Recovering from a serious injury or illness caused by medical malpractice can be a time-consuming process. For most victims, much of their physical and emotional attention is directed toward recovery, leaving them little time or energy to devote to considering the serious impact that the related damages will ultimately cause. While New Jersey patients may wish to focus solely on their recoveries, there is only a finite amount of time to seek compensation after suffering from the negligence of a health care provider.
The statute of limitation -- meaning the time period in which you can file a medical malpractice suit -- varies from state to state. As such, it is important to avoid the advice given by an out-of-state friend who might have filed a claim three to four years after his or her injury, as those state laws will not apply to your case. In New Jersey, victims of medical malpractice have only two years from the time of their injuries to file claims. However, this limit only applies to injuries that did not occur at the time of birth.
Minors who were injured at birth have a significantly longer statute of limitation. Parents or guardians have until an injured minor turns 13 years old to file a medical malpractice suit. This extended length of time allows for the discovery of related damages that might not manifest until a child is much older.
Negligence from a medical professional has the ability to easily devastate a victim's life. It can be surprisingly easy to become so focused on recovery that you may let New Jersey's statute of limitation run out, leaving you ineligible to seek just compensation for your related damages. While recovering from catastrophic injuries can leave you consumed by recovery, it can still be hugely beneficial to file a medical malpractice suit. Often, compensation from successfully litigated claims eases the recovery process for victims by providing financial stability in otherwise unstable situations.
Source: ncsl.org, "Medical Liability/Malpractice Statutes of Limitation", Heather Morton, Accessed on April 13, 2015