Statute of Limitations on Lawsuits Against Doctors for Malpractice

Frequently Asked Questions Slip and Fall Lawsuits in New Jersey

If you're at all familiar with the process of filing legal claims in civil court, then it's likely that you know about the concept of statutes of limitation. If you've never heard of these before, then check out the following blog post presented by our medical malpractice lawyers.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations - NJ

A statute of limitations is a law that specifically establishes how much time a person has to file a legal claim against another for a particular transgression. Statutes of limitations are State-specific, which means that they vary from state to state, though one state may take another's legislature as an example when drafting their own laws.

In the case of lawsuits related to medical malpractice or medical negligence which are to be filed in the state of New Jersey, an individual has a maximum of two (2) years from the time that the neglect occurred (on behalf of a medical professional, in this case) to present their claim. This is established by N.J.S.A 2A:14-2. (New Jersey Statutes Title 2A. Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice 2A § 14-2)

How Long Do You Have To File A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit In New Jersey?

The above statute can seem pretty straightforward, though there are some exceptions and special cases when it comes to medical malpractice in the state of New Jersey.

One such example is when the victim in a medical negligence case is a minor, or more specifically, if they were a minor (under 18 years of age) at the time that the neglect occurred, then the two-year period does not begin to 'count down' until the victim becomes a legal adult.

Additionally, if the injury or harm is not obvious or easily detectable, then a medical malpractice claim can still be filed within a two-year period from the date that the actual injury is discovered.

For instance, consider a patient who is unwell with some form of cancer that they are not aware of, and they visit their primary care physician. The doctor fails to diagnose the cancer, which in this case is a type of cancer that is not as aggressive. If, after two years from that first visit the patient then discovers they have had cancer all along, they likely have grounds for a malpractice suit.

Wrongful Death Caused by Medical Negligence

Cases in which a patient loses their lives are yet another exception to New Jersey's medical negligence statute of limitations, though the time limit remains the same.

State law states that if a patient perishes and the surviving family members wish to take legal action against the doctor and other professional caretakers who are believed to have been negligent in their duties, they must do so within two years of the death.

Seeking Appropriate Legal Representation

If the "legalese" we've presented on this page hasn't made your head spin just a bit, then you're certainly in the majority of the population. If it has, then you shouldn't feel embarrassed.

The truth is that these types of cases are some of the most complex, involved, and laborious legal battles encountered in the civil justice system. For this reason, it is absolutely vital to be able to count on a legal team that has experience in this type of case. You wouldn't go to a plastic surgeon for a head injury, right? In this same manner, you want an attorney who is knowledgeable about medical negligence cases specifically.

The injury lawyers at the Garden State Justice Group law office are at your disposal if you're considering taking legal action against your doctor. We offer free consultations and our helpline is available 24/7. Otherwise, fill out the form on this page and our team will get back to you at a later time that is more convenient for you.

Further Reading

To continue reading our other informational resources, visit the following link:

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Date Published: July 25, 2020
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This website is by DiLeonardo Law LLC d/b/a Garden State Justice Group. We have offices throughout the state of New Jersey with attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel for prosecuting cases. Results may vary from case to case depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This website has not been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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