New York Personal Injury Overview
Like all states, New York
has some unique personal injury laws
. Personal injury includes accidents and injuries such as workplace accidents
, medical malpractice
, elevator injuries
, and much more.
Some of the more unusual aspects of New York personal injury are the way that responsibility for damages is assigned, a very short time limit applying to lawsuits against municipalities, and the fact that the state takes 20% of your punitive damages.
Every state has time limits for filing a lawsuit, called the statute of limitations. In New York, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury is three years. However, certain types of cases have a shorter time limit. If the defendant has concealed your injury or their wrongdoing, you may have longer to file.
The statute of limitations is not always the only time limit you need to be aware of. Lawsuits against government entities always have more complicated rules and procedures, and in New York, if you are suing a municipality, you only have 90 days to give notice of your claim. The problem with this rule is that you may not know that a government entity bears or shares in the responsibility for your accident until after an in-depth investigation.
If you have been injured, you need to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in your state immediately, in order to avoid missing these crucial deadlines. Missing a deadline means giving up your right to sue even if you have a great case.
If you are partly at fault
New York follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence which greatly favors the plaintiff (or victim) in cases where you are partly responsible for your own injuries. Anyone can be held responsible for their share of the blame even if you were 99% at fault.
New York does not place limits on non-economic or punitive damages. Non-economic damages include things such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. You must prove malice or inferred malice in a separate trial to receive punitive damages. The amount of punitive damages will depend, in part, on the value of the defendant’s assets. Since punitive damages are not compensation for your losses, the state takes 20% of the punitive damages that are awarded to you.
Collecting from multiple defendants
New York uses a combination of joint and several liability when multiple responsibly parties owe you money in one lawsuit. A defendant who is more than 50% to blame for your injuries will be held liable for the entire amount of the damages. Any defendant who is less than 50% responsible is held liable for the portion of non-economic damages equal to their portion of blame.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in New York, you must act quickly to protect your legal right to compensation. Please contact one of our New York personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.