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Lawsuits by Passengers Injured on a New Jersey Transit Bus

Recent events involving New Jersey Transit bus accidents have shown the importance of seeking experienced legal counsel to advise you. On September 26, 2016, two New Jersey Transit buses crashed and injured 44 riders in the Lincoln Tunnel. In August 2016, two New Jersey Transit buses crashed in Newark, New Jersey. Two people were killed and 17 were injured in the Newark bus accident.

In unfortunate situations such as these, the family members of victims who are killed or passengers who suffer personal injuries may bring wrongful death actions and personal injury lawsuits against the State of New Jersey.

However, a family intending to seek damages for wrongful death of their loved one, as well as individuals who wish to pursue a claim for their own injuries, must give notice of their claims to New Jersey Transit, as well as file all necessary legal paperwork within strict time limits imposed by the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. The NJ Tort Claims Act governs any and all death or injury claims that involve public entities and/or employees of a governmental entity or agency in New Jersey. This includes, but is not limited to, New Jersey Transit and their bus drivers. A formal notice of claim must be sent by certified mail to the public entity, as well as their employee involved in the accident, within 90 days of the accident. Otherwise, a citizen’s right to pursue any claim can and will be precluded by the Tort Claims Act and the governmental entity, agency, and/or employee will not be held legally accountable.

Under very rare circumstances, the time limits for filing a notice of claim required by the New Jersey Tort Claims Act can be extended for up to one year, but only if the judge finds that there are “extraordinary circumstances” which precluded a litigant from sending a notice of claim to the public entity and their employee involved in the accident within the first 90 days after the accident. Since the standard of extraordinary circumstances is often difficult to demonstrate to a judge, this is a circumstance that is best avoided. Anyone who has been injured as a result of the negligence of a public entity, agency, or their employee(s) should take prompt action.

Although minors who sustain injuries are relieved of the obligation to file a notice of claim within 90 days until their 18th birthday, it is nevertheless a good idea to promptly contact an experienced personal injury lawyer and file the notice of claim with a public entity. Notice is required at least six months before a lawsuit can be filed on behalf of a minor or infant plaintiff.

 

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident where a New Jersey Transit bus was involved, or in any other type of accident, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you properly file a notice of claim. The legal team at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. has over 70 years helping clients who have been injured in New Jersey Transit accidents. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.

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