If you have been injured and another party is responsible (or mostly responsible) then you need to retain an attorney so you can be compensated monetarily for your harm.
A tort is "an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability. In the context of torts, "injury" describes the invasion of any legal right, whereas "harm" describes a loss or detriment in fact that an individual suffers". Lawyers who litigate in the area of torts are also known as personal injury attorneys.
If there is liability, then there is a remedy at law for your personal injury. However, time is very important. There are many reasons to act promptly to protect your interests once you have been injured. Among the top important reasons would be the statute of limitations. Before delving into the statute of limitations, know that acting swiftly serves your interests in many other ways. First, the sooner you act the sooner the legal process will be set in motion and the sooner you will be able to recover what you are owed and what you deserve. The legal process takes time, from months to years depending on the specifics of the matter, the facts and the parties involved. Secondly, the ability to obtain documents to prove your case is the strongest the closest in time to the event i.e. photographs, contracts, agreements, incident reports, police accident reports and medical records. Thirdly, all lawyers know, the sooner testimony can be obtained the better. Why? Memories fade with time. Back to the statute of limitations.
What is this term "statute of limitations"? The statute of limitations is the specific time period during which you are allowed to file suit. If you try and file suit beyond or outside the statute of limitations you will be barred. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations for certain types of suits whereby the time period can be extended. For our purposes, it is instructional to know there are important time limitations for each type of suit. If your situation falls into one of the exceptions is more complex and will require speaking with an experienced attorney to decipher if you can still bring suit.
For now, according to the CPLR which is the statute governing the civil practice of lawyers in NY state the limitations of time to bring suit are located at Article 2 aptly titled "Limitations of Time". According to CPLR 201 "An action, including one brought in the name or for the benefit of the state, must be commenced within the time specified in this article unless a different time is prescribed by law or a shorter time is prescribed by written agreement. No court shall extend the time limited by law for the commencement of an action".
Accordingly, the two provisions which are most important in this realm, personal injury, are sections 214 and 214-a
Section 214 is titled "Actions to be commenced within three years; for non-payment of money collected on execution; for penalty created by statute; to recover chattel; for injury to property; for personal injury; for malpractice other than medical, dental or podiatric malpractice; to annul a marriage on the ground of fraud". Hence, one has three years from the accrual of the action in which to bring suit. In today's fast paced times this should be ample time. However, remember, the sooner is always the better for all of the reasons explained.
The other section is 214-a. This section is titled "Action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice to be commenced within two years and six months; exceptions". Therefore, in its most basic terms, one has two and a half years from the accrual of the action in which to bring suit timely.
In conclusion, if you are reading this and are unsure about whether you can timely file suit either because you are unclear as to when the action accrued or whether your situation falls within exceptions to these provisions you should contact counsel to discuss your particular situation. Time is of the essence. We are here to serve your legal needs.