Is There A Time Limit For Filing A Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit In New York?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be life-altering events, with the potential for significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences. When a TBI is the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, pursuing a legal claim may be necessary to secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

However, there is a crucial element that all potential claimants must consider – the statute of limitations. In New York, as in many other states, there is a time limit for filing a traumatic brain injury lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in New York

The statute of limitations is a fundamental legal concept that dictates the time within which a lawsuit must be filed. Failure to initiate a lawsuit within this specified period can result in the claim being forever barred. In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injuries, is typically three years from the date of the injury.

This means that if you suffer a traumatic brain injury due to another party’s negligence, you generally have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. It is essential to be aware of this deadline and take action promptly if you believe you have a valid TBI claim.

Exceptions to the Three-Year Rule

While the three-year statute of limitations is the standard for personal injury claims in New York, there are circumstances that can extend or limit this time frame. It is crucial to be aware of these exceptions to ensure you do not miss your opportunity to seek compensation for your traumatic brain injury.

Discovery Rule: In some cases, it may not be immediately apparent that a TBI has occurred. This can happen when the injury’s symptoms are not immediately visible or when the true extent of the injury only becomes apparent after some time has passed. New York follows the discovery rule, which means that the statute of limitations may not begin until the date the injury is discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence.

Minors: If the victim of a traumatic brain injury is a minor at the time of the incident, the three-year statute of limitations may not begin until the injured party turns 18. However, it is essential to note that once a minor reaches the age of 18, the regular three-year statute of limitations will apply. Parents or legal guardians can also file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor, and the minor will have three years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit themselves.

Government Entities: If the entity responsible for your injury is a government agency, special rules and shorter time limits may apply. Claims against government entities often require that a notice of claim be filed within a very limited timeframe, which can be as short as 90 days from the date of the incident.

Medical Malpractice: In cases where medical malpractice leads to a traumatic brain injury, the statute of limitations is different. Generally, the clock starts running from the date of the medical error or malpractice rather than the date of injury. Medical malpractice cases have their own complex rules, making it vital to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you meet all necessary deadlines.

Why It’s Crucial to Act Promptly

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to initiate a traumatic brain injury lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations. Failing to do so can result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation, leaving you to bear the financial burden of medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Time can be a critical factor in gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, and building a strong case to support your claim.

Furthermore, the longer you wait to consult an attorney and initiate legal action, the more challenging it can become to establish the causal link between the TBI and the responsible party’s negligence. Evidence may become lost or deteriorate over time, and the memories of witnesses may fade.

Seeking Legal Representation

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury and believe another party is at fault, it is essential to consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your case, determine whether you have a viable claim, and guide you through the legal process.

Here are some reasons why seeking legal representation is crucial:

  • Legal Expertise: An attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, including traumatic brain injuries, can provide you with legal expertise to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.
  • Investigation: Attorneys have the resources and knowledge to investigate your case thoroughly. They can gather evidence, identify witnesses, and consult with experts to strengthen your claim.
  • Negotiation: A skilled attorney can negotiate with insurance companies and at-fault parties on your behalf to secure a fair settlement. They can also advise you on whether to accept a settlement offer or pursue a lawsuit.
  • Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your attorney can prepare and file a lawsuit, represent you in court, and advocate for your rights.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in New York, understanding the statute of limitations is critical. By acting quickly and seeking legal representation, you can begin the process of securing the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from your traumatic brain injury. Remember that time is of the essence, so don’t delay in pursuing justice and holding those responsible for your injury accountable.

Call Our Law Firm if You Have Suffered a TBI in New York

We are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help you build a strong case tailored to your unique circumstances. We will be your advocates, ensuring your rights are protected and that justice is served. Contact our client-centered practice today.