What Is the Statute of Limitations? What Is Its Purpose? Can It Be Extended?
When you have suffered any type of injury in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or wrongful act, you have the right to hold the wrongdoer accountable. You must, however, file any type of personal injury lawsuit within a certain period of time, as set forth by the New Jersey statute of limitations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is a written law, enacted by a legislative body, that establishes a time limit for the filing of legal action related to a specific claim. The length of time allowed typically varies, based on the type of legal claim. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for any type of personal injury lawsuit is two years, either from the date of the accident or from the date the plaintiff (injured party) either discovered the injury or should reasonably have discovered the injury.
What Is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitation?
The statute of limitations accomplishes a number of important objectives:
- It promotes the resolution of a claim while the best evidence is fresh and available—Memories fade, witnesses move or die, and physical evidence can deteriorate or be destroyed. The statute of limitations increases the likelihood that witness recollections with be thorough and accurate, that witnesses will be available and that physical evidence remains intact.
- It ensures that a defendant does not have to face a potential lawsuit for an unreasonable period of time—The constant threat of potential legal action can be a source of significant anxiety. The statute of limitations ensures that the defendant will get closure after a reasonable period of time.
Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended?
Yes. While many injuries are immediately obvious, some injuries are not readily apparent and may not arise for months or even years. Under what is commonly referred to as the “discovery rule,” adopted in New Jersey, the statute of limitations may be extended, or “tolled,” when injuries could not reasonablyh be discovered until some later date.
Contact New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Matthew V. Markosian
At the office of attorney Matthew V. Markosian, we provide a free initial consultation to anyone with a potential personal injury claim. To set up a private meeting, call our offices at 609-455-2090 or contact us by email. We are available evenings and weekends, upon request. Because of our proven record of success, many of our new cases come to us as referrals from other attorneys, or from former clients.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis. We won’t bill you attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.
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