A Closer Look at the New York Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims

In New York, and essentially all states, you only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim after being hurt by another party if you want to seek compensation or damages. This is known as a statute of limitations. Once a statute of limitations is reached or expires, any claim brought to court or a county clerk’s office is likely to be tossed out immediately, rendering them useless.

In New York, there are actually a myriad of different statutes of limitations, each one related to a different type of damages. From contract breaches to acts of slander, a statute of limitations creates a cut-off point. Perhaps most importantly, a general personal injury claim is subject to a 3-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident or incident.

Other important statutes of limitations to know are:

  • Medical malpractice: If a medical practitioner causes you harm through negligence or recklessness, you only have 2 years and 6 months to create a malpractice claim after your injury occurred. This statute can also start on the day you stopped receiving treatment from the physician that caused you harm.
  • Property damage: If you need to create an injury claim based on property damage, there is also a 3-year statute of limitations in place.
  • Serious crimes: When you are harmed due to the criminal actions of someone who is eventually convicted for those actions, there is generally no statute of limitations at all. This applies to most serious crimes, like rape, kidnapping, or the murder of a loved one. Misdemeanor crimes that cause harm will usually trigger only a 2-year statute of limitations.
  • Government claims: Most cases filed against the government for its negligence that caused damages are restricted to just 90 days to notify the government agency and 1 year to actually file the claim.

Date of Recognition Specifics

Not all injuries and damages are noticeable at first. Some injuries can be so subtle, the victim or patient is not aware of the source of the harm until years and years later. This is especially common in medical malpractice incidents. A person who would not reasonably find his or her injury until after the 3-year statute of limitations may still have a chance to file a successful claim, mainly depending on a judge’s discretion.

For example: A man is prescribed pain medication to take every day for chronic joint pain in 2010. He follows the prescription closely but never actually returns to see his physician. In 2016, he suffers a liver failure and it is determined the medicine had played a significant role in it. Despite not being actively treated by his doctor and the prescription originating more than three years ago, he could still possibly have a chance to file a claim for compensation since his injury did not manifest or become noticeable until recently. If that is the case, he would have until 2019 to make his claim against the drug manufacturer or perhaps the doctor.

Do you have questions about personal injury statute of limitations in New York? Need to make claim of your own but aren’t sure if you can due to time that has elapsed? Contact Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP and our New York City personal injury lawyers for all the legal help and guidance you need. With more than 100+ years of collective legal experience, you can trust that we have the answers and the ability to represent you, if need be.

Categories: Personal Injury, FAQ