Every state has a law that sets a time limit on when to file a lawsuit, and this law is called the statute of limitations. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury is generally two years starting from the date of injury. Past this deadline, you will likely have waived your right to file suit. However, this two-year time limit may decrease or increase in certain situations. To avoid any costly confusion, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced a personal injury lawyer early in your case.
Car Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
For most injuries arising from auto collisions, the statute of limitations in NJ is two years, except in these cases:
- If the injured was a minor when the crash occurred, the two-year clock will start running on their 18th birthday.
- If the injured is mentally incapacitated, the court may also toll (delay) the time limit until the person recovers from mental incapacity.
- The statute of limitations may also be extended due to the “discovery rule,” which states that if the injured party reasonably discovered their injury only after it occurred, their two-year period to sue starts on the date of the discovery. For example, if a car accident survivor found out weeks after the crash that they got an internal organ injury, the statute will start on the discovery date, not on the crash date itself.
- If a government entity or employee was at fault in the crash, the statute of limitations is still two years from the injury date, but the injured party has to follow a different process. First, the injured must file a claim with the state government within 90 days of the injury. If the government doesn’t settle the claim within six months, the claimant may then sue. Again, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the injury.
Similarly, New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. If your loved one died in a car crash, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit.
Truck Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Truck accident injuries also have the same two-year statute of limitations and the same exceptions as above.
Bicycle Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
NJ’s time limit for bicycle crash injuries is generally two years from the date of the injury. This can be extended or shortened in specific circumstances. See the section on Car Accidents above.
Motorcycle Crashes Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Same as car accident injuries, the NJ statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents is generally two years. The same exceptions also apply.
Pedestrian Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian in NJ, the time limit to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit is generally two years from the injury date. However, this deadline may be paused if you were under 18 years old when you got injured. Conversely, the time frame shortens if you are filing suit against a government entity. Please refer to our Car Accidents section above.
Rideshare / Uber Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare vehicles in NJ follow the same statute of limitations as any other car involved in an accident. The general time limit to sue for an Uber accident is two years, with some exceptions. However, it can be complicated to determine who is at fault in a rideshare crash. It’s best to consult an attorney if you were hurt in an Uber or any rideshare accident.
Boating Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
The time limit for watercraft accident lawsuits depends on who has jurisdiction on the body of water where the accident occurred. If it occurred in waters governed by the state or local government, the statute of limitations for boating injuries is two years (with a few exceptions). If the accident took place in federal jurisdiction, Admiralty law applies and the statute of limitations is three years.
Port Worker / Harbor Worker Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
The federal law called the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers longshoremen and other port workers. If a port worker or harbor worker gets injured or ill due to their job, they have one year to file an injury compensation claim. This time period starts on the date they discover their injury or get their diagnosis.
Dog Bites Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
A dog bite or dog attack victim in NJ has two years to file their injury lawsuit, starting from the date of the injury. If the victim is a minor or mentally incapacitated, the court may extend their window to sue.
Premises Liability or Slip and Fall Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
If you slipped and/or fell and got injured because of a hazardous condition in someone’s property, the time limit to file suit is two years from the injury date.
However, if your injury occurred on government property, you must first notify them within their specific notification period – in some jurisdictions, that’s as short as 30 days. They will then have six months to accept or deny your claim. If they reject the claim, you’ll have only six months to sue starting from the date of denial. All of this must be done within the general two-year statute of limitations. Reach out to an injury lawyer to ensure you comply with all requirements on time.
Product Liability Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
If your injury was caused by a defective product, the general deadline for suing in NJ is two years from the date of the injury. However, some injuries don’t manifest right away, such as lung conditions from prolonged chemical exposure. In such a case, the court may set your time limit to start on the date you discovered your injury. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for case-specific guidance.
Construction Accidents Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Generally, you have two years to file a lawsuit for your construction accident injury in NJ. There are circumstances that could extend this time period, such as if you developed an injury due to asbestos exposure and only found out afterward. In these cases, the “discovery rule” may apply and the statute of limitations may start on the date you reasonably discovered the injury.
Spinal Injuries Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
The general time limit to sue for a spine or spinal cord injury in NJ is two years, with a few exceptions. Please see our section on Car Accidents above.
Brain Injuries Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
The window to sue for a brain injury in NJ is also two years in general, starting from the injury date. However, some head injuries take time to manifest. For example, post-concussion syndrome might not be diagnosed until weeks or months after the accident. In cases like this, the discovery rule may apply, which means the statute of limitations may start running on the date that the patient reasonably discovered their injury – not on the date of the accident itself.
Whiplash Injuries Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
For whiplash and other neck injuries, the deadline to file a lawsuit is also two years from the injury date or from the date the injury was reasonably discovered.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
NJ gives medical malpractice victims two years to file a lawsuit, starting from the date they reasonably discovered their injury. This isn’t necessarily the same date as when the malpractice occurred. For instance, it may take weeks for a patient to find out that something went wrong with their latest surgery. The time limit in this case will start on the date they find out, not on the date of their operation.
Birth Injuries Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
“Birth injuries” refers to injuries sustained by either the mother or the newborn during child delivery. For injuries sustained by the baby, New Jersey gives either parent 13 years to file suit, starting from the date of birth. This is to give parents ample time to discover the full extent of their child’s injuries.
For injuries on the mother, the statute of limitations is two years under medical malpractice laws. Likewise, if either mother or infant died due to the birth injury, the family will have two years to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Insurance Bad Faith Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
If the insurance company is being unfair or dishonest in handling your injury claim, it may be a case of insurance “bad faith,” allowing you to file a breach of contract lawsuit. In NJ, you have six years to file a breach of contract suit starting from the date of their bad faith conduct. However, some insurance policies have their own deadlines for filing suit. Check your policy and consult a lawyer to help you get compensation.
Elder Abuse Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
If nursing home abuse or negligence resulted in bodily injury on your senior loved one, you may pursue a personal injury lawsuit within two years from when you discovered the injury. Other forms of elder abuse – such as financial exploitation and emotional abuse – have their own statute of limitations outside of personal injury law.
Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Sexual abuse can can be grounds for a criminal case and a civil case. With a new law taking effect in 2019, New Jersey expanded its statutes of limitations for those who wish to pursue a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse or sexual assault
The general civil statute of limitations for sexual assault in NJ is seven years from the date of assault. If the person suing is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, they have the right to sue until one of these dates, whichever comes later:
- Their 55th birthday, OR
- Seven years from the date they realized that their injury was a result of the sexual abuse.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
If your loved one passed due to another party’s negligence, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit. Note that the date of death isn’t always the same as the date of accident. For instance, a person may succumb to their injuries days or weeks after their accident occurred. NJ statute of limitations start on the date of death.
Injured? Contact an Experienced Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyer in NJ
Don’t let the statute of limitations run out before taking steps towards compensation. In New Jersey, you can consult for free with the top-rated lawyers at The Grossman Law Firm. We can provide sound legal guidance, assist you with procedural requirements, and represent you in obtaining maximum compensation. Call (732) 625-9494 or send us a message today.