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Statute of limitations for car accidents in NYC

Statutes of limitations are in place to ensure people file lawsuits in a prompt manner. By delaying certain lawsuits, it is possible certain pieces of evidence could become lost. For a car accident in New York, victims have three years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit. 

Therefore, you do not want to wait to file a claim if you have expenses to pay. You need to contact your insurance agency immediately after a car crash to get the claims process started. You also want to see a doctor right away to see whether you have any injuries that require treatment. Once you have all the information you need, you should be able to file a lawsuit relatively quickly. 

What happens if you try to file a lawsuit after the statute?

This statute encompasses any accident involving a motor vehicle, such as a truck, motorcycle or scooter. In the event you try to bring a car accident lawsuit to the court after the three-year mark, then the judge will most likely throw the case away. The New York court system has numerous cases it has to go through. In an attempt to limit the amount of back-up in the court system, statutes of limitation help prevent people from bringing up old cases as attempts to get compensation. 

Are other statutes in place?

It is possible for other issues to be at play for a car accident lawsuit. For example, the collision could have resulted in the death of an individual. In New York, the statute of limitation for a wrongful death case is two years from the victim's death. The date of the car accident and the date of the wrongful death can be different, meaning people have varying time frames to work with. Above all else, it is vital to be prompt when you file the legal paperwork for any car accident case. 

Shorter Time Lines And Notice When Authorities Or Municipalities Are Involved

If authorities or a municipality is involved in a personal injury claim, the timelines and requirements become more complicated. The victim of an accident, or family members of the victim, must act promptly to preserve a claim against public entities. For claims involving “public corporation,” which includes cities, municipalities, towns and the like, or district corporations, such as fire or water districts, victims must provide the public entity a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident, or wrongful death. Notice is also required within 90 days if a “public authority,” such as the New York subway system (MTA), police, or a similar entity is involved.

Notice is a precursor of filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing the lawsuit against a public corporation, district corporation, or a public authority is one year and 90 days for injury claims, and two years for wrongful death claims.

There may be situations where a public entity and private actor are negligently involved in causing injury – requiring multiple processes with different timelines to maximize potential compensation. In other situations, notice to multiple authorities or public entities may be required to gain jurisdiction to pursue claims. In any injury case it is critical to work with lawyers who know the nuances of the entire scope of personal injury law.


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