A statute of limitations specifies the outermost time frame within which a person can file a lawsuit for a specific type of legal claim, or be prohibited by the legal system from doing so.
Statutes of limitations vary by state, with each state having its own set of time limits, rules, and exceptions. Below we discuss certain New Jersey specific statutes of limitations.
NEW JERSEY’S STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR INJURY CLAIMS
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for nearly all injury cases is two years from the date of injury. Victims in NJ will be unable to file a claim if they take action after this two-year period ends. Exceptions to this time frame may be made under unique circumstances. The general types of injury claims that must be filed within two (2) years include:
TWO YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Personal Injury: Victims of personal injury, such as slip-and-fall accidents and construction injuries have two (2) years from the date of the incident to file a claim in New Jersey.
Car Accidents: If you’ve been involved in a car accident in New Jersey, you have two years to pursue legal action for injuries or property damage resulting from the collision.
Assault: Victims of assault and battery have two years to seek compensation for the physical and emotional harm caused by the attack.
Medical Malpractice: In cases of medical negligence or malpractice, the statute of limitations allows patients two years to file a lawsuit from the date when the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
Wrongful Death: In cases of wrongful death, the statute of limitations allows eligible family members two years from the date of the deceased’s death to file a claim.
Premises Liability: If you suffer an injury on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you have two years to bring a premises liability claim.
EXCEPTIONS TO NEW JERSEY’S STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS
Certain circumstances may also qualify for an exception to the standard statute of limitations in New Jersey. These exceptions include:
In cases where the injury or its cause was not immediately discoverable, the discovery rule may extend the statute of limitations until the injury or its cause became known or reasonably should have been known. This protects victims that receive a late diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, which may have happened long after they were injured in an accident.
Continuous Treatment Rule
In medical malpractice cases, if the victim has undergone a series of treatments related to the malpractice, the statute of limitations may be extended.
This is a legal doctrine that, in some cases, can pause or extend the statute of limitations due to extraordinary circumstances, such as the plaintiff’s incapacity or fraudulent concealment of the cause of action. Tolling Protections for Minors: If the injured party is a minor at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they reach the age of 18.
Incapacity and/or Mental Incompetency
If the injured party is deemed incapacitated or mentally unfit at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they regain capacity.
If the defendant committed fraud to conceal their actions, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow the victim additional time to file a claim.
NJ STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS FOR NON-INJURY RELATED CLAIMS
While NJ statutes typically limit victims to two years to file a claim, non-injury-related claims have their own set of limitations, including:
Libel or Slander: Defamation cases involving libel (written defamation) or slander (spoken defamation) have a statute of limitations of one year in New Jersey.
Property Damage: If your property is damaged due to someone else’s negligence, you have six years to file a claim in New Jersey.
Government Entities: If your injury claim involves a government entity, you may have a limited time frame to file a Notice of Tort Claim (usually 90 days) before proceeding with a lawsuit, which could have a different statute of limitations.
Once you have suffered an injury, it is essential to remember that you act within the New Jersey statutes of limitations that is applicable to your claim. Call a knowledgeable attorney, such as Hofmann & Schweitzer, to advise you what are your rights and what is the time frame in which you must act. Hofmann & Schweitzer has been practicing negligence law in New Jersey for over 30 years. All of our attorneys are licensed in New Jersey. We are trial lawyers willing to go to court to fight for you.
At Hofmann & Schweitzer, we will continue to update you on the status of the law and are there for your needs and those of your loved ones if they become injured.