You’ve probably heard that resolving a personal injury claim can take years, especially if it turns into a lawsuit. Even if you realize that the only way to truly recover the full amount of compensation you deserve is to hire an attorney, you might think that there’s no hurry to get in touch with a lawyer. You’ve got a couple years, right?
Wrong. The deadlines to file claims and submit other written notices vary widely within the state of New Jersey. You may only have a few months to act. Additionally, filing a claim is not a simple, immediate process. Once you choose an attorney, the law office staff has to do plenty of legwork to gather all of the evidence necessary to support your case. This research can be time-consuming, so beginning the process as early as possible means that your claim can get the professional attention it deserves for as long as necessary.
Statute of Limitations and Its Exceptions
The deadlines to file a civil claim are known as statutes of limitations. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a typical personal injury or medical malpractice claim is two years. That means within two years of the date of a car accident or two years of the discovery of a medical error, the claim must be supported as comprehensively as possible and the filing process must be finished.
However, not all personal injury claims are the same. Exceptions exist that can reduce the statute of limitations significantly. For example, the Title 59 provision of New Jersey law requires that any government entities named in the claim must be notified within 90 days of the accident. The three-month period can go quickly, especially when your injuries are so severe that they compromise your abilities to live your life and make recovery your full-time, and exhausting, job.
Missing a statute of limitations deadline is serious. You will no longer have the legal right to pursue the claim and seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. You will be forced to absorb all of the financial costs of medical bills, property damage, and lost wages without ever seeing the at-fault party held accountable for his or her actions. No matter how your accident occurred, the best course of action is to consult an attorney as soon as possible to learn what statutes of limitations and other deadlines apply to your specific case.