States have time limits for would-be plaintiffs seeking to file a civil lawsuit, which are called "statutes of limitations." These time limits help preserve the integrity of evidence, whether it's physical evidence or witness testimony, while preventing the indefinite threat of lawsuits. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years, while injury to personal property has a six-year statute of limitations.
Sometimes it's not possible until much later to know that an injury has occurred or to discover what caused an injury. In such cases -- for instance, when environmental pollution has caused terminal illness decades after exposure -- the "discovery rule" allows suits to be filed within a certain amount of time after the injury (or its cause) has been discovered.
Also, the civil statute of limitation may be paused ("tolled") if the plaintiff was a minor or mentally incompetent at the time of the injury. Parties may agree by contract to shorten the statute of limitations, which may occur with a simple "click" of an online user agreement.
As you can see, there are a number of factors that may determine the statute of limitations for a given civil action. It can get confusing, so it's usually a good idea to work with an attorney when filing a lawsuit. Most injury lawyers will work on a contingency basis, which means you won't have to pay until you collect for your injuries.
To learn more about New Jersey's civil statute of limitations laws, reference the following chart. See Time Limit Considerations in Medical Malpractice Calims for related information.
|Libel/Slander||1 yr. §2A:14-3|
|Fraud||6 yrs. §2A:14-1|
|Injury to Personal Property||6 yrs. §2A:14-1|
|Professional Malpractice||2 yrs. §2A:14-2|
|Trespass||6 yrs. §2A:14-1|
|Collection of Rents||16 yrs. §2A:14-4|
|Contracts||Written: 6 yrs. §2A:14-1; Oral: 6 yrs. §2A:14-1|
|Collection of Debt on Account||6 yrs. §2A:14-1|
|Judgments||20 yrs. from court of record §2A:14-5|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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New Jersey Civil Statute of Limitations Laws: Related Resources
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You've been harmed and believe you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Let a legal expert guide the way for you. A great first step in making sure you are meeting New Jersey's filing deadline for civil suits is to speak with a litigation attorney in New Jersey.
Contact a qualified attorney.