Many different personal injury accidents can give the victim the right to seek monetary recovery through a civil lawsuit in New Jersey, from motor vehicle accidents to dog bites. Any situation in which one person (or entity’s) neglect to use due care causes another person personal injury could give rise to a lawsuit. In New Jersey, victims must follow specific instructions for how to file a personal injury lawsuit. A New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help with this legal process.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in New Jersey?
All states have “statutes of limitations,” or time limits on when a victim can file a personal injury claim. A statute of limitations is in place to promote swift lawsuit filing. In New Jersey, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident or discovery of injury, according to Section 2a-14-2 of the law. The statutes of limitations for other types of claims are as follows:
- Medical malpractice: two years
- Wrongful death: two years from the date of death
- Product liability: two years
- Property damage: six years
- Fraud: six years
The date of your accident and the date you discover your injury might not be the same if you experience delayed symptoms, or if you don’t notice your injuries until later (i.e. in an asbestos exposure case or surgical mistake). Missing your deadline almost always means giving up your right to file a claim. The New Jersey courts only make exceptions to the time limit in rare circumstances. Act quickly to make sure you don’t miss your deadline to file a personal injury claim. Discuss your exact deadline with an attorney.
Compensation for New Jersey Personal Injury Victims
Compensation in a New Jersey personal injury case takes the form of “damages.” Damages can refer to both the losses the victim suffered and the forms of recovery he or she can obtain during a lawsuit. Although each case will have a different value depending on the factors involved, the types of damages available remain consistent from case to case. The state of New Jersey permits injured victims to seek recovery for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Household expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death damages
- Punitive damages
In New Jersey, the cap on punitive damage awards is $350,000, or five times the amount of compensatory damages (whichever is larger). Hiring a lawyer can help you get the maximum amount of recovery for your losses. A lawyer knows what your case is worth, and will aggressively fight for fair compensation in and out of the courtroom.
Injuries You Can Sue for in New Jersey
In New Jersey, you can sue for the following injuries, just to name a few:
- Car accidents, including those involving motorcycles and trucks
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Birth injuries
- Dangerous or defective products
- Nursing home abuse
- Traumatic brain injuries
New Jersey Negligence Laws
Discovering whether you have a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey takes understanding the state’s negligence laws. The basis of most personal injury suits is negligence. To have a successful claim, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, negligently or intentionally breached that duty, and caused your damages as a result.
New Jersey is a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means that if a party is more than 50% at fault, he or she will lose the right to recover damages. It’s your burden as the claimant to prove the other party was more at fault than you were for your injuries. Legal representation, however, can help you build and present your case.
Lawyers’ Fees in Personal Injury Cases
Most personal injury law firms offer legal services on a contingency-fee basis. This means you will only pay lawyers’ fees if your attorney wins you a monetary award. If you do win your case, your lawyer will take a predetermined percentage of the settlement or judgment (typically around 33%, or one-third). That way, you never have to pay for your lawyer out of pocket. Hiring an attorney is worth the price, as claimants usually obtain more money than they would have alone, even after paying lawyers’ fees.
If you have any further questions or would like to discuss the specifics of your case with a qualified attorney, contact us today for a free legal consultation.