How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action Following a Car Accident?
Serious car accident injuries can derail every aspect of a person’s life. Not only do they cause physical limitations—some of which may be permanent—but they can also drain you emotionally and devastate you financially.
While recovering monetary damages won’t restore your health or erase the trauma you’re facing, it could at least help you put your life back together. In order to pursue a settlement, you may have to start by filing a claim with your own insurer, regardless of whether you contributed to the crash, because New York has a no-fault system.
If you meet the state’s serious injury threshold, however, you may be able to seek additional funds by filing a third-party claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurer. Should they dispute your claim or undervalue your damages, though, filing a lawsuit might be the best course of action.
New York’s standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits founded on negligence is three years. Since the vast majority car accident claims involve negligence, this deadline applies in most scenarios.
There are a few exceptions, however, and one of them could apply to your situation. For example, if someone struck you with his or her vehicle on purpose, you may have just one year to file a formal lawsuit, assuming the circumstances constitute an intentional tort. If, on the other hand, your loved one sustained fatal injuries in a wreck, your family may have up to two years to bring a wrongful death suit against all responsible parties.
A major exception also applies to cases against government entities. If a government employee or agency is to blame for the accident in which you were hurt, you will have to file a Notice of Claim within just 90 days. If the government denies your claim, you then have one year and 90 days from the date on which the cause of action occurred to file suit.
When Should I Call a Car Accident Lawyer?
Because there’s no way to predict the progression of your case or the duration of each stage, it’s wise to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Although most car accident claims are resolved without filing a lawsuit, there’s always the chance that the parties you go up against will refuse to cooperate, especially if you represent yourself. You’ll want to be sure your legal team has enough time to prepare your case while evidence is still available and the statute of limitations has not passed, so you should schedule the free consultation without delay.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Car Accident Attorney
Not all personal injury attorneys are equipped to represent car accident victims, but attorney Andrew T. Gill of LoTempio P.C. Law Group has the resources and experience to take your case. Andy isn’t afraid to take on even the largest insurance carriers, and he prepares every case for trial, even if a settlement is the expected outcome. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in New York.