The New Jersey Statute of Limitations Does Not Always Bar Claimants from Filing Late Claims
Individuals who suffer injuries caused by the negligence of other parties have the right to expect compensation that covers medical expenses and all other costs associated with their injuries. However, they can lose their right to take legal action if they wait too long to file. The statute of limitations imposed by the state of New Jersey defines the length of time victims have to file their claims.
With some exceptions, New Jersey law imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases, according to Lawyers.com. However, a claim must not necessarily be filed within two years of the date of an accident. The actual date allowed for filing depends on a number of factors, including the following:
- The date of discovery — The statute of limitations clock does not start running until the victim discovers the cause of an injury or even the existence of an injury.
- Tolling — The law delays (or tolls) the statute of limitation when certain events prolong the ability of the victim to take legal action. Common examples of reasons for tolling include the age of the victim at the time of injury or mental incompetence, for example, if the victim sustains serious head injuries from the accident.
- Contract stipulations — Contract language can lengthen or shorten the time period during which an injury claim can be filed. For example, assume an individual signs an agreement at an auto repair shop that limits the period for filing a claim to six months. That individual can potentially face statute-of-limitations issues even when taking legal action well before two years have passed.
Whenever possible, injured accident victims should initiate legal action as quickly as possible. In addition to protecting the right to file under the statute of limitations, rapid action helps preserve important evidence related to claims. Experienced personal injury lawyers can often help extend the deadline within the provisions of New Jersey law.