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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

The Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in New York: What Does It Mean?

Slips, trips, and falls account for a significant portion of injuries and personal injury claims in New York and across the US.

If someone sustains an injury in a slip and fall accident caused by someone else's negligence- or on someone else's property- they could be entitled to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.

As well as needing to prove the accident occurred because of another person's action or inaction, victims must also submit their claims before the New York statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents expires.

Here is an overview of the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims in New York State, what it means for the injured party, and how to navigate the legal rules. Law Office of Carl Maltese can also provide insight to the truck accident statute of limitations in New York.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Put simply, a statute of limitations is the maximum time limit for any person to take legal action against another.

They apply to most crimes and legal disputes, but the specific limits are different depending on the circumstances and state.

The reasons for having a statute of limitations include:

  • To encourage people to act promptly and avoid long delays in court cases

  • To avoid difficulties in securing witness statements, physical evidence, and reliable accounts of the incident

  • To increase relevance in claims- ensuring the right people are held responsible at the right time

What Is the Statute of Limitations for New York Slip and Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents come under negligence claims- either personal injury or premises liability, in most cases. The statute of limitations on all non-fatal accidents is three years.

In other words, a person has a three-year deadline from the date of their accident to officially file a slip and fall lawsuit in the State of New York.

This is the general rule applied, but there are some differences within New York law depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the parties involved.

Statute of Limitations for Suing a Government Agency for a Slip and Fall Accident

Many slip-and-fall accidents happen on public property owned or maintained by a government agency or entity. In these cases, victims must start the legal process against the government- be it a town or city council or municipality, a state or city housing authority, or the state itself.

The statute of limitations is much shorter if a person is suing a government entity in their slip and fall claim. In most cases, NYC premises liability lawyers must submit a Notice of Claim on the claimant's behalf no more than 90 days after the accident. Some agencies have an even shorter period of 60 days.

Failure to submit this notice properly and within the allotted time limit could make it impossible to file a slip-and-fall claim against a government agency.

Are There Any Other Exceptions?

There are some other circumstances where the standard three-year deadline does not apply- or it does apply, but the start date is different.

  • The discovery rule makes it possible to extend the three-year deadline to begin from the date the injury was discovered, rather than the date the accident occurred. It applies in cases where the person did not realize they were hurt in the way they were until later. Getting this extension approved is complicated, but an expert in personal injury law can help.

  • It is also possible to delay the start date if an injury victim is a minor without a legal guardian or is deemed mentally incompetent or of unsound mind to pursue a claim. Again, expert legal guidance is required.

  • New York law sets the statute of limitations for any wrongful death case as two years instead of three. If a slip and fall accident is fatal, the two-year limit may apply instead.

Can a Person File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit After the Deadline Expires?

New York law does not allow a person to file a slip and fall lawsuit after the statute deadline has passed. This means a victim cannot take the at-fault party to court if they fail to submit their case on time.

What About an Insurance Claim?

It is technically still possible to pursue a claim against a private at-fault property owner or other negligent party (non-government) via their insurance company.

There is no possibility to take them to court, but a settlement can still legally be negotiated.

That said, it is substantially more difficult to convince an insurance company to agree to any settlement- let alone a favorable one- without the leverage of a court trial to back the claim.

In other words, it is legally possible- but it is unlikely to yield the results the claimant wants.

How to Avoid Missing the Statute of Limitations Deadline in a Slip and Fall Claim

Slip and fall cases can lead to expensive medical bills, lost income, and long-term pain and suffering. Missing the opportunity to recover compensation should not be a risk people are willing to take.

To avoid missing the deadline for a New York slip and fall claim, people should take the following actions.

  • Do not delay a case for any reason.

  • Establish exactly who the responsible party is and when the deadline is.

  • Contact an experienced New York attorney as early as possible to at least discuss the case.

  • Begin gathering evidence and piecing together the claim from the very beginning. This gives the legal team a head start and a base to work from.

  • Provide all information regarding the case to legal counsel to ensure no important details are overlooked.

Why Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible?

Why Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible?

Working with an expert in New York slip and fall law is the best way to avoid missing the statute of limitations deadline- but it is crucial to contact them early. That way, the legal process can begin well within the time limit.

New York law offices specializing in these cases understand the intricacies of slip and fall claims, proving negligence, limitations, and compensation options. Working with them benefits a claimant in many ways.

Get the Guidance Needed from the Very Beginning

Slip and fall laws are not as straightforward as people may believe. Navigating the early stages of an insurance claim or lawsuit is not easy- especially when recovering from the physical and mental trauma of an accident.

Having the backing of an experienced law firm from the start smooths the road and clears the way.

Build a Strong Slip and Fall Case to Present

Proving negligence is a crucial element in any personal injury case- especially a slip and fall accident.

Establishing if the property owners are at fault or if there are other factors at play- and showing that a negligent action is actually what caused the accident- can take time.

An added complication is comparative negligence, which impacts compensation based on how much of the blame lies with the victim.

Building a strong case to present to the insurance company or court does not happen overnight. It takes time, attention to detail, and meticulous research from a dedicated legal team.

Support Through Negotiations and Potential Trial

Settlement negotiations are not for the faint of heart, and injured victims without legal representation are often pushed into accepting low-ball offers far below the actual value of their claim. Having legal help through this trying time ensures a fair fight and a favorable outcome.

If the claim does not settle, it is vital to have a team that understands the legal options going forward and can effectively represent the victim during a trial.

Working with an attorney also helps ensure the maximum compensation is pursued.

A claim should include medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses- but there is also the lasting mental impact to consider. This emotional distress and pain and suffering are also worth something in a slip-and-fall claim.

Take the Weight Off of the Victim's Shoulders

Severe injuries are not uncommon following slip and fall accidents. Head injuries, neck and back pain, broken bones, and more. Recovering from an injury should be a person's primary focus- but they still need to move forward with any legal action before the statute of limitations runs out.

Expert Long Island slip and fall lawyers can take the reigns on the legal side while the victim focuses on getting better.

Contact the Law Office of Carl Maltese for an Elite Legal Team that Cares

The Law Office of Carl Maltese is a leading New York personal injury law firm with an impeccable reputation for dedication and excellence.

Slip and fall accident victims can rely on this exceptional team of legal experts to fight their cases and stand by their side throughout the process.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in New York, you must be prepared for the statute of limitations deadline. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case and determine your next steps.


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