How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New York?
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How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New York?
The details of what happened to you may feel fuzzy and difficult to recall after you've been hurt in an accident. Not knowing what happened is a big reason why some people put off filing a car accident case.
Following an accident in which you were injured due to no fault of your own, you may be wondering, “How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a car accident in New York?” The short answer is that you want to make sure you do not exceed the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in New York.
What specific rules apply to your case can vary, but an experienced New York attorney, like those at Morgan & Morgan, can assist you with this information, as well as filing your claim.
For more information, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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What Is a Statute of Limitations?
Every state in America has a rule about how long after an incident someone has to file a lawsuit. This applies to accidents involving government entities, personal injury cases, and medical malpractice cases.
The statute of limitations is usually a set period of years and is different from one state to another. There are some rare exceptions in which the statute of limitations can be told or extended beyond the original date. However, it is always best to communicate with a dedicated personal injury attorney immediately after an accident.
A car accident lawyer, like the team working at Morgan & Morgan, can help you to figure out the most important actions and issues involved in your personal injury claim, including gathering evidence and bringing a case against a responsible party. The longer you wait, the harder it is to find this evidence or to remember what happened. It is also likely that some other party may argue that you were not seriously injured if you did not take prompt action to get medical attention or to report your injury.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in New York?
In New York, non-fatal motor vehicle crashes have a statute of limitations of three years. This statute of limitations is much shorter if you involve a municipal vehicle, such as a city of New York truck or car. Furthermore, if you've been involved in a truck accident, it is imperative to find a car accident lawyer immediately, as it can be hard to gather the evidence from trucking accident claims. No matter the kind of vehicles involved in a crash, a car accident lawyer can help defend your claim and help protect you by fighting for fair compensation. If there is a fatality in your New York car accident, you must file your lawsuit no later than two years after the death of the person. In any case where a municipal vehicle, you have a maximum of 90 days to file paperwork.
Do I Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
You may proceed by filing your lawsuit yourself or hiring a car accident lawyer, like the attorneys who work at Morgan & Morgan. Although you have the legal right to represent yourself, this could be very detrimental to your case and could even block you from getting the compensation you deserve. Contacting a Morgan & Morgan car accident lawyer immediately can help ensure that all deadlines are adhered to and to help you negotiate and communicate with the insurance companies.
When Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer Immediately?
In the event of a serious accident, such as a trucking accident or any incident that led to catastrophic bodily injury, severe property damage, or death, it is imperative to consult with a car accident lawyer immediately.
It is very important that you have an advocate in your corner fighting for what's best for you, and the sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can get to work for you.
What Should I Look for In a Car Accident Lawyer?
Now that you know you only have a limited period of time in which to file a lawsuit after you get hurt in an accident, you need to put your research skills to work to identify the right legal team.
Not every car accident lawyer in New York is created equal. The attorney that you choose should have experience and past results in handling both simple and complicated motor vehicle accident cases. They should have helped many other people in New York and previous situations, including experience and achieving settlement out of court and going to trial. After you have carried out your research, you'll want to set up an initial consultation with a car accident lawyer. This is your chance to make sure that you mesh personality wise with the attorney and feel comfortable placing your trust in them for your case.
What About Car Accidents Involving a Minor?
One of the worst aspects of any accident is the repercussions it might cause for victims, some of whom may face pain and treatments for years to come. If a child was involved in the accident as a passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian, this may alter the course of their development and future.
If the party injured in a vehicle accident in New York is a child, this person has up to three years following their 18th birthday to open a personal injury lawsuit. In New York, there are a few reasons why this is in place, such as that the minor is not of legal age to take action until they turn 18, and it is often difficult to determine lasting injuries for young children.
Getting a child the right medical attention is very important when someone is hurt in a car accident. A child may face serious injuries that last for years, which is why it's helpful to file a lawsuit when they reach the age of adulthood.
What if the Injured Party Is Incapacitated or Not of Sound Mind?
In those cases in which the plaintiff had a severe mental or physical disability, or there were concerns about their mental capacity at the time of the injury, the statutory deadline of three years may be told until that plaintiff no longer has the legal disability. It may be required for this person to be declared mentally competent by a psychiatric professional in order to open the case. In some situations, a guardian or other power of attorney may be required to take action in these cases because most people with disabilities live with them for the rest of their lives.
If you have complicating factors in your lawsuit like these, it's vital to retain an injury lawyer to help you. Your lawyer can assist you when there are issues finding and pursuing an at-fault party.
What if the at-Fault Party Is No Longer in New York?
One of the leading reasons to take action quickly by filing a lawsuit with help of a car accident lawyer is because you will need to be able to identify the at fault party. If the individual deemed responsible for the accident leaves the state for four or more months before you're able to open your personal injury lawsuit, your window for filing does not include the amount of time that they were out of state. You need to file promptly and to engage the services of a lawyer to put you in the best possible position to recover compensation.
Filing a police report as soon as possible puts you in the best position to gather all the necessary information about the other at-fault party. Filing a police report may help the authorities locate someone who was involved in a hit-and-run crash.
What Happens if I File My Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations exists for a reason, and your lawsuit will be dismissed or dropped by the court even if you had solid grounds indicating that someone else was responsible for your injuries. This is why you need to hire a car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan immediately following your wreck.
Even if you are not yet sure about the severity of your injuries, it is far better to have advice from a qualified personal injury attorney to help you make the decision about whether or not you need to file a lawsuit. It is so much easier to gather evidence and to write down the facts of the accident as you remember it once you've been hurt in a crash. Waiting too long only makes it more difficult.
You can get started now for free. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.