Valley Stream Car Accident Lawyers
Valley Stream was listed as the best place to live in New York State by Money magazine in 2017 and was that same year touted in a New York Times headline as “Neat, Clean and Safe.” Sadly, a serious car accident can upend this idyllic existence. If you’ve been hurt in a crash on the Southern State Parkway, Route 27/Sunrise Highway, Merrick Road, Franklin Avenue or Mill Road, the Valley Stream car accident lawyers at Cohen & Jaffe want to help you regain the quiet and peaceful life you led before the accident. We’ll do our best to see you get the right quality of care and sufficient compensation to deal with all of the costs and losses you have suffered at the hands of a speeding, drunk, negligent or distracted driver.
How long do I have to file suit after a Valley Stream car accident?
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New York personal injury law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident through a law called a statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time frame, you can be kept from ever filing suit and recovering compensation for your injuries. It is vital that you talk to an attorney soon after your accident so that if a lawsuit needs to be filed in your case, your lawyer will have time to adequately prepare and file a complete and strong civil complaint that sets out all the elements of your claim.
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a Valley Stream car accident is three years from the date of the crash. While this may seem like plenty of time, this deadline can easily be missed. Your first step after a car accident may be to apply for New York no-fault benefits, and you may not know at first that your injuries are beyond the serious injury threshold allowing you to recover compensation from the negligent driver beyond what no-fault insurance provides. A serious accident is not only physically debilitating but also extremely disruptive to your life; your home and work environment may be turned upside down by an injury-causing crash. Your first concern should be dealing with immediate physical needs. This is followed by a period of rehabilitation, which may be lengthy. All the while you are dealing with mountains of doctor and hospital bills from multiple sources and billing departments, insurance claims and repair bills. If you’ve been out of work, your household may be in disarray while you fight to pay the rent or mortgage and keep up with all your bills.
With so much going on as you try to put your life back in order after a serious Valley Stream car crash, it can be all too easy to let a filing deadline slip by. If you’re dealing with the insurance company during this time, they may continually delay your claim with requests for documentation, stretching out the negotiation claim period beyond the statute of limitations, hoping you will not notice this vital deadline has passed or that you skip filing a lawsuit because you think your claim is being settled. With Cohen & Jaffe on your side and working on your case, you can be sure that your case won’t be lost because important deadlines like the statute of limitations were missed.
Our experienced Valley Stream car accident attorneys know the complexities of New York Personal Injury statutes of limitations
Statutes of limitation are imposed to promote fairness in the legal process by helping ensure that lawsuits are filed while evidence is still relatively fresh and well-preserved, and giving even negligent defendants some assurance that they won’t be held legally liable for something that happened decades ago. That said, there are many instances when the three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit can be put on hold, or tolled, for a period of time. One example is when the injury victim is a minor. In that case, a lawsuit can be filed within three years of the minor’s eighteenth birthday; the statute of limitations is “tolled” until the minor becomes a legal adult. Another time the statute of limitations is tolled is when the injured victim is mentally incompetent to file a lawsuit. Additionally, if the injury was not immediately apparent, it may be possible to file a lawsuit within a reasonable time after the injury was discovered, although this is a complex area of the law. Also, a negligent driver who files for bankruptcy may be immune from lawsuit while the bankruptcy is pending. This is another reason to act quickly and contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a Valley Stream car accident.
Just as the statute of limitations may be tolled in some instances, giving an injury victim more than three years to file a lawsuit, there are also situations where the victim has less than the applicable three-year statute of limitations. The most common example is when the accident victim was hit by a government vehicle negligently driven by a government employee. After a car accident involving a public vehicle or public employee, you must give notice of your claim to the applicable government agency within 90 days of the accident, and you only have one year after that 90-day period to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations only applies to the time for filing a lawsuit; you still have to notify the insurance company promptly after any car accident in order to preserve your rights to file a claim and pursue a lawsuit if necessary.
Our Lawyers Come to You after Your Valley Stream Car Accident
Call our office for immediate assistance after a Valley Stream car accident has disrupted your life. Your consultation is free, and we’re more than happy to come out to you if traveling to our office would be an inconvenience in any way. Our goal is to help you get the care and compensation you need after a serious car accident in Valley Stream.