According to New Jersey Revised Statute § 2A:14-2, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim. If you need to recover compensation to pay for vehicle damage, Revised Statute § 2A:14-1 states that you have six years from the date of the incident to file a property damage claim.
If you fail to file your claim within the relevant timeframe, you likely won’t be able to receive compensation for your injury or auto-repair expenses. Hiring a skilled car accident attorney from New Jersey is the best way to ensure your claim is filed correctly and on time.
Filing a Car Accident Claim Past New Jersey’s Legal Deadline
If you file a car accident claim outside of the legal timeframe put forth by New Jersey law, your chances of receiving compensation are extremely low. The only way a judge would entertain your case is if one of the legal exceptions to the statute of limitations is applicable to your situation, but the odds of that happening are slim to none.
That’s why it’s important that you contact an attorney as soon as you get into an accident. They’ll be familiar with New Jersey’s statute of limitations, and will make sure all the proper paperwork is filed before the state-imposed deadline.
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Exceptions to New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
There are several exceptions to New Jersey’s statute of limitations for car accident claims. If one of these exceptions applies to you and your case, you may be granted an extension. Here are some of the exceptions to New Jersey’s filing requirements:
- Victim under 18 years of age. If the victim of a car accident was under 18 on the day of the incident, they will likely be granted an extension. They’ll have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a claim
- Mentally disabled. Mentally disabled (prior to accident) car accident victims might not be able to understand the situation they’re in, or know they have the right to file a claim. Such victims will be given extra time to file.
- Discovery standard. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent. Victims will have two years from the day they discover their injury to file a claim. However, if a claim isn’t filed within four years of the day of the accident, the victim will be barred from receiving compensation.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Car Accident in New Jersey
In addition to contacting an attorney, there are several other things you can do immediately after getting in a car wreck that will significantly improve your chances of receiving compensation. Here are a few actions you can take to ensure your case goes smoothly:
- Call law enforcement
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver
- Collect phone numbers of witnesses
- Take photos of the accident scene
If you’ve gotten into a car accident in New Jersey, taking these actions ASAP can dramatically increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries and car damage. It’s also important that you seek medical attention right after an accident. Even if you don’t feel any pain, there are symptoms that can take time to appear, so it’s best to play it safe.
Damages You Can Receive If Your New Jersey Car Accident Claim Is Filed on Time
If you need to recover damages to pay for medical bills and other expenses related to your accident, getting your claim filed within the statute of limitations should be your top priority. Here are some of the damages you can benefit from if your claim is filed in a timely manner:
- Current and future medical bills
- Reduced earning capacity
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
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Filing a Claim for Fatal Car Accident Injuries
If a spouse or family member of yours has passed away due to injuries sustained in a car accident, you’ll want to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. In New Jersey, such a claim must be filed within two years of your loved one’s passing.
If you fail to file a wrongful death claim within the statute of limitations, you won’t be able to receive compensation for the bills you’ve inherited or the emotional trauma you’re likely experiencing.
An car accident attorney in New Jersey can make sure your claim is filed on time so that you can receive the following wrongful death damages:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income
- Funeral and burial expenses
A Lawyer Can Do a Lot More for You Than Simply Filing Your Claim on Time
While seeking legal counsel is the best way to ensure your car accident claim is filed on time, there’s a lot more that a skilled attorney can do for you. They’ll be able to see your case through from start to finish, and give you the best shot possible at receiving the payment you need to pay off your medical bills and get your car fixed.
Here’s what a lawyer can do to help your New Jersey car accident claim succeed:
- Communicate with all involved parties on your behalf
- Investigate your accident
- Gather evidence
- Prove that the offending driver is liable for your losses
- Negotiate with insurers for a fair settlement
- File a PIP claim, insurance claim, or lawsuit
- Fight for your compensation in court
A Car Accident Attorney From Morelli Law Firm Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a reckless or distracted driver, our car accident lawyers in New Jersey may be able to help you. The attorneys of Morelli Law have years of experience litigating car accident claims, and can make sure you get every penny you deserve.
Call us to receive a free case evaluation. One of our attorneys will be happy to investigate your accident, build your claim, and hold the at-fault party responsible for your losses. Most importantly, they’ll be able to ensure your claim is filed in accordance with the statute of limitations for personal injury, property damages, and wrongful death claims.