If you have been injured by the negligence of someone else, how long do
you have to file a claim? Most people have heard of the phrase the statute
of limitations and many people even understand what it means. However,
most people do not understand that there are several different time periods
that affect the ability of an injured person to file a claim. This blog
post is designed to provide a brief understanding of most of the time
periods involved in personal injury claims and to help educate the public
so anyone who comes across this article can obtain a little information
that will help them protect their rights.
First, if you are the victim of someone's negligence, please make sure
that you take care of your medical condition first and do not be too concerned
with filing suit. The law affords injured people time to retain an attorney
and have that claim filed.
That being said, people who are injured should consult an attorney at their
earliest convenience. One of the shortest time frames in New York law
is the time within which you must file for no-fault benefits and that
is thirty (30) days from the date of the accident. A person becomes eligible
for no-fault benefits if they are injured in an automobile accident. No-fault
benefits are an injured person's first source of benefits and you
file with your own insurance carrier under your personal injury protection
or "PIP" benefits.
The next time frame that the public needs to be concerned with is the ninety
(90) day notice of claim time period. If you are injured on public property
or by a government agent, you have to file a notice of claim which is
like a summons and complaint, within ninety (90) days of the accident.
Examples of this situation would be if you have a trip or clip and fall
on a sidewalk or other publicly maintained property, you are involved
in an auto accident with a bus, train or subway, or you have a claim against
a police department. This deadline is important to meet because if you
do not timely file a notice of claim, your case can be barred by the limitations
period. In addition, the statute of limitations for a negligence claim
against a government entity is only one year and ninety days. If you are
injured on public property by a defective condition or you are involved
in a car accident with a public vehicle, or even if you are the victim
of malpractice at a public hospital, you must file this notice to preserve
your claim. Clearly, the most important thing to do, besides taking care
of your medical needs, is to call an experienced attorney and schedule
a free consultation as soon as possible after you are hurt.
The next set of time frames are the general statute of limitations. A negligence
claim against another individual must be filed within three (3) years
of the date of the incident and a medical, dental or podiatric malpractice
claims must be filed within two and a half (2.5) years. There are certain
exceptions to these general limitations time periods, but the public should
be aware fo these limitations periods. Some of the exceptions that exist
are if the injured party is a child, if the injured party dies, or if
there is continuous treatment by the professional accused of malpractice.
Generally, the statute of limitations is tolled - a fancy word to indicate
that the time period doesn't start to run - until a child reaches
age eighteen (18). If an injured person passes away as a result of another's
negligence. the limitation period is two (2) years. If the injured party
pass away for other reasons prior to expiration of the limitations period,
the estate for the deceased person has one year from the date of the person's
death to file suit.
As anyone can see from a quick overview of this blog, the statute of limitations
is not a simple calculation. There are many different time periods within
which a person must act adn I have only touched on a few in this post.
The best thing anyone can do who has been injured by the negligence of
another person is to call an experienced attorney and let him or her provide
you with information to help you make an informed decision on how to handle
As always, if you are interested in a free case evaluation and free consultation,
you can call us at Michael R. Varble & Associates, P.C. at 845.363.6500.
Our client's do not have to pay for us to handle their personal injury
cases. If you are the victim of an accident and you have been seriously
injured, you should call us. We'll fight for you !