BUFFALO, N.Y. — Every state restricts the amount of time in which a person may pursue legal action for a personal injury case. This time limit is called the “statute of limitations.” In New York, those who are injured by a third party must comply with the statute of limitations and file a lawsuit before the time runs out if they hope to recover financial damages for their personal injury accident.
New York’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
If you wish to pursue legal action for a personal injury accident in Rochester, you have just three years from the date of the accident to begin the process. This means that you must file the complaint and all accompanying paperwork within three years from the date the accident took place and not three years from the time you discovered your injuries.
The statute of limitations of three years applies to almost all types of personal injury lawsuits; so, whether you were hurt because of a negligent driver in an automobile car accident, the carelessness of a manufacturer in a defective product incident, or if you slipped and fell in a grocery store, the amount of time you have to pursue legal action in civil court to recover damages remains the same.
Does this mean that if you fail to file a lawsuit within three years, you can no longer recover for your injuries? What options do you have if you miss the deadline? In rare cases, the statute of limitations in New York may be extended.
Seeking Damages After Time is Up
The defendant against whom you attempt to file a lawsuit will almost certainly file a motion to dismiss your lawsuit if you file after the statute of limitations expires. The court will more than likely dismiss your case unless a rare exception allows you to have extra time. If the court denies your lawsuit, you lose the right to pursue compensation for your losses, no matter how badly the defendant hurt you.
Exceptions to the 3-Year Statute of Limitations
In some cases, it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired. The following circumstances may require more time:
- If an injured person is under 18 at the time of the accident or considered to be of unsound mind, the three-year clock won’t start until the person turns 18 or is declared sane.
- If the at-fault party leaves New York after causing the accident and before the lawsuit can be filed, and is gone for four months or longer, the period of his or her absence won’t count toward the three years.
If you have any questions, it’s best to seek the guidance of a professional personal injury lawyer in Buffalo. Cellino & Barnes has helped many clients recover the compensation they need to get back to their lives after a severe accident. Contact us for a FREE personal injury consultation, and we’ll connect you with our best personal injury lawyer for your case.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888