KNOW WHEN YOUR RIGHTS RUN OUT: LEARN ABOUT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WHEN FILING A LAWSUIT IN NEW YORK
It is not a wise decision to wait when you think you have a case: Act now! If you are wondering “What are the time limits for filing a lawsuit in New York,?” the best thing to do is immediately contact an attorney who can apply the law to your situation. That said, here’s an overview of the time limitations for various types of situations.
Unfortunately, the law does not have infinite patience. Lawsuits cannot be filed whenever it is most convenient to the litigant (you). According to the law, suits must be filed within a certain amount of time after the date of the incident in question. The statute of limitations is a guideline that determines whether your case is still valid or if you have waited too long to file. Its purpose is to set a calendar deadline for litigation based on a given event.
The start date for the statute of limitations is almost always the date when the incident occurred. There are two exceptions:
- Date of Discovery: When a person could not have known they were injured, like if a surgical instrument was left inside them after surgery and was not discovered until complications arose, it would be unfair to use the date of the surgery (when the accident took place) as the start date for the statute of limitations. In these cases, the start date is the date of discovery.
- Delaying (“Tolling”): When the person who incurred the loss is unable to file suit right away because they are (most commonly) a minor, mentally incompetent, or bankrupt, then the statute of limitations is delayed or “tolled.” To cite a common example, if the litigant was a minor on the date of loss and the statute of limitations is two years, then the statute of limitations is delayed until that person can file as an adult. The start date for the two years will then be the day he or she turns eighteen.
In New York State, the statute of limitations laws are as follows:
- Defective Products or Devices: An action must be brought within 3 years of the date the injury occurred.
- Personal Injury & Negligence: An action must be brought within 3 years.
- Toxic substance exposure is counted under Date of Discovery.
- Personal Property Damage: An action must be brought within 3 years of date of incident.
- Professional Malpractice: An action must be brought within 2 ½ years.
- This statute is delayed when there is a foreign object that may have been left in someone’s body or if there was continuous treatment of the plaintiff. The statute of limitations runs from the time when the foreign object is discovered (up to 1 year) or the last date of the continuous treatment.
- If it is discovered that the medical practitioner withheld the truth about the malpractice, the statute of limitations runs for 6 years from the date when the fraud occurred or should have been discovered.
- If an infant is the victim of malpractice, the statute of limitations can be extended by up to 10 years from the date of the act or omission that caused the injury.
- Wrongful Death: An action must be brought within 2 years of date of death.
Those whose death came as a result of complications from involvement on September 11th have 2 ½ years from date of death.
As indicated above, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case you have. This is why it is of the utmost importance to pursue litigation as soon as possible after you have incurred a loss of any kind. If you have any questions regarding this matter or believe you may have a case that may expire under the statute of limitations, please feel free to contact us at 718-261-8114 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are ready to help you figure out your best options and take the next step.