By, John Bazzurro
In a previous article, I addressed various Statutes of Limitations which basically limit the time within which you are required to file a lawsuit in order to protect your legal interests under certain sce- narios. In addition to Statutes of Limitations, it is important to un- derstand that certain types of cases have either shortened Statutes of Limitations or notice requirements as a prerequisite to filing a law- suit. Thus, under the circumstances, if you miss these time limita- tions, you could be forever barred from filing a lawsuit.
The first, and perhaps most important, is under New Jersey’s Tort Claims Act. If you are required to sue a public entity such as the State of New Jersey or a political subdivision (such as a town, county, bor- ough, city, or a State related entity), for personal injuries you must in- form them of your claim within 90 days from the date of the incident. This notice requirement requires certain specific information so that the claim can be evaluated and investigated by the public entity. There may be certain limited instances where this 90 day restriction can be extended up to a period of one year. Another 90 day notice requirement is contained within New Jersey’s Carnival Amusement Ride Safety Act which requires that notice be given where an injury occurs as a result of an amusement park ride or within an amusement park.
If you are injured as a result of the negligence of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey or their employees, a claim must be filed with them at least within 10 months from the date of your injury and any lawsuit must be filed against them within one year from the date of your injury. This differs from the typical two-year statute of limitations for personal injury in the State of New Jersey. Another significant one year Statute of Limitations is contained within New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) which is ba- sically a “whistleblower” claim against your employer. This is some- times confusing in that other labor related statutes of limitations are typically two years.
Next is the Federal Tort Claims Act which requires that notice be given to the Federal Government within two years from the date of your injury if you are injured on a federally owned property, by a fed- eral employee or through the actions of a federal agency. Unlike New Jersey, there is no ability to extend this time limitation.
Finally, there is a 180 day notice requirement to file a claim against New Jersey’s Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association which provides potential additional protections if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and your insurance company either dis- claims coverage or does not provide certain coverages. Once again, there is no ability to extend this time frame and, as such, it is import- ant that any such claims be made timely.
Of course, the above is not an exhaustive list of all of the time limitation pitfalls that one may encounter when dealing with the law. The only way to be fully protected is to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured to ensure that any such time limitations are fully complied with in order to protect your legal rights.
Should you have any questions concerning any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact my office for further information.
JOHN T. BAZZURRO, Esq.
CERTIFIED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY AS A CIVIL TRIAL ATTORNEY
LAW OFFICES OF JOHN T. BAZZURRO, LLC
200 Meco Drive, Millstone Township, New Jersey 08535 Phone (732) 410-5350 Fax (732) 810-0006