Negligence laws are designed to protect people from distracted drivers who are texting and driving, drunk drivers who are unable to stay in their lane of travel and the driver who is in a too much of a hurry to obey a stop sign. A person injured in any of these and other negligent driver situations might have a right to sue for compensation for the serious injury suffered in an auto accident.
The right to sue for compensation does not, however, last forever. New York places restrictions on the amount of time that an injured car accident victim has within which to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. This restriction is known as the statute of limitations.
Different statutes of limitations exist for the various types of lawsuits that can be filed by one party against another. The victim of a car accident has three years from the date of the accident within which to file a lawsuit for damages. Failure to file could result in a dismissal of the court action and the loss of the right to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages caused resulting from the car accident.
The procedural rules that apply to the statute of limitations can be complex and technical. For example, a lawsuit filed more than three years after the accident might technically violate the statute of limitations, but judges will not automatically dismiss the case unless the issue is raised by the person being sued. The statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that must be raised by the defendant in early on in the lawsuit in order not to lose it as a defense.
The statute of limitations is a technical area of the law that is beyond the scope of this post to cover completely. This post is merely an overview of the topic and should not be relied upon as offering legal advice applicable to a particular case or set of facts. A person injured in a car accident in New City should only obtain legal advice from a personal injury attorney.