How Long After an Accident Can You Claim Injury in New York?

How Long After an Accident Can You Claim Injury in New York?

The statute of limitations in personal injury cases refers to the specific and predetermined time injured victims have to settle their claims with the liable party’s insurance carrier or file an injury lawsuit. Failing to file a lawsuit or settle your claim within this time window will result in losing your legal right to pursue the claim and seek compensation, even if you suffered serious losses.

In New York, three years is the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, such as:

On the other hand, injured claimants are only given one year from the date of the incident to file a claim for assault and/or battery, slander and/or libel, and intentional emotional distress.

Special Statute of Limitations for NY Medical Malpractice Injuries

For medical malpractice claims, injured victims must file a lawsuit or settle with the liable party within two years and six months of the incident or from the latest treatment date of the same condition, injury, or illness the treatment is continuous.

There are, however, some exceptions to this time limit:

  • Foreign objects: An injured claimant has one year from the date they discovered doctors left a foreign object inside their body following a medical procedure to commence legal action or within a year of the date that they discovered facts that would’ve led a reasonable individual to notice the presence of a foreign object.
  • Cancer misdiagnosis: For medical malpractice claims involving a cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer appropriately, the statute of limitations starts running once claimants discover the misdiagnosis. They also have two years to file a lawsuit.
  • Insanity: Personal injury statute of limitations doesn’t apply to legally insane individuals. A legal action for medical malpractice that involves an insane individual should commence within two years and six months of the date when doctors consider the “insanity” cured.
  • Infancy: Extension of the statute of limitations applies to minors who are victims of medical malpractice. Minors should file a legal action against the liable party within ten years of the incident date, unless other exceptions apply to the case, such as the discovery of cancer misdiagnosis or a foreign object.
  • Wrongful death: Surviving family members are given two years from the death of a loved one due to medical malpractice to file a lawsuit against the liable party.

The Discovery Rule for Personal Injury Claims

Most states, like New York, allow the extension or tolling of the statute of limitations in situations in which the statute has expired before injured victims discovered that they have injuries or discovered that someone else’s negligence caused their injury

. Claimants often use the discovery rule for filing extensions in mesothelioma claims and other toxic exposure cases.

The delayed discovery rule is similar to resetting the time limit for filing a personal injury claim. Usually, this exception enables the statutory limit to start from the date a claimant discovered the injury instead of the date the claimant sustained the injury. However, it’s very important to know that extensions due to delayed injury discovery are not automatic.

Keep in mind that every case must stand on its own strengths and merits, plus the reason for the delayed discovery should be reasonable. To be granted an extension, your lawyer should prove to the court that you could not have reasonably discovered the injury until the expiration of the statute of limitations.

In some cases, injured victims have yet to file or settle their injury claim even with the looming statute of limitations deadline due to:

  • The liable party doesn’t have insurance
  • The liable party fled the accident scene and didn’t provide information
  • The liable party promised to pay the injured victim’s medical bills in monthly installments but then stopped paying
  • The insurance provider is delaying the settlement process or undervaluing the injured claimant’s injuries and won’t offer a fair settlement amount

In cases like these, the injured victim’s only recourse is to file a lawsuit against the liable party before the statute of limitations expires. This will effectively suspend, toll, or delay the statute. The claimant will then have adequate time to pursue compensation without worrying about the filing deadline. It’s also vital to note that your claim might settle at any time before the trial even begins.

Statute of Limitations and Settling Claims with Insurance Providers

Insurance claims adjusters or representatives are experts at delaying the process of personal injury claim settlements for as long as they want. The reason for this is that delaying a settlement even for a month translates to money that continues earning interest for the insurance company. Furthermore, if you fail to have your claim settled before the deadline, you won’t get any compensation, and the insurance provider gets to keep the money. It’s also not the job of the claims adjuster to make sure that you settle your claim before the statute expires.

Ivan Diamond personal injury lawyer
Ivan Diamond, Personal Injury Lawyer

Likewise, take note that verbal settlement agreements for injury claims will not suffice to stop the deadline from expiring. Insurance adjusters do not have the legal authority to delay the deadline. You need to file a lawsuit or secure a signed injury claim settlement agreement before the statute expires, or you will automatically forfeit your legal right to obtain compensation. However, if the claims adjuster misrepresents your claim’s status or drags out your claim without reasonable cause, you may file a bad faith insurance claim against the insurer.

Even people who have been negotiating their injury claims on their own should consider consulting a personal injury lawyer if their claim’s deadline is looming or their negotiations have stalled. Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, so it won’t cost you anything to have your case reviewed and learn about the best legal actions specific to your case.

Why Hire an Experienced
Attorney Like Ivan Diamond

If you want to recover the maximum compensation that you deserve, you need an experienced personal injury attorney like Ivan Diamond on your side.

footer attorney image

If you want to recover the maximum compensation that you deserve, you need an experienced personal injury attorney like Ivan Diamond on your side.

Someone who understands the tactics insurance companies and opposing lawyers sometimes use to avoid liability and paying settlements.

Insurance adjusters, in particular, know that you’re going through a difficult time. They may try to take advantage by offering you a lowball settlement, hoping you’ll jump at quick money before you talk to a lawyer. Don’t help them out. Instead, let an experienced attorney handle the negotiations.

The same goes for preparing your claim. A skilled, knowledgeable litigator like me understands what facts and arguments are most important to prove your claim to a judge and jury, if it comes to taking a case to trial. I know how to guide my clients through depositions, discovery, and efforts by opposing lawyers to trap them into saying things that might undermine their case.

Related Post

Ortiz Family’s review &

Case Study


When our family received a call from the nursing home my brother was staying, we had no idea what lay ahead. My brother was burned over 60% of his body from smoking a cigarette without supervision.


We were so lucky to find an attorney like Mr. Diamond. We found Mr.Diamond to be sensitive to our sense of urgency to resolve this situation. He was 100% reliable and truly cared about our case which was very important to us.


As it turned out we received a large settlement and can now put it behind us. We’re very grateful to Mr.Diamond for his support and understanding and we would highly recommend him. Not to mention, he was a hell of a nice guy.