A personal injury lawyer in North Carolina explains how long you have to file a PI case
Did you know that you only have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim in North Carolina? To ensure you file your claim on time, here's what you should know about the time limits and how they can affect your case.
How long do I have to make a personal injury claim in North Carolina?
The time limit for making a personal injury claim is known as the statute of limitations. It usually runs from the accident date, i.e., the day you suffered the injury. The idea behind the time limit is to encourage plaintiffs to contact an attorney and file their claim as soon as possible.
Normally, in North Carolina, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, i.e., to notify the courts that you're making a claim. This three-year time limit includes claims against a negligent person whom you hold responsible for an accident at work.
However, if you're making a workers' comp claim, you must file it within two years of the injury or illness.
Are there any exceptions to the statute of limitations?
When it comes to auto accidents, trips and falls, and workers' comp claims, the time limit is usually strict. However, there are some very limited exceptions that could apply, depending on the circumstances.
- If the injured person is under 18 at the time of the accident, the "clock" may not start running until they turn 18. So, the person has three years from the date of their 18th birthday to make a claim.
- If the plaintiff is mentally disabled or deemed mentally incompetent, the clock might not begin until the date they're declared competent or mentally fit.
The laws around exceptions to the statute of limitations are complex. Essentially, although some exceptions apply, you'll normally need to make a claim within three years of the accident date, or else it's time-barred.
A personal injury lawyer can give you more advice on the time limit that applies in your case.
What happens if I miss the deadline for filing a claim?
If you fail to file your claim within three years of the accident date, the defendant will likely refuse to settle your case on the grounds that it's out of time. Unless one of the exceptions applies, your claim will fail, and you won't be able to claim damages.
Are you worried that you're running out of time to make your claim? Don't hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer in North Carolina for advice.
Do you need help from a personal injury lawyer in North Carolina?
At the Rodzik Law Group, we have over 26 years' worth of experience in helping clients secure the damages they're entitled to. If you've been injured in an accident and you think you have a personal injury claim, call us now on 910-762-1199 for a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We can advise you whether you have a case, and what your prospects of success may be.