New Jersey Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury – 2 years from the discovery of the injury
- Damage to Personal Property – 6 years
- Medical malpractice – 2 years from when the injury was discovered
- Legal malpractice – 2 years
- Other professional malpractice – 2 years
Where to Sue:
How to Sue:
Small Claims Court:
- Personal injury claims under $3,000 – Small Claims Section, New Jersey Superior Court Special Civil Part
- Personal injury claims over $15,000 – Law Division of the Superior Court
- Forms: File a Special Civil Complaint and Special Civil Summons with the Office of Special Civil Part Clerk.
- Where to file:In the Small Claims Court Clerk’s Office where the defendant
resides, has a business, or is employed.
- How to notify the defendant (service): Certified or registered mail return receipt requested. Request that a sheriff,
plaintiff’s attorneys or adult not involved or interested in the case serve the defendant personally.
- Proving the defendant was notified: The defendant may be personally served by the sheriff, plaintiff’s attorney,
a disinterested adult, or by mail. In either case, the Return of Service should be filed with the Office of the Special Civil Part Clerk.
- Attorneys: Attorney representation at a small claims trial is permitted in New Jersey Small Claims Court.
- Appealing a small claim: Either side may appeal a Small Claims Court’s decision
by filing an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court within 45 days.
- Attorneys: Either side may appeal a Small Claims Court’s decision by filing an appeal with
the Appellate Division of the Superior Court within 45 days.
New Jersey Court:
When filing your case, seek advice from a New Jersey personal injury attorney. Filing a personal injury
suit is complicated. Faulty or erroneous filing may result in serious consequences to the outcome
of your case, or you could lose the right to sue on the claim at all.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- Forms: Special Civil Complaint and Special Civil Summons.
- How to File: File the Special Civil Complaint and Special Civil Summons with the New Jersey Superior
Court Special Civil Part Clerk.
- How to Notify the Defendant:
- A sheriff or disinterested adult, age 21 or older, must give the stamped special civil complaint
and special civil summons to the defendant personally, sign the summons after service, and file
a return of service with the New Jersey Superior Court Special Civil Part. Alternatively, the forms
may be mailed to the defendant by certified or registered mail. If the forms are mailed, you must still file a return of service.
- Time to respond to a Summons in New Jersey: 35 days.
- Get the counsel of an attorney.
- You should tell your insurance company if the plaintiff’s alleged injury is related to an event that happened
at your residence or place of employment. If insurance covers your claim, your insurance company might
provide you with a lawyer.
What to Do if a Judgment Was Entered Against You:
In New Jersey, if you do not reply to a special civil summons and special civil complaint within 35 days,
a default judgment may be entered against you. A default judgment means that the plaintiff
has been successful in his case and you must pay the relief the plaintiff asked for.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in New Jersey:
- A New Jersey court can set aside a judgment for mistake, excusable neglect, surprise,
or newly discovered evidence not more than one year after entry of judgment
- A New Jersey court may set aside a void judgment within a reasonable time
- Seek a lawyer’s advice if a default judgment has been entered against you.
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- If you win your personal injury suit in New Jersey, you should contact the defendant to discuss payment.
If the defendant does not pay the judgment, the court may issue a writ of execution to seize the debtor’s
personal property or money from the debtor’s bank account or wages.
- Consult with an experienced New Jersey debt collection attorney for help collecting your judgment.