Generally, in New York, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit expires after three years. However, it is general consensus that filing earlier produces better results. In some cases, the statute of limitations will even expire after just one year making it important to contact an attorney quickly after an injury. Filing early also gives you the opportunity to:
- Speak to possible witnesses
- Note conversations related to the incident
- Gather more physical evidence to support your case
While filing early does help your lawyer prepare your case, it’s important to realize that much of the responsibility still lies with you. Following through with court orders and suggestions from your lawyer can be just as crucial to your success.
Take this case for instance…
On August 3, 2012, a judge threw out the case of a woman who sustained allegedly “serious injuries” in a 2009 taxi cab accident, after which she sued both the driver of the other car and her cab driver for her injuries.
After failing to appear at any of the three court-ordered independent medical evaluations and failing to notify the courts of her plans, the plaintiff underwent elective spinal surgery, which the judge concluded effectively destroyed evidence of any pre-existing conditions as a result of the accident.
Due to her own lack of follow through, and her decision to undergo surgery, the plaintiff missed out on the opportunity to receive compensation for everything from medical bills and lost wages to pain and suffering, disability and even future losses as a result of the accident.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s always important to follow court orders and the advice of your attorney. It can often make a difference in determining the outcome of your case or settlement. Hiring a personal injury attorney in New York with a proven track record can assure more favorable result in your case.