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Under North Carolina law, lawsuits for personal injury cases must be brought within three years from the date of the incident or occurrence.  The three year statute of limitations applies to all claims brought in North Carolina under common law negligence claims.

Wrongful Death Claims use a shorter two year statute of limitations.

Medical Malpractice claims follow the three year rule.  However, if a medical malpractice claim involves a wrongful death then the two year wrongful death rule applies and prevailsand the case is no longer considered a medical malpractice case for the purposes of the statute of limitations, but rather becomes a wrongful death case.

Has your statute of limitations expired? Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers will review your case at no charge to you to determine if your statute of limitations has run.

  • Negligence = 3 years
  • Wrongful Death = 2 years
  • Medical Malpractice = 3 years

Can a statute of limitations be tolled or stop?  Yes.  The filing of a lawsuit stops the statute of limitations.

Sometimes the statute of limitations may be extended or may not apply.  There are three main exceptions to the North Carolina statute of limitations rule as follows:  (1) Discovery Rule, (2) Delayed Tolling for Minors, and (3) Delayed Tolling for Incompetency.

Discovery Rule

Under North Carolina Law, for injuries that cannot be discovered at the time of the incident or occurrence, the statute of limitations clock does not start to run until the victim’s injury becomes apparent or ought to have reasonably become apparent.  What does this mean? This means that sometimes you are injured and are not aware of your injury at the time it occurs, but begin to feel pain, discomfort, and symptoms at a later date. For example, you are involved in a major car accident.  Three months later, you begin to experience pain, discomfort  and may require a surgery.  Under this example, the likely date that the statute of limitations would start would be from the date of discovery, hence the fitting name for the discovery rule.

Delayed Tolling

Minors:  North Carolina law states that minors, persons under the age of 18, may bring a lawsuit within three years after reaching the age of majority.  Minors that suffer a traumatic event or significant injury at a very young age do not have the capacity to file a lawsuit. Often times, minors do not even understand the significance of their injuries until years later.  That is why North Carolina protects minors and gives the right to file a lawsuit until the age of 21.

Incompetency:  Persons that have been declared incompetent or suffer from a mental disability will have no statute of limitation to file a claim.  North Carolina courts have held that an“incompetent adult” means an adult or emancipated minor who lacks sufficient capacity to manage the adult’s own affairs or to make or communicate important decisions concerning the adult’s person, family, or property whether the lack of capacity is due tomental illness, mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism,inebriety, senility, disease, injury, or similar cause or condition.

An experienced injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if any circumstances apply to you as mentioned above.

Our law firm practices out of Huntersville, North Carolina and we serve the greater Charlotte area.  We file lawsuits in Charlotte, North Carolina and we also practice in the following cities and areas:  Mooresville, Troutman, Statesville, Gastonia, Belmont, Lincolnton, Salisbury, Kannapolis, Concord, Charlotte, Matthews, Indian Trial, Monroe, Blakeney, Ballantyne, Denver, and Lincolnton.

We serve, but are not limited to the following counties:  Mecklenburg county, Rowan county, Cabarrus County, Union County, Gaston County, Lincoln County, and Iredell County.

 

 

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