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How Much Time Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in New Jersey?

How Is the Time Limit Established? What Is the Purpose of a Time Limit?

how-much-time-do-you-have-to-file-a-personal-injury-claim-in-new-jerseyWhen another person acts carelessly and you suffer injury or loss, you have a right to bring a legal claim for damages, from lost wages and income to unreimbursed medical expenses, loss of companionship or consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. But there’s a strict time limit within which such a lawsuit must be filed, as set forth in New Jersey’s statute of limitations.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a written law, enacted by the New Jersey legislature, that identifies how long a person or entity has to file a complaint related to a specific legal matter. The time periods vary, based on the nature of the legal action. For personal injury claims in New Jersey, the legal proceedings must be initiated within two years of the date the injuries were suffered. However, New Jersey follows the “discovery rule” with respect to the statute of limitations. That means that, when injuries could not be “reasonably” discovered until sometime after the accident that caused the injuries, the two-year period will not start until the injuries were discovered.

What Is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitations?

The primary purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that claims are litigated while memories are still fresh. It also helps prevent the loss of evidence through the death or relocation of witnesses or the potential destruction of physical evidence. Furthermore, the statute of limitations benefits defendants, as they don’t have to have a potential lawsuit hanging over their heads for an infinite period of time.

Contact Howard D. Popper, P.C.

At Howard D. Popper, P.C., we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.