Broken Jaw from Assault with a Handgun...
(New Jersey, USA)
Around 2007-08 I was assaulted with a hand gun. I was hit across the jaw and the strike broke my jaw bone. The incident occurred in front of a store. Since I presume none of the suspects have any assets to cover my medical expenses or emotional distress, I was wondering if I can file a claim against the store?
The reason I feel I may have a claim against the store is that they had a camera located in front and the detective said they did not want to release the tape. Well, who "wants" their mouth wired shut with substitute metal plates?
Can I do anything about this? Did the statute of limitations run out? If anyone who knows the law can give me some information on how to handle this situation, or if I even have a case please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Broken Jaw from Assault with a Handgun...":
John (New Jersey, USA):
Unfortunately the Statute of Limitations, or legal "time period" in which you or anyone else has to file a civil personal injury claim in New Jersey is two (2) years from the date of the infliction of the injury.
There is hope though!
The State of New Jersey has a "Victim's Compensation Fund" available to assist victims of crimes. They do so with compensation related to the injuries perpetrated upon victims like yourself. Although the statutory period within which you needed to file a claim to receive compensation from the Fund was three (3) years form the date of the crime, there are exceptions if you can show the State good cause why you delayed filing. You also must have reported the crime to the police within nine (9) months of it's commission.
Go to this website for the State of New Jersey's Department of Law and Public Safety. There you can request an application form.
Another avenue you can take is through the District Attorneys Office in the district or county in which the crime occurred. They also maintain a form of Victims' Compensation Fund. The compensation they pay is directly related to the actual crime and the sentence the defendant(s) received. If the defendants were found guilty the funds may still be available.
Finally, attempt to contact the prosecutor who is working in the court in which the defendant(s) were sentenced. The prosecutor who handled your case is probably long gone by now, either moved to another court or out in private practice. There is a possibility if the defendant(s) received probation a condition of that probation may have been to provide compensation to you for your injuries and resultant costs. Those funds may still be available.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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