The statute of limitations is one of the most important laws in New Jersey's personal injury law. It requires personal injury lawsuits to be filed within a certain time after the accident/incident occurs. Personal injuries can result from things like car accidents and slip and falls, and they become litigious in New Jersey if the injury is the product of someone else's negligence.
Having a skilled personal injury attorney can be the best way to ensure not only that the statute of limitations does not preclude your claim, but also that you get the full value of compensation that you deserve.
New Jersey's Statute of Limitations for Different Claims
Different types of personal injury lawsuits have separate statutes of limitations. The variation reflects different legal situations and how some are more or less complex than others. These different personal injury lawsuit types and their respective statute of limitations include:
- Personal injury claims. Lawsuits for injuries resulting from someone else's negligence need to be filed within two years of the injury under N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2.
- Wrongful death claims. Civil lawsuits for a loved one's wrongful death need to be brought within two years of the moment of death under N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-3.
The Purpose of Statutes of Limitations
For many outside of the legal field, the existence of a statute of limitation can be confusing. Forcing them to file a lawsuit soon after the incident seems strange. However, there are numerous reasons why these statutes are on the books:
- By filing a lawsuit soon after the incident, it ensures that evidence will not be lost and that witnesses remember what happened.
- Victims are also pushed to seek justice earlier, rather than later.
Tort Claims Notices and How to Initiate a Lawsuit
Importantly, the statute of limitations in New Jersey only requires the initiation of a lawsuit within its timeframe, not its completion. Therefore, the only thing that needs to be filed within the time limitation is the complaint.
An exception, though, is when the lawsuit is being filed against a public entity in New Jersey. In these cases, a Notice of Tort Claim must be filed within 90 days of the incident -- well before the timeframe posed by the statute of limitations. After filing this Notice, you need to wait six months before initiating the rest of the lawsuit.
New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys at Najib, Kim & Feliz, LLC
The personal injury attorneys at Najib, Kim & Feliz, LLC know how to abide by the strictures of the statute of limitations and how to use it to maximize your lawsuit's chances of success. By predicting how your injury is likely to develop and taking into account the odds of a settlement, our lawyers can utilize the statute to help your interests. Contact us today either online or at (201) 585-2250.