In New Jersey, there are limitations on your right to sue a public entity or employee imposed by the Tort Claims Act. It is important that you consult a knowledgeable attorney as early as possible in order to protect and preserve your rights.
First, it is necessary to file a written notice of claim with the public entity within 90 days of “the accrual of the cause of action”, which in most cases means the date of the accident or incident. The Tort Claims Act spells out what information needs to be included in the notice. The notice must be signed by you or your attorney.
Once six months have expired from the filing of the notice of claim, if your attorney is unable to reach settlement with the public entity, you are entitled to file a lawsuit.You have two years from “the accrual of the cause of action” to file the lawsuit.
Public entities are generally immune from liability except to the extent that the Tort Claims Act spells out exceptions. For example, neither a public entity or employee can be liable for failure to provide traffic signals, signs or markings.
However, there will be liability where you can show that there was a dangerous condition of public property, that your injury was caused by the dangerous condition, that the condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk that your kind of injury would occur, and that either an employee of the public entity negligently created the dangerous condition, or the public entity had actual or constructive notice of the condition with sufficient time to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition. However, mere negligence of the public entity or employee is not enough to establish liability in most cases.
As an experienced Middlesex County personal injury attorney, Charles D. Whelan III can assist you with the investigation and presentation of your claim against public entities and employees. Call him today at 732-214-0300 for a free consultation.