What is a Notice of Claim?
Sometimes, a personal injury lawsuit does not involve a person or company as the defendant. Claims for personal injuries may be directed at public entities including states, cities, and municipalities. In the State of New Jersey, any personal injury claim made against a public entity must comply with the requirements of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. One of the most important requirements is the filing of a notice of claim.
A notice of claim in NJ is essential when bringing personal injury claims against public entities. Any claim for compensation asserted against a public entity will not be paid unless the notice was filed on time. The notice of claim can be filed by the injured person or their attorney and it must be mailed to the correct person and/or public entity.
There is a lot to clarify when it comes to discussing what a claim notice in NJ is and how it contributes to a successful claim. Read on to learn more about this essential document and why you need to file it correctly and on time.
What Is a NJ Notice of Claim?
The New Jersey Tort Claims Act grants sovereign immunity to public entities. That means, public entities can be at fault for certain things and still not be legally responsible. Of course, immunity has its limits. The NJ Tort Claims Act allows certain lawsuits to be filed under certain limited circumstances, but only when one follows all of the rules. One of the most common types of lawsuit allowed is when someone is injured on a dangerous condition of public property. This is when a claimant would need to file a timely notice of claim.
A notice of claim is a written notice filed to inform a public entity of its potential liability in a personal injury incident. Charges can include negligence on the part of the entity and its employee for allowing a dangerous condition to exist on public land.
What Information Has to Be in the Notice of Claim?
When filing a claim against a public entity, a claimant must include basic contact information like name, address, and phone numbers. A comprehensive – though general – description of the incident, injuries, and the extent of impairment to bodily function need to be included. You also must tell the public entity the amount of damages you are seeking.
The names of any government employee or entity alleged to be responsible must be disclosed in the notice. If a claimant has already incurred expenses owing to property damage, temporary or permanent injury, or even pain and suffering damages, these must also be in the claim.
Where Does Claim Notice Get Filed?
New Jersey law requires the Tort Claims Notice to be sent to the proper place or it will not count as proper notice. The Notice location depends on what public entity you are suing because each entity requires its notice to go to different places depending on whether it is the State of NJ, a city, or a municipality or other local public entity. It is very important that this be done correctly, and you must consult with an attorney to make sure you file the notice properly or you will lose the right to sue.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Notice of Claim?
According to NJ law, a claimant has a window of 90 days to file a notice of tort claim and seek damages. In extraordinary circumstances, tort actions are allowed past the 90-day window but those are only in rare circumstances such as where the injured person was incapacitated during the first 90 days. However, the key words here are “extraordinary circumstances.” The best practice is to always file the claims notice within 90 days of the incident.
Tort Claims Are Too Serious to Handle on Your Own
Unlike in most injury claims, you must file a notice of claim to hold a public employee or entity liable in a tort claim.
With a municipal, city, or state entity as the defendant, you will be fighting an uphill battle as you seek to recover compensation in New Jersey. Tip the scales in your favor with a seasoned lawyer with broad expertise and experience going against big corporations and entities. The personal injury attorneys at Rossetti, DeVoto, Medori, and Baxter can help you fight for your rights and get the fair compensation you deserve. Call us now at 856-354-0900 or reach out online if you need help with your personal injury claims in NJ or PA.