Your Guide to the New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
Whether you have been involved in a traffic accident or a slip and fall, when someone else has caused you harm, you may consider a personal injury lawsuit. However, it is important that you’re aware of the personal injury statute of limitations here in New Jersey, which sets a time limit on your rights to file a lawsuit. So, here we’ll explore this topic in more detail, explaining why this deadline is so important and the circumstances where the period may be extended.
The Standard Statute of Limitations
According to New Jersey Statute section 2A:14-2, the standard time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey is two years. In simple terms, the statute sets a two-year deadline for filing almost any type of personal injury case, regardless of whether it is a negligence case or intentional tort.
If you want to seek damages for someone else’s carelessness or intentional act that has caused you injury, you have just two years to file the initial documentation with the court, starting from the date of the incident.
What Happens After Two Years?
If the accident or incident occurred more than two years ago, if you file a lawsuit, the defendant is likely to file a “motion to dismiss,” highlighting the time to the court. Unless there is a rare exception that would entitle you to extra time, your case will be summarily dismissed by the court. When this happens, you will have lost your right to be awarded any damages for your injuries, regardless of how obvious the liability of the other party is and the significance of your injuries
The Importance of the Deadline
The statute of limitations is not only pivotal to file a lawsuit, but also achieve a settlement negotiation with the other party or insurance company. If the defendant is aware that the two-year deadline has passed, your threat of “I’ll see you in court” is empty, and you will have lost any negotiating leverage.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
There are some scenarios in the New Jersey statutes that may delay the deadline or pause the clock that acts as an exception to the statute of limitations for your personal injury case.
One example that modifies the standard timeline is if the injured party was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. Once the person is 18, he or she is entitled to a full two-year period to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If the deadline is fast approaching after your accident or injury, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. Adriana is available to answer any of your queries or questions and would be delighted to help.