Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Case in New York

December 13, 2013

When a car accident occurs in Buffalo, what is the statute of limitations to pursue a lawsuit?  That depends on factors such as whether the accident involved personal injury or wrongful death and the circumstances surrounding your particular car accident.

The “statute of limitations” is the time limit within which a lawsuit can be started. The rule is that a lawsuit must be started within a certain amount of time from the incident or from discovery of the injury.  Otherwise, the party loses his or her right to bring a lawsuit.

The nature of the lawsuit plays a huge role in the amount of time to bring the lawsuit. A car accident lawsuit could be based on negligence by a driver or a defect in one of the cars involved (product liability).  It may also involve different types of damages such as personal injury, wrongful death or property damage.

In New York, a plaintiff has 3 years from the date of the injury in most personal injury cases to bring a lawsuit, regardless of whether that lawsuit is based on negligence or product liability.  The same goes for lawsuits to recover for damage to personal property.  In wrongful death claims, the plaintiff has 2 years from the date of death to bring a claim.

The time limit to bring a lawsuit stemming from a car accident depends on many factors. It is important to understand the statute of limitations because if you miss the deadline, you cannot recover for your injury, no matter how good your case.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the statute of limitations on your particular case, please contact a personal injury attorney.  Call us at 716-400-0000.