Lawsuits have time limits. The time limit on filing a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations, and it can differ by subject and state.

New York has a three-year statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit over a car accident. If someone dies in a car accident, there’s even less time. In this case, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death. 

Why is There a Time Limit to File a Case?

Statutes of limitation exist for a few reasons:

  • It keeps the legal process orderly
  • It manages expectations for defendants
  • It reduces the number of unjustified claims filed

First and foremost, they prevent the legal process from getting messy. Without time limits, people could wait until many years after the fact to pursue compensation.

Second, statutes of limitation give everyone involved a clear timeline of what to expect. Otherwise, you might be involved in a car accident in college and find yourself in court 20 years later. A time limit helps to ensure peace of mind for all parties. 

Finally, statutes of limitation help reduce unnecessary or excessive legal action. The time periods differ, but in each case, it’s assumed that if the outcome merits legal action, it will be taken in a timely manner. 

Limitations Serve as Protection

Sometimes, the negative effects of a situation aren’t immediately discernible. After a car accident, you might not immediately notice an injury. As the adrenaline wears off, however, you may begin to feel the effects. 

A good example is back or neck pain. Over time, an injury can grow to impact an individual’s ability to work in a particular role, which further impacts their finances and quality of life. 

If you received an injury from a car accident, it’s assumed by the courts that any injuries would arise within three years or less.

NYC Car Accidents

The statute of limitations for pursuing a car accident lawsuit varies from state to state. The average time span is two to three years. 

New York State falls right in the middle with a three-year limit. If you’re thinking about pursuing a lawsuit over a car accident, it’s highly recommended that you don’t wait that long. 

Don’t Lose Your Chance

It takes time to build a case. The sooner you consult with a lawyer and begin legal action, the greater your chance of success becomes. 

If you’re close to the end of the three-year limit, don’t let the lost time scare you. If you think you have a valid case and you’re still within the allotted time, you should consult with a lawyer immediately. It’s still possible to win a case and receive compensation. 

Deadly Accidents Are Different

The situation is different if someone dies in a car accident. This time limit is shorter for obvious reasons. Unlike a medical issue, which might take time to appear and affect your life, death is immediate. 

New York State law allows two years to build and pursue a case for wrongful death.

If you’re wondering whether you have grounds for a wrongful death case, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer immediately. 

It’s Better to Be Safe than Sorry

Statutes of limitation exist to protect everyone involved. However, they can feel punitive if the after-effects take time to show up or if you didn’t realize legal action was a viable option. 

Most lawyers offer free consultations. It’s always worth a meeting to make sure that you’re not losing out on compensation that you may be entitled to. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York City

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan, NY, and need legal help, contact our New York City car accident lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007