What is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in New York?

If you’ve been injured in an accident in New York, you have three years to file a claim in most cases — much less if the defendant is a government entity. If you wait more than three years, your claim will no longer be viable, and you are unlikely to recover damages. Three years may seem like an eternity, but it can go quickly, so it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer to discuss your personal injury case.

Personal injury attorney Jesse Minc will represent you on a contingency basis. That means that you do not have to pay out of pocket for his professional advice. However, if your case must be resolved by a personal injury lawsuit, Mr. Minc will require time. Contact him prior to the expiration of the personal injury statute of limitations. 

Personal Injury Law Book With Judges Hammer

New York Statute of Limitations – What You Need to Know

As was previously mentioned, for most personal injury claims in the state of New York, you have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, your ability to sue the defendant is gone. You might then wonder, “Could I still file a personal injury claim after the statute of limitations period expires if I don’t intend to sue?”

Technically, an insurance company can honor a personal injury claim after the case has expired, but they have no incentive to, which is why it’s important to speak to a lawyer within the time limit. 

Exceptions to New York Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Several exceptions to the New York personal injury statute of limitations can shorten or extend the timeline.

Wrongful Death

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. While the time limit to file is shorter, the clock does not start until the date of death. Consider a car accident where the victim dies from their injuries six months after the date of the accident. (Delayed deaths are common in car accidents.) Under the New York statute of limitations rules, you would have two years and six months to file your lawsuit. 

The CDC has found that unintentional injury is the leading casue of death among most age groups.

Government Entities

If an injured person plans to sue a village, town, or city in New York, they only have 90 days to notify the agency. This is a substantially tighter time frame. All agencies are required to have a Notice of Claim form. If your dispute isn’t settled within 30 days of filing that notice, the injured person has one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit. Note that this filing deadline is still much shorter than the three-year period the plaintiff has in most cases.

Medical Malpractice 

Under the discovery rule (not to be confused with discovery evidence), the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice case is two and a half years (30 months) from the date that the injury is discovered. That’s because a patient may not know that there was an issue until a certain period after the incident occurred. 

For example, if a surgeon left a sponge inside of the patient, and the accident was discovered five years later, the statute of limitations wouldn’t expire until 7.5 years after the accident. 

Injured Minors 

Accidents were the number one cause of injuries and deaths in the U.S. from 2010 to 2019:

In the state of New York, there are special exceptions for minors. Because a minor may not have the ability to pursue a personal injury case before they are 18, the statute of limitations is tolled until their 18th birthday. Under these circumstances, their filing deadline is three years from that date. 

Because there are so many things that can affect when the statute of limitations starts and ends, it’s in your best interest to speak to an experienced lawyer well before the statute of limitations expires. 

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You 

While the three-year period extended under the New York personal injury statute may seem like ample time to file a lawsuit, it’s important to consider the amount of work that goes into these types of cases. Personal injury claims can require months of preparation. Here’s what a personal injury attorney exercising reasonable diligence can do for you:

  • Collect all medical records documenting your injuries 
  • Gather police reports and incident reports 
  • Contact and subpoena witnesses
  • Review all offers from the responsible insurance company
  • Put you in contact with doctors and specialists who can speed your recovery
  • Negotiate with insurance adjustors
  • File your claim with the insurance company
  • File a lawsuit in the New York courts 
  • Litigate your case 

Insurance adjusters are often quick to make an offer at the beginning of the case. That’s because they know that if a personal injury lawyer like Jesse Minc is handling your case, they will likely have to pay much more. Call today for a free case evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions About the New York Statute of Limitations 

If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident, under New York law, you have the right to pursue damages before the statute of limitations expires. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. If you don’t see your personal injury lawsuit question answered here, call Jess Minc for a free consultation. 

Can you sue after the statute of limitations has expired?

Unfortunately, once you’ve allowed the statute of limitations to elapse, under New York law, you cannot initiate a case. Additionally, insurance companies are unlikely to pay your claims if the threat of personal injury lawsuits is no longer present. 

Can the statute of limitations be extended? 

There are certain events where the statute of limitations can be extended for an injury case under New York law. For instance, a plaintiff may leave New York for a period of four months or more and not have that time counted against the statute of limitations. Additionally, the clock is tolled for minors until they reach the age of 18, at which point the three-year statute of limitations countdown begins. 

Injury Attorney in the Bronx

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and much more. But you need to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. 
Attorney Jesse Minc represents plaintiffs in their pursuit of justice in the civil courts. Mr. Minc works on a contingency basis, and all consultations are free. Call today for immediate and diligent representation.

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