When a slip and fall leads to serious injuries, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover full compensation. However, your ability to take legal action requires meeting strict time lines – missing a deadline can completely prevent you from seeking compensation.
For filing a civil lawsuit, the state statute of limitations applies. However, this statute does not apply to filing municipal claims rather than lawsuits. The statute of limitations can also be modified in certain circumstances. It is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible to understand what deadlines apply to your case.
New York statute of limitations for slip and fall cases
In general, an injured party has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This time may seem generous but filing earlier is advantageous because there are more options to preserve evidence. For example, if you pursue a claim soon, witnesses’ memories are fresher, conditions causing the defective condition may still be present and documentable, and camera footage may still be available.
If you have ongoing medical concerns related to the fall, it may seem to make sense to hold off on filing a lawsuit until you know your final damages. However, it is more important to establish your right to recover by filing a lawsuit first. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you calculate damages and work with your doctors to estimate future anticipated medical expenses.
Even if your claim is going to be paid by the other party’s insurance company, it is important to not let the statute of limitations run out. It is your leverage to make sure the insurance company pays. If you are negotiating with an insurance company, speak with a lawyer about ways to protect your right to sue if necessary.
In some cases, the statute of limitations can be extended or “tolled.” If the plaintiff is a minor or is mentally incompetent, or if the defendant is undergoing a bankruptcy, the time to file the lawsuit may be put on hold. It is never safe to guess about this; instead, discuss you case with legal counsel who understands the intricacies of this area.
Limited time to report a NYC slip and fall claim
If you suffered an injury on property owned by the City of New York, or any government, school district or public authority, like a school or subway station, there is a special process to follow in order to obtain compensation and it includes a very limited timeline to report the injury. In New York, an injured party only has 90 days to report a slip and fall-related injury. If there is any chance that your injury may involve municipal property or employees, speak with a NYC slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your claim is filed on time.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green has the experience and resources to advocate on your behalf. We serve clients throughout Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley. Consultations are always free.
Additional slip and fall resources:
1. NYCourts.gov, Statute of Limitations, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml
2. NYCourts.gov, New York State Consolidated Laws: Court of Claims Act, https://www.nycourts.gov/COURTS/nyscourtofclaims/claimsact.shtml
3. NYC.gov, File Claim Against the City, https://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/1654/file-claim-against-the-city