Personal Injury Statute of Limitation: How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
In civil law, the statute of limitations is how long someone has to file a lawsuit against another party. It is a way to ensure that the injured party has adequate time to assess their injuries and gather evidence for their case while still having to file their claim in a reasonable timeframe. Keep reading to find out what the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is in North Carolina and how an attorney can help you file a lawsuit. If you want to learn more about the best process to follow before filing a personal injury claim, refer to this article on how to file a personal injury claim in NC.
North Carolina Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally 3 years. The clock for the statute of limitations generally starts from the date of the accident. This is important to know because the other party’s insurance company may attempt to get you to settle immediately. If you are aware of the statute of limitations, you know your rights and can take the time you need.
Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended?
In general, the answer to this is no. The statute of limitations also exists to protect the defendant from having to deal with a claim for an accident that happened many years ago. But there are some situations where the time for the statute of limitations doesn’t start until later. For example, if you were in an accident but didn’t discover that you were injured until a later date — which is more common in situations such as medical malpractice claims — the time period would begin on the day you became aware of the injuries. If you are filing a wrongful death claim, the statute of limitations starts when the person dies.
Why You Need an Attorney
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to first speak with an attorney. You need to make sure that you are within the statute of limitations, but it can be counter-productive to file a claim too quickly after an accident. While it’s reasonable to want to move forward and get any money you may be able to recover quickly, it’s critical that you have a full understanding of your injuries and what the future impact on your quality of life — and finances — may be. An attorney can help you decide when to file your claim and give you guidance on how much you may be able to recover.
If you think you may have grounds for a personal injury claim, call 910-249-6891 to speak with a member of the Brent Adams & Associates legal team and schedule your free consultation. We can discuss the details of your case, help you understand what your options are, and get the process started if you decide to work with us.