Every state has adopted time limits for an injured person to file a lawsuit against the party that caused the injuries. In New York State, an injured party must file his or her lawsuit no later than three years after sustaining the injury. The deadline by which to file is governed by the “statute of limitations”. How this deadline is determined is not always straightforward, and injury victims are encouraged to contact a New York personal injury lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman to find out when their window of opportunity to pursue money compensation will close.

The three-year deadline is measured from the date when the party knew or reasonably should have known about the injury.

In most cases, a person is immediately aware of the injuries that are caused by an automobile accident, a slip and fall mishap, or some other circumstances. As a result, the three-year statute of limitations generally starts to run on the date of the accident. Some internal injuries, including brain and spine injuries, organ damage, and joint problems, can take weeks or months to manifest themselves. An injured party’s best course of action is first to have a complete medical examination after an accident to confirm the extent and severity of injuries. After that exam, the injured party should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can take all action required to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

The deadline is substantially shorter if a government agency caused the accident.

If the State of New York or a municipality and other governmental agency in the State caused an accident that resulted in injuries, the injured party must file a Notice of Claim against the negligent entity within ninety days of the accident. Failure to file the requisite notice of claim before expiration of this short deadline will allow the government entity to claim sovereign immunity to the claim. If the matter is not resolved after the Notice is filed, an injured party must file a negligence lawsuit within one year and ninety days after the accident.  

The statute of limitations is different when injuries happen to a minor party or some other person who is under a legal disability.

Natural persons who are younger than 18 years of age do not have authority to file lawsuits on their own behalf. Because of this, if a minor suffers an injury in an accident, the statute of limitations is deemed to be suspended or “tolled” until that party’s 18th birthday. That person then has three years after his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

If a person dies as a result of his or her injuries, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years.

The personal representative of a deceased party’s estate has authority to file a wrongful death action on behalf of that party within two years after he or she died. A family member generally cannot file a wrongful death claim unless the family member is the deceased party’s authorized personal representative. The authority to represent a deceased party may be delayed by the administrative processes associated with probating that person’s estate. Accordingly, the deceased party’s heirs should retain an experienced NY personal injury lawyer that understands the relevant deadlines for filing an effective lawsuit.

Claims for injuries covered by workers compensation laws have a different statute of limitations.

An injured worker may lose his or her right to workers compensation benefits if a claim is not filed within two years after the date of the injury. The injured worker must also notify his or her employer of the accident and injuries in writing within thirty days after the accident occurs.

Medical malpractice injuries also have a shorter statute of limitations.    

If your injuries are the result of medical malpractice, you have two and one-half years from the date of the negligent action or omission to file your malpractice lawsuit. This deadline may be extended if a patient was not reasonably aware of the malpractice or the resulting injuries at the time of the negligent act.

Contact the KGG Personal Injury Attorneys to File Your Case on Time

If you delay contacting a lawyer and filing your personal injury lawsuit, you risk missing applicable deadlines and your case may be dismissed. In addition, if you wait too long to file your lawsuit, accident evidence may be lost and witness memories will begin to fade.

Call a personal injury lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman in New York as soon as you can after an accident. We will analyze the evidence, gather witness statements, and ensure that your lawsuit is filed within the time allowed.  Please call our Bergen County or Rockland County office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We work for a contingency fee, meaning you owe us nothing unless we win your case. If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, don’t leave money on the table! Go with a law firm that will pursue maximum damages for you and your family. Call the KGG law firm today!

Additional Resources:

  1. www.nycourts.gov:  Statute of Limitations. https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml
  2. www.nysenate.gov:  Article 2: Limitations of Time. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/A2