Have you or someone you love been involved in an accident and suffered injury? If so and if you would like to take legal action against whoever is responsible for your condition, time may be running out. In fact, many injury victims do not realize that they only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations is a set of laws that establishes the time period a plaintiff may file a claim against a defendant:
In New Jersey, an injury victim typically has two years from the time of the injury to file a lawsuit.
If you lose a loved one to negligence, you have two years from his or her death to take action against the person or party responsible.
If you sustain harm in a medical malpractice accident, you have two years from the time of the accident or from the time you should have known malpractice was committed to take legal action.
After this time period expires, the plaintiff becomes barred from receiving compensation except under certain circumstances.
Understanding the discovery rule
One such circumstance is when you had no knowledge of the existence of a viable claim against another party. This is known as the Discovery Rule. This rule states that a cause of action does not accrue until the injured party discovers, or by an exercise of reasonable diligence and intelligence should have discovered that he or she may have a basis for an actionable claim. Put simply this means that when the discovery rule is applicable, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured party becomes aware or should have become aware of the existence of their claim against another party.
An example of the discovery rule in action would be if you worked for a company that placed you around asbestos. Many years down the road, you contract mesothelioma. Since you had no way of knowing that you contracted mesothelioma until many years later, the discovery rule may apply and you may still be able to take legal action against whoever was responsible for placing you in contact with asbestos.
Posted in Workers Compensation