If you are injured in New York and have sustained a personal injury, meaning you’ve suffered some sort of bodily injury due to the action or inaction of another person or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you only have a certain time limit to pursue your case in court and file a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations.

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The statute of limitations in New York can differ depending upon the type of personal injury case you’re pursuing. Accordingly, it is important to understand the statute of limitations in New York. In this article, we shall be discussing:

  1. What is the Statute of Limitations?
  2. If I am injured in New York, what is the Statute of Limitations?
  3. Different Limits Depending on the Type of the Case
  4. Can the New York Statute of Limitations Be Extended?

What is the Statute of Limitations?

What’s the statute of limitations? A statute of limitations is a law passed by the NY legislature to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. It’s basically the time limit you have to file a lawsuit in NY court. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to encourage timeliness when it comes to pursuing your case and to prevent unreasonable delay. Accordingly, adherence to the statute of limitations is very important and must be followed.

New York personal injury statute of limitations

What’s the statute of limitations in New York for personal injury and the statute of limitations on personal injury claims? In general, the statute of limitations begins on the date of the injury or accident itself. Accordingly, if you were in a motor vehicle accident or an injury wherein you slipped and fell at a store or on your landlord’s property or on the city sidewalk, the statute would run on the date of the accident. In New York, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases gives a claimant three years from the date of the injury to go to court and file a lawsuit against those responsible for the underlying accident.

If I am injured in New York, What is the Statute of Limitations?

What is the statute of limitations in NY? What is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New York? Again, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases gives a claimant three years from the date of the injury to go to court and file a lawsuit against those responsible for the underlying accident. However, depending upon the type of personal injury lawsuit you may have and who caused it, the statute of limitations and personal injury limitation varies.

For instance, when a claim for recovery involves a municipality or a government agency, a notice of claim typically must be filed against the appropriate municipality or agency within a certain amount of time. In New York City, when it comes to a personal injury lawsuit in New York, a notice of claim usually must be made within 90 days of an incident. Accordingly, when it comes to personal injury statute of limitations, the statute of limitations for personal injury in New York for claims against a municipality or a government agency may be different from the statute of limitations for claims against a private party.

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Since the statute of limitations is so critical to your injury and filing your claim, it is very important that you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney or injury attorney NYC, who can dissect your case and determine exactly what type of personal injury case you have and when the statute of limitations would run.

Different limits Depending on the Type of the Case

As stated above, the statute of limitations varies depending upon the type of case you have and whom it is against.

A. Medical, Dental or Podiatric Malpractice

When it comes to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in New York or specifically when it comes to medical, dental or podiatric malpractice, Section 214-A of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules dictates the statute of limitations on malpractice in NY. Section 214-A states that the New York state medical malpractice statute of limitations is generally two years and six months from the last negligent act or from the last treatment date. Specifically, Section 214-A states:

Action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice to be commenced within two years and six months; exceptions. An action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice must be commenced within two years and six months of the act, omission or failure complained of or last treatment where there is continuous treatment for the same illness, injury or condition which gave rise to the said act, omission or failure; provided, however, that: (a) where the action is based upon the discovery of a foreign object in the body of the patient, the action may be commenced within one year of the date of such discovery or of the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier; and (b) where the action is based upon the alleged negligent failure to diagnose cancer or a malignant tumor, whether by act or omission, the action may be commenced within two years and six months of the later of either (i) when the person knows or reasonably should have known of such alleged negligent act or omission and knows or reasonably should have known that such alleged negligent act or omission has caused injury, provided, that such action shall be commenced no later than seven years from such alleged negligent act or omission, or (ii) the date of the last treatment where there is continuous treatment for such injury, illness or condition. For the purpose of this section the term “continuous treatment” shall not include examinations undertaken at the request of the patient for the sole purpose of ascertaining the state of the patient’s condition. For the purpose of this section the term “foreign object” shall not include a chemical compound, fixation device or prosthetic aid or device.

B. Damages for Personal Injury Caused by Contact With or Exposure to Phenoxy Herbicides

When it comes to statute of limitations on injury lawsuit in regards to exposure to herbicides, there is a 2 year statute of limitations personal injury upon discovery of the injury or of when such injury should have been discovered, whichever is later. Section214-B of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules dictates the personal injury statute of limitations. Specifically, Section 214-B states:

New York personal injury statute of limitations

Action to recover damages for personal injury caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an action to recover damages for personal injury caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides while serving as a member of the armed forces of the United States in Indo- China from January first, nineteen hundred sixty-two through May seventh, nineteen hundred seventy-five, may be commenced within two years from the date of the discovery of such injury, or within two years from the date when through the exercise of reasonable diligence the cause of such injury should have been discovered, whichever is later.

C. Certain Actions to be Commenced Within Three Years of Discovery.

For most suits and claims, the personal injury statute of limitations is three years from discovery of the negligent or wrongful act. This includes motor vehicle accidents, in which the statute of limitations car accident NY is three years, and in which the statute would begin running on the date of the car accident. However, when it comes to wrongful death statute of limitations New York, the statute of limitations is two years. Section214-C of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules dictates the personal injury statute of limitations. Specifically, Section 214-C states:
Certain actions to be commenced within three years of discovery.

