Start Your Lawsuit On Time, Or You’ll Lose Before You Even Begin … New York’s Statutes of Limitations

New York, like every other state, has its own laws governing statute of limitations. A Statute of Limitations is the time deadline within which to formally start a lawsuit.

If a lawsuit is filed after the deadline has passed, it will be (with rare exceptions) forever lost. No matter the merits of the claim, the court will never issue a ruling or award because the deadline came and passed before the lawsuit being filed. Compliance with the statute of limitations that applies to your case, is of the utmost importance.


Generally, a New York personal injury case against a non-governmental entity must be filed within three (3) years from the date of injury. If your claim is against a government entity or agency, such as the City of New York, you only have one (1) year and 90 days to start the lawsuit. And before you’re allowed to start that type of lawsuit, you need to file a written notice of claim. To further complicate the situation, there are certain entities and public authorities in New York State which have different notice filing deadlines.

There are unique Statutes of Limitations for cases involving injury to personal property; intentional torts (only one (1) year in NY); medical malpractice; professional malpractice; product liability; fraud; defamation, libel or slander (again, for the latter category, only one (1) year in NY), etc.

Too often, our law practice has to inform a potential client that we cannot help because we were contacted after the Statute of Limitations had expired. This has held true even in situations that strongly cry out for civil justice. If our analysis sees no exception and no way to get around the applicable legal deadline, we often must regrettably inform the potential client that we cannot accept the case. Needless to say, we absolutely hate to be the bearer of such bad news. We implore you to promptly contact capable legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid such an outcome.

Even before a personal injury lawsuit is filed, there are often other legal steps which must be completed. For example, a No-Fault insurance application needs to be filed after a car crash; or, a Notice of Claim must be served if a claim is being made against a municipality or governmental agency or authority. Those time deadlines are important, but are not technically called Statutes of Limitations.


Yes, they are examples of important legal time deadlines; however, the phrase “Statute of Limitations” refers only to the filing of the actual lawsuit. And, by the way, after the lawsuit has been filed with the correct court, there are separate accompanying statutes which govern the timeframes to serve the legal papers upon the adversaries. Game over, so to speak, if the lawsuit papers are timely filed but are never served upon the defendants.

If you have been injured by reason of an accident, a trauma, medical malpractice, dental malpractice, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, or any of the many other types of injury cases handled by our law firm, and you want to file a claim, you must do so within the timeframes set by New York law for each classification of case type. injury. If you fail to do so, you will be unable to bring a lawsuit.

Some of the Statutes of Deadlines are counter-intuitive and will surprise you. For example, would you expect that there is less time given for commencing a Wrongful Death case as compared to a Personal Injury case? That’s the reality in New York, where the wrongful death statute is usually two (2) years, but most — but not all — personal injury cases are governed by a three (3) year statute.


The statute of limitations for certain cases are measured from when something was, or reasonably should have been, discovered. Therefore, calculating the applicable Statute of Limitations is often more complicated than just adding time to the date of the incident. We suggest you call Oliveri & Schwartz, P.C. as soon as possible to properly and timely protect you and your claim. We are experienced legal advocates. We treat every client with compassion, while providing zealous representation.

Time can truly be of the essence. If you don’t start your lawsuit on time, you can lose before you even begin. Call us at (800) 427-9546 for your complimentary consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *