What is the Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident in New York?

Posted: December 2, 2019

If you’ve been in a car accident in New York, and are considering filing a lawsuit, it’s important to make sure you’re within the statute of limitations governing legal action in car accidents.

What does a Statute of Limitations do?

A statute of limitations limits the amount of time a plaintiff has to bring a lawsuit. The deadline limits the amount of time you have to file an initial complaint in New York’s civil court system.

How Is a Statute of Limitations Determined?

In New York, statutes of limitations vary widely, and a car accident attorney can help you identify which one applies to your unique case. The time limit depends on an array of factors, including who caused the accident and whether the car crash resulted in death or injury. For some lawsuits stemming from a car accident in which someone is injured, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the car crash. If the car accident was caused by a municipality, the statute of limitations will be much shorter, and there will be an even shorter notice of claim requirement. Every case is different.

In cases involving death, the family or representative of the deceased may have two years from the date of death to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in New York.

In both personal injury and wrongful death cases, the applicable statute of limitations will most likely depend on the negligent party, and the cause of action being asserted.

Even when your actions may have played a role in the car accident, you can still receive compensation. In those cases, the injured, yet partially responsible party, can possibly recoup the percentage of their damages, in an amount equal to the other party’s percentage of fault, through New York’s comparative negligence law.

Are There Exceptions to a Statute of Limitations?

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations periods described above, and you should check with a car accident lawyer to see if they apply in your case. For example, in cases where a child is injured, the statute of limitations may be “tolled”—or put on hold—until he or she reaches the age of 18. There are other situations in which the statute of limitations will be “tolled,” and you should ask a lawyer to see whether your situation applies.

It’s important to pay attention to the statute of limitations deadlines in these cases, as New York courts will refuse to hear the case if it’s filed after the limitations period has expired. The sooner a claim is filed, the more likely you’ll be able to prove that your injuries was the direct result of the other party’s negligence.

DISCLAIMER: Every case is unique, so it is not always easy to identify the correct statute of limitations. A car accident lawyer can help you identify the correct statute of limitations.


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At the William Mattar law offices, our Syracuse car accident lawyers can help you after your car crash. If you sustained personal injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our car accident lawyers to file a claim today at 844-444-4444.

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