New Jersey Statute Of Limitations For Car Accidents
After being injured in a car accident, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. You are focused on recovering from your injuries and getting back to work. However, at some point, you want to seek compensation for your losses from the party who was responsible for the accident. In most cases, you are entitled to receive compensation for damages including:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses, including long-term medical and personal care
- Property damage
- Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional stress
- Permanent disabilities, disfigurement, and scarring
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries
However, if you do not file your lawsuit within a certain time, you lose your right to receive compensation for your injuries. You must act quickly to protect your legal rights.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations defines the length of time a person has to file a lawsuit for various causes of action. Each state has its own statute of limitations regarding car accidents and the time to file a lawsuit varies from state to state.
By setting a time limit to file a lawsuit, the state ensures that legal matters will be handled in a judicious manner. It is not fair to allow someone to sue for an accident that took place 10 years ago. Evidence could be lost or destroyed, and the memories of witnesses could be compromised.
What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit in New Jersey?
The deadline to file a car accident lawsuit in New Jersey is two years from the date of the accident. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the time to file a wrongful death claim is also two years from the date of the accident. For property damage claims only, you have six years from the date of the car accident.
Are There Exceptions to the Rule?
Yes, there are limited exceptions to the deadline to file a lawsuit in New Jersey. For example, if the injury was sustained by a minor, the deadline is extended until two years after the minor turns 18 years of age. However, if your claim is against a government entity, you must file a special notice of claim within an extremely brief period to protect your right to file a lawsuit. Failing to file your notice of claim prevents you from filing a lawsuit against the government entity.
Even though you may have up to two years to file your lawsuit, you should not delay pursuing your claim. There are many disadvantages to waiting until the last minute to file a lawsuit. Furthermore, because issues regarding the timing of lawsuit can be complex, it is best to call us as soon as possible after a car accident to discuss your legal options.