General Negligence Attorneys In New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, negligence is defined as one party’s failure to act as a reasonable person would, or an individual’s failure to exercise the “degree of care for the safety of others” which a “person of ordinary prudence” would have exercised under “similar circumstances.”
The key legal matter to be proven in a general negligence case in New Jersey is the claim of negligence brought against one or more defendants. Typically, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof in a New Jersey general negligence lawsuit.
The New Jersey attorneys at Parker Waichman have a long history of successfully litigating general negligence cases and recovering fair compensation for their clients.
How is Negligence Proven?
To prove a general negligence claim, four elements must be established by evidence. The injured party must prove the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care under the first element. In other words, the defendant had an obligation to act as a reasonable person would act under the circumstances involving the plaintiff. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant breached the duty of care, or failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted in the second element.
Causation, the third element, requires that the plaintiff prove a link between the defendant’s breach of the duty of care and causation of (connection to) the plaintiff’s alleged injury. The fourth element involves the plaintiff proving the injuries and/or financial losses that the he or she suffered were a result of the defendant’s negligence; losses and injuries are the basis for any damages the jury may award to compensate the plaintiff for any harms and losses suffered.
Various issues may arise during a general negligence action. For example, the defendant may assert a number of affirmative defenses that may then potentially impede a plaintiff’s recovery. An affirmative defense that is commonly asserted is what is known as an assumption of risk. This means that the plaintiff was aware that certain activity was potentially dangerous, but assumed the risk anyway.
New Jersey law specifically recognizes the concept of assumption of risk in connection with certain types of activities such as roller-skating and equestrian activities. Other affirmative defenses that a defendant may raise are an act of God or a sudden emergency and that one of these led to the defendant’s actions and those actions are attributable to other parties such as the owner of a motor vehicle or other third-parties.
New Jersey General Negligence Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations puts in place the time frame in which an individual must take legal action. A statute of limitation sets deadlines for bringing a lawsuit. If a plaintiff misses the cutoff for the statute of limitations, the defendant then may use that same statute of limitations as a defense against the lawsuit. If the defendant does establish that the statute of limitations applies, the court typically dismisses the case.
The statute of limitations typically starts when the claim arises. The courts sometimes refer to this starting point as the so-called “accrual” of the cause of action. This is, in fact, the moment at which the plaintiff has a basis to sue. Court rulings do determine the way in which statutes are interpreted.
Statutes of limitations may vary from state to state, and from state court to federal court. Statue of limitations also differ based on the kind of action involved. A statue of limitation period may begin at the point in time that the plaintiff was aware or should have been aware of an injury and not on the date of the injury. Also, although one cause of action may apply, there may be grounds for a different or additional claim with a different statute of limitation.
Following is a broad listing of some of the statutes of limitations and causes of action in the state of New Jersey:
- Assault and Battery: Two years
- Contract (in writing): Six years or 16 years
- Contract (oral): Six years
- False imprisonment: Two years
- Fraud: Six years
- Legal malpractice: Six years
- Libel: One year
- Medical malpractice: Two years
- Personal injury: Two years
- Product liability: Two years
- Property damage: Six years
- Slander: One year
- Trespass: Six years
- Wrongful death: Two years
Types of General Negligence
General negligence cases typically involve medical malpractice; nursing home abuse; wrongful death; traumatic brain injuries; or fire and burn injuries, including gas explosions and fires in high buildings.
A broad list of examples of the types of general negligence include:
- Personal injury
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Birth injuries
- Serious burn injuries
- Trip and fall injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Work accidents
- Construction accidents
Contributory Negligence in New Jersey
New Jersey is a contributory negligence state. This means that the person seeking damages in a lawsuit must be proven to be less responsible for the accident than the person who allegedly caused the accident. For instance, in a car accident, should the other driver ask you to pay for his or her damages, he or she must be less responsible for the accident than you are.
Should a jury believe that the other party straying into your lane is a greater cause of the accident than your speed, for example, then he or she may not be able to recover damages. If a jury finds that the accident would have been avoided had you driven slower, you may have to pay damages.
If You Have Questions About Filing A New Jersey General Negligence Lawsuit
The New Jersey general negligence attorneys at Parker Waichman have a long and successful history of successfully fighting New Jersey general negligence cases and recovering compensation for their clients for lost wages; medical expenses, including for cosmetic scar revisions and other surgeries; and diminished quality of life that may include disfigurement.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to general negligence, the firm offers legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a lawsuit. For more information, call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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