Understanding New Jersey Personal Injury Laws

Posted on March 7, 2017 at 12:47pm by

Decorative Scales of Justice in the CourtroomIf you have been harmed by the negligent actions of another person or an entity such as a business or organization, you may be entitled to bring a personal injury claim under the laws of New Jersey.

The harm in a personal injury case must have been caused by an event or condition that the person or entity was responsible for, should have known about, and should have taken reasonable care to prevent. If, for example, a landlord knows a play area is unsafe due to broken glass but doesn’t take steps to clean it up, he or she could be liable if a child is injured due to the unsafe conditions.

Statute of Limitations in New Jersey personal injury cases

Personal injury law in New Jersey is subject to a statute of limitations. Any claim must be brought within two years from the date of any incident. If the claim is for medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years from the date any problem manifests. 

Comparative liability in New Jersey

Many states, including New Jersey, assess the comparative degree of fault in determining damages. Our state uses a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that a jury could reduce any damages you are awarded by the percentage you are determined to be at fault.

It’s easiest to see this through an example. Say you have slipped and fallen on a snowy sidewalk in front of your building and injured your hip. It is the landlord’s responsibility to know that the sidewalk is covered with snow and to ensure safety. But if the landlord was in the midst of making the sidewalk safe but simply had not completed it, a jury might believe that you bear some of the responsibility, because you could have waited. They may believe that the landlord bears 75% of the responsibility, but you bear 25%. If you are awarded $10,000, the amount will be reduced by the degree of responsibility the court decided you bear, or 25%. Your ultimate award for damages will thus be $7,500.

Arbitration

In New Jersey, arbitration is required if the damages are likely to be less than $20,000.

Punitive Damages in New Jersey

Punitive damages are assessed if the court wants to deter or punish an entity for its actions. These are sometimes levied, for example, in medical malpractice cases. In New Jersey, punitive damages are capped at either $350,000 or five times the compensatory damages any plaintiff receives.

Experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been hurt due to the negligence of another party, please contact our law firm to discuss your case. Bergen County personal injury attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman have decades of experience in car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice and other injury and wrongful death cases in New Jersey.

Call us today or fill out the form on our website. We can meet at our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices, whichever is more convenient to you. All consultations are free.

Additional “New Jersey personal injury law” resources

  1. New Jersey Department of Banking and Finance. Everything You Wanted to Know About Car Insurance, But Were Afraid to Ask. http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/pdf/everythingauto2006.pdf
  2. State of New Jersey. Personal Injury Arbitration Statute. http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/PersonalInjuryArbitrationStatute.pdf


Tags: