In this post, I will discuss the court ruling in a recent Newark injury lawyer case. On February 17, Ronald slipped and fell in the bathroom of his apartment. He suffered severe injuries. The Newark Housing Association (NHA) owned the apartment.
Ronald hired a Newark injury lawyer. Because the government owned Ronald’s apartment, the law required the injury lawyer to file a notice of tort claim within 90 days of the accident.
Ronald’s Newark injury lawyer assumed that the NHA was part of the Newark city government. Accordingly, on May 12, she mailed the notice of tort claim to the Newark Department of Law. Unfortunately, we all know what happens when someone “assumes” something.
It turned out that the NHA was not part of Newark city government. Rather, it was an independent government agency.
The city notified the personal injury lawyer by letter of NHA’s independence. But the lawyer did not receive that letter until June 8th. That was shortly before the 90-day deadline expired. The next day, still within the deadline, the injury lawyer mailed the tort claim notice to the NHA. The injury attorney addressed the letter to a 57 Sussex Avenue address. That was the address for the NHA that the city tax assessor gave the lawyer.
However, the address was wrong. The lawyer received the letter back. On June 24, after the expiration of the 90-day deadline, the injury attorney forwarded the notice of claim to the NHA at its correct address of 500 Broad Street.
The NHA claimed that the lawyer gave notice out of time. Therefore, it asserted that Ronald could not receive any compensation.
JUDGE RULES FOR NEWARK INJURY LAWYER
So the Newark injury lawyer went to court and asked a judge for an extension of time. The judge granted the extension.
The judge reasoned that the mailing mishap was partly the city’s fault, because the tax assessor provided an incorrect address. Moreover, had the City responded more promptly to the lawyer’s initial mailing, the notice would likely have been filed on time.
Ronald was lucky that the judge gave him a break. This case illustrates why most experienced lawyers never assume ANYTHING. Rather, a good lawyer gets proof for even the “small” details of a case.