  1.  In this section: “exposure” means direct or indirect exposure by absorption, contact, ingestion, inhalation, implantation or injection.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 214, the three year period within which an action to recover damages for personal injury or injury to property caused by the latent effects of exposure to any substance or combination of substances, in any form, upon or within the body or upon or within property must be commenced shall be computed from the date of discovery of the injury by the plaintiff or from the date when through the exercise of reasonable diligence such injury should have been discovered by the plaintiff, whichever is earlier.
  3. For the purposes of sections fifty-e and fifty-i of the general municipal law, section thirty-eight hundred thirteen of the education law and the provisions of any general, special or local law or charter requiring as a condition precedent to commencement of an action or special proceeding that a notice of claim be filed or presented within a specified period of time after the claim or action accrued, a claim or action for personal injury or injury to property caused by the latent effects of exposure to any substance or combination of substances, in any form, upon or within the body or upon or within property shall be deemed to have accrued on the date of discovery of the injury by the plaintiff or on the date when through the exercise of reasonable diligence the injury should have been discovered, whichever is earlier.
  4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions two and three of this section, where the discovery of the cause of the injury is alleged to have occurred less than five years after discovery of the injury or when with reasonable diligence such injury should have been discovered, whichever is earlier, an action may be commenced or a claim filed within one year of such discovery of the cause of the injury; provided, however, if any such action is commenced or claim filed after the period in which it would otherwise have been authorized pursuant to subdivision two or three of this section the plaintiff or claimant shall be required to allege and prove that technical, scientific or medical knowledge and information sufficient to ascertain the cause of his injury had not been discovered, identified or determined prior to the expiration of the period within which the action or claim would have been authorized and that he has otherwise satisfied the requirements of subdivisions two and three of this section.
  5. This section shall not be applicable to any action for medical or dental malpractice.
  6. This section shall be applicable to acts, omissions or failures occurring prior to, on or after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, except that this section shall not be applicable to any act, omission or failure:
  • which occurred prior to July first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, and
  • which caused or contributed to an injury that either was discovered or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered prior to such date, and
  • an action for which was or would have been barred because the applicable period of limitation had expired prior to such date.

Can the New York Statute of Limitations Be Extended?

When it comes to New York personal injury statute of limitations, can the statute of limitations be extended? Although, in general, the courts not only will not, but also cannot extend the statute of limitations, in New York, there are some exceptions for when the statute of limitations can be extended and in which certain events and facts “toll” or delay the statute of limitations. When can statute of limitations be extended?

One exception is the discovery rule. Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the injury is actually discovered. For example, in a personal injury, let’s say you have been exposed to asbestos by your landlord while you were a renter. Again, the statute of limitations for a personal injury is normally three years. While you were a renter, you warned the landlord to fix the apartment, and he told you he had. More than three years later, you aren’t even living at the apartment anymore, but you’ve developed a lung condition that the doctor says was due to asbestos exposure while you lived in that apartment. Accordingly, even though it is now more than three years since you were exposed to the asbestos, the statute of limitations would run beginning when you first discover your injury.

New York personal injury statute of limitations

Another example is when the statute of limitations tolls when the person suing or injured is a minor. In New York, since minors are considered as not having the same ability to comprehend matters as an adult would, the statute of limitations usually tolls for them. Under New York law, a minor ordinarily has three years from the date of his or her eighteenth birthday to commence litigation. However, for medical malpractice actions, the statute of limitations cannot be extended for more than ten years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the injury.

Another way is if the defendant left the state after committing the injury. In most states, the statute of limitations stops running during any time that the potential defendant is outside the state. So, if the statute of limitations in your state is three years, and the defendant was outside the state for two years after the accident, the statute of limitations in your case would be extended by another two years. However, this can be very difficult to prove, and you should not count on this or any extension of the New York personal injury statute of limitations applying in your case until you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer New York NY about your particular situation.

Lastly, another example would be a worker’s compensation claim. Again, you may be a laborer who constantly uses vibrating tools. While employed, you notice that your hands begin to become numb and you report your injury to your supervisor. The numbness gets so bad that you end up quitting your job and take a new job. Not wanting to make waves or unsure of your rights, you trudge onward and just live your life the best way possible and just deal with the pain. Many years go by and finally you see a doctor for your hands and are diagnosed with carpal tunnel and the doctor says it first started at your original job when you worked with the vibrating tools. In this type of scenario, the statute of limitations would begin upon discovering or first being diagnosed with carpal tunnel.

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So, can the statute of limitations be extended? There could be different ways. However, it is best to consult an experienced injury attorney nyc to determine when, according to our own unique set of facts and circumstances, your statute of limitations would begin and end.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

Understanding the law is difficult especially knowing exactly your statute of limitations begins and ends and if any exceptions apply. This is especially true when it comes to new york statute of limitations personal injury and cases involving negligence, liability, and where physical injuries are involved.

Law office of Yuriy Moshes

At Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, we are experienced in such matters, especially when it comes to New York statute of limitations negligence and NY statute of limitations personal injury. We represent all types of injured parties in the greater New York City area including all its boroughs, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) as well as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate New York. If you’ve been injured and are seeking money damages, you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to advise you on these matters. We provide a free consultation.

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