How long can I sue an auto manufacturer for an accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How long can I sue an auto manufacturer for an accident?

I was injured very badly in a car accident 2 years and 2 months ago. The airbag failed to deploy and along with a broken hip from the impact, half my face was cut open and I have residual injuries to my cervical spine, neck, and shoulders. I am getting constant headaches from pinched nerves which are

related to the accident. I received a cash settlement from the other driver’s insurer and the medical bills were covered but I now have to live a life full of pain which will only get worse. I am 29 years old and the date of accident was just over 2 years ago. It was no fault of my own, my passenger side/front end was ran into by someone going 50 mph. The entire dashboard was crushed down and had me pinned in the wrecked vehicle by the legs. I had to be cut out by the jaws of life and all. I couldn’t walk for months. However, all of it I realize the airbag never deployed and if it had I wouldn’t have this huge scar on my face or these injuries to my neck. Can I still sue the car manufacturer dodge?

Asked on January 25, 2018 under Accident Law, New Jersey


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

New Jersey has a two year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a personal injury case.  Therefore, you have missed the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in NJ against the auto manufacturer.
However, a lawsuit can be filed in the state where the plaintiff resides or in the state where the defendant resides or in the state where the incident giving rise to the lawsuit occurred.
You are the plaintiff.  The auto manufacturer is the defendant.  If the state where the auto manufacturer is located has a longer statute of limitations that has not expired, you can file your lawsuit there.  Also, if the accident happened in another state where the statute of limitations has not yet expired, filing the lawsuit there would be another option.
Your lawsuit against the auto manufacturer would be for negligence and strict liability.  
Negligence on the part of the auto manufacturer is the failure to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective.
Strict liability imposes liability whether or not due care was exercised.
Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.
In addition to the auto manufacturer, the airbag manufacturer should be named as a defendant in the same lawsuit for both negligence and strict liability.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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