Timeliness is very important in a New York automobile accident case. If a claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, there is a strong likelihood that it will be dismissed by the court on procedural grounds.
However, there are a few – a very few – exceptions to this general principle. One of these exceptions is based on a doctrine known as “relation back,” under which a late-filed claim can be “dated” as if it were filed earlier. However, this doctrine only applies to claims relating to a lawsuit that has already been timely filed.
Facts of the Case
In a recent case, the New York Court of Appeals was called upon to consider the various issues arising in three consolidated actions filed as a result of multi-vehicle accident that occurred in 2011. The accident happened when a vehicle (in which several employees of a certain business were riding) stalled on a bridge. That car was struck from behind by a second car, which was then hit by a third car. One of the passengers in the first car died from injuries suffered in the wreck.