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New York Court Analyzes Timeliness of Personal Injury Claims

People hurt in motor vehicle collisions will often seek compensation for their harm via personal injury claims. Such claims must be pursued in a timely manner, though; otherwise, they will likely be dismissed, as discussed recently in an opinion delivered in a New York case. If you suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, you must promptly pursue any damages you may be owed, and you should consult a Rochester personal practice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision that took place on June 4, 2018. A little over three years after the accident, he filed a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the other vehicle involved in the crash and the manufacturer of the other vehicle. The defendants subsequently moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The plaintiff opposed the motion, asserting that the Governor’s Executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic tolled the statute of limitations.

Timeliness of Medical Malpractice Claims

The court ultimately denied the defendants’ motion. In doing so, it explained that the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years. Thus, under ordinary circumstances, the plaintiff would have had to file his personal injury lawsuit by June 4, 2021. He filed his claims two weeks after that date, however.

The court explained, though, that whether his claims were untimely turned on whether the Governor’s executive orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic tolled or suspended the statute of limitations. The court then noted that the First and Second Departments of the New York Courts held that the orders tolled the statute.

The defendants argued, though, that the order should not apply because the plaintiff’s deadline to file the complaint fell outside of the statute of limitations. The court disagreed, noting that under the prevailing case law, a toll suspends the statute of limitations from running for a finite period, while a suspension only delays the end of the statutory period until the suspension ends.

Further, the court noted that the New York courts that previously interpreted the COVID-19 orders did not interpret them in the manner suggested by the defendants. As such, the court rejected the defendants’ reasoning and denied their motion.

Talk to a Capable Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

People harmed in car accidents will often pursue claims against the party that caused the collision, but if they fail to pursue their claims in a timely manner, they may waive the right to recover damages. If you suffered losses because of someone else’s carelessness, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney about your rights. The capable Rochester personal injury lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are well-versed in what it takes to recover damages for negligence, and if you engage our services, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.

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