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New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Car AccidentsAfter a motor vehicle accident, your first concern should always be your health. You need to make certain you get the medical attention you need, without unnecessary delays. Doing so will give you a better chance of a full physical recovery, and you’ll have less risk that any legal claims will be compromised.

As soon as you’re on the road to physical recovery, you want to retain an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will move quickly to preserve crucial evidence before memories fade or witnesses become unavailable.

In New Jersey, as in all states, a written law known as the “statute of limitations” sets a specific time limit within which certain types of lawsuits must be filed. The statute of limitations varies based on the type of claim—for example, it may be different for a personal injury case than for a breach of contract matter. It can also vary from state to state.

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident claims falls under the broader time frame set for all personal injury claims: a lawsuit must be filed “within two years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued.” As a general rule, that means a civil complaint must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If the motor vehicle accident causes a wrongful death, the statute of limitations (still two years) on the wrongful death claim starts to run on the date of death.

In cases where an injury is not immediately apparent, the “discovery rule” applies to the filing of a claim. The discovery rule holds that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured person actually discovers the injury or would have discovered the injury through the exercise of reasonable diligence.

Effect of Failing to File Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

If you file a complaint after the statute of limitations has run out, the defendant can make the court aware of that failure and ask that the lawsuit be dismissed.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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