When you get into a car accident, you may want to take time to assess the situation. It can be very stressful, and you may have injuries that require attention.
However, you need to be aware that you are under a time limit from the moment the accident occurs. FindLaw explains the statute of limitations begins on the day of your accident and gives you only a limited time to file a claim in court to recoup your losses.
Statute of limitations
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a car accident is two years. This means you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court against the responsible party and receive damages.
If you fail to bring your case within that time limit, the court will dismiss it. You can receive no damages once it expires. Under the law, you no longer have a valid claim.
The statute of limitations helps to ensure fairness. After time, memories fade, and evidence may suffer, so waiting too long after an incident to go to court could make cases too difficult to judge.
Do note that property damage has a longer statute of limitations. You have six years to bring claims for any damage to your vehicle. Another important thing is that you need to collect on any damages the court awards within 20 years from the judgment date or refile your claim in court before the 20-year deadline.
While two years may seem like a long time to file, the time can fly by and before you know it, you have no more time left. Dealing with insurers and preparing your case, especially if it is complex, can take a long time, so you need to start as soon as possible to get your claim together and go to court.