Dealing with the government is almost never easy, even under ideal circumstances. It is also a chore that becomes infinitely more difficult when you have been injured and are trying to file a claim against the government to recover compensation. The fact is that there are significant differences in liability between public and private entities, differences that must be understood and carefully researched on a case-by-case basis.
At Aiello Harris, we represent families and individuals in Somerset County, Union County, Middlesex County, Hunterdon County, Essex County, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey in bringing lawsuits against the government. These cases can be very complex and difficult to pursue and there are several important things you should be aware of.
The Process: What You Should Know
Local, county, and state liability in New Jersey is governed by a maze of unique rules and it is the New Jersey Tort Claims Act that defines the liabilities governmental entities have. One very important thing to know about this legislation is that a public entity will only be liable when the State legislature has passed a statute allowing liability for the act in question.
To file a claim against a state agency or local government entity, a Notice of Tort Claim must be submitted to the proper department of the entity within 90 days of the accrual of the cause of action (i.e., in almost every case within 90 days of the date of the government claims attorneys/incident). If the claim is not filed within 90 days, with few exceptions, it is barred by law.
The 90-day limit to file a claim applies to all claims for damages against government entities and will usually apply even if you are unaware that a potential defendant is a governmental entity. The claim must present the basis or facts upon which you believe the government entity owes you monetary damages. It must also explain any injuries you have sustained and the names of any public entity employees or agents you feel are responsible for your injuries.
The filing a Notice of Tort Claim does not relieve the injured person from still having to file a complaint for personal injury. The New Jersey Tort Claims Act also requires that the person injured sustain a permanent injury as defined under the statute and relevant court decisions.
Because of the unique rules and requirements involved in filing a claim against the government, hiring an attorney who can easily maneuver through the twists and turns of the legal system as well as the bureaucratic red tape and government attorneys, can make a significant difference in the success of your claim. Our firm has the kind of knowledge, experience, resources, and most importantly, the determination to prevail that produces outstanding results.
For a free initial consultation and answers to your questions about how to file a claim against the government, call Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online at any of our New Jersey law offices.