Every cause of action has a statute of limitations with the notable exception of murder. The reasons for the statute of limitations are the need for certainty and finality to any and all actions that might have an adverse effect on someone else. Just imagine how difficult life would be if someone could sue you for something that happened decades ago. You would constantly be looking over your shoulder wondering if someone was coming after you.
Here we are talking about the statute of limitations in New Jersey for personal injuries suffered in an automobile accident. I emphasized New Jersey, because each state has their own statutes of limitations. (In fact, it might make sense to see if you can file your case there, if their statute is longer.)
In other words, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit in New Jersey to recover for personal injuries you suffered. During those two years you should have been able to discover and treat your injuries and even if you are not fully recovered or done treating. You must file your lawsuit before the two year anniversary of your accident.
If you fail to meet that deadline, you will be out of luck as you case will be “time barred”. Only if you are able to file against one or all of the defendants in a state with a longer statute of limitations can you wait longer that two years. (known as “forum shopping” it can be used to find a more sympathetic or wealthier jury pool as well)
In addition, if you have a claim against a state agency or municipal government, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days of your accident. So it is important to consult with an attorney right after your accident to ensure your case isn’t lost before it even gets filed!
If you or a family member has been injured, please contact me, Frank Montero at 973-869-5556. for a free consultation.
As always, the initial consultation is free and there is no charge if there is no recovery.