If you’ve sustained a personal injury and wish to file a personal injury claim, you have a limited period of time during which you have a right to file a lawsuit. This limit is called the statute of limitations, and each state sets these statutes based on the type of claim. In North Carolina, you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not do so within this period of time, you will lose your right to do so. A statute of repose is similar, in that it bars you from filing a lawsuit after a period of time, though the time period starts at the time of a different event than the one in which the injury occurred.
Although North Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims in three years, certain circumstances can alter the timeline. If the injurious event resulted in death, then a personal representative can file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death. If the case is a product liability case, then you have a statute of limitations of three years and a statute of repose of six years from the date of purchasing the product.
For medical malpractice claims, you have three to ten years, depending on what happened. If the mistake was not discoverable right away, then you have one to four years from the date of discovery. If a medical instrument was left inside of your body, you have one year from the date of discovery, and up to ten years from the date of the surgery in which the mistake occurred. If a minor was injured, then he or she can still file a claim within one year of turning 18 years old.
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 personal injury lawyer.