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How Much Time Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?


If you were injured due to the negligence of another, you might be entitled to recover the damages you incurred in a personal injury action. However, it’s crucial to understand that there are strict statutes of limitation that bar the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Failure to adhere to the applicable deadlines can bar you from pursuing your case in court — and securing the compensation you deserve.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Case?

Although there is a three-year statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit, there are also other deadlines that are critical to know about. Importantly, a car crash victim only has 30 days to submit an application for no-fault benefits with their insurance company. In addition, if your accident was a hit and run, there is a 90-day deadline to file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Municipality

Regardless of the type of accident that caused your injuries, there are much shorter statutes of limitation if a municipality should be named a defendant. Specifically, if the City of New York or any of its agencies are to blame for your accident, notice must be provided before you can file a civil action in court. In these cases, a “Notice of Claim” must be issued within 90 days of the accident.

There is also a shorter statute of limitations to sue the City. Unlike claims against private parties for which there is a three-year statute of limitations in place, you only have one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to commence a lawsuit.

Deadline to File a Lawsuit in a Premises Liability Case

If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to file a premises liability lawsuit. In New York, the statute of limitations for most premises liability cases is three years. Premises liability cases can include a broad range of accidents, including but not limited to:

  • Slip and falls
  • Trip and falls
  • Sidewalk accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Elevator malfunctions
  • Defective staircases

However, it’s critical to keep in mind that if the accident occurred on property belonging to a municipality — or the City was responsible for maintaining the premises — the shorter statute of limitations for suing a municipality applies.

Pursuing a Wrongful Death Action

The timeline for a family to file a claim for the wrongful death of a loved one is shorter than the statute of limitations for pursuing an action for personal injury. In the event a victim passes away as a result of their accident-related injuries, their family generally has two years to pursue a lawsuit from the date of death.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations for Minors

If an accident victim was a minor at the time they were hurt, the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury action is tolled until their 18th birthday. This means they would have three years to file a lawsuit for a car accident or premises liability case from the day they reached the age of majority. Additionally, in cases where the minor is injured due to the negligence of the City, a city agency, or a city employee, they have one year and 90 days — rather than just 90 days — to file a Notice of Claim.      

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

The facts and circumstances of every accident can vary considerably and it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney who can determine the statute of limitations that apply in your specific case. With more than 30 years of experience, the personal injury attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are committed to advocating for the rights of accident victims and ensuring they obtain the compensation to which they are entitled.

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.