One of our firm's practice areas is personal injury. While talking to potential clients we ask what happened, what type of injury they suffered and if they received medical treatment. Probably the most important question we ask is when the injury actually happened. We have to ask this because there are time limits for when a lawsuit can still be filed, and in New York the general rule is that a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within 3 years of the accident or injury. There are a few exceptions to the 3 year time limit, but in most cases the rule is 3 years.
Something we often see are potential clients calling our office and telling us they were injured in the subway, on public housing grounds or at a school. These cases involving public property are treated differently than auto accidents or injuries at a supermarket. Since the injury occurred on public property you have to sue the government, whether it is the state, city, an agency, school district or county. When suing the government notice must be given that you are suing them and this is done by filing a Notice of Claim. This Notice of Claim must be properly prepared and delivered or served on the government within 90 days of an injury or accident. If this is not done in time then a lawsuit can not be filed against the government. So our potential clients tell us they slipped on the subway 1 year ago and broke their femur, and while it is within the 3 year statute of limitations, we unfortunately have to tell them, more often than not, their claim against the City or MTA can not go forward since a Notice of Claim was not timely or properly filed.
This is why we can not stress the importance of speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible after you suffer an injury. You should speak to your doctor, get treatment and then seek out legal advice from a reputable personal injury attorney. Our consultations are free and we are more than happy to listen to your story, answer your questions and represent you.
By The Law Offices of Lau & Nicolello
July 20, 2021