How long is the period in which I can file a suit for negligence?

A jeweler has lost 3 items of mine that were being repaired. He charged me for the repairs over the phone but cannot provide me with the jewelry. This process has been going on for more than one year already. How long do I have to file a lawsuit for negligence. Also I have no way to get appraisal on the items as they are lost, so how do I determine the value? Can I ask for any damages as one item has sentimental value and all 3 pieces were at least 50 years old.

Asked on August 20, 2012 under General Practice, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states the period of time to file suit for the loss of an item caused by one's negligence is typically three (3) years from the date of the loss. The value of the items for damage purposes would be their fair market value at the time of loss. Hopefully you have a written description of the items or photographs to assist you in your claim. I suggest that you speak with the owner of the jewelery store face to face to resolve the situation you are writing about to your satisfaction rather than file a lawsuit over the matter.

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