Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in NC
If you have been wrongfully injured in the state of North Carolina, it is important to know that you have a limited amount of time to pursue legal action against the responsible party. Each state in the US upholds a “statute of limitations” for personal injury claims, which is a law that places an expiration date on a victim’s ability to pursue compensation. This means that one may be forced to forfeit their right to claim damages if they wait too long.
Although there are certain exceptions that may apply, most cases must be pursued within three years of the date of injury if negligence can be attributed to the cause of the accident. Now you may be asking yourself, “What if I did not discover the injury right away?”
Fortunately, the state of North Carolina also upholds the rule of discovery, which means that a victim may still claim compensation within three years of the date that the injury was discovered—or should have been discovered under reasonable circumstances. This exception can only be invoked within 10 years of the act that had caused the injury, however, as that is the absolute maximum amount of time that one has to take their case to court.
Although this general statute of limitations applies to a great number of personal injury cases, certain claims fall under a different category. For example, medical malpractice cases and product liability cases each have their own set of limitations.
In the state, medical malpractice cases must be filed within three years of the date of injury—just as any other type of personal injury case would be—but the discovery rule only allows for a maximum period of four years to elapse before a victim’s claim will be considered inadmissible. This also means that one only has two years from the date that the injury was discovered to pursue compensation.
If, however, a patient discovers that a foreign object has been left inside of their body, they have one year from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit—which will be allowed for a maximum of up to 10 years. In the event that someone has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, they have six years from the date that they purchased the item to pursue their case.
Since there are so many different rules and exceptions that may apply to any given case, it is usually a good idea to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. In doing so, a victim may be able to ensure that they are able to recover the compensation that they deserve.
For this reason, if you have been injured by someone else’s negligent or careless actions, you should not hesitate to contact a Raleigh personal injury attorney from the Whitley Law Firm immediately. Call today to for a free initial consultation.