The time period following a car accident can be a tumultuous one. You may have to file an insurance claim, take your car to the shop for repairs, visit a doctor to get treated for injuries, and arrange to take time off of work—all in rapid succession. Amidst all this busyness and stress, it may not even occur to you to file a personal injury claim right away. yet, in the state of New York, you only have a limited time to file a car accident personal injury claim.
The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in New York
The statute of limitations, or period of time in which you can legally file a claim, is three years in New York. This means that you have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Though the claim must have commenced by the end of the three-year window, your claim does not have to be settled by any specific time. The length of time it takes to finish a claim can vary greatly—some cases may be settled quickly after one round of negotiations while more contentious ones may have to go all the way to trial.
What Happens If I Miss the Deadline to File a Claim?
If you try to file a car accident claim more than three years after the date of the incident, the defendant (the at-fault person or entity you are trying to sue) will be allowed to file a “motion to dismiss” and the courts will likely throw out your claim.
However, there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations period in New York that may allow you more time to file your claim. For example, if you were injured while still a minor, the years before you turned 18 may not count against you. If you have questions about this or any other aspect of your car accident claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.