If I am injured by a public entity or public employee in New Jersey, what special rules apply?

In New Jersey, all state, county or municipal entities and employees are entitled to immunity from liability, unless certain conditions and requirements are met.


Notice of Claim requirement – within 90 days of the injury


The first requirement is the Notice of Claim requirement. A Notice of Claim contains basic information including, but not limited to: name, address, date, time and place of the accident, what public entity is responsible, how the accident occurred, the amount of property damage, and where you’ve received medical treatment. Each public entity may have its own form, but the information required is fairly constant.  The purpose of a Notice of Claim is to alert the public entity of the incident and give them time investigate and decide if it would like to settle the matter with the claimant before the claimant files a lawsuit. This notice must be served on the public entity within 90 days of the injury. Following service of the Notice of Claim, a claimant must then wait at least six (6) months before filing a lawsuit against the public entity. Failure to comply with the notice requirements set forth in the Tort Claims Act will result in an absolute bar to any lawsuit.


Public employees and tort liability


Public employees are generally immune from tort liability unless the employee acted outside the scope of his employment, or the employee’s actions constituted a crime, actual fraud, actual malice or willful misconduct. However, a public entity is liable for injuries caused by a public employee while that employee is acting within the scope of his employment. Generally a public entity is subject to complete immunity, unless the public entity’s actions fall under one of the enumerated exceptions set forth by the Tort Claims Act.


Finally, if you are injured by a public entity, you must prove that your injuries satisfy an injury threshold in order to collect pain and suffering damages. The injury must constitute either a substantial permanent loss of a bodily function; a permanent disfigurement; or dismemberment where the medical treatment expenses are in excess of $3,600.



About RAM Law

RAM Law represents all of Central Jersey in personal injury cases and is staffed by experienced accident and injury attorneys. We provide legal help for victims of slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, workplace injuries, truck and car accidents, and other personal injuries. Call (732) 247-3600 to discuss your case and set up a free consultation at our New Brunswick or Somerville law offices.

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