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The Latest Legislative Developments in 2017

June 16, 2017

shutterstock_554368996.jpgNew Jersey's legislature frequently re-examines the personal injury law statutes that affect your rights and ability to recover damages for your injuries. Most of these have minimal impact on your case; they adjust already-established time frames and deal with formatting that your attorney needs to consider more than you do. Still, knowing what the legislature is working on can help you prepare for what lies ahead in your case.

Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act

New Jersey's legislature wants to prevent situations in which personal injury plaintiffs double up on damages awards. The personal injury trust fund transparency act requires plaintiffs, within thirty days of filing suit, to identify any funds that might be expected to contribute toward a potential judgment. You may be able to avoid a trial by using the service or mitigate the amount the plaintiff has to pay out in defense.

Increased Penalties for Certain Categories

The legislature is also working on several bills that increase the potential liability of driver for categories of illegal behavior:

  • driving under the influence;
  • leaving the scene of an accident;
  • vehicular homicide;
  • tampering with evidence.

In all of these, potential criminal liability increases, and the potential for criminal charges that help you prove liability for your personal injury law case improves as well. With this legislative movement, number of cases filed--and the time to get to trial--will likely increase.

Claims Against Public Entities

If you are injured on public property, changes to the New Jersey Tort Claims Act provide notice requirements that will affect your ability to recover. From the time you are injured, you have 90 days in which to give notice to the entity (the city, school, or department overseeing the property). After that, you have to wait six months before you file a lawsuit. Failure to comply with either requirement will cost you the ability to bring in the public entity.

If you are injured, keeping up with changes to the law can make all the difference in your recovery. Contact Stern & Stern LLP for the experienced representation you need.