Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, your life can feel like it has been sent into a whirlwind. All of a sudden there is the pain of your injuries to deal with, doctor’s appointments, follow-up appointments, insurance companies to call and insurance companies calling. It can all feel like too much. With all that is going on, the clock on your personal injury claim begins ticking right away. That is why it is of paramount importance that you contact a personal injury attorney right away. Time is of the essence and getting a qualified personal injury attorney by your side can help relieve much of the burden you may be under at this time.
The Clock is Ticking on Your Car Accident Injury Claim
The statute of limitations on any legal claim is the time limit a person has to take legal action on the claim. Every state has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. In New York, you have 3 years from the incident that caused the injury to take legal action on your claim. In medical malpractice cases, you have 2.5 years to take action. Once the statute of limitations passes, you have, in essence, waived your right to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses. Should you try to take your claim to court, the defense will most likely file a “motion to dismiss” based on the statute of limitations expiring. The court is almost certain to grant this motion.
Once the statute of limitations has run, not only has your right to take legal action most likely been forfeited, but your negotiating power has also dwindled to almost none. Should the statute of limitation expire, but you still want to try and negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, they are unlikely to take you seriously. There is no incentive, without the possibility of a lawsuit to enter into negotiation with you.
In certain limited circumstances, the statute of limitations may be tolled or extended. The tolling of the statute of limitations means that the countdown on the time limit to take legal action is paused. For instance, if the injured party was under a legal disability until the time of the accident, such as declared insane or mentally incompetent or was a minor under the age of 18, the clock on will stop until the legal disability has been raised. This would mean that the injured party reached the age of 18 or was declared to be sane. Once the reason the tolling began in the first place has been resolved, the countdown will once again begin.
The statute of limitations may also be tolled if the person who allegedly caused the accident leading to injuries leaves New York after the accident but before a lawsuit can be filed. If this person is gone for over four months, the period that they are out of state is not likely to be considered for purposes of calculating whether the statute of limitations has passed. The same is true if the person is living in New York, but is concealed under a false name.
New York City Personal Injury Attorney
Delays after an accident can lead to critical losses of legal rights as well as undermining the value of your claim. After being injured in a car accident, get in touch with Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. right away. Contact our office today.