When Do You Need to File an Accident Claim? | Dreyer Boyajian LLP

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After an Accident?

When you are injured in a car accident in New York, you only have a limited amount of time to seek just compensation. The amount of time you have depends on the specific circumstances involved.

Generally, you have several years to bring an accident claim. However, it is important that you take legal action promptly. Waiting any longer than necessary could make it more difficult to recover the compensation you are owed.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Your Accident Claim

A statute of limitations is a law that specifies the maximum amount of time you have to file a lawsuit to recover your losses after an accident. New York has several statutes of limitations that apply to different types of accident claims. Once the statute of limitations for a claim expires, you can no longer assert the claim in court – even if you otherwise are clearly entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.

In most cases, the statute of limitations runs from the day an accident happens. For example, if you are injured in a car accident in New York, you typically have three years from the date of the accident to assert your rights in court.

If a loved one was tragically killed in an accident, your case is subject to a shorter statute of limitations. A wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the date of the fatal crash.

While there are circumstances in which the statute of limitations can be extended, these situations are relatively rare. You do not want to have to rely on a possible exception to try to assert your legal rights.

Understanding Other Deadlines That May Apply

In addition to the statute of limitations, certain other deadlines can apply to accident claims. For example, most auto insurance policies require policyholders to report accidents within a specified period of time. Some insurance companies require policyholders to report accidents within a set number of days (i.e., 30 days after an accident), while others require policyholders to file claims “promptly” or within a “reasonable” amount of time.

As another example, if you were injured while driving for work and you qualify for workers’ compensation, you have a deadline to report your injury to your employer. Under the New York workers’ compensation law, this deadline is 30 days from the date of your injury. If you don’t report your injury within 30 days, then “you may lose your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.”

If you have a claim against a New York state or local government entity (i.e., your accident was caused by a government employee, a dangerous or defective road, etc.), this claim is subject to a special deadline as well. You must file a “notice of claim” within 90 days, and then you must file your personal injury claim within one year of the end of the 90-day notice period. The requirement to file a notice of claim within 90 days also applies in cases involving wrongful death, but you have two years to file a lawsuit against the government entity. 

Why You Should File an Accident Claim Sooner Than Later

As mentioned earlier, even though you may technically have several years to file your claim, it is extremely important that you get started on your claim as soon as possible. Your attorney will need to investigate to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to collect crucial evidence that supports your claim.

Of course, getting started sooner also gives you the opportunity to potentially resolve your claim sooner.

With all of this in mind, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney promptly after being injured in an accident. Your lawyer can help you protect your rights and explore your legal options for recovering compensation.

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Accident Claim

A motor vehicle accident can turn your life upside down. You may face significant medical expenses, be unable to work, struggle with pain, and experience other challenges. In the worst-case scenario, you may lose someone you love as a result of the injuries they sustained in an accident.

You and your family have rights after an accident. Dreyer Boyajian LLP can help you protect your rights by building a strong claim on your behalf and pursuing the full compensation you deserve.

Please call Dreyer Boyajian LLP at (518) 463-7784 today for a free case review. Our accident lawyers serve clients in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs, and other areas of New York.

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