How Much Time do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Workplace Accident?

November 4, 2019


In New Jersey, workplace injuries fall primarily under the Workers' Compensation law. Your employer pays into the system and, regardless of fault, the insurance pays for treatment for accidents or injuries you suffer at work. But if your employer denies coverage for your personal injury, or if intentional conduct by the employer caused the injury, you can sue for damages, as long as you file on time. You will need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through your rights and the legal process.

Statute of Limitations for Workplace Accidents

Most of the time, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years, meaning you have up to two years from when the accident happened to file a claim petition or a lawsuit. However, if you are receiving treatment or payments through your employer, the time extends to two years from the date of the last payment or treatment. This helps prevent an employer who has acted wrongfully from stringing you along until the statute of limitation runs out, and also helps expedite your care without fear of losing out on a claim later if the employer does not adequately respond to the claim.

Differences for Occupational Injury

Another key difference comes when your personal injury results not from a single accident, but rather from an ongoing workplace hazard. If you suffer a repetitive stress injury or fall victim to exposure to chemicals or other dangerous elements in your work environment, you may not know about what happened--or about your employer's role in your injury--until much later. In these cases, the two years begin to run not from your first exposure, but rather from the time you learn of the exposure from a reliable source, usually a doctor or a lawyer. This allows you to seek compensation for injuries with hidden causes, so an employer cannot benefit from hiding hazardous issues.

If you have suffered a workplace injury, don't wait to seek help. Contact Stern & Stern LLP today so we can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.