How do personal injury claims differ from adult claims in NY?

One of the major differences between a personal injury claim involving minors and one involving adults is the time limitations for filing a lawsuit.

New York C.V.P. Law § 208(a) sets the time limit (called a statute of limitations) for filing a personal injury lawsuit for a minor. The statute does not go into effect until the injured minor reaches age 18. At that time, the minor has 3 years to file for damages.

If the child’s injury occurred during infancy, then the child would have 3 years from the date they become 18 to file a lawsuit.

Are parents legally responsible for damages that their child causes?

Personal Injury Claim Involving MinorsParental liability is another major difference for a personal injury claim involving minors. For example, suppose a minor child is 12 years old, bullies another child and breaks the child’s nose. Can a court hold the parents responsible?  Yes, the court could make them pay for damages and legal fees. In New York, courts only hold parents responsible when their child is over 10 years old and younger than 18 years old. In addition, legal guardians are also responsible for the minor’s actions. However, the courts could not hold a foster parent responsible. (

If the parent is unable to pay for the damages their child caused, they may apply for  “hardship forgiveness.” However, they must provide extensive evidence of their inability to pay for the court to reduce the damages amount. Even so, the court will not reduce the compensation to less than $500.

Do you have questions about a personal injury claim involving minors?

Find out how we can help. To arrange a free consultation, contact the Law Office of John Fazzini. Call us at (631) 547-8989 or reach out to us through our contact form.