States want people suffering serious injury in a car collision to file their claim with the courts within a reasonable period of time from the date of the accident. The concern is that witnesses can move away or forget the facts of what they saw if too much time is allowed to elapse. Moving the case along also gives the person being sued an opportunity to conduct a proper accident investigation soon after the event occurred.
An adult car accident victim has three years from the date of the accident within which to file a lawsuit for compensation in New York. Filing a lawsuit after the three years has expired is subject to being dismissed at the request of the defendant on the grounds of the expiration of the statute of limitations.
There are certain circumstances under which the statute of limitations can be tolled or temporarily stopped. One situation that will toll the statute of limitations is when a car accident victim is a child. A minor is not held to the three year statute of limitations.
Children are considered to be under a disability because of their age. The law gives children three years from the date on which they attain the age of majority to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who injured them. In New York, majority is 18 years of age. Upon reaching 18, the injured individual’s statute of limitations begins to run.
How and when the law allows for the tolling of the statute of limitations is a complicated legal topic that posts such as this one are unable to cover in compete detail. The information in this post is not offered as legal advice which should only be obtained from a New City personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a car accident.