New Jersey's Statute of Limitations

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

7 Aug. 2017

If you, or someone you love was recently injured in a collision, in a slip and fall accident, because of a dog bite or medical malpractice, or in another type of accident, it’s important that you know that there is a time limit for filing personal injury claims in New Jersey, as is the case in all states.

When it comes to filing lawsuits, each state has established a “statute of limitations,” which refers to the time limit for filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case.

In New Jersey, the deadline (statute of limitations) for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of injury. If you, or someone you love was injured because of another’s negligence, it’s critical that you abide by these rules, otherwise, you lose your right to file a claim permanently.

If you are injured, for example, if your neighbor’s dog bit your face and you wound up needing not one, but three surgeries, and you suffered permanent disfigurement to your face and eye, you cannot let more than two years pass, and then file a claim and expect compensation.

If you tried to file a claim for the dog bite more than two years from the date of the attack, unfortunately, the court would reject your claim. Even if you could prove that you had already spent $30,000 on your surgeries, it would not make a difference to the court because the deadline for filing a claim had expired.

You can find more information about New Jersey’s statute of limitations in personal injury cases in New Jersey Code Section 2A:14-2.

New Jersey’s Strict Liability for Dog Bite Claims

Since we are on the topic of dog bite cases in New Jersey, we did want to mention that New Jersey imposes “strict liability” in dog bite cases. In some states, dog owners are protected to some degree if their dog bites someone for the first time, specifically if they did know that their dog was capable of biting someone. This is commonly known as the “one bite rule,” however, New Jersey does not follow this rule.

Under N.J.S.A. 4:19-16, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries they cause, regardless of the dog’s previous good behavior. In effect, a dog owner is liable for any injuries their dog causes, even if the dog owner had no idea that their dog could be vicious or harm someone else.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against the Government

It’s important that you know that if you plan on filing a claim against a government body (the state) in New Jersey, the rules are different. Instead of having two years to file a claim, you have just 90 days from the date of the injury to file a claim with the state government.

Once a claim is filed with the state, you must wait six months before you can file a lawsuit (assuming the government has not tried to resolve your claim).

Looking for a New Jersey personal injury attorney to help you file a claim? Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law for a free case evaluation!

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