STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations in New Jersey for personal injury lawsuits including lawsuits arising from car accidents is two years from the date of the accident. In other words, an injured adult (18 years or older) must file a lawsuit for injuries sustained within two years of the accident or the suit will be forever barred. The statute of limitations in New Jersey in personal injury suits is strictly enforced. A limited exception to the two year statute is if the claim involves a minor or a legally incapacitated person. In the event that a minor is injured, he or she would have two years from the date of his/her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained. If a lawsuit is not filed by his/her 20th birthday, a lawsuit would be barred. However, oftentimes a lawsuit is filed on behalf of a child by his or her parent or legal guardian prior to reaching 18 years of age. However, if a parent or legal guardian does not file a lawsuit on behalf of the injured minor, the law allows the injured person two years from his/her 18th birthday as discussed above. The tolling of the statute of limitations as a result of legal incapacity is much more complicated, variable and fact sensitive and should be dealt with on a case by case basis.
If you sustained an injury and the responsible party is a government employee or entity, you have added notice requirements under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. The Tort Claims Act requires a notice to be filed with the responsible governmental entity within 90 days of the accident. This notice requirement is above and beyond the applicable statute of limitations. For a full discussion of the requirements of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, I direct you to my blog, The New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 et seq.
Also, in cases involving personal injury resulting from medical malpractice, there is what is known as the “discovery rule” in regard to the statute of limitation in filing a lawsuit. New Jersey law provides an injured victim of medical malpractice with two years from the date that he/she knew or should have known of the alleged malpractice in which to file a lawsuit. Failure to bring a lawsuit within this two year period would bar a lawsuit for injuries arising from medical malpractice. There are other time limitations in cases involving birth injuries which require that a suit be brought before the minor’s 13th birthday that are too complex to address in this blog. As such, you must contact our office because we have the experience to handle this very complicated area of the law.
Statute of limitations for wrongful death in New Jersey requires that a wrongful death suit be brought within two years after the date of death. Failure to file a lawsuit within that two year period shall bar you from making a claim.
The statute of limitations, like many facets of New Jersey Personal Injury Law, is complicated and requires the expertise of an experienced New Jersey Personal Injury lawyer. My firm has been representing injured victims in New Jersey for over 28 years providing them with aggressive and skilled representation. We have offices conveniently located in Parsippany and Newark New Jersey and we handle all personal injury matters throughout Northern and Central New Jersey. If you need quality representation in regard to a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice claim or any other matter involving personal injury, please contact our firm today.