You could be considering filing a personal injury case in New York's civil courts if you were injured due to someone else's actions, whether it was a slip and fall, a car accident, or another occurrence. If this is something you are considering, one of the most important things you need to be aware of is that there is a deadline for filing a claim. This is generally referred to as the "statute of limitations".
The specifics of New York's personal injury statute of limitations will be covered in this article, along with an explanation of its significance and a list of situations in which it may be extended.
The amount of time you have to bring a personal injury case is restricted by law whether you were hurt as a result of a car accident, medical negligence, dangerous working conditions, or other related reasons. One suggestion that is always constant is that you should begin the process of filing your claim as soon as you can after the accident that caused you injury. If you wait too long, you may not have the option to file a case any longer. Statute of limitations rules vary from state to state and require that a lawsuit be filed within a certain amount of time. Depending on the kind of claim, the state where the claim is filed, and whether the claim is filed in a state or federal court, different deadlines apply.
Statute of Limitations in New York
A lawsuit or claim filed to collect damages for a personal injury must be "commenced" within three years, according to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules section 214, which details the state's personal injury statute of limitations.
Therefore, you have three years to take initial legal action (in the form of filing official paperwork) in court after another person's negligent actions caused you harm if you want to recover any damages. This deadline typically begins on the date of the accident or incident that caused the injuries.
Almost all types of personal injury cases in New York must be filed within three years, regardless of whether the case is based on intentional tort or "negligence".
What If You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you missed the filing deadline to file your personal injury claim in New York, you may have lost your right to pursue your claim. As mentioned above, there is a three-year deadline after the occurrence of the alleged injury to file the initial paperwork in New York. Failure to file your claim within that time period will result in dismissal.
The defendant in your case will almost likely submit a "motion to dismiss", intentionally drawing attention to the fact that more than three years have lapsed since the underlying accident. This will likely be the course of action if you attempt to launch your personal injury case after the deadline, and the court will likely reject your lawsuit. However, there are times when exceptions are made, though this is rare. Once the case is dismissed, you will no longer be able to petition a judge to grant you compensation for your losses.
The filing deadline established under New York law is arguably the most important item to remember in any attempt to file for a personal injury.
Exceptions to the Rule: Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations "clock" could be considered delayed or even be paused in a variety of circumstances that would be an exception to the rule in New York and extend the three-year deadline. Some of those exceptions include:
- When a person is injured in a personal injury case, they are considered to be under a legal disability at the time of the underlying accident. Or, if they are under the age of 18, the deadline will pause up until they are until they turn 18 or are no longer legally disabled – Section 208 of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules
- If the defendant leaves New York at some point after the initial accident but before the lawsuit can be filed and is gone for four months or more, the time away is not going to be included in the three-year timeframe. If the defendant lives in the state but uses a "false identity," the deadline will likely be extended as well – Section 207 of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules
You May Need An Attorney To Guide You
It may be time to speak with a knowledgeable New York personal injury lawyer if you have concerns about how the New York statute of limitations affects your personal injury case, particularly if the deadline is either approaching or has already passed.
Make an appointment for a free consultation with Brandon J. Broderick, Personal Injury Attorney At Law. We have a proven track record of accomplishment and a dedication to providing excellent customer service, so don't give up hope. Our locations may be found in and around New York City, and around the state.