New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits
Since time is limited to bring a claim in, find an attorney as soon as possible after an accident
When you are injured, the last thing you may want to think about is suing the responsible party. With your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, just getting through the ordeal is enough to consider. However who will pay for all the costs and losses? At the Bergen County Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, our lawyers help you tackle the legal aspects of your accident so you can focus on your recovery. By working with us as soon as possible after an accident, you protect your right to recover compensation through an insurance company or a lawsuit. However because your time to sue is limited, you must act quickly.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations limits the period you have to seek a legal remedy for negligence, recklessness or other default. If you do not start a lawsuit within the legally specified time period, you generally lose the right to sue and recover the compensation you may need for the harm you’ve suffered. In some cases, for example if you were injured when you were a child, the period may be temporarily paused. Many different statutes of limitations — and exceptions — apply in various types of cases. A knowledgeable lawyer like those at our Bergen County law firm can help you understand the time limits that apply in your case and protect your rights to monetary damages.
Time limits for your injury case
Under New Jersey law, you must start a lawsuit within a specific limited time period or you may lose your right to sue for:
Personal injury — In general, the New Jersey statute of limitations for a personal injury case limits the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit to within two years. If you were injured because of a defective and unsafe property condition, you may have up to six years.
Auto accidents — As with most types of personal injury claims, you have two years to start a lawsuit if you are injured in a motorcycle, truck or auto accident.
Products liability — If you are injured by a defect in the manufacture or design of an item or because of a failure to warn, you have two years to sue product manufacturers and sellers for products liability.
Workers’ compensation — You must file a formal claim petition within two years of the date you were injured or the date of the last payment of compensation, whichever is later. Payment of compensation includes medical treatment that the employer authorizes. If you suffer an occupational illness, including asbestosis, lead poisoning or hearing loss, you must file your claim petition within two years from the date you first learned about the condition and that it related to your employment.
How the discovery rule applies to you
Under the law, the time period in which you need to either sue or lose your right to recover compensation through a trial usually begins when the negligence first occurs. In some cases, you may not immediately discover your injury. For example, some internal injuries, like traumatic brain injury may not present symptoms until days or even weeks after an accident. In those cases, the time period begins when you discover the injury or when you reasonably should have discovered the injury.