Statute of Limitation in North Carolina – Personal Injury
Plaintiffs have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is called a statute of limitations. The North Carolina legislature puts these time limitations in place to preserve the availability of evidence and promote
accurate witness testimony. If a plaintiff fails to file before the statute of limitations expires, the court may refuse to ever hear the personal injury claim.
Plaintiffs may also need to consider a statute of repose. This type of limitation also bars the filing of lawsuits after specific amounts of time have passed. However, the time begins to run in relation to some event other than the injurious event.
NC Statute of Limitations
Under North Carolina law, the general statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years. However, the statute of limitations and repose vary under certain circumstances.
- For wrongful death claims, the personal representative has two years to file suit in court. The statute of limitations time begins to run on the date of death.
- Medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations of three to 10 years, depending on the specifics of the case:
- In situations where the mistake was not immediately discoverable, the law provides one to four years from the date of discovery;
- In situations where a medical instrument was left inside of the body, the law allows one year from the date of discovery and up to ten years from the date of the actual surgery; and
- For injuries involving a minor, the child can file a lawsuit within one year of turning 18 years old.
- Product liability cases are subject to a statute of limitations, as well as a statute of repose. The statute of limitations is three years from the date of injury. However, the relevant statute of repose is six years from the date of the product purchase.
This is only a general guide and there are numerous situations that can change the limitation deadline. The best way to ensure that your North Carolina personal injury case is not barred by the statute of limitations is to speak with a knowledgeable Charlotte NC personal injury lawyer.