If you are injured in an accident due to someone’s negligence, you generally have 3 years to start a lawsuit. If the negligence was due to the actions or malfeasance of New York City or most other municipalities (and their employees, agents, etc.) you generally have only 1 year + 90 days. (NOTE: if it is a city or municipality, you also need to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident).
Lawsuits involving intentional acts (assault, libel, slander, etc) require you to file suit within one year.
There are many different Statutes of Limitations (and some have particular conditions precedent), so consult with the Law Firm of Charles DeStefano if you have a question about filing a lawsuit.