Statutes of Limitations for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

Statutes of Limitations for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

After an accident that results in injuries, property damage, or other losses, you may be unsure of how you’re going to get back to what your life was before it occurred. Although it’s not always possible to undo some of the damage other people’s actions cause, an option you do have is to file a personal injury claim.

A personal injury claim allows you to get compensation for some of the losses you suffered, including medical bills and more. One crucial thing to remember, however, is that you don’t have an unlimited amount of time in which to file this kind of claim.

New Jersey has statutes of limitations that apply to personal injury claims; if you miss the deadlines, you no longer have a claim. This is one of the most important reasons to turn to a personal injury lawyer. Learn more about the statutes of limitations for different types of personal injury cases. 

Why Are There Statutes of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are set for many reasons. They promote fairness, allowing for the prompt resolution of disputes and ensuring that plaintiffs don’t bring up old claims for which there may be little evidence left.

Evidence can degrade or become unavailable with time, so having a limit on the time that can pass between an accident and when you file ensures that everyone involved gets the fairest chance at justice.

Statutes of limitations also encourage efficiency. They prevent courts from becoming overrun with old claims so they can reach faster resolutions for newer claims.

All in all, statutes of limitations in New Jersey strive to make the process as fair as possible for all parties involved.

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How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

For a great number of personal injury claims, New Jersey allows up to two years for adults to file a claim. If the person was a minor when they suffered injuries, however, they have two years from the day they turn 18.

It’s also important to know what happens if you miss the deadline. If you try to file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed, the defendant will have their lawyers file a motion to dismiss and let the court know. The court will then dismiss your claim, and you will lose all chance of getting compensation.

Although statutes of limitations are essential for lawsuits, they’re also important when going through the claim negotiation process. If you miss the deadline, you have no leverage with which to negotiate.

Statutes of Limitations By Case Type

Different types of claims can have different statutes, so make sure you have an attorney with you to help you through the process.

For most vehicular accidents in New Jersey, including truck accidents and motorcycle accidents, the statute of limitations is two years. There are exceptions, however, for minors, who have two years from when they turn 18, or for those with mental disabilities.

The statute of limitations can also be extended under the discovery rule, which says that if the defendant discovered their injury some time after the accident happened, the ticking clock should start on the day of the discovery, not of the accident.

The two-year deadline applies to wrongful death cases, too.

If you were bitten by a dog in New Jersey, you have two years to file a claim. Minors have until their twentieth birthday to file.

Most injury victims have two years to file a premises liability claim, but this isn’t the case if you have an accident on government property. In that case, you have to notify the appropriate governmental entity within 90 days of the injury of a potential claim.

You need to have a lawyer like the attorneys at GGL by your side to help you.

As with other personal injury claims, you have two years from the date of the accident involving the product. The problem is that many times injuries stemming from product issues don’t appear right away. Think of medications, for example. You may not know a medication is having a negative side effect until time has passed.

You need a lawyer to represent you and file for an extension of the statute of limitations based on the discovery rule. This means that the two years would begin counting from the moment you noticed the injury.

In New Jersey, medical malpractice carries a statute of limitations of two years from the date when you should have reasonably discovered your injury. Keep in mind that this won’t always be the same date as when the actual malpractice occurred.

You probably won’t realize a procedure didn’t go correctly or that the offered treatment wasn’t effective until later.

Automobile recalls are extremely common. These recalls often happen because the manufacturer or its suppliers have identified a defect that can cause the vehicle to malfunction.

Some of these malfunctions injure you directly. For example, defective airbag inflators from Takata have deployed explosively, showering drivers with shrapnel that can harm or kill them. This defect affected over 67 million vehicles.

Other defects can cause or worsen the effects of an automobile crash. Defective brakes, for instance, lead to collisions when they malfunction, and defective tires can turn minor collisions into fatal rollover accidents.

Are There Special Rules for Statutes of Limitations?

Perhaps the most important rules to keep in mind when dealing with statutes of limitations are those dealing with public entities. This means municipal, county, state, or any affiliated institutions.

For adults, a notice of the claim has to be filed no later than 90 days after the accident, though in some cases the deadline can be even sooner than that. If there are minors involved, then the 90 days begin after their 18th or 13th birthday, depending on whether the claim involves a birth injury.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Statutes of limitations are not the only complex factors in personal injury claims. The entire process can be full of pitfalls that could end up with your case being dismissed and you getting no compensation. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, however, you can get the assistance you need.

A lawyer will start helping from the moment you walk into the office by performing an assessment of your claim. Not every claim is a viable one, and you could end up saving a lot of time with a simple assessment.

They can then begin gathering the evidence you need to prove your claim. That also takes experience. The right lawyer will know what medical records to show and what eyewitnesses to talk to. They can also offer expert witness testimony, which can make a significant difference in the outcome.

A personal injury lawyer will also start the negotiation process with the other parties. This is difficult to do on your own. When you’re dealing with insurance companies, they can try many different tactics to get you to give up your claim. They can even give you a low settlement offer and bully you into taking it.

Of course, if the negotiations aren’t going well, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and take the case to court.

Choose Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq for Your Personal Injury Claim

At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we offer the support you need after suffering an injury because of someone else’s actions. With our team by your side, you can get legal guidance as well as support to get you through this difficult time.

Our team has over 30 years of experience providing tenacious yet compassionate representation, and we could help you, too.

We are a no-nonsense firm that believes in a client-centered approach to all of our services. Because we work exclusively in personal injury law, our focus is never divided.

We’re a highly communicative firm, so you will get regular updates on your claim and the chance to ask questions or voice concerns. With us, you have an open line of communication.

If you’ve suffered injuries and need help paying for medical expenses and other losses, reach out to our team at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-923-3456 today.

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