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What Is the New York Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

Statue of justice

Lawsuits represent a balance of rights. Society recognizes the rights of those injured by someone else’s negligence to recover from those who caused the injury. But it also puts limitations on that right – statutes of limitations restrict how long after an injury a victim has to file a lawsuit. This means individuals who have suffered a personal injury need to be aware of the time constraints and speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to prevent waiving any rights.

Purpose of a statute of limitations in personal injury cases

Statutes of limitations have been around for thousands of years, having been a staple in the laws of Classical civilizations. Today, they are contained in laws enacted by state legislatures.

There are several reasons these time limitations have been adopted, including:

  • Ensuring cases are filed while there are still witnesses who remembered what happened and before the evidence has deteriorated
  • Promoting lawsuits that seek justice rather than ages-old vengeance
  • Encouraging plaintiffs to pursue wrongs quickly
  • Providing a sense of finality with the passage of time

On the other hand, the time limits are restrictive. Injury victims cannot take a wait-and-see approach before deciding whether their injury warrants a lawsuit. Instead, it is important to be proactive or the window for recovery may close.

What is the personal injury statute of limitations in New York?

Statutes of limitations vary based on the type of legal claim. In New York, most personal injury claims are subject to a 3-year limitations period.

Be aware that personal injury claims are rarely straightforward; issues can often overlap. Below is a summary of some of the additional time limits that often affect our personal injury clients on Long Island and in Nassau County:

  • Slip and fall – 3 years from date of accident
  • Medical malpractice – 2.5 years from commission of malpractice or from the end of continuous treatment by the provider
  • Assault and battery – 1 year from the act (for a civil claim; the limitations period is longer for a criminal charge)
  • Emotional distress – 1 year from the date of an intentional act or 3 years from the date of a negligent act
  • Wrongful death – 2 years from death

Special exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations

There are special cases that can affect when the statute of limitations begins to run. A few notable situations include when:

  1. The victim is a minor
  2. The wrongdoing was not immediately discoverable by reasonable means
  3. Fraud or concealment by the at-fault party prevented discovery of the wrongdoing or the filing of the claim

In these cases, the injured party may be entitled to additional time to file a claim – but do not plan on this. Instead, speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you realize you may potentially have a claim to be sure the statute of limitations is protected.

NY personal injury lawyer

Personal injuries are, unfortunately, an everyday occurrence in heavily-populated New York. For those injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is imperative to take swift action to avoid the running of the statute of limitations.

The attorneys at Edelman, Krasin and Jaye are dedicated to helping New Yorkers recover. Call today to speak with a speak with a personal injury lawyer in Nassau County. Call toll-free at 800-469-7429.

More about “New York personal injury statute of limitations”:

  1. Daily News, New York’s statute of limitations hurts victims beyond medical mishaps, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new-york-statute-limitations-hurts-victims-medical-mishaps-article-1.1275641
  2. NY Courts, Statute of Limitations, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml