What to Know About New York Personal Injury Laws

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Even though financial compensation can never truly undo every loss caused by a personal injury, it can go a long way toward alleviating some of its burdens. But pursuing a personal injury claim on your own can be stressful.

The good news is that victims of personal injury in New York often experience better results if they have a basic understanding of state personal injury laws. It also helps to work with a trusted representative like a personal injury lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman.

Be aware of statutes of limitations

Each state sets time limits for filing a court case and they are different for each kind of lawsuit. In New York, the time limit is three years from the date of the injury for a personal injury case. In most situations, if the plaintiff does not file by the time the statute of limitations ends, he or she loses the right be compensated for that injury.

In special situations, the statute of limitations may be “tolled”, which is a technical way of saying that it is delayed and the plaintiff has additional time to file a claim. The most common reasons for tolling include delayed discovery of the injury or the young age of the plaintiff. It is a bad idea to assume that the time limit is tolled; always speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer rather than counting on an extended time period and possibly missing your window to assert a claim.

Negligence in New York personal injury claims

Negligence is the legal term for what is essentially carelessness when someone has a duty to do or not do something. In most situations, a plaintiff must be able to show that he or she was injured because the defendant was negligent. When no-fault rules apply, this changes how negligence claims are made and when it comes to auto accidents, New York has adopted a no-fault system.

New York no-fault insurance

In a dozen states including New York, no-fault insurance laws mean that most people injured in auto accidents can collect without proving fault but the amount recoverable is limited. No fault laws are meant to simplify less severe auto accident claims. Unfortunately it can also leave some victims under-compensated — but a dedicated New York personal injury lawyer can help fight for a fair resolution.

No-fault claims come with strict timelines so it is important to provide prompt notice if you need to make a claim. Some factors can also complicate a claim, like being injured while riding in an insured vehicle, being injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, or having a no-fault claim denied. These are areas familiar to New York personal injury lawyers, so when in doubt, always seek a consultation.

Non-auto personal injury claims

Auto accidents are common but they are far from the only type of personal injury suffered. New York residents also fall victim to recreational accidents, trip and falls, injuries caused by faulty products, and uncountable other types of intentional and unintentional wrongful acts.

When the personal injury does not occur because of an auto accident, traditional negligence rules apply. In those cases, the pretrial litigation process will be focused on gathering evidence that support each party’s case. A skilled attorney will help guide the client through these steps and focus on building a case for trial and settlement negotiations.

Effective legal representation in New York

Knowing a bit about how personal injury laws affect a claim can help you avoid pitfalls like missed deadlines and unrealistic expectations. An experienced personal injury attorney familiar with New York laws is a valuable partner to have through the process.

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman fight for the rights of accident victims throughout Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, New Jersey, using decades of litigation experience to protect your rights.

To schedule a no-cost consultation with our personal injury lawyers, call toll-free today.

Additional Personal Injury Resources:

  1. New York Courts, Statute of Limitations, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml
  2. New York State Department of Financial Services, Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law aka “The No-Fault Law”, http://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/r68/r68_art51.htm