Timeliness is essential in a New York vehicle accident case. If a declare isn’t filed inside the statute of limitations, there’s a robust probability that it will likely be dismissed by the court docket on procedural grounds.

Nevertheless, there are just a few – a very few – exceptions to this common precept. One in every of these exceptions relies on a doctrine generally known as “relation again,” below which a late-filed declare could be “dated” as if it have been filed earlier. Nevertheless, this doctrine solely applies to claims referring to a lawsuit that has already been well timed filed.

Information of the Case

In a current case, the New York Courtroom of Appeals was referred to as upon to think about the assorted points arising in three consolidated actions filed on account of multi-vehicle accident that occurred in 2011. The accident occurred when a car (by which a number of staff of a sure enterprise have been using) stalled on a bridge. That automotive was struck from behind by a second automotive, which was then hit by a 3rd automotive. One of many passengers within the first automotive died from accidents suffered within the wreck.

One of many plaintiffs sought to amend his grievance to say claims towards employer of the motive force and occupants of the primary car, counting on the relation again doctrine (the statute of limitations would in any other case have barred the declare). The trial court docket denied the plaintiff’s movement to amend however granted a movement by one of many defendants to amend his reply to say a protection based mostly on New York employees’ compensation legislation.

The Courtroom’s Choice

The court docket of appeals reversed the decrease court docket’s determination with respect to the plaintiff’s movement to amend his grievance. Acknowledging that New York Consolidated Legal guidelines, Civil Observe Legislation and Guidelines § 203(f), is a codification of prior case legislation in regards to the relation again doctrine, the court docket discovered that the defendant had met the requisite three circumstances for relating his grievance again to the (timely-filed) unique grievance – each claims arose from the identical accident, the brand new occasion defendant was united in curiosity with the unique defendant, and the brand new defendant knew or ought to have recognized declare would seemingly be introduced towards it, as nicely.

With respect to the decrease court docket’s determination granting the defendant permission to amend his reply to incorporate a protection below the employees’ compensation statute, the court docket affirmed. Though the applicability of the protection to the assorted plaintiffs was disputed, it couldn’t be mentioned that the protection was patently devoid of advantage. Thus, the decrease court docket accurately allowed the defendant to amend his reply to incorporate the employees’ compensation statute as a attainable protection to the plaintiffs’ actions towards him.

The court docket additionally discovered that abstract judgment was acceptable as to the “harmless passengers,” who lacked the culpability to be held at fault with regard to the accident.

Contact a Syracuse Private Damage Lawyer

To talk to an skilled Syracuse automotive accident lawyer, name DeFransisco & Falgiatano, LLP, at 315-479-9000. Somebody is all the time obtainable to take your name, and there’s no cost for the preliminary session. The truth is, many private damage and wrongful dying circumstances are accepted based mostly upon a contingency price settlement that doesn’t require cost of lawyer charges till your case is settled or ends in a positive judgment.

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