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Statute of Limitations

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In personal injury cases, New York does have a statute of limitations, it’s three years typically from the date of the accident or the date of the injury. So if you’re involved in a car crash and for the first six months or a year you’re debating whether your back is getting better or it’s not getting better, your neck, whatever the injury is, you still have a three year statute of limitations time period to bring your case.

What’s really important about that is that many times somebody won’t think that they have suffered an injury, or they are hopeful that it’s going to get better. They find out four months later, six months later things haven’t been improving, or maybe their condition is deteriorating, it’s getting worse. That person needs to know that you don’t have to bring your lawsuit immediately, that you do have three years. So even if you receive treatment initially and you want to find out how you’re going to do over time, you still have additional time to consider bringing a lawsuit, and at that time you can review your medical situation with your lawyer, go through the medical treatment that you’ve had over the course of the last year, two years and you still have sufficient time to bring a case.

But what’s most important is you have to know that there is a three year statute of limitations. If you don’t bring your case within that time period, you’re done and even if you do have a significant injury, a serious injury, you cannot bring your lawsuit if it’s not commence within that three year time period. So you always have to keep that in the back of your mind. I can wait to see how I’m doing over the course of a year or two, but once you get to that two year time period you really need to be thinking I should have this reviewed with a lawyer and if I have a three year time period I still have a little time to bring this case.

The other thing is within that time period, a lot of times someone will call a lawyer, they’ll say to them do I have a case and their injuries may not be sufficient at that time to bring a case, but if things change over the next six months or whatever and the injury progresses to the point sometimes where a surgery is needed, now they do have an injury that would qualify to bring a lawsuit and you would still have time to bring it. But remember three years is the deadline. If you don’t bring it within that three years, you will be forever precluded from bringing a claim.

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