Is There a Time Limit to File an Insurance Claim?

If an injury has sidelined you, an insurance settlement could relieve some of the financial pressure– but only if you file your claim on time. Determining these deadlines can be tricky, especially in New York, because the deadline to file is related to statutes of limitation and these can be complicated.
In the most general sense, you can file an insurance claim if you have the right to file a lawsuit.
No-fault insurance framework
Under the state no-fault insurance framework, claims for non-serious injuries need to be resolved under your policy. However, your policy is a contract between you and the insurance company, so notice of your claim must comply with state law and the terms of that policy.
Determining the statute of limitations in New York
The statute of limitations depends on the accident or event that caused the injury and the type of harm inflicted. For example, the statute of limitations for a dog bite is three years, but for wrongful death, it is two years. When the victim is a minor, it can be extended until after they reache adulthood.
Statutes of limitations are a crucial factor in determining whether you have a valid claim. If the wrong statute is applied or special circumstances are not accounted for, you can lose your right to sue or to recover compensation from the insurance company.
Deadline to file an NYC car accident claim
New York is a no-fault car insurance state; to obtain compensation for injuries sustained in an accident, you need to comply with that system. Unless your injuries meet the threshold to qualify as “serious” under state law, you cannot sue the at-fault party and instead must seek no-fault benefits from your insurer. This requires filing a claim under your no-fault policy within 30 days of the accident.
When you have suffered a serious injury, which would allow you to step outside the no-fault system, you must bring a lawsuit within three years of the accident.
Special deadlines for some New York City claims
Special circumstances can change when and how you need to initiate a personal injury claim.
• Claim against the government– If your accident was with a New York public employee, instead of a three-year statute of limitations, you only have one year to bring a suit against the government. First, though, you must file a notice of the claim within 90 days of the accident.
• Discovery Rule- If the injury is not immediately obvious, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you do, or reasonably should, discover the injury—for example, a soft tissue injury can take days to manifest.
• Age – When a minor is injured, the filing deadline does not begin to run until they reach the age of 18 and expires on their 21st birthday.
Discuss your case with a car accident attorney
If you are coping with an injury from an accident, the last thing you want to do is miss a deadline and lose your right to compensation. Call a New York car accident lawyer at Douglas & London to discuss your situation and protect your rights.
Our experienced attorneys are proud to serve clients throughout New York City. Consultations are always free of charge and completely confidential.