top of page
  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Understanding the Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations in New York

Around 5000 motorcycle accidents occur every year in New York alone- often resulting in serious injuries or worse. Motorcycle accident claims can help victims and their families recover compensation, but only if they are submitted on time.

New York law places a statute of limitations on all personal injury lawsuit filings- including motorcycle accident cases. Understanding the time restrictions that apply is crucial to ensure those affected by the negligence of others can legally seek the justice and compensation they are owed.

An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at the Law Office of Carl Maltese can work with victims following a motorcycle crash and help them navigate the process within the timeframe of the New York statute of limitations. They can also help with guidance with a pedestrian accident statute of limitations in New York.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents in New York?

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents in New York?

A New York motorcycle accident injury claim has the same statute of limitations as other car accidents and general negligence, which is three years from the date of the incident. This applies to any non-fatal accidents involving private parties.

When a fatal motorcycle accident includes a wrongful death lawsuit, the limit is two years instead of three. Incidents involving any non-private party (a.k.a. a City of New York vehicle or any other vehicle owned or connected to a New York municipality) have a 90-day limit for paperwork to be filed.

Understanding the Different Limitations

There are three possible statutes of limitations for a motorcycle accident case in New York- as mentioned above. Here is a summary of when each one applies.

Three Years

Any motorcycle accident where all vehicles and parties involved are private and nobody is fatally injured during the crash has the standard three-year statute of limitations.

Two Years

Wrongful death lawsuits in New York have a two-year statute of limitations. If someone dies from motorcycle accident injuries, their family members may pursue this type of claim.

In this case, the shorter limitation applies. Note that the two-year period starts from the date of death, not the date of the accident (in case they are not the same).

90 Days

If a motorcycle accident claim is made against a public entity (city council, municipality, etc.), the victim must submit their claim within 90 days of the accident.

Why Is There a Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Claims?

While some legal claims have no statute of limitations, most negligence and personal injury lawsuits do because of the complications that can arise if too much time passes.

With motorcycle accidents, this is important to ensure cases run smoothly- and the evidence required to back them is easy to acquire.

Here are some reasons why a statute of limitations applies to motorcycle accidents in New York State and the rest of the USA.

  • Waiting many years before making a claim can make it harder to locate witnesses who were present at the time of the accident. People move away, change names, or pass away- which makes it impossible, or at least very difficult, to secure statements.

  • People's memories fade, which can make statements less accurate and reliable when it comes to pursuing a claim. If details are missing or unclear, it can be difficult to get the maximum settlement amount from the insurance company.

  • Physical evidence, in some cases, can also become less reliable over time. Limiting the time that can pass between an accident happening and a claim being made reduces the risk of things being lost, compromised, or contaminated.

  • Most motorcycle accidents that end up in a court case involve serious injury, so it is important for victims to claim compensation sooner to support with the costs of medical expenses and other damages.

What Happens If Motorcycle Accident Victims Miss the Deadline for Personal Injury Claims?

If a person misses the relevant statute of limitations deadline for their motorcycle accident injury claim, it could become very difficult to get the compensation they are owed.

Although it is still possible to file a claim against negligent drivers and their insurance coverage providers, there is no further possibility to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

This means they cannot take their claim to court, and they are at the mercy of the insurance company to accept their claim and offer fair compensation.

Since the threat of a court case is a significant leverage on the victim's part, reaching a favorable settlement after the statute of limitations expires is significantly less likely.

It may also be no longer possible to claim damages from their own motorcycle insurance after the statute deadlines, leaving them with the prospect of paying for medical bills and covering all other expenses out of their own pockets.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Very few cases can be taken to court after the statute expires, but there are some rare exceptions. These predominantly apply to minors or an accident victim who is deemed mentally incompetent to pursue compensation at the time.

How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?

How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?

Hiring a professional New York motorcycle accident lawyer makes the process for pursuing legal action smoother- and increases a victim's chances of winning the maximum compensation amount.

Personal injury lawyers who specialize in motorcycle accidents understand the complicated nature of these claims and are fully equipped to build, fight, and win a case within the timeframe allowed. For more information, motorcycle accident attorneys may be able to help.

They can help gather evidence, negotiate settlements, and lead the charge if the case goes to trial. Legal representation takes the burden of a claim off the shoulders of victims and their families.

Work With an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Who Cares

An experienced personal injury attorney from the Law Office of Carl Maltese will fight for motorcycle riders injured in accidents that were not their fault. They can quickly and efficiently build a case to take to the insurance company or court if necessary. They also have information on a truck accident statute of limitations in New York.

Arrange a Free Consultation Today

Contact the leading experts in New York motorcycle and car accident personal injury law for reliable, professional guidance through the legal process. Arrange a free and confidential consultation for the best start on the journey to seek compensation and justice.


bottom of page