Ask a Vineland Personal Injury Attorney – What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit?
Perhaps you were injured and didn’t know the what the full long-term effects of your injury would be. Perhaps you required additional surgery long after your accident. There are a number of reasons why a person would wait to file a lawsuit following an accident, and when you are thinking about filing a suit after an injury, it is important to understand what the statute of limitation is and how long you have after an accident to file suit.
The statute of limitations is a rule that sets the period of time following an injury during which the lawsuit seeking damages must be filed. If a person fails to file their lawsuit during the statute of limitations, a lawsuit may not be able to be filed. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is set forth in several state statutes.
Personal injury lawsuits
Generally speaking, the statute of limitation for an adult filing a lawsuit in personal injury matter is two years from the date the accident and injury occurred. If you were under the age of 18 at the time of an accident, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that you turn 18, regardless of what age you were when an injury occurred.
Medical malpractice lawsuits
Medical malpractice lawsuits are slightly different. Generally, an adult has two years to file a lawsuit from the time that that person could have known that medical malpractice occurred – although this starting date could be the date that you obtain your medical records and take them to an attorney for a consultation. If you were a minor and malpractice occured, you have two years from the date of your 18th birthday. If medical malpractice occurred during birth, that rule may not apply, however, and you either have the two years from your 18th birthday (if you were born before July, 2004) or until your 13th birthday (if you were born after July, 2004.)
The statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey is within two years of the decendent’s death, this includes claims for pain and suffering prior to death.
Filing a lawsuit against a County, Township, Municipality, or a public entity
If you are an adult and are planning on filing suit against a municipal or public entity, notice of the claim must be submitted to the entity in writing within 90 days of the accident or injury. If you were a minor at the time of the accident, you have until 90 days from the your 18th birthday, or until the age of 13 if the injury was a result of medical malpractice at birth.
Filing a product liability lawsuit
A lawsuit seeking damages for injuries resulting from the use or exposure of a product can also be filed against the manufacturer of a product. If an injury was caused as the result of a product being dangerous, having inadequate protection against those dangers, or if injury occurred as a result of a deficiency in the design, manufacturing, or the distribution of the product, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. The same time frame of statute of limitations applies to lawsuits seeking damages in regards to product liability — two years from the date that the injury occurred.
If you have been injured and are thinking about filing a lawsuit seeking damages, please contact us immediately. The Law Offices of Joseph Lombardo has been representing the rights of individuals injured in accidents and by defective products rights since 1993. We can work to ensure that those responsible for your injury are held accountable. Joseph Lombardo has represented clients in matters related to personal injury in Vineland and across every county in Southern New Jersey.