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What is the Statute of Limitations and How Does it Affect Your Injury Claim

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 your case.

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 !