Deadlines for Bringing Lawsuits
When you hire an attorney to file a lawsuit, there are a lot of legal terms that may seem confusing. Statute of limitations is sometimes one of those terms. However, it is vital to understand what it means because it could result in the difference between being able to pursue a lawsuit and discovering that you no longer have that right.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a time limit for bringing legal action. It establishes the maximum amount of time to bring a claim for a certain type of offense. Once that time limit has passed, the statute of limitations expires, and your window to file a lawsuit has closed.
What Are the Time Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action taken to recover compensation for damages when another person has caused the physical injury.
Under New York law, you must file the lawsuit within three years of the date when the personal injury occurred.
(There are exceptions, such as lawsuits filed for medical, dental or pediatric malpractice and certain other lawsuits. These have different time limitations.)
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death?
When a person’s wrongful actions cause the death of another person, grounds may exist for a wrongful death lawsuit. The person who is suffering loss from the death can pursue compensation through a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in New York is two years from the date of the person’s death.
If the person suffering the damages is a child or is legally incapable of filing the claim, then the individual’s guardian must file the claim.
Claims that involve the government or a municipality have shorter statutes of limitations and you should seek legal help right away.
When Should You Consult with an Attorney?
Whenever personal injury damages are significant or when you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, it is wise to speak with an attorney. Knowing what your legal rights are can help you decide whether to pursue a case. The attorney can explain the statute of limitations that applies to your particular situation.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate your concerns and let you know what the prospects are for bringing a lawsuit. Initial consultations to discuss the case are free, and attorney fees only apply when the lawyer is successful in recovering compesnation.