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How Long After an Accident Can You Sue For Your Injuries?

Jeff Varcadipane

March 25, 2024

Many victims of New Jersey car accidents obtain compensation after an insurance claim. However, some insurers deny insurance claims or make lowball offers, forcing the victim to file a lawsuit to pursue a fair settlement offer.

However, you must adhere to the New Jersey statute of limitations, which requires injured car accident victims to file a lawsuit within two years of the injury. If you fail to file the claim within two years, you may lose your right to obtain compensation.

The clock starts ticking from the date the car accident incident took place.

Consider speaking to a trusted NJ car accident attorney about the following steps if you’ve sustained an injury in a vehicle crash that’s not your fault.

Exceptions to the New Jersey Car Accident Statute of Limitations

There are several exceptions to New Jersey’s statute of limitations, which can give you more time to file a lawsuit. Some examples are:

  • Injured Minor: New Jersey has a special rule for minors who sustain injuries in car accidents. If the injured victim was below 18 years old at the time of the accident, they have an additional two years after their 18th birthday. The exception allows injured minors to file a car accident lawsuit until age 20.
  • Discovery rule: Some injuries take several months to discover from the incident date. The discovery rule allows the injured victim to file a personal injury lawsuit two years after knowing about the injury. However, the victim must bring a lawsuit within four years from the day of the accident.
  • Mentally Disabled: Mentally disabled people might not understand their situation or their right to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations only applies once their health improves, allowing them to file a claim.

What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident

It may be challenging to think clearly after being involved in a car accident. While you may be overwhelmed by the physical pain and distress, taking proper steps after a car accident can protect your legal right to compensation.

Here are some key steps to protect your rights as an injured victim:

  • Contact 911 if anyone has sustained an injury
  • Notify the police about the incident
  • Get medical attention
  • Gather as much information as possible
  • Contact a car accident attorney
  • Notify your insurance company about the accident
  • Consider suing the at-fault driver insurance provider

While many people obtain compensation through an insurance claim, working with an attorney enhances the chances of a better outcome. Beyond answering questions about your car accident, a car accident attorney has the skills to build a strong case against the at-fault party.

They can also litigate your matter in court if an insurer refuses to settle or offer a settlement that doesn’t cover your losses.

Types of Damages You Can Claim

Victims of car accidents who sustain injuries are entitled to damages to facilitate their recovery from the incident. The value of the damages depends on various factors and circumstances in each case.

A personal injury award may include two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages aim to compensate the victim for the financial losses they have suffered or anticipate suffering from the car accident.

Examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Funeral expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages aim to compensate injured victims for the intangible losses they sustain due to a car accident. You can claim various non-economic losses depending on your circumstances, including:

  • Emotional anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Permanent disability
  • Reduced quality of life

It is often difficult to put a dollar value on non-economic damages. Even so, a car accident attorney must estimate your losses’ value to obtain a fair settlement value from the at-fault party’s insurer.

For instance, the multiplier method which involves multiplying the economic losses by a set number that can vary from 1.5 to 5 based on the severity or permanence of your injury; those who sustained life-long injuries qualify for a higher multiplier.

Get Legal Advice from an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you sustained an injury in a car accident, you’ll endure hefty medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. You, therefore, deserve representation from an experienced attorney who’ll take the proper steps to protect your right to compensation.

At Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, we’ve highly qualified attorneys with decades of combined litigation experience, which gives us an edge to represent you.

Contact us online for a free consultation.

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