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Making Sure Than Your New York Auto Accident Case Complies with the Statute of Limitations

Legal News GavelIn the aftermath of your accident, there may be many reasons why you might not pursue your legal rights until the eve of the expiration of the statute of limitations. Your injuries (or medical diagnoses) may have continued to evolve, and you may have waited in order to have a clearer idea about the extent of your damages. You may have been working to obtain certain evidence before you filed so that you would know which people and entities to name as defendants. Alternatively, you not may have retained counsel right away. Regardless of the reason, the law gives you a specific period of time to pursue your case, and you are entitled to your opportunity to litigate, regardless of whether you filed five days after your accident or five days before the limitations period expired. When your case involves a statute of limitation dispute or other procedural disputes, it is important to have a knowledgeable New York injury attorney on your side to manage all of the requirements created by the law.

A recent ruling by the Appellate Division focused on this issue of the statute of limitations. The plaintiff in the lawsuit was a man named Amaury. He was injured in a vehicle accident on Sept. 7, 2012. As a result of those injuries, Amaury sued an NYPD officer. The exact details of the vehicle accident weren’t included in the Appellate Division’s opinion because they weren’t really the main issue in the case. The key point of dispute was a procedural one:  namely, whether or not Amaury had waited too long to act.

New York law has established a one-year statute of limitations for injury claims like Amaury’s. On Aug. 25, 2013, the injured man sought to amend his complaint to add an additional defendant, a man named William. In early February 2016, the trial judge approved the request, provided that Amaury properly completed the task of serving notice on William by Feb. 18.

When the court provides an instruction and places a specific deadline like the Feb. 18, 2016 deadline it gave to Amaury, it is very important to be mindful of it and make certain that you are compliant with it. Failing to do what the court demands in the timeframe that the court requires can have dire consequences for your case. Amaury was properly diligent and completed the service task on Feb. 10.

Although Amaury’s completion of this requirement took place well after Sept. 7, 2013, he was still in compliance with the statute of limitations. When you file a proper request to amend your complaint, this “tolls” the statute of limitations. If you think of the statute of limitations as a game clock in a sporting event, such as basketball or football, tolling is the equivalent of clock stoppage. When Amaury asked to amend his complaint, that stopped the statute of limitations “clock” with 13 days to go. When the court approved the request on Feb. 5, 2013, he had 13 days still remaining. By completing his requirements by Feb. 10, he was not too late.

There may be many reasons why your case requires you to be up against the statute of limitations deadline, but one of those shouldn’t be lack of legal counsel. Make sure your case is compliant with everything in the law and the rules of procedure by retaining diligent counsel. The experienced Queens car accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman have been giving injured people from New York City and the surrounding areas quality legal representation for many years. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

United States has the most road deaths among wealthy countries, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, July 16, 2016

Next steps after a car crash: do’s and don’ts, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Nov. 21, 2014

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