Many injury victims do not realize they have a personal injury claim until it is too late. It is heartbreaking to turn away a client because their case has missed the statute of limitations.
The statutory periods vary by state, and special lawsuit-filing rules apply if the injured victim is a minor or suffers from mental illness. However, the statute of limitations clock can be tolled (paused) under certain circumstances.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases
Generally speaking, personal injury claims filed after the statute of limitations has expired will be denied. Insurance companies may offer compensation even after the statute has expired.
The statute of limitations varies by state and claim, so you should discuss your case in detail with a knowledgeable attorney like those from Lampert and Walsh. The statute of restriction can also be temporarily “tolled” in many cases. In addition, the statutes of limitations can be extended for certain types of injuries (e.g., mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure). The discovery rule allows the clock to start when the injured party knows or should have reasonably known about their injury. It is important to consult with an attorney immediately if you have any questions about these exceptions.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases
In simplest terms, the statute of limitations is a deadline that puts an outer limit on how long you have to file your legal case in court. Failing to meet the statute of limitations means your claim will be thrown out of court, and you will lose your ability to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
If you believe a medical error harmed you, you must file a lawsuit within the relevant timeframe. For most medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is three years.
However, the discovery rule allows this timeframe to begin not at the moment of a medical error but when you discover – or reasonably should have discovered – that there was a problem with your healthcare provider’s treatment. New York also recognizes a tolling period for minors, meaning the three-year timeframe is not activated until they reach age 18. Moreover, some cases against government entities may have much shorter statute of limitations periods.
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Cases
A statute of limitations is a deadline that restricts your right to file an asbestos lawsuit against the responsible party. In New York and other states, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is determined by several factors. These can vary depending on your asbestos exposure. The factors include where you lived and worked, your symptoms, diagnoses and how much information you had about asbestos hazards.
Mesothelioma claims are handled differently than other types of personal injury cases. Asbest has a latency period, so victims may not show symptoms for decades. New York law bases its statute of limitations on the date the diagnosis was made. Rather than the disclosure date by using the discovery rule. It is, therefore, important to contact a mesothelioma attorney. as soon as a diagnosis is received by you or someone close to you.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the family members of a deceased individual to recover damages for their losses and pain. As a general rule, New York wrongful death claims must be started within two years of the person’s passing. However, there are limited circumstances in which the statute may be paused or tolled.
This could include cases involving municipal governments where the limitation period is much shorter. And requires the claimant to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a civil suit. Or it could occur when a plaintiff is a minor who cannot initiate legal action in their own right.
When the injury is not immediately evident. As with toxic torts and medical malpractice cases, the discovery rule may also be used to extend the statute. The calculation of economic damages for a victim is also complex and requires expert assistance.