You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit if you are injured by someone else’s carelessness or misconduct, and their insurance company refuses to compensate you for your medical bills and other losses. North Carolina’s statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims is generally three years from the date of injury. N.C.G.S§1-52. If the claim is not settled or law suit filed in that time, the claim dies – forever!
Three years pass quickly when dealing with a complex injury claim. Before a lawsuit is filed, it is usually best for the injured individual to recover to the fullest extent possible to have a reasonable estimate of the medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering involved. Before the law suit is filed personal injury attorney must investigate the injury to determine who is at fault, identify the applicable insurance companies, calculate the injured person’s losses, and then prepare an injury claim. It’s important to act quickly before valuable evidence deteriorates or is lost.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our attorneys have the experience and dedication your case deserves. If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact our personal injury law firm at 919-661-9000 or online for a free initial consultation.
In most personal injury cases in North Carolina, the statute of limitations allows three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses. This applies to:
- Slip and fall cases
- Car accident cases
- Medical malpractice cases
An exception to the time limit is made in malpractice cases in which a surgeon or surgical team mistakenly left a foreign object inside a patient. If the patient is unaware that the object has been left inside him/her, the malpractice statute of limitations can be extended. In that case, the medical malpractice claim must be brought within a year of the discovery of the foreign object and no later than 10 years from the date of the surgery.
N.C. Statute of Limitations for Injured Juveniles
Another exception to North Carolina law allows a young person who has been unjustly injured while still a child three years after their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim. Under the wording of the applicable statute, N.C.G.S. §1-17, a young person and anyone who is “under a disability at the time” of injury may file a claim within three years “after the disability is removed.” Disability includes being “insane” or “incompetent” according to the legal definition.
In medical malpractice cases, an injured juvenile has until the age of 19 to file a claim if the three-year statute of limitations deadline is reached while they are not yet 18. Further, a plaintiff who suffered sexual abuse while under the age of 18 has until they are 28 years old or within two years of a criminal conviction for a related felony sexual offense to file a civil claim against the perpetrator, regardless of their age at the time of the assault.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in North Carolina Today
North Carolina’s time limit for filing a personal injury claim has many exceptions and is complicated to interpret. It’s important to consult a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible if you have sustained an injury in an accident. The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. can explain your legal options and discuss how the statute of limitations applies to your situation. We offer a free consultation. Contact us now online or by phone at 919-661-9000.