If you are involved in an auto collision with a privately owned and operated vehicle the statute of limitation is three (3) years from the date of the incident. In other words, if your accident happens on January 1, 2017, then you must file a lawsuit on or before January 1, 2020.
If you do not file that lawsuit within the appropriate time then your case is forever time barred. You can’t go back and try to file it late or try come up with some kind of excuse. It just won’t be allowed.
That time frame is different when you’re bringing a case against a municipality. A municipality is any local government entity, so when you’re involved in a crash with a City of New York Department of Sanitation truck, a New York City Parks Department pick-up truck or a New York City Transit Authority bus the statute is different – and shorter.
All of these municipal entities are protected by stronger laws that shorten that statute of limitations. In these most of these scenarios you have ninety (90) days from the date of the accident to file a Notice of Claim. Certain Public Authorities, like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Long Island Railroad among others, have different and shorter statutes.
After filing of a Notice of Claim, you must appear for a hearing and a medical exam if requested. Only after you pass those hurdles, called “conditions precedent” to bringing a lawsuit, are you allowed to sue the municipality.
These rules hold true not only for the City of New York and New York City Transit Authority, but for all municipal entities inside and outside of the City of New York as well as Towns and Villages in the surrounding counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester.