How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In New Jersey?
With over 130 miles of Atlantic coastline and a rich and impressive history, New Jersey is a wonderful place to live. That’s why more than 9 million people call the Garden State home. But with so many people living in such a densely populated area, accidents are bound to happen. Luckily, New Jersey has a well-established legal system that allows anyone to bring a personal injury claim following an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
However, the right to commence a claim for compensation following an accident doesn’t last forever. Read on to find out how long you have to file a personal injury claim in New Jersey, as well as important exceptions that you need to know about.
Example Of Personal Injury Claims That Can Occur In NJ
Personal injury is an overarching term that includes a wide number of accidents and injuries. Adults and children alike can suffer personal injuries and become entitled to bring a personal injury claim in a New Jersey court. Common forms of personal injury include the following:
- Car accidents are a leading cause of injury for adults and children alike. Small children are particularly at risk of injury in a car accident, especially if they are not using an age- and size-appropriate child restraint.
- Dog bites are a common occurrence in New Jersey and can cause significant emotional trauma, in addition to physical injuries.
- Workplace accidents remain relatively common even today, despite recent pushes for stricter regulations in the workplace to protect workers.
- Product liability can cause personal injury to adults and children alike, with people needing to be increasingly vigilant about the products they choose to bring into their home.
- Sports and recreation incidents can unfortunately occur, putting a dampener on what would otherwise be wholesome and enjoyable pastimes like sports, swimming, and even just enjoying time outside.
The Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim In New Jersey
While everyone has the right to file a personal injury claim following an accident, that right doesn’t last forever. All American jurisdictions impose a statute of limitations on claims for personal injury in New Jersey, which can be thought of like a deadline for commencing a civil claim in court. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that the injury or incident occurred. This simply means that you must commence your proceedings within two years the incident, not that the entire matter must be resolved within two years.
The idea behind imposing a statute of limitations is to preserve the evidence available in the matter, including physical evidence and evidence from witnesses in the form of oral testimony. Claims commenced after the two-year New Jersey statute of limitations physical evidence are very likely to be dismissed, making it vitally important that you act without delay and get advice on the New Jersey personal injury matter as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
Exceptions To Statute Of Limitations Rules
While the statute of limitations for personal injury in New Jersey is two years, there are some exceptions that can apply. It can be difficult to understand if one or more of these exceptions apply to your circumstances, making it important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to give you specific advice.
Exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations in personal injury matters can include:
- If the injured person was mentally incompetent at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations may be paused to allow additional time for a claim to be filed.
- If the injured party was a child at the time of the incident, the two-year countdown doesn’t begin until the child’s 18th birthday. However, any associated claims relating to adults, such as lost income or other injuries suffered by a parent, will still be subject to the usual two-year limitation.
- Birth injuries are a special of personal injury claim and carry their own time-limit. Children born before July 2004 have until their 20th birthday to file a claim, while children born after July 2004 must file a birth injury claim before their 13th birthday.
- If the injury or damage is not discovered immediately, such as some cases environmental pollution or medical malpractice, the two-year clock won’t begin running until after the injury is discovered. This is known as the discovery rule.
- If your claim involves a government employee undertaking their normal duties or a government agency, other time limits apply. A Notice of Claim form must be filed within 90 days of the accident. This additional deadline can be extended to up to one year, but only in extraordinary circumstances.
Gina was on her way to work when she was sideswiped by another vehicle. In the moments before the accident, Gina could see that the other driver was using their cell phone. Feeling dazed and confused, Gina asked a bystander to call the authorities, aware that all automotive accidents in New Jersey must be reported to the police by the quickest means available.
Gina suffered a head injury from the collision and missed several weeks of work, before returning to work part-time for a number of months. She knew that she was not in the right frame of mind to take the matter further on her own, but also knew that she could be entitled to compensation for her injuries. Gina contacted a personal injury attorney in New Jersey who took full carriage of the matter, doing their best to help Gina get the compensation she deserved while giving her the opportunity to recover and rebuild her life.
The attorney filed a written report on the correct paperwork provided by New Jersey’s Department of Transportation within the 10-day window and opened a claim with Gina’s car insurance provider since New Jersey is a no-fault jurisdiction. Next, the attorney took the appropriate steps to file a personal injury claim on Gina’s behalf. With a strict two-year statute of limitations, the attorney knew they would need to act quickly to gather the evidence and present the best possible case on Gina’s behalf.
If you or someone you love has been injured, you may be entitled to damages for personal injury. It is important to act quickly to ensure you don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve. The Law Offices of Anthony Vecchio are available right now for a free personal injury case evaluation. Let Anthony Vecchio use his decades of personal injury experience to give you the very best outcome in your matter, while you concentrate on your own recovery.