One of the first questions posed to us when we are consulted by someone bitten by a dog is how much time do we have to file a lawsuit? Our response is generally that an individual has two (2) years from the date of injury to file a claim otherwise his or her personal injury claim is barred by law. There are, however, exceptions to this limitation which extend the period in which an individual may file a dog bite lawsuit. If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog, our attorneys can assist you. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience litigating injury claims in New Jersey and an attorney from our law firm is available 24/7. We hope you find the information that follows to be of assistance and please do not hesitate to contact us toll-free at 1-877-450-8301 for assistance.
Action to Recover for Injuries Sustained in a Dog Bite
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:14-2, an individual possesses two years from the date that the cause of action has accrued in which to file an action to recover for personal injury. What this means is that a person only has two years from the date he was bitten by a dog in which to file a claim. Any dog bite action filed after the second anniversary of the injury shall be barred by the NJ statute of limitation.
Exceptions to the Two Year Limitation for Filing a Dog Bite Claim
There are various situations where a dog bite injury claim has the possibility of being considered notwithstanding the fact that it was filed in excess of two years after someone was bitten. The scenarios include the following:
- The injury was sustained by a minor (someone under eighteen years of age). In this instance, the two year limitation period does not begin to run, that is, it is tolled, until an individual reaches the legal age of majority of eighteen. The net effect is that an individual has until he or she turns twenty to file a claim for injuries sustained from a dog.
- The injured party was incompetent at the time of injury. The statute of limitation for dog bite injuries is tolled or suspended for that period that an individual was incompetent. Incompetency includes insanity, incompetence to care for ones self or unconsciousness. When an individual is “incompetent” and unable to bring a personal injury action on their own, the statute of limitation is suspended.
Issues involving application of the statute of limitation can be very complex and we suggest that you consult one of our New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyers if you have any questions concerning when to file a claim. An attorney from our office will answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you are looking for. Initial consultations with our attorneys are always without charge. A lawyer is available now to help you at 1-877-450-8301.