The state of New York has a law in personal injury cases known as the statute of limitations. Indeed, all states in the United States maintain a statute of limitations in regard to personal injury lawsuits, according to Cornell University School of Law. The statute of limitations establishes a specific timeframe within which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed in court.

The Specifics of the New York Statute of Limitations

Pursuant to the New York statute of limitations, as a general rule you must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident that caused you injuries. If you fail to file a lawsuit by that deadline, you likely will be forever precluded from seeking judicial relief for the injuries, damages, and losses you sustained in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

Injury Not Reasonably Discoverable within Three Year Time Period

There exist some limited exceptions to the three year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state of New York. One such exception to the general rule centers on some sort of injury that was not reasonably discoverable within the three year period of time.

In other words, if you sustained some sort of injury you simply were not aware of during the three year period following an accident, you may still be able to bring a lawsuit. You must demonstrate that you reasonably could not have been aware of the injury during that period of time.

An example of an unknown injury helps to illustrate how a delayed filing of a personal injury lawsuit may be permissible. By way of example, assume a situation in which you visited a business. While on the premises of the business, you somehow were exposed to some sort of harmful substance. At the time, you were not aware of the exposure.

The exposure to the harmful substance ultimately resulted in you contracting some sort of cancer. By the very nature of the exposure, and the manner in which this cancer progressed, you reasonably could not have been aware of the injury you sustained by way of the chemical exposure at the business in question within the general three year time period established by the New York state of limitations.

The Statute of Limitations and an Injured Minor Child

New York law permits what is called the tolling of the statute of limitations is a minor child is injured because of the negligence of someone else. There are two options available in a situation involving an injured child.

First, a lawsuit can be brought by the parents or guardians on behalf of a child while the injured person is still a minor. Second, a lawsuit could be brought after a child turns the age of 18 and legally becomes an adult. The statute of limitations commences to run for the standard three-year period on the date the child in question reaches the age of 18.

New York Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

If the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another person results in the death of a family member, you may have the legal ability to pursue what is known as a wrongful death case. Technically, according to New York law, a wrongful death lawsuit if pursued or filed by the representative of the deceased family member’s estate. The New York statute of limitations mandates that, as a general rule, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the family member’s death.

Retain the Professional Services of a Skilled, Experience Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury cases are complex legal matters, according to the American Bar Association. As a result, you best protect your legal rights by engaging the professional services of an experienced, tenacious personal injury attorney. The first step in retaining an personal injury lawyer is scheduling an initial consultation with legal counsel.

During an initial consultation, an personal injury lawyer will provide you an evaluation of your case during an initial consultation. The attorney will discuss possible strategies to obtain for you the compensation you deserve in your case. This might include a discussion of issues surrounding the statute of limitations and how to address them. As a general matter of practice, personal injury attorneys charge no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client like you in a personal injury case.