How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in NY

After getting injured in a car accident in New York, there are countless issues to contend with. From getting proper medical care to covering your expenses while out of work, it can be overwhelming.

In the midst of all this, time can pass quickly. Unfortunately, though, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your car accident claim. In New York, you typically have three years to recover the damages you need. If your case is not filed by then, you might be in trouble. That is why our firm is here to help prepare your claim so that it is filed in the right court in a timely manner. There is not a moment to lose when it comes to recovering the compensation you deserve.

For a free assessment of your case, contact our New York car accident attorneys at The Martello Law Firm, PLLC by calling (914) 685-6950.

How Long After a Car Accident You Have to File an Injury Claim in New York

The statute of limitations is a legal concept that determines the maximum time limit within which you can initiate an injury claim against another party for damages you suffered in a car accident. The primary goal of these laws is to ensure that litigation is conducted fairly by preventing surprises and unexpected events from arising long after the fact. Additionally, the rule tries to encourage plaintiffs to pursue their claims in a timely and diligent manner.

For car accident claims in New York, the statute of limitations typically allows a period of three years from the date of the accident for the injured party to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their injuries, according to C.V.P. Law § 214. Keep in mind that this deadline is strict. If the statute of limitations has expired, you will likely be barred from filing a lawsuit and getting the compensation you deserve.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in New York?

While the three-year statute of limitations in New York provides a general guideline, there are exceptions. Our New York car accident attorneys can review your case to determine if any exceptions allow for more time to prepare your case. The following are common exceptions to the three-year time limit in New York:

Persons Under a Disability

Under C.V.P. Law § 208 creates an exception to the statute of limitations for individuals who are “under a disability” at the time of the accident. This is intended to ensure that individuals who are unable to initiate a lawsuit because of their incapacitation are not unfairly barred from seeking justice. The term “disability” in this context can refer to minors under the age of 18, individuals who are mentally incompetent, or those who are physically incapable of initiating a lawsuit.

For such individuals, the clock does not start running until the disability ends, i.e., when the minor turns 18 or when the individual’s mental competency is restored. This means that if someone who is “under a disability” is injured in an accident, they will still be able to file a lawsuit even if the statute of limitations has technically already expired.

Injuries Were Discovered After the Accident

Another important exception is known as the “discovery rule,” which is outlined in § 214-c. This rule states that if an individual could not have reasonably discovered the injury or wrongful conduct on or after the date of the accident, the time limit for filing a claim might be extended.

Essentially, the discovery rule allows for a longer period of time to file a claim if the injury or damage is not immediately apparent. The statute of limitations might not to run begin until the injury or damage is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. This usually applies in car accident cases where medical malpractice has also occurred, compounding the victim’s injuries.

It is important to get medical treatment immediately after a car accident, even if you feel fine. If you discover injuries later but do not receive medical care following your accident, you will likely not be able to fall back on this exception.

The Defendant is Absent or Using Another Name

Another notable exception involves cases where the defendant has left the state or started using an alias after the accident but before a lawsuit can be filed. According to § 207, the period of the defendant’s absence will not count towards the three-year limit.

This means that even if the statute of limitations has technically expired, the plaintiff will usually still be able to bring a lawsuit against the defendant if they return to the state or reveal their true identity. This exception ensures that defendants cannot evade legal responsibility simply by leaving the state or hiding their location. Our team has the resources and knowledge to locate and serve defendants attempting to evade liability for their negligence.

Lawsuits Against a Municipality

When an individual is involved in a car accident with a government entity, such as the city, county, or state government, different rules apply than in a typical car accident case. In New York, there is a specific process that must be followed in order to file a claim against a government entity.

If you wish to file a claim against a government entity, you have only 90 days from the date of the accident to file a formal “Notice of Claim.” This notice must detail the specific circumstances of the accident and the damages you are pursuing. It must also be served to the municipality before you can file a lawsuit. However, you still only have one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit, including the time it takes to prepare and file your notice.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in New York if a Car Accident Involved a Wrongful Death?

When a car accident results in the tragic loss of life, the victim’s loved ones can seek justice and compensation through a wrongful death claim in New York. This is a special type of lawsuit that can be brought by the estate of a deceased person against those responsible for their death. Unfortunately, there is also less time to file these types of claims. According to E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death.

Of course, this could be the day of the accident or sometime after. Some of these time limits could conflict with each other, but our team can help you determine exactly how much time you have to file any claim justice requires.

Our New York Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You File Your Claim Before Time Runs Out

Our Ossining car accident lawyers are standing by to provide you with a free case review when you call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.

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