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Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Different Personal Injury Cases

If a claimant doesn’t file their case within the specified time limit, they will not be able to seek compensation for their damages in court. Understanding how the statute of limitations works and how long it lasts for different claims can determine what relief is available to an injured party.

General Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

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Personal injury is a type of tort law, which imposes liability on actors who breach a duty of care owed to the injured party. Most personal injury cases get to court under a claim that someone breached their duty of care by acting negligently and that the negligent act was the cause of someone else’s injury. The general statute of limitations for negligence claims in New York is three years, meaning an injured party has three years to file their claim, starting from the day of the accident. This three-year period applies to slip-and-fall cases, products liability, and most other negligence claims.

Claims Against a City or the State

In New York, it is not uncommon that the allegedly negligent party is a city or the state itself (or their employees acting in the scope of their employment). In that case, the rules change and the law imposes a truncated timeline for plaintiffs to initiate legal action. Generally, a person has to file a claim with the appropriate city or state agency within 90 days of the event giving rise to the injury. If the claim is rejected or the compensation offered is inadequate, the injured party has one year from the end of the 90 days (not from the date of the accident) to file a lawsuit.

Have more questions about the statute of limitations or another aspect of New York’s personal injury laws? Leav & Steinberg LLP can help guide you through the lawsuit process. Our attorneys have extensive experience in a broad range of personal injury practice areas, with a record of producing results. To discuss your case, contact us today for a free consultation.