How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New York

Being involved in a car accident is stressful enough without worrying about looming legal deadlines. If the at-fault driver’s negligence has left you hurt or your vehicle damaged in New York, it’s important to know the statute of limitations for pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

The clock starts ticking immediately following a crash, so don’t delay investigating your options.

Knowing your rights is the first step to ensuring a fair chance at reimbursement if long-term care or repairs are needed due to another’s carelessness behind the wheel. A car accident attorney in New York can help.

Standard Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits in NY

The standard statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from car accidents in New York is three years from the date of the crash.

This means you generally have three years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by another driver’s negligence.

Exceptions to the 3-Year Deadline

Exceptions are possible. A car accident lawyer in New York can help you understand how the statute of limitations applies in your case.

Here are a few examples where the deadline may be extended:

  • The deadline is tolled, or suspended, if the at-fault party leaves the state after the accident. The clock stops ticking until they return to New York.
  • Minors (those under 18) have until their 21st birthday to file a claim, recognizing they may not fully understand their legal rights as a minor.

When Should I Contact A Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash in New York?

Consulting with a car accident lawyer sooner rather than later is advised so we fully understand the situation and can start preserving evidence. Our firm will provide a free initial consultation to discuss the specifics of the crash, injuries, treatment, and recommend the next steps.

We can also request medical records and begin pursuing the at-fault party’s insurance right away rather than waiting until the last minute.

For serious injuries or complex cases involving property damage, lost wages, and long-term care costs, an attorney becomes invaluable to maximize compensation through skillful negotiations or trial if needed.

Our experience ensures no key deadlines are missed and statutory rights are not forfeited due to lack of knowledge or action in the days after the crash.

Delay Tactics You Should Be Aware of In A Car Accident Claim

Here are some common tactics insurance companies may use to delay negotiations as the statute of limitations deadline approaches:

  • Requesting additional documentation and records, even if they already have what they need. This creates extra work that wastes your time.
  • Slow response time to calls, emails, and settlement offers. Insurance companies may take weeks to respond to extend the negotiation period.
  • Low-ball initial settlement offers that are well below the estimated value of the claim, knowing the claimant will want to negotiate. This tactic also plays on your need for quick cash during a financial crisis.
  • Blaming injuries on pre-existing conditions or lack of treatment to diminish liability and settlement value.
  • Citing ambiguity around certain damages or losses to stall firming up a settlement value.
  • Negotiating settlement on individual claim elements like medical bills piecemeal over time rather than negotiating a total value all at once.
  • Offering settlements just below the threshold where the claimant would reasonably want to consider litigation to discourage filing a lawsuit.
  • Providing settlement offers or responses just before significant deadlines like the statute of limitations to prolong negotiations for as long as possible.

The goal is to run out the clock on the statute of limitations through drawn-out negotiations in hopes the claimant drops the case or accepts a lower settlement than they deserve. An experienced personal injury lawyer in New York can recognize and combat these tactics.

Filing a Lawsuit vs. Settling Out of Court

While settling a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company is usually preferable to avoiding lengthy court proceedings, be aware that the insurance has incentives to delay negotiations as the legal deadline approaches.

Having a car accident lawyer assist ensures your rights are protected throughout the process. We understand how to combat these delay tactics and can work to force the insurance company’s hand.

We can help to expedite your claim and work to ensure that you meet the legal deadlines.

Contact a Car Accident Law Firm To Learn More About Legal Deadlines In Your Claim

Knowing New York’s statute of limitations for pursuing legal remedy through the courts is important when dealing with the aftermath of a car wreck. With guidance from a qualified personal injury lawyer with Richmond Vona, you challenge unfair settlement tactics and assert the full and fair value of injuries.

If you’re unsure of your legal rights or the time allowable in your claim, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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