’s why contacting a New York personal injury lawyer after your injury is essential—you must confirm the proper filing date to avoid jeopardizing your potential compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the deadline within which you must file a lawsuit against all responsible parties. You lose your right to seek compensation for your damages if you miss this deadline. While the limitation period is usually three years, circumstances can increase or decrease your filing time.
What Happens If You Miss the Statute of Limitations?
Courts are not very forgiving if you miss the filing deadline. The excuse that you didn’t know the correct date will not cut you any slack. Courts expect you to consult with a lawyer if you don’t know the valid date. That’s one reason why filing ahead of schedule is always good. You don’t want to wait until the last day only to find out you missed the deadline entirely.
Exceptions to the NY Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Accidents
The three-year time frame applies to most personal injury cases in New York, including car accidents and slip and falls. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Here are a few examples of common exceptions you might encounter in a New York personal injury matter.
In certain situations, the clock doesn’t start ticking until you discover (or should have discovered) your injury. This exception commonly applies in cases involving toxic exposure, where the harmful effects may not be immediately apparent. Other examples include medical malpractice, where you don’t immediately know something is wrong, such as a surgical instrument left inside.
If you’re filing a claim against a city, county, or state government, you have a much shorter time frame to work with. You must file a notice of claim within 90 days of the incident. This deadline differs from the statute of limitations, but you cannot file a lawsuit until you meet the administrative agency rules first. For example, in New York City, you must wait 30 days after filing the notice of claim and comply with any demands. Then you have up to one year and 90 days from the accident date.
Claims Involving Minors
When the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until their 18th birthday, and they have three years afterward. However, cases involving medical malpractice and government defendants will vary.
Lack of Capacity
Someone who lacks mental capacity will also have the statute of limitations tolled. It typically won’t start running again until the person has mental or legal capacity.
If you’re filing a wrongful death claim, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death, not the date of the injury.
Why Hire a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is highly recommended. Some of the most important reasons to hire a lawyer include:
- Expertise in New York personal injury laws,
- Help you navigate the legal process efficiently and meet all the necessary deadlines,
- Skilled negotiators who will handle all settlement discussions with the insurance company, and
- No upfront costs.
In general, hiring an attorney can give you peace of mind that your case is in capable hands.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence in New York, Anthony A. Ferrante stands ready to help. Knowing the NY statute of limitations for your personal injury claim is crucial. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our firm, Ferrante & Koenig, PLLC. We have nearly two decades of experience assisting injured victims throughout New York. Let us review your case, discuss the filing deadline, and help you decide how best to proceed.