Schwartz & Ponterio, PLLC holds lawyers responsible for legal malpractice.

Different cases can have very different statutes of limitations 

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2023 | Legal Malpractice

A statute of limitations is a restriction on how long you have to start a criminal case. If the event in question – such as medical malpractice – has passed the statute of limitations, then your case is no longer possible, even if it is valid otherwise. This prevents people from starting legal cases over things that happened decades ago.

We’ve already discussed how important it is to adhere to the statute of limitations. But it’s also important to realize that this is not going to be the same in every case. Depending on the specifics of the case and the type of suit that is being filed, the statute of limitations can be very different.

Examples of common statutes of limitations

To show you how different they can be, let’s look at a few common examples. In New York, under state law, here are some of the statutes of limitations:

  • Three years for a car accident 
  • Six years for a written contract 
  • Three years for debt collection within New York 
  • 20 years for enforcing court judgments 
  • One year for a civil case of false imprisonment
  • Three years for legal malpractice
  • One year for slander 
  • One year for a petty offense 
  • Three years for property damage

Some very serious crimes will not have a statute of limitations at all, at least for a criminal case. These include things like murder. But most offenses do have a deadline that has to be met. As you can see above, the deadline for legal malpractice is three years, showing why you need to move relatively quickly.

Do you feel that your lawyer has made a mistake, missed a statute of limitations and ruined your chances in the case? Be sure you know exactly what steps to take next.