A tort attorney who handles personal injury cases in New Jersey usually has two years from the date his client suffers injury to file a lawsuit. But there are exceptions.
One exception occurs when the party that injured the victim was the government. For example, if the client of the tort attorney suffers injury because of a dangerous condition on government property. Or if a government worker, while on the job, injured the client.
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A TORT ATTORNEY MUST ACT WITHIN 90 DAYS WHEN GOVERNMENT LIABLE
In such cases, the tort attorney must file a notice of claim within 90 days. The lawyer must forward the notice of claim to the entity that caused the injury.
If a notice of claim is not filed within 90 days from the date the claim arose, then the claim will likely be lost forever.
But suppose a client does not even contact a tort attorney until after 90 days from the accident have passed. What then? The law does provide a possible solution.
A tort attorney can file a court motion to extend the 90-day deadline. But the maximum extension period allowed is one year.
More important, to obtain the extension, the tort attorney has to prove that there were “extraordinary circumstances” justifying the failure to file on time. That can be very difficult to do. In recent years, courts have frequently denied such extension requests.
An extension might be allowed if the client was injured to the extent that they could not have reasonably been expected to see a lawyer within 90 days.
A May 2015 court decision regarding the possible extension of the 90-day deadline is found here.
If you have an injury claim against anyone, especially the government, you should see a tort attorney immediately. Time is not on your side.