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Office New York:

405 Lexington Avenue, 26th Floor
New York, New York 10174
Phone: +1 (646) 530-8782
Fax: +1 (646) 459-4327

NY Statutes on Personal Injury Claims

Statute Of Limitation – Waiting Too Long to Pursue Your Claim in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Navigating Negligence and Injury

As we represent Americans as well as foreign victims of accidents in the US, we are often asked “when is the right time to file the claim”.

Often, clients are so focused on getting their life back on track by recovering from the injury that filing suit against the person that caused the damage takes a back seat. The feeling is that “ we can always sue later” or “let’s wait until I am fully recovered”.

Our foreign, mostly German, Austrian and Swiss, clients are also often concerned about having to deal with an unfamiliar legal system and fear that they will have to pay their lawyer out of pocket.

It cannot be stressed enough that anyone suffering a serious injury due to an accident or an act by another person, where this person is at fault, should speak with an attorney immediately following the injury.

The longer one waits to obtain legal advice after an accident, the more likely it is that the case gets weaker and/or the value of that claim diminishes. Witnesses forget what they saw, other evidence may disappear or become harder to obtain, injuries and the recovery process may be documented in a less than perfect manner. And of course, the law sets a time limit for bringing a claim. This is called the Statute Of Limitations.

After a certain period of time, a plaintiff is barred from bringing a law suit to recover his damages. The time limit varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The time limits ion Germany, Austria or Switzerland may be different from the ones in the US.


The statutory timeline negligence resulting in personal injury in the state of  New York is for example 3 years from date of accident,    N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(5).

Often, we see that while an injured person waits to contact a lawyer in a personal injury matter, the defendant’s insurance carrier contact the injured party and obtains a statement.

Defendants and their insurance can legally contact a potential plaintiff if that person is not already represented by an attorney. While this may seem innocent enough, the reason for such a call from an insurance is always that the carrier intends to seek a statement that will serve to diminish your claim if you later decide to pursue it.

The caller or visitor may seem friendly and helpful. Many accident victims are actually glad that the insurance contacts them and offers some sort of assistance and maybe even a small amount of money.

This however will always be in exchange for a statement which will serve to reduce or even eliminate your claim. Do NOT fall for this, you may well be signing your rights away for very little in return!

This is another reason to see and retain an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Once the insurance carrier knows that a lawyer is involved, it may not contact the victim directly anymore.

It costs you nothing to speak with an attorney and there is never any obligation for you to retain an attorney you speak with regarding your accidental injury. Not speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can cost you dearly.

We offer our German, Austrian and Swiss clients advice in German, and even in person in one of our European offices. There is no reason to wait after you suffered an injury by the negligence or willful act of a third party in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.

Carl-Christian Thier

Carl-Christian Thier is a founding Shareholder of Urban Thier & Federer, P.A.

Mr. Thier’s practice focuses primarily on German and United States international laws in the areas of contract law, taxation, tax planning, business entity formation and other business matters, with a particular focus on cross border investments between Germany and the United States.

Barry R Fischer | International Law Firm

Barry R. Fischer

Barry Fischer is an Of Counsel Attorney with Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. He is based out of the New York office.

Mr. Fischer’s practice focuses primarily on commercial litigation with concentration on business fraud and financial fraud.

News / Blog 2015

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