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PERSONAL INJURY

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THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PERSONAL INJURY IN NJ


  Statute of Limitation: In New Jersey, there is a time limit to file a case for personal injury. This is legally called Statute of Limitation (SOL). In this state, the SOL for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident (that is, from the date you sustained the injury). You must file your case in court against the person who injured you within that two-year time frame. The SOL rule should be taken seriously or your case will likely not be heard by NJ courts.

  Shared-Fault Law: Assuming that your case is filed with the appropriate NJ SOL term, and assume further that your case makes it to court, that NJ court must follow NJ rule called Modified Comparative Negligence Rule for your personal injury case. So, if the jury finds that the person you sued (the person who injured you) is 100% at fault for your injury, you win all the damages (amount the court finally decides).

But if the jury finds that you are, let's say, 20% at fault for the accident that caused your injury, then whatever amount you win will be reduced by 20% of your own fault, hence, the "shared fault law." However, if the jury finds that you are more than 50% to be blamed, you may recover $0.00.

  No-Fault Rule: As complicated as this rule may sound to an ordinary person, some important things to remember here are: (1) that this rule only applies to injuries from car accidents, and (2) that you must make your personal injury claim from the car accident against your own insurance policy, except in cases of serious injury (which may be difficult to prove). This is not all, but these are important to know.

  Caps on Damages: It is less important to know that New Jersey limits how much money you get as punitive damages in injury cases because punitive damages are rarely awarded in such cases.

  Dog Bite Injuries: The New Jersey Dog Bite Statute states: “The owner of any dog” [which bites someone] “in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

In a nutshell, this law is saying that whether the owner of the dog had knowledge that his or her dog is vicious or not, he will still be held strictly liable for the injuries sustained by the victim.

  Injuries Caused by Government: Assume now that a New Jersey employee caused your injuries. You may be able to recover but special rules apply to the government. You cannot just get up and sue the state for your injuries. Instead, you must formally complain to New Jersey government about your injuries. You must furnish this complaint to the state within 90 days of your injuries caused by the New Jersey worker. Assuming after six months, however, the state did not resolve your claim, you can then go ahead and file a formal complaint in court but make sure you file the complaint within that two-year window of SOL as discussed above (2 years from date of your injury).

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