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Injuries due to medical malpractice can be life-altering and frustrating. You may not be sure what to do next once you feel you have a claim, and you may not be aware of the limitations that come with filing a claim. An experienced attorney can guide you through your case within the statute of limitations, and can give you advice on the steps to take to make sure your case is in the best position possible and so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.

What Are the Statute of Limitations

When a person alleges they are a victim of medical malpractice, there is a certain time limit to resolve the claim or file a lawsuit; this time limit is called the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations are a critical part of filing an injury claim, because if the designated time period for your case has passed, you are completely barred from ever seeking compensation for your injuries. For this reason, it is very important to contact a local medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you feel you may have a case to ensure that you do not miss your opportunity to file a claim if you do.

There are different statutes of limitations for different kinds of cases. Primarily, the difference is whether the malpractice resulted in a death or an injury. If the malpractice resulted in a death, a shorter statute of limitations applies. When the malpractice resulted in injury, there is a slightly longer statute of limitation.

Nuances in Limitations

In Raleigh, the statute of limitations may begin with the date of injury, the date of death, or the date of discovery of the harm. It is not always easy to calculate the statute of limitations because there is also a discovery rule. It depends on whether the injury is something that was immediately apparent. If it was not immediately apparent and there was some time period that elapsed between the actual act and the discovery of the harm, a different statute of limitations may apply

The statute of limitations can differ for a minor or someone with disabilities, and there are special rules that apply for minors and people with disabilities.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the North Carolina statute of limitations is deemed to be tolled, meaning that the case is allowed to proceed beyond the statute of limitations. However, if a lawsuit was not filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the case is closed and can never be brought again.

Retaining an Attorney

A person should consult with an attorney about what statute of limitations applies to their personal injury situation. They should retain the services of an attorney in dealing with the statute of limitations because of the variations that might apply to a particular situation. It may not be as clear cut of a question as one might think.

A knowledgeable lawyer can help a person gain a better understanding of the legal process they are going through, and will work diligently to provide the best representation possible for a person’s claim, all the while working within the statute of limitations.