How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Case in New York?

If you were hurt in an accident, (motor vehicle, or otherwise), that was caused by another party, you probably want to receive money for your injuries and losses. You’re interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit but want to make sure that your timing is in line. Well, for the most part, for any New York personal injury case, you have three years to file. Although three years is a long time and you think you have a lot of time, you want to make sure that you get started right away so that you don’t miss your opportunity to be compensated for your injuries. 

New York’s Statute of Limitations Laws

The statute of limitations refers to the length of time that an individual has to file a certain type of litigation. For a personal injury lawsuit, this means that the person who was injured in the accident or incident must start the paperwork filing with the court within the timeframe. The time clock generally begins ticking on the date of the underlying accident or event that caused the harm. Typically, the court will block claims that come after the statute of limitation has passed, except for a few exceptions. Specifically, the New York three-year statute of limitations means that a plaintiff only has three years to file a suit from the date that the accident or incident occurred. 

In most personal injury claims, there is generally an apparent and evident cause of injury. For instance, if you were in a car accident, you will typically know about your injuries either immediately after the collision or sometime soon after the crash occurred when further symptoms might develop. This is why it’s not considered burdensome to be able to pursue claims within a relatively short time period of three years. But there are some circumstances where you will have longer than three years to file. 

Exceptions to the NY Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits

What if you miss the statute of limitations deadline? If you don’t meet the criteria for one of these exceptions, you generally won’t be able to file your PI case. However, there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations, which can pause, delay, or change the time limit imposed. Here are the exceptions:

  • Discovery rule: Typically, the date of the accident/incident is the important date, but with more complex cases, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until the injured person has discovered the injury. 
  • Legal disabilities: The plaintiff is a minor (under the age of 18) or doesn’t have a sound mind (they are under a legal disability). 
  • Wrongful death: These lawsuits arise when a party’s negligence causes another party’s death; close relatives and loved ones can file for this. The statute of limitations is shorter; it is two years to file instead of three. The time begins on the date that the individual dies.

Speak with an Experienced NY Lawyer Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

Filing your lawsuit is critical if you want to receive compensation for your injuries caused by another party. Talk to one of our highly skilled personal injury attorneys. Contact us here at MOWK Law to get an honest evaluation of your case and to file before the time runs out.