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How Long After A Car Accident Can You Sue In NY?

You only have three years after a car accident to sue in NY. In some cases, this time limit (known as the “statute of limitations”) may be much shorter, such as if the liable party is a government entity. Additionally, there may be other critical deadlines that are very short. As just one example, cases against a governmental / municipal entity will likely call for the service of a “Notice of Claim” within 90 days of the accident. 

Those who miss Statute of Limitations and other deadlines create a risk that they will recover nothing. Do not risk losing your rights to the recovery you deserve. Call a car accident attorney from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. so you can rest assured that all statutory and other deadlines are being met on your behalf. 516-932-0400.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Lawsuits

There are a number of exceptions that will extend the time periods governed by the Statute of Limitations. One important exception, for example, is that if the party injured in a car accident is a child, they have up until three years after their 18th birthday to file their lawsuit.

In this example, if the injured party is a 17-year-old who suffered injuries in a car accident, they would have until their 21st birthday to sue the driver(s) who caused their accident.

Consequences for Waiting Too Long to Sue in New York

If you fail to file a lawsuit within the time allotted by CPLR § 214, you will be unable to recover compensation for your injuries.

However, there are other consequences that you face if you wait to file:

  • Memories fade
  • Witnesses move away, die or become otherwise unavailable
  • Evidence may be lost or destroyed

All of these can make it much more difficult to gather the necessary evidence and build a successful case.

If you work with a Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. car accident attorney, we will gather all necessary evidence and make sure that the necessary steps are taken to protect your rights within the applicable periods of time limitation.

Time Limit for Filing a New York Wrongful Death Claim

If your loved one died in the accident, there is another time limit of which you must be aware. You have two years to file a wrongful death action in New York, per N.Y. E.P.T.L. § 5-4.1.

If a wrongful death lawsuit is not commenced within two years from the date of death, the at-fault party will likely be able to assert that the failure to act before the expiration of the Statute of Limitations is a complete defense to the action.  In such a case there would be no recovery against the at-fault party for the survivors harmed by the wrongful death.

How New York’s No-Fault Laws Can Affect Your Case

In New York, car accident cases are regulated by the No-Fault Law. This means that claims for medical expenses and lost earnings are submitted to the insurance company of the car that you were driving or a passenger in or, if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist, of the car that struck you 

The application for No-Fault Benefits (Form NF-2) must be filed within thirty (30) days of the date of the accident.  Failure to file the NF-2 in a timely manner may result in an insurance carrier issuing a Denial of Benefits and refusing to make payment for expenses already incurred (e.g., ambulance, emergency treatment, treatment-to-date, etc.,) as well as necessary future treatment.  Accordingly, the time limit for filing for No-Fault benefits is another critical deadline that must be met in a timely manner.

To successfully claim compensation beyond the benefits provided by No-Fault, a party must be able to prove that they have suffered, serious injuries. Per Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law, a serious injury is one that results in:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • A fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • An injury that prevents the injured party from performing typical daily tasks for at least 90 of the first 180 days following the injury

Recoverable Damages in a New York Car Accident Lawsuit

Under the No-Fault law, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover, at a minimum, your reasonable medical expenses and 80 percent of your lost wages (to a maximum $2,000.00 per month) up to the limit of your policy ($50,000). In a case involving serious or catastrophic injuries that can quickly eclipse this limit, other sources of payment for treatment or lost income must be explored, ideally in consultation with a knowledgeable New York car accident lawyer.

Our team will investigate your accident to determine the damages to which you may be entitled. However, a car accident injury lawsuit may allow you to recover compensation for any of the following types of damages:

  • Medical bills your PIP policy may not cover (e.g., future medical care costs)
  • Assistive devices
  • The remainder of your lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity (if your injuries keep you from returning to work)
  • Any out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Impaired quality of life
  • Emotional distress

Speak to a New York Car Accident Lawyer

Are you looking for a lawyer to represent you in your car accident case? Do you need more information regarding your rights as an injured New York motorist? We invite you to speak with an experienced and caring Friedman & Simon L.L.P. car accident lawyer right now, with no cost and no obligation.

Once you retain Friedman & Simon L.L.P. our team will determine how much time you have left to file and make sure your injury or wrongful death claim will be prosecuted in a timely manner. We want you to have peace of mind that all deadlines are being met.  We want you to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Call us today for your free consultation: 516-932-0400. Our multilingual staff can help you in any of the following languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Greek
  • Kannada
  • Bengali

Call now, don’t delay.

Contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P.


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