Brain Injury Lawyer Can File Suit Late Sometimes If Victim Incompetent
A brain injury lawyer may have a special advantage in filing a lawsuit. Normally, an adult personal injury victim in New Jersey has two years to file suit in court. If the lawsuit is not filed on time, the victim loses his right to compensation. It doesn’t matter how good a case he might have had.
However, if the victim became mentally incompetent because of the accident, the deadline can be extended. The same applies if the victim was mentally incompetent before the accident.
A brain injury lawyer often has a mentally challenged client. While it is important to file a lawsuit within two years, sometimes the victim doesn’t even hire the brain injury lawyer until after that. In that case, the brain injury lawyer can rely on the exception.
This issue recently arose in an actual court case. The victim was a motorcycle rider. A car struck and severely injured him. The accident damaged his brain. Indeed, his brain injury lawyer claimed that the motorcyclist became mentally incompetent as a result of the accident.
The facts of the case were complicated. For example, the brain injury lawyer sued multiple parties. But at least one of them was not sued within two years. The bottom line is that the trial judge dismissed the victim’s case.
The victim filed an appeal. The appeals court reinstated the case. The court allowed the victim to rely upon the mental incompetence exception to the two-year deadline.
I think that the appeals court made the right call. The disabled victim should get his day in court. The person who injured the victim should not benefit from the injury.
What to do if you need a brain injury lawyer.
I must emphasize that if someone you know ever suffers a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, he or she should not wait to see a brain injury lawyer. The extension of the time to sue does not apply in all cases.