What Recourse Do You Have in New Jersey?
Roadway defects can pose a serious risk of injury to motorcyclists. Potholes, cracked or uneven pavement, and loose gravel can cause you to lose control of your bike. What parties have potential liability for a defective roadway? Can you bring legal action against the municipality or agency responsible for maintaining the roads? How do you file a legal claim against a government body or agency?
Parties Potentially Responsible for Injuries Caused by Roadway Defects
As a general rule, there are two potential defendants when you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by a roadway defect: the government body responsible for maintaining the road and the private contractor who built or repaired the road.
Any legal action against the private contractor would be based on a legal theory of negligence and follow the same procedures as other personal injury claims. You file a complaint in civil court, alleging that the private contractor failed to use reasonable care in the construction or repair of the road, thereby causing your accident and your injuries. The timelines for general personal injury claims would apply to this type of lawsuit.
However, in order to file a claim against a municipality in New Jersey, different rules apply. Before you file your lawsuit, you must formally notify the municipality of your intent to file suit. This notice must be done within 90 days of the date of your injury unless you were a minor at the time of the accident. In that case, you have 90 days from your 18th birthday to file your notice of intention to sue.
You must also send notice to any other parties that may be liable, including government agencies and employees. The notice must be sent by certified letter and include specific information:
- Your name and address;
- The date, place, and facts of your accident;
- A description of your injuries and losses;
- The names of all agencies and employees you believe have some liability for the accident and injuries; and
- An estimate of your total losses, including any future damages.
Contact Our Office
At the Lee Law Firm, we have extensive experience successfully handling motorcycle accident claims, including cases involving public entities as defendants. Call us at 973-315-9080 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary. We welcome all major credit cards. ¡Nosotros hablamos español!