Friday, August 16, 2013

Statute of Limitations for Filing Personal Injury Claims in New Jersey


You Typically Only Have Two Years From the Date of Injury


The law is very specific about time limitations when it comes to personal injury cases. You typically only have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim for personal injury damages. If you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations, you lose your right to seek compensation from the responsible party or parties.

But let’s say you didn’t realize right away that you were hurt because it wasn’t until you visited the doctor five years later that your doctor discovered a few irregularities. What then? Do you not have any recourse?

You Have Two Years to File Most Personal Injury Claims 

You may, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. We advise you to consult a personal injury attorney such as Aretsky & Aretsky as soon as you suspect that you may have a personal injury case. We can assess your case and advise you regarding your legal options.

In general, most of New Jersey's laws regarding personal injury claims have a statute of limitations of two years. Claims of slander, defamation or medical malpractice would be among the exceptions.

The Discovery Rule

New Jersey also has the “Discovery Rule,” which extends the statute of limitations to when the person becomes aware of or should have become aware of the injury. In other words, the clock doesn't start ticking.

New Jersey's Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in New Jersey is as follows:

Two years: wrongful death, products liability, premises liability (slip and fall), medical malpractice
One year: defamation, slander,

Because of the statute of limitations, it’s important that you act quickly and that you take the appropriate steps to seek compensation.

What to Do if You Are Injured?


  • Get medical attention for your injuries. Make sure you document all your injuries. If you can, make sure you get as much documentation about the cause of injury as possible, including any police reports, photos, witness phone numbers/statements. 
  • Keep careful notes about the effects of your injury, including any time off work, photographs of the injury, a detailed log of any pain or other symptoms).
  • Do not provide any statements to anyone except police until you have spoken with an attorney who can advise you as to your rights and responsibilities.
  • Do not sign any forms requesting release of liability or giving up your right to seek damages.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney. 


In our next post, we’ll discuss the types of damages that you may seek as compensation for an injury and who is liable or responsible for these damages.

Photo credit: Lee Haywood

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