In the U.S., around 12 million vehicles were involved in car crashes in 2018 alone.
New Jersey residents who have been in a car accident are required to make a claim within the prescribed period of time. If they fail to do so, they stand to lose their right to recover compensation they are entitled to.
Anyone wrongly injured in a car accident should consult a reputable car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident in order to protect their rights.
When Should You File an Injury Claim After a Car Accident?
Following any kind of personal injury where another party is at fault, it’s crucial to get professional legal support as soon as you can to file your claim.
Every second counts, as time can cloud and confuse memories, wipe out evidence, and make it less likely for the injured to receive the compensation they deserve.
A personal injury lawsuit can take weeks—some may even last years—so the sooner it is filed, the sooner the investigation can begin.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in New Jersey?
While it’s ideal to file an injury claim or lawsuit as soon as possible, a slight delay isn’t the end of the world.
An adult who is injured in a car accident has two years after the date of the accident to file a claim. This doesn’t mean that the case has to be completely resolved within two years, just filed.
If someone died due to the accident, the same statute of limitations applies to their family members or representatives who want to file a wrongful death claim. In this case, however, the clock starts running from the date that the accident victim died (which may be later than the date of the car accident.)
If the person is seeking compensation for property damage that occurred as a direct result of the accident, the plaintiff has six years after the date of the accident to file a claim.
What if the Deadline for Filing a Claim Has Passed?
If the injured party fails to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the court will typically dismiss the case, barring a few exceptional circumstances.
If negotiations are still in progress and the deadline is quickly approaching, the injured party can preserve their claim by filing a lawsuit before the time runs out. A lawyer can help advise them on this, and make sure that their rights and interests are protected.
Is It Possible to Extend the Statute of Limitations?
Although the state follows the statute of limitations for car accident injury claims strictly, there are always exceptions to the rule–for instance:
- If the victim is underage, they have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a claim.
- If the victim has a mental disability (not a result of the car accident), the court may allow an extension until they’re capable of understanding their legal rights.
- If the defendant, or the at-fault party, cannot be served because they can’t be located within the state, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the service can be properly done.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
Your life can change in a matter of seconds. You may be traveling to work or going home in perfect health, and suddenly get hurt because of someone else’s negligence.
There are other strict notice requirements when the accident involves a public entity. This is known as Title 59 in New Jersey. The theory behind this is that who will pay for a governmental body’s negligence? The taxpayers. Thus it becomes more difficult to sue a public entity unless certain elements exist. This is why you need a law firm that specializes in these types of cases. It is a minefield to take on a municipal or governmental entity without the assistance of experienced counsel like the lawyers at Grossman Law.
If you get injured in a car accident, you need a capable legal team who can fight to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys know how difficult this time is. We offer compassionate support through the evaluation of your claim, and will help you understand your options.
We handle cases in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Passaic, Bergen, Essex counties and through the entire state of NJ.
Contact The Grossman Law Firm today at (732) 625-9494 for a free consultation.