Understanding New York’s personal injury laws

| Aug 7, 2019 | Personal injury

When someone suffers an injury, he or she may wonder about the legal options. It is important for an accident victim to understand the New York laws relevant to personal injury.

 New York statutes address important factors including time limits for filing a claim and car accident restrictions.

 Time limit for personal injury lawsuits

 Every state has its own rules regarding how much time an individual has to file a civil lawsuit after suffering harm. This type of rule is known as a statute of limitations. According to New York laws, a claimant has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit with the court in most cases. If someone fails to go to the courthouse before this timeframe ends, the court will refuse to hear the case. In order for an injury victim to maintain his or her right to pursue compensation, he or she must pursue legal action within this three-year window.

 Meeting the threshold for car accident cases

 There are specific rules governing car accident injuries in New York. The Empire State has no-fault laws regarding car insurance, which means a car accident victim must first, and possibly exclusively, rely on his or her own auto insurance to seek compensation. A car accident victim may only pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver if he or she meets the serious injury threshold. According to the New York State Bar Association, a serious injury includes but is not limited to one with the following consequences: 

       Fatality

       Disfigurement

       Dismemberment

       Fracture

       Permanent limitation or loss of use of an organ or member

       Loss of a fetus

 In these severe cases, the insurance laws allow New York victims to seek compensation outside of their own coverage.