How Long Do I Have to Bring a Claim for My Injuries?

If you have suffered injuries due to the careless actions of another person, you have the right to pursue monetary damages. In New York, that right is not unlimited. If you wait too long to bring your claim, the court will be forced to dismiss your case permanently, no matter how strong your claim might be.

In general, you have three years from the date of the accident to file your claim against the responsible party. However, you could have up to six years to pursue an insurance claim from your own policy. It is essential to  file your claim in time, which makes the guidance of a personal injury lawyer so important.

No-fault insurance in New York

Before you can appreciate your deadline to file an injury claim, it is helpful to first understand New York insurance laws in general. New York follows a “no-fault” approach to liability insurance coverage. This means that your insurance provider must include first-party insurance coverage to you if you are in a crash – even if you are at fault.

The no-fault system is designed to push insurance companies to pay their insured’s claims promptly, then seek to recoup their losses from the responsible driver’s insurance policy later if necessary.

In some cases, these first-party insurance benefits will not be available or will not cover your full amount of monetary losses. When this happens, you can pursue litigation directly against the responsible party to recover the compensation you need.

Deadline to file an injury claim in New York

If you intend to file a personal injury claim against the other party in an accident, it must comply with the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations is the deadline that every plaintiff must comply with. If you file your claim after the statute of limitations expires, the court can dismiss your case forever.

Every state has established its own statute of limitations, and the time to pursue an injury claim varies dramatically between jurisdictions. In fact, in New York alone, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim you are pursuing. For a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, you have three years from the date of the accident to file suit.

However, in some cases, you may choose to pursue legal action against your own insurance company for refusing to cover your claim. While no-fault insurance laws are intended to cover the losses of insured drivers, the reality is that the insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying these claims. In these cases, you have six years to file a lawsuit regarding your first-party insurance benefits. This is due to the nature of the claim itself. While most injury claims are pursued as negligence actions, a dispute over your insurance policy is based on your insurance contract.

In New York, the deadline to file a lawsuit over the breach of a private contract is much longer than in a negligence claim. A New York City personal injury lawyer can help ensure you comply with the statute of limitations in your case.

Injury claims against the government

An important exception to the three-year deadline involves lawsuits against the government. If an agent of the government is responsible for your injuries, you have a much shorter window of time to bring a claim.

According to state law, you only have one year from the date the injury occurs to pursue a negligence claim against a city or county in the State of New York. For a lawsuit against the state, you must file your claim within 90 days.

What’s more, you must also file a formal written complaint with the government entity prior to filing a lawsuit. In every case, this must be done within 90 days of the accident. Given the short time frame, it is important to contact an attorney right away.

Discuss your options with an injury attorney

If you have suffered injuries in an accident in New York, the time you have to bring a claim is limited. To get started, schedule a free consultation with Douglas & London right away.