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Callagy Law, P.C. | New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys
If you suffer from a slip and fall or other premises liability matter on public property, you may be wondering if you can take legal action against a municipality or local government Entity in your New Jersey community. If a potential claim for injuries involves a public entity or employee, the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 to 59:2-3 governs. Chapter 8 of the Tort Claims Act outlines the procedures necessary to bring a claim against a public entity or employee, including filing a Notice of Claim, if you are injured and wish to file after a slip and fall accident or premises liability incident.
What is a Notice of Claim?
The most crucial part is that the public entity must be notified of the claim within 90 days of the accrual of the cause of action, called the Notice of Claim. “No action shall be brought against a public entity or public employee under this act unless the claim upon which it is based shall have been presented in accordance with the procedure set forth in this chapter.” N.J.S.A 59:1-1 et seq.
A claim shall be presented by the Claimant or by a person acting on the claimant’s behalf and shall include:
- The name and post office address of the claimant.
- The Post Office address to which the person presenting the claim wants the
- Notices to be sent.
- The date, place and other circumstances of the occurrence or transaction
- Which gave rise to the claim asserted.
- A general description of the injury, damage or loss suffered.
- The name or names of the public entity, employee or employees causing the
- Injury, if known and
- The amount claimed as of the date of the presentation of the claim, including
- the estimated amount of any prospective injury, damage, or loss, insofar as it may be known at the time of the presentation of the claim, and the basis of
- the computation of the amount claimed.
The notice of claim must be signed by the claimant or by a person on their behalf.
A public entity may adopt forms specifying information which must be contained in claims filed against it. These forms must include the requirements of 59:8-4 of this act and may include additional information such as written reports of claimant’s physicians, a list of claimant’s expert witnesses, itemized bills for medical expenses, documentary evidence of amount of income lost and a statement of anticipated medical expenses if future treatment is necessary.
Once a public entity adopts a specific notice of claim form requiring information that is more detailed than is otherwise required, it is incumbent upon the claimant to comply. Mere compliance with the general requirement under New Jersey Tort Claims Act is not sufficient. If the claimant is unable to supply all of the information within the 90 day period, the claimant must indicate on the form and supply the remaining information as it becomes available.
What If I Miss the 90-Day Deadline?
It is critically important to file a timely notice of claim because the claimant may be forever barred from recovering against a public entity if he/she fails to file such a claim within 90 days of accrual. Although a claimant may seek permission to file a late notice within one year after accrual, permission is discretionary and not often granted.
If a claimant fails to file a notice of claim within 90 days as provided in section 59:8-8, the claimant may, in the discretion of a judge of the Superior Court, be permitted to file a late notice of claim within one year after the accrual of the claim, provided that the public entity or employee has not been substantially prejudiced. The claimant must show sufficient reasons which constitute extraordinary circumstances for failure to file a notice of claim within 90 days.
The claim must be presented to the public entity by delivering it to or mailing it certified mail to the Office of the Attorney General or the office of the State agency allegedly involved. If a local entity is involved, the claim must be delivered or sent certified mail to the entity.
Contact Callagy Law, P.C.
It is always important to discuss your situation with an attorney. Contact Callagy Law at 201.261.1700 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
In your service,
Hala A. Jaloudi, Esq.
Partner, Personal Injury
Attorney Advertising. This information is provided for entertainment purposes only. Since each case is different and laws and regulations change constantly in the legal world, this should not be construed as legal advice. Please note that online activity, interaction and/or communication does not form an attorney-client relationship.
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