Injured on public property owned by the state of New Jersey or a municipality government property? You have a very short window -- just 90 days -- to report the incident and file a Notice of Claim in order to simply have the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries. While the New Jersey Tort Claim Act (NJTCA) provides immunity for public entities and their employees in many cases, there are exceptions laid forth in the law.
What is a Notice of Claim in New Jersey?
A notice of claim in New Jersey alerts the state or municipality of the incident and your intention to seek compensation for your losses because of an injury. For example, if you slip and fall on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the cost of medical bills, lost wages and other damages up to 2 years after the incident. If you’re injured in the same manner due to a dangerous condition on government property, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident.
What Information is Needed for a Notice of Claim?
Keep in mind that you may need to do some research to make sure you are filling out the correct Notice of Claim form. The state of New Jersey makes the form available online as do some municipalities, for instance Essex County, NJ has a similar form online. You need to file the Notice of Claim form based on what public entity was involved in the incident. The notice should supply information such as:
- Your name and address
- The date, time and location of the accident
- An account of what happened to cause your injuries
- Description of your injuries
- Names of all public entities, as well as any employees, who were involved
- Names and contact information for witnesses
- Receipts and documentation related to your expenses
After you have filed a Notice of Claim, the public entity has six months to review and respond to your claim. The legal process cannot move forward until this review period has elapsed.
Can I Sue the State of New Jersey?
The NJTCA mandates some exception to the sovereign immunity protecting government entities and its employees from lawsuits. First, if you were injured on government property, you can file a claim if you can prove that the property is in a dangerous condition. Public employees cannot be exonerated in circumstances of outrageous conduct, willful misconduct, or reckless conduct. Additionally, lawsuits alleging discrimination under state law, or lawsuits covered by the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act do not fall under the NJTCA.
How Do I File a Notice of Claim in New Jersey?
For relatively minor claims, you can find the appropriate forms online and then mail them in. Of note, the state recommends sending the notice and documentation via Certified Mail so that a record exists for the date of submission and receipt of the documents. Remember, there is no exception to the 90 day requirement of notice. If you file a claim after 90 days, it will not be accepted. If you’ve been injured on public property in New Jersey, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your options and walk you through the process.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our New Jersey premises liability lawyers have a proven record in injury accident cases against negligent property owners – including complex claims involving public or municipal entities across the state of New Jersey and New York. When you hire a New Jersey premises liability lawyer from our team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay. Contact us today and let us turn your setback into a comeback.