You may consider bringing a personal injury claim to New York’s civil courts. Regardless of whether your possible legal claim relates to a slip and fall, a car accident, or any other occurrence where someone else’s actions hurt, you must observe the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations designates a deadline for filing a lawsuit in court.
This article will go through the specifics of New York’s personal injury statute of limitations and list a few situations where it may be possible to extend the filing period.
What is the statute of limitations in New York?
In New York, a claim to recover damages for a personal injury must be started within three years. Therefore, you have three years to file the initial paperwork (the “complaint” and other required paperwork) in court when another person’s negligent or malicious act causes you harm. The “clock” typically starts counting the date of the underlying accident or incident resulting in the injuries.
Nearly all imaginable sorts of personal injury claims are subject to New York’s three-year deadline, whether the claim is based on the “negligence” liability theory (which applies to most accidents) or an intentional tort (which applies to civil assault and battery and other purposeful conduct).
What if you miss the deadline?
The defendant will almost likely submit a “motion to dismiss” and draw the court’s attention to the fact that more than three years are gone since the underlying accident if you attempt to file your personal injury case despite this.
And the court will consequently dismiss your lawsuit unless a rare exemption gives you further time. Once that occurs, you are no longer eligible to petition a judge to grant you compensation for your damages, regardless of how severe your injuries may be or how clear the defendant’s liability may be. The filing date established by this law is essential to your position in personal injury settlement negotiations with the defendant.
Instances where the New York Personal Injury Statute of Limitations is Not Applicable:
The statute of limitations “clock” may start to run sooner than expected or pause once it has begun to run, depending on various circumstances that New York has identified. This would extend the three-year filing deadline.
- Suppose the injured person was under a legal disability at the time of the underlying accident because they were a minor or were deemed mentally incompetent. In that case, the clock won’t start to run until the person’s legal disability is lifted.
- If the defendant leaves New York at some point after the initial accident but before the lawsuit is filed and is gone for four months or more, the time away will probably not be included in the three years. If the defendant lives in the state but uses a “false name,” the deadline will likely be extended.
It may be time to consult a knowledgeable Queens personal injury attorney if you have concerns about how the New York statute of limitations affects your personal injury case.