Injury Cases and Short Deadlines-Part II

In personal injury cases, missing a deadline destroys a victim’s claim, no matter how bad the injuries are. Most (not all) New Jersey personal injury cases have a two-year deadline to sue. However, ski slope cases, amusement park cases and cases against New Jersey governmental entities or employees have additional, shorter deadlines. In my last post, I went over the deadlines in those cases, which expire in as little as 90 days from the accident date.

In today’s post, I will discuss three more common types of injury cases that have unusually short deadlines.

The Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund Act

The Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund, which is run by the Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (PLIGA), can sometimes provide limited compensation to car accident victims who do not have medical or auto insurance. (For example, a pedestrian who is hit by a car and does not own a car himself.) A notice of claim must be served on PLIGA within 180 days of the accident. If the victim finds out that he has no insurance because an insurance company disclaims coverage after that 180 days, the deadline extends to within 15 days of that disclaimer. Failure by the victim to serve the notice on time voids any claim.

Port Authority of NY and NJ Claims

injury cases
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey runs airports, bridges, tunnels and other commercial properties. If Port Authority negligence injures someone, he or she must comply with a notice of claim law and a special deadline to sue. The statute of limitations (deadline to sue) for such claims is one year from the date that the claim arises. However, before suing, the injury case victim must serve a notice of claim on the Port Authority. Then, the victim must wait 60 days before filing a lawsuit. Therefore, the victim must serve the notice of claim no later than 10 months after the claim arises.

Federal Injury Cases

If a federal employee or entity injures someone,  the Federal Tort Claims Act requires that the victim serve a notice of claim on the applicable department or agency within two years after the claim arises. For example, many health clinics receive federal funding. Therefore, a victim hurt by such a clinic may well have to provide this special notice.

There is no allowance for a late notice of claim in this federal law. The time period will not extend even if the claimant is a minor. The notice must contain a demand for an exact amount of compensation.

The agency or department has six months to respond to the victim’s notice. In some cases, the agency or department may agree to pay the money damages that the victim demanded. If not, the victim has six months to sue after the agency or department responds.

The above laws have many requirements and even exceptions. I could not include all such requirements and exceptions in a blog post. Further, these laws are not exclusive. There may be other laws applicable to various injury cases that also require unusually quick legal action. Laws also change over time. Such changes may occur after I publish this post.

Thus, victims in personal injury cases must consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Success in injury cases literally depends on how soon you act.

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