Statutes of Limitation

A statute of limitation is a law that limits the time period within which you may sue a person or company. There are different statutes of limitations for various types of lawsuits.

So if I am injured, is there a statute of limitation?

Yes. New York (as well as other jurisdictions) places time limits on your right to sue for personal injury. These limits vary, depending on the type of injury you receive, and on who caused it—for instance, there are strict, separate rules when the government has caused an injury, because governments are ordinarily immune from lawsuits for torts.

If I was injured by a private citizen or company, how long do I have to sue?

The following is a representative chart of the time you have to sue for personal injury in New York (NYS Statutes of Limitation) when the potential defendant is not the government:

Type of CaseTime to Sue
Slip and Fall3 years from date of accident
Car Accidents3 years from date of accident
Product Liability3 years from date of accident
Other Negligence Resulting in Personal Injury3 years from date of accident
Emotional Distress (Negligent)3 years from date of accident
Medical Malpractice2 1/2 years from date of malpractice or from end of continuous treatment rendered by the party or entity you intend to sue for a particular condition, illness or injury
Wrongful Death2 years from death
Libel/Slander1 year from act
Assault/Battery1 year from act
Emotional Distress (Intentional)1 year from act

I think I have been injured by the wrongful conduct of another:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Document your claims as thoroughly as possible
  • Your time to sue is limited; contact a personal injury lawyer ASAP

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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