Do You Still Have to File Your Lawsuit Within Two Years of the Date of the Accident?
When you’ve been hurt in any kind of accident, some injuries are obvious, but some can also take a while to develop. You may feel fine for days, weeks or even months. In some situations, it can take years for the effects of an injury to manifest. Are you still required to file a personal injury claim within two years of the date of the accident or injury, as set forth in the New Jersey statute of limitations for personal injury? No. The discovery rule will typically allow you to suspend, or toll, the statute of limitations until you “reasonably” discover an injury.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in New Jersey
The statute of limitations is a written law that sets forth the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit related to any legal issue. For personal injury claims in New Jersey, you must file your civil action within two years of the date of your injury or accident.
What Is the Discovery Rule, as Applied to the Statute of Limitations?
The discovery rule essentially holds that the two-year period within which you must file a personal injury claim does not start to run until you discover or become aware of an injury related to a particular accident. Under New Jersey law, the statutory period for filing a personal injury lawsuit will be suspended in situations where the injured party “does not and cannot know the facts” that support a valid personal injury claim (See Grunwald v. Bronkesh, 131 N.J. 483, 492). The two-year-period won’t start until a person either actually discovers an injury or should have discovered the injury through “reasonable diligence and intelligence.”
There is one important requirement, though, that must be met to successfully toll the statute of limitations. The injured party must demonstrate to the court that he or she made a “reasonable inquiry” to discover any injuries.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, 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.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.