How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in New York State?

In New York, most cases of a statute of limitations on car accidents are three years. With that being said, the time you have to file a lawsuit against the other driver can vary. If you file a lawsuit outside of that time you may not be able to recover compensation. By talking to an experienced Syracuse car accident attorney, you can protect your right to recover compensation.

The Time Limit Is Different If You Are Filing on Behalf of Someone Who Died

If you have a loved one that passed away because of a car accident, the type of lawsuit you would be filing against the liable party changes. Instead of it being a personal injury lawsuit, it would now be a wrongful death action.

If you file a wrongful death action it must be done within two years of their passing, per EPT § 5-4.1. You should keep in mind that the date of their passing could be different from the date of the accident. If you attempt to file outside of the two-year limit, the court could dismiss your case. Then you would be left unable to pressure justice for your loved one’s death.

Statute of Limitations Exceptions for a Car Accident

Every rule has an exception and in this case, the statute of limitations would be extended if the injured party is a child. They have until three years after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. This is known as “tolling” (i.e., pausing) the statute of limitations.

If the child should fail to file by their 21st birthday, they would then be unable to recover compensation.

Note: In some cases, such as those involving the liability of a governmental entity the statute of limitations and other applicable deadlines can be significantly shorter. For example, in a case against a municipality or public authority, a Notice of Claim containing specific content must be served within 90 days from the date of the accident. Failure to timely serve such a notice can be potentially fatal to a claim.

Remember That Other – Much Shorter! – Deadlines May Apply to Your Case

New York is a no-fault state. What this means if that certain damages (e.g., medical expenses and lost earnings up to certain dollar amount), are most often covered by the insurance carrier of the injured party’s host vehicle without regard to fault. Bicyclists and pedestrians would look to the insurance company of those that struck them for medical treatment and lost wages. You only have 30 days to apply for these benefits from the date of the accident.

The Syracuse personal injury attorneys at McMahon Kublick PC will take action on your behalf to make sure all deadlines are met and controlling statutes are complied with. Call today to learn more: (315) 424-1105, or schedule a free, virtual consultation online now from the comfort of your own home.