Three New Lawsuits Show That New Jersey Victims Can Sue Decades After Injuries
Injured plaintiffs are often restricted by something called the statute of limitations – a law that prevents victims from suing after a certain amount of time has passed. This time limit is no more than a handful of years, and sometimes it can prevent people who have suffered legitimate harm from pursuing justice. But that is not always the case. In some situations, victims may be able to sue even after many decades have passed. These are exceptions rather than rules. With that said, there have been a number of recent lawsuits in New Jersey that illustrate when victims may be able to sue even after the statute of limitations has expired.
If you were injured many years ago and you have not taken legal action, there may still be a chance. The only way to know for sure is to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in Princeton as soon as possible. Consultations are often without obligation, meaning you will not be charged unless the attorney decides to take your case. And even then, most personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency basis, which means you will not have to pay anything until you actually win your lawsuit.
Diocese of New Jersey Settles for $87.5 Million
The statute of limitations may not apply to victims of sexual assault, as highlighted by the recent surge of lawsuits against the Catholic Church in New Jersey. Victims of clergy abuse have been filing many lawsuits against church organizations over the years, and many of these victims suffered their abuse decades ago. The government sometimes opens so-called “look-back windows” that allow victims of abuse to file lawsuits within a “window” of a few years – even if the statute of limitations has expired many years ago.
On April 20th, it was reported that the Diocese of New Jersey had provided clergy abuse victims with a settlement of $87.5 million. Although this might seem like a lot of money, you have to realize that the funds were divided among hundreds of abuse victims. This has been described as one of the most significant settlements in the history of the Catholic Church, and it is the first time lawsuits have been permitted against insurance companies that represent clergy members accused of negligence. Along with the settlement, the Diocese also issued a public apology. These payments will be dispersed over the course of four years among approximately 300 victims. While this deal has been agreed upon, it must still be approved by a judge, because the Diocese actually declared bankruptcy in 2020 due to both abuse lawsuits and COVID-19.
The most important thing about this case is the fact that victims can accept the settlement and then potentially pursue more compensation by filing claims with insurance companies that represent accused clergy members.
Toxin Exposure Lawsuits
Aside from abuse survivors, victims of toxin-related injuries can also sue long after the initial exposure. This is because these victims may only discover their injuries years after the exposure. Technically speaking, the clock only starts ticking after you become “aware” of your injuries. If you were exposed to certain chemicals and you did not notice it at first, you can still sue later once you receive medical treatment and discover the full extent of the damage to your health.
In April of 2022, L’Oreal was sued in the New Jersey Federal Court because its mascara products allegedly contained PFAS. Also known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS has been linked with a number of health concerns. It is also commonly known among the scientific community that the human body is incapable of breaking down these chemicals, which means that they stay in your system for your entire life. Plaintiff Rebecca Vega also proposed a class-action lawsuit when she filed her claim in federal court, claiming that the company failed to disclose the fact that its products contain PFAS. She also alleges that these products were fraudulently marketed as safe and “environmentally friendly.”
In related news, the state of New Jersey is suing companies in Bergen County for allegedly polluting the groundwater.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the New Jersey area for an experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. With the above examples in mind, it becomes clear that the statute of limitations is not always as limiting as people might think. There are many exceptions, and you may have the ability to hold negligent parties accountable even after many years have passed since your injury.
If you would like to explore your options further, book a consultation at your earliest convenience, and we can help you take your first steps toward justice. A successful lawsuit often ends with a considerable financial settlement, providing you with financial relief and a sense of closure. Reach out today to learn more.
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