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.
The statute of limitations on Wrongful Death
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.
The statute of limitations on Medical Malpractice
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.
The statute of limitations on Auto Accidents
Every personal injury claim must be filed within a particular period of time, determined by the state. All states set these time frames according to individual statutes, which force cases to be resolved within a reasonable timeframe and ensures diligence on behalf of the plaintiff. Thus, a defendant cannot be surprised by a claim about something that happened a decade in the past. Further, statutes of limitations ensure that evidence is still available when the case is heard.
North Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years unless certain exceptions apply within the law. The three-year timeframe begins on the date of the accident (NC Gen. Statute Section 1-52). If an accident occurs on January 6, 2016, then you must file a legal claim by January 6, 2019. If the accident involves a minor, then there are extra protections, allowing for three years from the date of the minor’s 18th birthday to file a claim.
The statute of limitations on workers’ compensation
The statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina is a time limit for filing the claim. This is set in an effort to ensure that any plaintiffs with valid claims pursue those claims with diligence, to promote justice, and to preserve evidence and witness testimonies.
There are two statutes of limitations that are relevant to North Carolina workers’ compensation claims. You have two years from the date of your injury to file using the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Form 18. You should receive this form from your employer when he or she learns of your injury, or you can receive it from the commission.
If you do not file your form with the commission, then you cannot recover any benefits from workers’ compensation. A late filing will remove all of your rights to file at all. Thus, you should submit the form as soon as possible.
If you are suffering from an occupational disease, then your statute of limitations will not begin until the time when your illness interferes with your ability to keep working. When you fill out Form 18, include all injuries and suspected injuries. If you don’t include everything, then you may find that the statute of limitations has run out on a particular unreported injury. You have 30 days from the date of injury to notify your employer in writing that the injury has occurred. When you file Form 18, this counts as notifying your employer.
Statute of Limitations on Retaliation Claims
If your employer has retaliated against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, then you can file a suit against them for this. The statute of limitations that applies to this situation is three years from the date of the suspected retaliatory act.
Alternatively, you can file a complaint with the North Carolina Employee Discrimination Bureau, and you’ll have 180 days from the date of the suspected retaliatory act to do so. The Bureau is going to investigate the claim, and they may find in favor of yourself or of your employer. You will still be given a right to sue letter so that you can pursue the matter on your own. If they find in your favor, then the EDB may file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Contacting an attorney will ensure that your case is handled effectively and that you do not run out the statute of limitations that applies to your claim.
Contact an Experienced Injury Lawyer in North Carolina
If you do not file your claim within the three-year statute of limitations, then you will be unable to file a claim at all. This means that even if you think you can settle out of court if the statute of limitations is approaching, you need to take action before you run out of time to do so. Seek a free consultation about your case with a North Carolina personal injury attorney for all of your questions and concerns about the statute of limitations in your case.