The term statute of limitation is something you may have read or heard when researching steps to file your personal injury case. Learn the essential information regarding statutes of limitation and how this rule can affect your ability to recover compensation for a personal injury claim.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitation is the same as a legal deadline for a plaintiff to initiate a claim or a lawsuit to recover damages against another party in a civil case. If you plan to file a personal injury case in New York, filing within the time limit allowed by the statute of limitations is essential for your case to be heard in court.
Simply put, regardless of how severe your accident may have been and how much damages you may be entitled to receive, the statute of limitations imposes a hard limit on how long you can wait. While few exceptions allow for an extension of the filing period, most personal injury cases in New York are affected by the statute of limitations.
How Long Can I Wait to File a Personal Injury Claim in New York?
The statute of limitations for personal injury victims in New York is three years. Once your accident occurs, the clock starts ticking, and you will have up to three years to take action.
In cases against a government entity (such as a city, town, county, or an agency run by these entities), you have a tighter deadline to act – only 90 days to notify the government agent of your intent to sue and a little over a year to begin your lawsuit.
What if I Miss the Deadline to Sue?
If you miss the three-year deadline to initiate your case, your case may likely be dismissed due to the statute of limitations has expired. There are, however, a few exceptions that extend this deadline or pause the clock and allow you more time to take action.
First, if the victim is under 18 or legally disabled, the clock does not start until the person turns 18 or is declared mentally capable. Second, the clock is slowed down if the defendant of the case leaves New York before the case begins and resides out of state for at least four months. These are unique situations that do not apply to every case, so always consult an attorney to discuss your specific case.
How Soon Should I See a Personal Injury Attorney?
Three years may sound like a long time, but the longer you wait, the smaller your chances are of receiving fair compensation. Take action and reach out to a personal injury attorney immediately to maximize your chances of recovering damages for your case.