What Is the Statute of Limitations on Construction Site Injuries in New York?
Accidents on construction sites can often lead to victims suing the responsible parties to get themselves the financial compensation they need. However, every injury case is governed by a “statute of limitations” in New York that says how long you have to get your case filed in court. Missing this deadline can be detrimental to your case, potentially blocking you from filing at all.
In New York, victims typically have 3 years from the date of injury to file a personal injury case. This deadline can be extended for various reasons, potentially giving victims additional time. However, you should not count on an extension and may have your case barred if you miss the deadline to file.
If you are considering filing a personal injury case for a construction accident in New York, call The Carrion Law Firm today. Our New York construction site injury attorneys help victims and their families file their cases and get the compensation they need. Call us today at (718) 841-0083.
Statute of Limitations for Construction Accidents in New York
As mentioned, the statute of limitations for injury cases in New York is 3 years. This means that from the time the injury takes place to the time you file your case in court has to be 3 years or less. If your case is filed and then takes longer to make its way through the court system, that should not run afoul of the statute of limitations rules. Since court cases often take a few months (or potentially around a year) to complete, there is no guesswork as to whether your case will come in under the deadline or not. As long as it is filed against the right parties on time, the case usually complies with the statute of limitations.
The same statutes of limitations apply to most types of injury cases. This means that whether the construction accident involved a car crash, a defective power tool, or a slip and fall on dangerous property, the case still has a 3-year statute of limitations. One exception is with intentional injury cases; assault and battery have a 1-year statute of limitations for civil cases.
The New York statute of limitations on construction injury cases applies specifically to personal injury cases. If you are filing an insurance claim, a disability claim, or a workers’ compensation claim, those kinds of claims might have other deadlines. For example, workers’ comp. claims have a 2-year statute of limitations, and some workers are required to file through that system instead of suing after an injury at work. You should speak to a New York personal injury lawyer early on in the process to determine not only what deadline applies to your case but what type of claim is best for you to get the compensation you need.
How to Extend the Statute of Limitations for Construction Accident Cases in NY
In some cases, you may be able to extend the statute of limitations. In some instances, a special “tolling” rule applies. This essentially pauses the statute of limitations clock from running, so you get extra time added before the 3-year period begins. The statute of limitations can be tolled for a few different reasons in injury cases in New York, but some are unlikely to apply to the situations involved in a construction accident case.
Sometimes construction sites allow minors to work, or injuries happen to minors passing by or through the site. You may be entitled to extra time tacked on to your filing deadline if you were injured as a minor. Minors in New York get a special exception under the “infancy or insanity” law that allows them to pause the statute of limitations clock until they turn 18. Being a minor is considered a legal “disability,” and when that disability ends on your 18th birthday, the 3-year timer starts running as normal.
If the defendant in your case flees the state to avoid the lawsuit, that could also toll the statute of limitations under certain rules. This kind of situation is rare, and you should speak with a lawyer about whether it applies to your case.
Other reasons to extend the statute of limitations exist for injury victims who have a mental disability and cannot appreciate what happened to them and for people who are unable to discover the injury and its cause. These are unlikely to apply to workers on a construction site, but they could apply to people who are injured passing by or through a construction site. Talk to an experienced Long Island construction accident lawyer if you need help.
When Is it Too Late/Too Early to Talk to a Lawyer About a Construction Injury Case?
If you wait until it’s close to 3 years after your injury happened, there might not be enough time for a lawyer to get the paperwork together and file your case on time. Three years is the final deadline for when you can file your case, but it is important in most cases to file far sooner than that. In any case, you will have to wait until the case is resolved before you can get compensation, and you will almost certainly want to recover damages sooner than 3 years from now. Additionally, waiting 3 years to file makes it more likely that evidence will be lost or that witnesses will forget what happened, so starting your case sooner is always better.
There is no such thing as “too early” when it comes to calling a lawyer. As soon as you’ve been injured, there are things a lawyer can do to begin helping you. Whether that means sending letters to preserve evidence, gathering statements from witnesses, or beginning to draft the necessary court documents, your lawyer virtually cannot begin working on your case too soon.
Call Our New York Construction Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation
Even though you might have 3 years to file your injury case after a construction accident, do not wait that long to call a Queens construction accident injury lawyer. For a free legal consultation on your case, call The Carrion Law Firm right away at (718) 841-0083.