How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for My Injuries in New York?

If you sustain injuries in an accident due to another person’s negligence, you may file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages. One crucial aspect of the law you must understand is the statute of limitations. It’s a section of the law defining how long you have to file a lawsuit after the accident to avoid being barred from pursuing compensation.

The best way to avoid jeopardizing your legal interests is to seek the legal counsel of experienced personal injury, accident, injury, and insurance claims lawyers in Manhattan. They can help you determine the specific statute of limitations applicable to your case.

This article will discuss the statute of limitations in general terms, but we urge that you do not engage in “do it yourself” lawyering. A missed statute of limitations will result in a dismissal of your case and no recovery. Therefore, ALWAYS consult a lawyer early.

Generally, you have a three-year statute of limitation to file your lawsuit, but some cases have some exceptions. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine if it falls within these exceptions.

Exceptions to New York Personal Injury State of Limitations

Depending on your type of case, the legal exceptions to the New York personal injury statute of limitations can extend or shorten the timeline for filing a lawsuit. The following cases are exempted from the three-year statute of limitations:

Cases Involving Government Entities

If you plan to sue a city, town, municipality, or village in New York, you only have 90 days to notify the relevant agency in a notice of claim. . The time frame is tight, so all agencies are required to have a Notice of Claim form. If your dispute goes unresolved for 30 days after filing the notice, you have one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit.

Note that the deadline is much shorter than the three-year statute of limitation for personal injury cases. Working with skilled Manhattan personal injury lawyers can help you beat these deadlines while filing a lawsuit against a government agency.

Cases Involving Minors

The state of New York provides notable exceptions for cases involving minors. That’s because a child may not be able to pursue an injury claim before they are 18. So, the statute of limitations extends to their 18th birthday and up to three years from their date of birth.

Medical Malpractice Cases

The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is two and a half years from the date of the malpractice.

There is a separate rule for the discovery of foreign objects left inside a patient during surgery, The negligence may not be readily apparent and discoverable until after the expiration of the statute of limitations. For example, if a surgeon left a clamp inside a patient during surgery and if the error is discovered three years after the surgery, the statute of limitations would have expired in two years and six months from the surgery. Under the foreign objects exception, the patient is granted an additional year from the discovery of the error in which to file the lawsuit.

There is another exception where the client is under continuous treatment with the same physician. If that is the case, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the treatment concludes.
Check with experienced personal injury lawyers in Manhattan before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to ensure you file within the deadline.

What is the Serious Injury Threshold for Filing Personal Injury Claims?

New York has no-fault insurance laws determining when to sue another driver for injuries sustained in an accident. In most cases, victims should file injury claims against their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is no-fault insurance, so you don’t need to prove who caused the accident.

When suing the at-fault driver for damages, you must prove that your injuries meet or exceed the severe injury threshold set by the statute.

New York Insurance Law 5102 (d) stipulates that serious injury includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Dismemberment
  • Fractures
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Loss of fetus
  • Death
  • Significant limitation or permanent loss of body function or organ
  • A non-permanent injury that prevents you from performing most of your everyday activities for at least 90 days out of the 180 following the accident

If you need clarification on whether your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, experienced Manhattan personal injury attorneys can help you. They can review your case and provide legal counsel on your rights and options regarding a personal injury claim.

Can the Statute of Limitations Ever Be Delayed?

Courts in New York can stop the statute of limitations clock from running in specific circumstances until certain conditions have been met:

  • If the defendant resides in the state under a false name unknown to the victim
  • If the defendant leaves the state
  • If the cause of action was initially filed on time and terminated for reasons other than the fault or voluntary termination by the victim. For example, if the victim dies and the cause of action survives, the case can be filed again within six months
  • If the cause of action occurs during a period of disability or disability occurs after the injury

The Impact of Death in the Statute of Limitations

Civil lawsuits generally survive the death of the plaintiff or defendant as long as the case was filed before the expiry of the statute of limitations.

What Happens if I File a Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Has Expired?

If you file a personal lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, you risk having your case dismissed without being heard. Your legal options are limited at this point and possibly exhausted.

So, it’s recommendable that you contact experienced insurance claims lawyers in Manhattan as soon as possible after you’re injured to ensure you file the case on time.

Beat the Filing Deadline with Skilled Legal Help

When you sustain injuries in an accident, your priority is to focus on healing and recovery. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations won’t wait for you, and you might miss the deadline, reducing your chances of recovering compensation from the at-fault party. That’s why it’s crucial to contact skilled insurance claims attorneys in Manhattan as soon as possible.

Again, we repeat that you should always consult a lawyer early and close in time to the accident so that statute of limitations and other filing deadlines are not an issue.

They can help you handle the legal aspects of your case, such as insuring that you file within the statute of limitations. They can also help you fight for the total compensation you deserve. We have skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Mark E. Seitelman Law Offices to help you with your case. Call us at 332-244-1106 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.