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How Long do I have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New York?

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Personal injury lawsuits span more than just car accidents or slip-and-fall accidents. Construction accidents, product defects, medical malpractice, and any other incident in which someone is injured as a result of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior fall under the gamut of personal injury. If you are injured by someone else’s conduct, you must follow certain rules and procedures to sue to collect, including rules regarding the timeframe in which you can bring a lawsuit. While some general timelines apply across the board to the various types of personal injury lawsuits, certain types of incidents or other special circumstances may alter the time limit. A dedicated Bronx personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether you are still within the permissible time frame to recover for your injuries. Continue reading to learn about the timeframe for personal injury lawsuits in New York.

Statute of limitations for the typical personal injury lawsuit

The “statute of limitations” is the time limit for bringing a lawsuit. If you are outside the time limit, you cannot bring suit. For the typical personal injury lawsuit in New York, the victim must file the suit within three years of the accident. This general timeline applies to car accidents, premises liability (slip-and-fall), product liability, etc. The statute of limitations is codified at New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR) section 214. For wrongful death claims, the estate or surviving family must sue within two years of the death of the deceased.

There are exceptions to the general statute of limitations. If the person was under 18 at the time of the accident or was not of “sound mind” due to disability, the three-year limitations period may not start running (the period is “tolled”) until the person turns 18 or is declared of sound mind. If the person who caused the injury flees the state of New York for more than four months, the duration of their absence may not count towards the three years. Additionally, if there are other reasons why a person could not have realized they were injured (such as an illness caused by exposure to toxic chemicals), then the limitations period may be tolled until they discover or should have discovered the illness.

Medical malpractice

New York CPLR section 214-A provides a shorter statute of limitations for medical malpractice: The victim must file the lawsuit within two years and six months of either: (a) the date of the malpractice, if it was a single incident such as a botched surgery; or (b) the end of continuous treatment rendered by the party or entity that you intend to sue for a particular condition, illness, or injury. If the action is based on a doctor leaving a foreign object in the body of the victim, the lawsuit must be brought within one year of when the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered the presence of the foreign object. There are also specific rules for actions based on cancer.

Call the Kohn Law Firm after a Personal Injury Accident in the Bronx

If you or someone you love has been hurt by someone else’s negligence in New York, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the dedicated and effective Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.

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