Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in North Carolina

Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on May 18, 2017 in Personal Injury

gavel on tableIf you suffered a severe injury or lost a loved one due to another party's negligence, you have a limited amount of time to file a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit to attempt to recover compensation for damages.

This is because there are various statutes of limitations that set deadlines for different types of personal injury claims.

Once the deadline for your type of claim passes, you will be prohibited from filing a claim and you will lose the chance to pursue fair compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages you and your family have experienced.

These are North Carolina's statutes of limitations for common types of personal injury lawsuits:

General Personal Injury Claims

Most personal injury cases fall under the three-year statute of limitations, which is detailed in North Carolina (NC) General Statutes § 1-52(16).

The statute starts accruing on one of two dates, whichever comes first:

  • The date when the bodily harm or property damage the claimant suffered became apparent
  • The date the injury should have become apparent with the exercise of reasonable care

The second part is for situations where you did not discover that you had grounds to file a lawsuit immediately after the injury. For instance, maybe it took a few months or years for you to discover new information indicating negligence may have played a role in your injury.

However, no matter when you discover that an injury may have been caused by negligence, you cannot file a claim more than 10 years after it happened.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death is a death caused by another party's neglect or wrongful actions. Under NC General Statutes § 1-53(4), wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of death.

However, you cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit if the claim would be barred by another statute of limitations if the victim had survived.

For instance, if your loved one did not die for a few months after the wrongful act, the claim would fall under the personal injury statute of limitations. This means that you would have three years from the date of the wrongful act to file a claim. If you do not file a claim in that time, you will be barred from doing so, even if you are filing within two years of the date of death.

Products Liability

If you were injured by a defective product, you cannot file a claim more than 12 years from the date you purchased the product, according to NC General Statutes § 1-46.1(1).

Medical Malpractice

You have three years from the date that malpractice occurred to file a medical malpractice claim, according to NC General Statutes § 1-15.

However, this statute is complicated because there are three exceptions:

  • You must file a claim within one year of the date that you should have discovered the injury by exercising reasonable care. In other words, you have one year from the date that a reasonable person would have discovered he or she had grounds to file a lawsuit.  
  • Regardless of when you discover the injury, you cannot file a claim more than four years from the date of the injury.
  • If a foreign object was left in your body by a medical professional, you must file a claim within one year of discovering that an object was inside of you. However, you cannot file a claim more than 10 years from the date of the malpractice that resulted in a foreign object being left inside your body.  

Contact The Nye Law Group Today

If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.

The Nye Law Group's Charlotte personal injury lawyers know how to determine when the statute for your claim began and when it will end.   

We are committed to building the strongest case possible to allow you to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call 855-856-4212 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.

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About Nye Law Group

The personal injury lawyers at The Nye Law Group have a strong reputation of standing up for the rights of those who have been injured throughout Georgia and South Carolina.

We are committed to fighting for justice and compensation for injury victims who have suffered because of another’s negligence in auto accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and many other situations.

We offer personal injury victims a free consultation to discuss their legal options. YOU OWE US NOTHING UNLESS WE RECOVER COMPENSATION FOR YOU.

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