Statute of Limitations FAQs
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What if I am negotiating a settlement, do I still need to file a claim within the statute of limitations?
If you are in the process of negotiating a settlement, you should still ensure that you have filed your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. You can continue to negotiate after you have filed a lawsuit and as the case is moving forward. However, by filing your claim, you will preserve your right to go to court in case a settlement agreement is not reached.
If you miss the deadline and can no longer file a lawsuit, the defendant or insurance company could walk away without paying you, and it is likely that that you won’t be able to do anything about it. Some insurance companies will even try to prolong negotiations and make you miss the deadline specifically to avoid paying a claim.
In addition to the special rules for medical malpractice cases, there are certain other exceptions to the general three-year statute of limitations. For example, if you were exposed to toxic chemicals that made you sick many years after the exposure, a claim could still be possible. In addition, the statute of limitations may be extended when children were the victims. An experienced Rochester accident attorney can help you to determine if any special factors apply in your case to result in a longer statute of limitations.
For most negligence cases in New York, there is a three-year statute of limitations. This means that you need to bring your claim within three years of the date of the accident in most cases. This three-year deadline applies to construction accidents, dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents and car accidents, among other types of negligence cases.
If your case is against any government agency or governmental entity, including the state, a school district, a county or the local transit authority, there are strict time limits for filing your claim. If the case is against New York State, for example, the statute of limitations is generally two years. If the case is against other government agencies, the time limit is generally one year and 90 days.
You will also need to follow a special procedure for filing your case, which begins with completing and submitting a Notice of Claim or Notice of Intention to File a Claim. Typically, this notice must be filed within 90 days of the date of the incident.
Medical malpractice has a different statute of limitations in New York. The general rule is that medical malpractice cases must be brought within two-and–a-half years from the date that the medical malpractice occurred. However, if the doctor left something inside of your body (for example, a surgical sponge) then you may have a longer period of time in which to bring your claim. Likewise, if the doctor who committed the malpractice provided continuing or ongoing treatment, the statute of limitations may be extended.
A statute of limitations is a time period within which you must file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline and the statute of limitations has expired, you will no longer be permitted to sue even if you have a legitimate claim. This is referred to as your claim being “time-barred.” Any compensation you may have been entitled to as a result of an accident or injury will no longer be collectable using the court system once the deadline has passed.