Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the period of time one has, under the law, to file a claim after an incident. Knowing the applicable statute of limitations is critical when pursuing a case. If a plaintiff (the person who is bringing the suit) fails to file the lawsuit within the prescribed period of time, then they will likely be barred from pursuing the case further. The statute varies both by state and by the type of claim.
Under New Jersey law, the time limits within which one must file a lawsuit can be found in various statutes, including, but not limited to, the New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) at N.J.S.A. 2A:14 and N.J.S.A. 2A:31 (wrongful death actions).
Statutes of Limitations (generally in New Jersey):
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuits:
Adults – within 2 years from the date the injury occurred;
Minors – within 2 years of the minor’s 18th birthday.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawsuits:
Adults – within 2 years of the time a person could or should have known that malpractice was committed;
Minors – within 2 years of the minor’s 18th birthday (except for injuries which occurred at birth, see below);
Minors (for injury at birth, only if born before July 2004) – within 2 years of the minor’s 18th birthday;
Minors (for injury at birth, only if born after July 2004) – by the minor’s 13th birthday.
New Jersey Wrongful Death Claims:
Within 2 years of the decedent’s death (claims for pain and suffering prior to death must be brought within the 2 year time limits set forth above).
Prerequisites for lawsuits against Public Entities, County, State or Municipal entities or affiliated institutions:
Adults – Notice of Claim within 90 days of the occurrence;
Minors – no later than within 90 days of the minor’s 18th or 13th birthday (depending upon whether or not there is a medical malpractice claim for an injury which occurred at birth – see above).
New Jersey Product Liability Lawsuits:
Within 2 years of the date of occurrence.
For more comprehensive and updated information with regard to mandated requirements applicable to Statutes of Limitations, always consult with legal counsel. To read applicable sections of N.J.S.A. 2A:14 and N.J.S.A. 2A:31 (under Title 2A), log on to the New Jersey State Legislature Database at this link (NJSLD).
Know Your Medical Record Rights
A guide to a patient’s rights regarding his or her medical records in New Jersey
The Role of America’s Civil Justice System in Protecting Patients’ Rights
Settlement Preservation Trusts
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Preparing For Your Deposition