Statutes of limitations are laws enacted by states that limit the time for individuals to bring lawsuits. Importantly, the time to bring a lawsuit varies based on the specific type of case presented and the state where the legal action is commenced.
In New Jersey, personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits must be brought within two (2) years of the date that the injury could or should have been discovered. New York, on the other hand, requires that personal injury lawsuits be brought within three (3) years of the date the injury, and that medical malpractice lawsuits be initiated within two and a half (2.5) years of the date of injury.
The laws of both states recognize that injuries to minors present special challenges, thus both states delay the running of the statutes of limitations until an injured minor's 18th birthday. As a result, in New Jersey an injured minor may bring a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit within two (2) years of his or her 18th birthday, and in New York an injured minor may bring a lawsuit for personal injury or medical malpractice within three (3) years of his or her 18th birthday. A caveat to New York's rule regarding injured minors is that a claim for medical malpractice must be commenced within ten (10) years of the date of the incident that caused the injury. A caveat to New Jersey's rule regarding injured minors is that claims for birth injuries to minors born after July 2004 must be commenced before the minor's 13th birthday.
In New York, where a patient is injured due to a foreign object left inside the body during surgery, a medical malpractice claim must be brought within one (1) year of the date that the object was or should have been found. New Jersey and New York both recognize two (2) year statutes of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits.
This is merely an overview of the various statutes of limitations for personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits in New Jersey and New York. If you or a loved one have been injured, or if you think that medical malpractice has transpired, you should immediately contact an experienced New Jersey / New York personal injury and medical malpractice attorney to better understand your rights.
Richard A. Reinartz, founding member of The Reinartz Law Firm, is an accomplished personal injury and medical malpractice trial lawyer. Call today to discuss your case or schedule a free consultation at our offices in Jersey City, New Jersey or New York City.