Statute of Limitations for Injury Attorneys Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
When dealing with these matters, it is beneficial to have an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney on your side to help; we serve in Red Bank, Freehold, Long Branch, and Monmouth County.
Accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. While they can sometimes be avoided by being cautious, they can also occur suddenly due to another party’s negligence. Also, injuries may be sustained through assault and battery or a physical attack of some kind. When these injuries occur, the victim frequently wants to seek justice for their pain and suffering. This can be done by pursuing legal action in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.
While it is understandable that some people may hesitate to file a personal injury claim, it is important not to wait too long to do so. This is because a statute of limitations is in place.
If you or someone you love has been injured, contact our team of attorneys at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh for a free and confidential consultation regarding your personal injuries, your options for recovering compensation, and how we can specifically help you.
What are some common types of personal injury claims?
Personal injury cases include but are not limited to:
- Automobile accidents, including car, truck, boat, and motorcycle crashes
- Mass transit accidents, including trains, airplane accidents, and bus crashes
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice cases, including serious birth injuries and birth defects
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
- Spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and other catastrophic injuries
- Product liability claims, product recalls, dangerous drug lawsuits.
- Slip and fall accidents and other premises liability cases
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Environmental accidents, injuries, and toxic torts
- Consumer fraud
- Workers compensation claims
- Abuse, harassment, and/or other intentional torts
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Statutes of limitations are laws that set forth how long a person has to file a lawsuit or claim in different cases. If a plaintiff fails to file the lawsuit within this time, they are usually barred from pursuing the case.
Why Do Statutes of Limitations Exist?
- To Preserve Evidence: The more time that passes, the more likely it that evidence can be lost, or circumstances change, and witnesses’ memories may fade. Physical evidence may be lost, damaged, or tainted.
- For Fairness to the Parties: If lawsuits could be brought at any time, defendants would be at a disadvantage because they might not have access to evidence if too much time has passed.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions to the above periods. For example, if an injury is not immediately obvious – say environmental exposure has caused a later illness – that period can be “tolled.” In this instance, the time limit clock does not start until the injury is discovered.
Every second that passes following a car accident or other personal injury is important. The passage of time blurs memories, erases evidence, and makes it less likely that you will receive the full compensation you deserve. While a personal injury lawsuit may take weeks, months, or even more than a year to resolve, the sooner the investigation can commence, the better your chances of getting the desired result.
What If You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If more than two years have passed since the underlying accident, but you try to file your personal injury lawsuit anyway, the defendant (the person you’re trying to sue) will almost certainly file a “motion to dismiss” and point this fact out to the court. Unless a rare exception gives you extra time (more details on these exceptions below), the court will summarily dismiss your case. Once that happens, your right to ask a court to award you damages for your injuries, no matter how significant they might be, and no matter how obvious the defendant’s liability, is terminated.
What If I Miss the Filing Deadline for my Ocean County Personal Injury Claim?
If you miss the time to file, you may no longer be able to proceed with your lawsuit and could be barred from ever seeking relief in court.
Unless you have a rare exception (i.e., under 18 years of age at the time of the accident, have a mental disability, or the person allegedly responsible for the injuries left NJ at some point after the accident, but before the lawsuit was filed, or as a result of medical malpractice whereby you may not have known you were injured), you may have lost your right to ask the court to award you compensation for your injuries, no matter how significant they might be, and no matter how obvious their liability.
Exceptions to the New Jersey Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
There are some exceptions in the Statute of Limitations. New Jersey has identified several different scenarios that might delay the running of the statute of limitations “clock” or pause the clock after it has started to run, effectively extending the filing deadline. Here are some examples of circumstances that are likely to modify the standard timeline:
- If the injured person, at the time of the underlying accident, is under 18 years of age or has a mental disability that prevents him or her from understanding his/her legal rights or commencing legal action, then once the person turns 18 or re-gains the proper mental capacity, he or she will be entitled to the full two years to get their personal injury lawsuit filed.
- If the person who is allegedly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries leaves New Jersey’s state at some point after the underlying accident, but before the lawsuit can be filed, the time of absence probably won’t be counted as part of the two years. But in this situation, to get the filing deadline extended, the plaintiff (or the plaintiff’s attorney) will likely need to file an affidavit saying that, after diligent inquiry and effort, the delivery of copies of legal documents such as summons, complaints, or subpoenas to the absent defendant is impossible.
Two years might seem like plenty of time; however, not all instances of personal injury claims are cut and dried. If you or a family member is injured due to another’s actions, be they intentional or otherwise, it is imperative to seek legal advice as soon as possible to preserve your ability to recover any potential monetary damages by filing a personal injury or negligence claim. Some exceptions could fall in your favor, and others could leave you without a case to pursue if you are unaware. Conversely, your circumstances may be such that the time has not started running, and you and your attorney will have more time to build a case.
Statute of Limitations for Filing Personnel Injury Claim in New Jersey
- Assault and Battery, 2 years
- False Imprisonment, 2 years
- Medical Malpractice, 2 years
- Personal Injury, 2 years
- Product Liability, 2 years
- Property Damage, 6 years
- Sexual Assault Survivors
- Adult survivors can file a civil claim within 7 years of the date of discovery of their injury.
- Minor survivors can file civil claims until the age of 55, or 7 years from the time they become aware of their injury, whichever is later.
- Wrongful Death, 2 years
Protect Your Rights. Get Justice. File Your Personal Injury Claim Right Away
Everyone who is wrongly injured has a right to seek justice. Victims of personal injury accidents and abuse must understand the statutes of limitations related to their particular case and act within the legal time frame to get justice and/or the compensation they are entitled to.
West Long Branch Personal Injury Law Firm
Do not delay contacting us if you or someone you love has sustained an injury resulting from someone else’s inattention, neglect, mistake, or carelessness. Your case may be subject to a statute of limitations or time limit requirement that directly affects its viability. Knowing more about the process and the projected timeline is a good first step in the right direction.
At Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh, our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience resolving personal injury claims in towns across West Long Branch, Red Bank, Colts Neck, Deal, and across Monmouth County, and we are ready to put our experience on your side today.
To speak with our experienced personal injury team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your injuries, your options for recovering compensation, and how we can specifically help you to do so, please contact us online or through our West Long Branch, NJ office at (732) 440-3950.