Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

“How long do I have to bring a court case if I am injured in an accident?”

This question is so general that there is not one answer. But the question itself refers to the idea that there is statute of limitations or a cut off date beyond which you cannot file a law suit against a wrongdoer.

So the answer is it just depends. Although generally negligence claims in New York must be brought within 3 years from the date of accident and 2 years for New Jersey cases. This answer does not come close to answering your question. An attorney would need to ask you how the accident occurred and who was involved before giving a complete answer.

For example, some municipal claims must be filed in court within 1 year and 90 days of the accident (some must be filed within 1 year), but before you can file a lawsuit, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days after the accident. So is the statute of limitations 90 days or 1 year and 90 days (or both)?

There is a three year statute of limitations in New York for which a person is injured in a car accident by a private person (not a government owned vehicle or employee). But in order to win such a case, you, as the injured person, must prove in court you are are hurt. That means you must go to the doctor and take necessary medical treatment to cure yourself (if such a cure is possible). But in order to receive medical treatment, your no-fault carrier (that is, a health insurance rider attached to every car insurance policy) must receive notice of the claim within 30 days after the accident. So is the statute of limitations 30 days or 3 years (or both)?

I hope you do not see this response as ducking your question, but if you are not confused enough, you may be able to extend some of these deadlines by “tolling” the statute of limitations. So without many more specific facts, it is impossible to answer the question.

Worker’s Compensation Statute of Limitations

“Is there a statute of limitations for Worker’s Compensations Claims?”

If a worker is injured on the job in New York, there are generally two statute of limitations that he or she has to worry about.

An employee injured on the job has 30 days to notify his or her employer about on the job accidents. If an employee gets hurt the job, continues to work, and doesn’t tell a supervisor about his accident for more than 30 days, the claim will not be successful.

An employee also must file a compensation claim with the New York Worker’s Compensation Board within two years from the date of the accident. Most employers will file such a compensation claim with the New York Worker’s Compensation Board within two years. However, if the employer does not, the employee’s compensation claim could be barred for not being filed timely.

There are exceptions to these rules. The most generous statute of limitations is for claims arising out of exposure due to the 9/11 tragedy. The legislature has acted several times expanding the rights of rescue and cleanup workers exposed to noxious materials at ground zero and at the Staten Island dump.