NC Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the specific amount of time that you have to file a personal injury claim within a court of law. Every state maintains a statute of limitations, but they are set according to individual state statutes. These time frames are generally put into place to
force a resolution of issues in a reasonable amount of time. Potential plaintiffs must file their claims with diligence. This prevents defendants from being hit with unexpected claims from events that happened many years prior. Additionally, these laws are in place to promote the availability of evidence, which may become unavailable or unreliable as more time tolls.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations is governed by NC Gen. Statute Section 1-52, which states that a personal injury claim must be filed within three years of an action, unless otherwise provided by law. The clock for the three-year time limit begins to toll on the date of the accident occurrence. This means that if you are in an accident on June 1, 2015, you generally have until June 1, 2018 to file a legal claim.
This time frame may extend if a minor is injured in the accident. The state provides minors with extra protections, due their vulnerability. For this reason, minors have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Failure to file within the statute of limitations time frame can result in your inability to have your claim heard in court. Even if you believe that your case is likely to settle, it is vital that you pay close attention to the statute of limitations and your filing deadline date. If you wait too long and your settlement unexpectedly falls through, you are left without the option of filing a lawsuit to pursue your claim.
To ensure that you fully understand the statute of limitations in your case, it is best to seek the assistance of a Charlotte, North Carolina car wreck attorney.