There is a period during which an individual can be charged for a crime or file a lawsuit, called the statute of limitations. It is put in place largely to protect individuals from being sued or criminally charged for a violation beyond a reasonable amount of time. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, but overall does not include serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping or forgery. These crimes do not have a statute of limitations because the perpetrator might remain a danger to society for an open-ended amount of time after the crime was committed.

In the state of New York, the statute of limitations on civil cases ranges depending on the type and facts of each case. For example, a case in which a plaintiff is suing the defendant for intentional emotional distress, the statute of limitations is 1 year. This means, after one year following the traumatic event, an individual could not sue another based on intentional emotional distress

Slip and fall cases and motor vehicle accidents based on a theory of negligence have a slightly longer statute of limitations, and these types of cases can be brought to the court up to 3 years after the event. Medical malpractice cases can be filed up until 2 years and 6 months from the date of malpractice, or from the date of the last treatment rendered by the physician if continually treated by that physician for that condition.

If you’ve been the victim of negligence resulting in personal injury, although you generally have 3 years following the date of incident to file a lawsuit, it is important to note that there are many exceptions to these rules, and an attorney should always be consulted if you feel you’ve been the victim of someone else’s wrongdoing. The attorneys of Spiegel, Brown and Fichera, LLP will provide a free consultation and advise you of these time limits based on the individual circumstances of your case and help you decide the best course of action.