Through a personal injury claim, injured victims can recover financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you are preparing to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must do so before the statute of limitations expires. Here, our Buffalo personal injury attorneys explain what you need to know about the New York state statute of limitations.
Personal Injury Claims: Three-Year Statute of Limitations
Under New York law (NY CPLR § 214(5)), personal injury claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. If you suffered a serious injury, you will typically have three years from the date of the accident to take legal action. Should you fail to comply with this deadline, your claim will most likely be time barred as a matter of state law. In other words, you could be prevented from recovering the financial compensation that would otherwise be available.
There Are Limited Exceptions to New York’s Statute of Limitations
New York’s three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims is strict. If you violate the deadline by even a single day, your case could be dismissed outright. That being said, limited exceptions to the statutory rules exist. Notable exceptions include:
Discovery Rule: In most cases, the three-year statute of limitations deadline begins ticking on the date of the accident. However, New York has a discovery rule. If the injured victim did not know and could not have known about their injuries, then it may be possible to extend the statute of limitations. As an example, with asbestos litigation, victims may not be able to discover the harm for many years after the exposure. In this case, the three-year deadline begins from the date the injury was or should have been discovered.
Minors: The statute of limitations typically does not run on minors. In other words, victims will usually have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim. If you were injured in an accident as a teenager, you may still be able to file a claim.
Do Not Wait to Take Action—Building a Strong Case Can Take Time
Filing a personal injury claim before the deadline is important. Of course, when you do file, you must put together a persuasive and well-supported case. Building a winning personal injury claim can take time. The underlying accident must be carefully investigated and medical records and other documents need to be gathered and organized. The sooner you take action after an accident, the easier it will be to bring a winning claim. Do not wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire—get professional legal help right away.
Contact Our Buffalo, NY Personal Injury Attorneys
At Richmond Vona, LLC, our Buffalo personal injury lawyers help our clients maximize their financial compensation. If you or your family member was wrongfully injured, we can help. To get a free consultation, please contact us right away. From our law office in Buffalo, we serve communities throughout Western New York.