Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
It is important that survivors of sexual abuse are aware of the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in New Jersey. Unfortunately, failure to file before the deadline can cause you to lose your right to sue an abuser. That being said, the recent push to extend the statute of limitations in New Jersey has resulted in positive changes for survivors.
In New Jersey, there are different statutes of limitations for adult and minor victims. However, both have been extended recently. Now, minor victims have several decades to file a lawsuit against a sexual abuser. Adult victims still have significantly less time, but the deadline has been extended nonetheless. Other mechanisms, like look-back windows, have been instated to give victims of abuse the opportunity to sue a perpetrator, regardless of when the abuse occurred.
The New Jersey sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin are dedicated to helping survivors get the justice they deserve. For a confidential discussion about your potential case, call us at (814) 826-3586.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, as in several other states, minor and adult victims of sexual abuse have different statutes of limitations. In recent years, New Jersey has amended its filing deadlines for sexual abuse lawsuits for victims of any age. Whether you were a child or adult when you were sexually abused in New Jersey, you might have a different filing deadline.
In 2019, the Child Victims Act was signed into law and amended the existing New Jersey statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Currently, N.J.S.A. § 2A:14-2 dictates that minor victims of sexual abuse can sue an offender within 37 years of their 18th birthday, or any time before age of 55. The law also states that survivors can sue within seven years of discovery of abuse, even if the discovery happens after they turn 55. This allows time for healing and recovery. It’s not uncommon for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to not realize the severity of their experience until well into adulthood.
Previously, minor victims of sexual abuse had until the age of 20 to file a lawsuit against an abuser in New Jersey. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse were also allowed two years from discovering the abuse to pursue litigation, should they recognize sexual abuse after their 20th birthdays.
Like in several other states, New Jersey has a much shorter statute of limitations for adult victims of sexual abuse than for minor survivors. The current statute of limitations for adult victims is seven years after the last instance of abuse or seven years from the date of discovery. Whichever comes last will dictate the statute of limitations. If it takes you several years to recognize the sexual abuse done to you, you will have seven years from that date to file a lawsuit against a perpetrator. If you’re unsure what qualifies as a discovery of damages and whether or not you can sue someone for abuse, ask an experienced lawyer, like the New Jersey sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. Proving discovery of damages isn’t always easy but is important if the statute of limitations dictates it.
Before the recent reform efforts, adult survivors of sexual abuse were only allotted two years from the last instance of abuse to file a lawsuit. Although the statute of limitations might be significantly shorter for adults than for minors, it has substantially increased in recent years.
Is It Important to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit within the Statute of Limitations in New Jersey?
Failing to file a sexual abuse lawsuit within the statute of limitations can prevent you from suing an abuser in New Jersey. Fortunately, New Jersey, like several other states, has instituted look-back windows, along with other reform efforts. In recent years, extending the statute of limitations for survivors has been a goal nationwide. If you have missed the filing deadline for a sexual abuse case in New Jersey, you might still be able to sue.
The reform efforts that lengthened the statute of limitations for both minor and adult victims of sexual abuse also resulted in a look-back window in New Jersey. Look-back windows are open for a designated period, during which any survivor of sexual abuse may sue an abuser. That means that even if the statute of limitations has lapsed for you, you can still file a lawsuit.
It’s important to note that look-back windows are not open forever. For example, New Jersey opened a look-back window between December 1, 2019, and November 30, 2021. During this time, any survivor of sexual assault in New Jersey can file a lawsuit against a perpetrator. Your age doesn’t matter, and neither does the statute of limitations for your particular case.
While look-back windows are a step in the right direction for victims’ rights, they aren’t open forever. Suppose you are a survivor of sexual assault who did not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. In that case, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer, like the compassionate New Jersey sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. Capitalizing on the existence of a look-back window in New Jersey can help survivors of sexual abuse get the justice they deserve.
How to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit within the Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Filing within the statute of limitations is always important, no matter the case. However, for survivors of sexual abuse, pursuing litigation can be part of the healing process. To ensure that you file a lawsuit within New Jersey’s statute of limitations, consult with an experienced attorney.
Although the statute of limitations for both minor and adult victims in New Jersey has recently lengthened, survivors might still miss their opportunities to sue. Preparing yourself for a lawsuit can take time and isn’t always easy. Despite the possible existence of look-back windows, filing before the deadline is still important.
Hiring a skilled lawyer, like the New Jersey sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, can help survivors get the justice they deserve. A knowledgeable attorney can help you recover damages and support you through the litigation process. Filing within the statute of limitations can be simple with the help of a dedicated lawyer.
Our Attorneys Can Help You File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in New Jersey
A dedicated lawyer can help survivors of sexual abuse file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations in New Jersey. For a confidential case evaluation with our experienced team, call the New Jersey sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 or visit us online today.