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New Jersey

Personal Injury Attorneys

How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Dealing with the aftermath of an injury is a frustrating experience. In addition to the physical pain you suffer, you can be hobbled financially as well. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, a personal injury lawsuit is a powerful tool that could help you recover compensation for what you have lost -– but the clock is ticking.

The statute of limitations

New Jersey requires everyone to act reasonably at all times. Whether that’s the driver of a car, a doctor treating a patient or a business owner responsible for the premises their customers frequent, they have a duty to act with a certain degree of diligence or caution. When someone fails in that duty, they can be considered legally negligent. As the victim of their negligence, New Jersey give you the right to sue so that you can be made whole again.

However, at the same time New Jersey gives you the right to sue, it also places a time limit on that right. Known as the statute of limitations, in most cases you have two years to file your personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t file it within that time, you lose the right forever.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations

Once such exception is called the discovery rule. Let’s say you’re the victim of medical malpractice, but injury caused by the doctor’s negligence isn’t immediately apparent. The discovery rule allows the statute of limitations to be put on hold until the injury – and the negligence – is discovered, or reasonably should have been. The two-year time limit begins to run upon the discovery.

There may also be a different time period when the victim of negligence is a minor. Depending upon the minor’s age and the circumstances, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until their 18th birthday.

If you have questions about your personal injury lawsuit, or wish to explore filing one, speak to a professional who is experienced in New Jersey personal injury law. They can help to ensure your case is properly handled, so that you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled.