The Role of New Jersey’s Discovery Rule and Statute of Limitations

In the state of New Jersey, personal injury claims have a time frame of two years in which they must be initiated. People who fail to initiate a claim within this amount of time will be prohibited from pursuing a case. As a result, it is often imperative that people who are injured in an accident immediately contact a seasoned attorney who can make sure that they obtain the compensation they deserve.

New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations

The discovery rule is just one of the many important time frames that people who are involved in accidents in the state of New Jersey must consider. New Jersey’s statute of limitations law creates deadlines in which an accident victim must file a case or forever be prohibited from initiating a legal action. In the state of New Jersey, the date at which the state’s two-year statute of limitations for most accidents begins to run is the date that an injury occurs or when an accident victim becomes aware that accident happened. For example, a person who is involved in a car accident and receives a broken arm bone, as a result, will only have two years in which to initiate a legal action against the responsible party.

New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations for Minors

If the person injured in a New Jersey accident is a minor, which means that he or she is under the age of 18, then the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until that individual’s 18th birthday.

New Jersey’s Discovery Rule

The discovery rule, however, states that the two-year period begins to run when a person becomes aware that he or she was hurt on the date an act or omission caused them to be harmed. The discovery rule is particularly helpful in preventing negligent parties in escaping responsibility due to time that elapses when the victim is not aware of his or her injuries.

For example, if a worker is harmed due to asbestos exposure that occurred several decades ago but has only recently been diagnosed with a terminal medical illness, the victim is able to utilize the discovery rule to initiate legal action within two years of the date that he or she has discovered the asbestos-related injury. Another example of the discovery rule is if a patient eventually discovers that a medical instrument was left inside of his or her body after a medical procedure.

Speak with a Knowledgeable New Jersey Accident Attorney

It is important that accident victims remain aware of the applicable time frame that they have in which to initiate a legal action. Failure to file a case within this time means that a person will be prohibited from ever raising a legal action. As a result, if you or a loved one has been impacted by an accident and another party is responsible, obtain the assistance of a seasoned attorney who can help. Contact Ferrara & Gable today for an initial free consultation.