Visitor Question

Does a minor have 3 years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit?

Submitted By: Anonymous (NY)

My daughter was bit by a dog in 2006 at age 7. She has a permanent facial scar above her lip from the attack. I heard there was a statute about minors starting a lawsuit have up to three years from the time they turn 18. Is this true?

Does a minor have until 3 years after they officially become an adult to file a lawsuit for an injury they suffered as a child? Thanks for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Yes, under New York State Law a minor has three years from the date of his or her eighteenth birthday to commence litigation (file a lawsuit). For medical malpractice actions, the statute of limitations cannot be extended for more than ten years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the injury.

Extending the statute of limitations filing period is called “tolling” the statute. Therefore, your daughter has up to three years from her eighteenth birthday to either settle her personal injury claim or file a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed the statute of limitations is tolled indefinitely.

This presumes at or near the time of her injury in 2007 you hadn’t already filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your daughter. If so, your daughter may be precluded from filing her own personal injury case on her eighteenth birthday, or within the next three years after it.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 7, 2013

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One thought on “Does a minor have 3 years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit?

  1. Every state has statute of limitations. I would check on that. I know in NC where I live there is a five year statute of limitation even for minors, as per attorney advice.

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