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What to Know About New York’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

Whether you were hurt in a car crash, a slip and fall, a bicycle collision, or another type of accident, you may be entitled to a personal injury action if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. However, it’s essential to be aware that you only have a limited time to file a lawsuit. New York imposes a specific statute of limitations of three years in personal injury cases — and missing the deadline can mean you will be barred from obtaining the monetary recovery you deserve.

Here are five things to know about the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim:   

1. The Statute of Limitations Begins Running on the Date of the Accident for a Personal Injury Claim

For personal injury matters, New York’s three-year statute of limitations starts running on the date of the accident. This means that if another party’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence caused you to suffer an injury, you have three years to file a complaint with the court. This statute of limitations applies to accidents caused by negligence and intentional torts.  

2. There are Different Statutes of Limitation for Government  Entities

While the statute of limitations is typically three years for most personal injury matters, it is shorter if a government entity or agency should be named a party in the action. Specifically, the City of New York, the State of New York, and local government entities may all be sued if they should be held accountable for an injury. In these instances, an accident victim must properly serve a Notice of Claim on the applicable government agency within 90 days from the date of the accident. A lawsuit must be commenced within one year and 90 days from the date of the accident.     

3. There are Other Deadlines to Keep in Mind in a Personal Injury Claim

In addition to the statute of limitations to commence a lawsuit, there may be other deadlines to keep in mind, depending upon the nature of your claim. For example, if your injuries were sustained in a car accident, you only have 30 days to file for No-Fault benefits. If your injuries were sustained in the workplace or on a construction site, it’s important to understand that you have 30 days to notify your employer in writing about your accident-related injury. While missing these deadlines does not bar you from pursuing a personal injury action, you could lose your right to obtain necessary monetary benefits while your claim is pending.                                      

4. You Shouldn’t Wait Until the Statute of Limitations Is About to Expire to Bring a Claim

Although you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit, it’s vital that you do not wait to bring your case to an attorney. Your attorney will need time to investigate your claim and develop a strategy properly. Additionally, by bringing your case to an attorney as soon as possible after the accident, they can advise you regarding the pitfalls to avoid that could ultimately harm the outcome of your case.                                                                                              

5. Your Claim May Be Barred If You Miss the Statute of Limitations

In the event you miss the three-year statute of limitations — even just by a day — your claim could be forever barred. If you attempt to file a personal injury action after the deadline, the other side will likely file a Motion to Dismiss and prevail in their argument. While there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations that would extend the time to file a lawsuit, whether you qualify should be discussed with an experienced personal injury attorney. For instance, the statute of limitations would be tolled if a victim is a minor at the time of the accident or is of unsound mind — in such cases, the clock would not begin to run until the legal disability ends.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney if you were harmed due to the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another, it’s critical to be aware that you only have a limited amount of time to bring a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney can best advise you regarding your case’s applicable statute of limitations. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented accident victims for over three decades and provides adept advocacy to secure the best possible outcome in each unique case. Contact us today for a consultation.