How long do I have to sue? The New York Statute of Limitations

Centuries ago, there was no fixed time start a lawsuit.  The Statute of Limitations was enacted to protect defendants against defending old lawsuits after a reasonable time has passed.  The law has specific provisions that prescribe how long a plaintiff has before starting a lawsuit. If you fail to commence your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, your case is generally dismissed.

As a general rule, it is wise to begin a lawsuit within at least six to eight months before the statute of limitations expires. The reason for this is because the law is often quirky.  For example the law requires the plaintiff to serve the defendant.  By allotting a six-eight month window  before the statute of limitations expires, it would be possible to re-serve the defendant.

The specific time periods regarding the statue of limitations can be found in the New York Civil Practice Law and Procedure Article 2.

If you have a question of how the statute of limitations impacts your case, contact my law office by phone at 212-233-0666 or via email at


Previous post:

Next post: