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Victor C. Mitchener, Attorney

Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Personal injury lawsuits and the statute of limitations

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2022 | Personal Injury

No one wants to become the victim of an accident. They can take an enormous toll on your life, both physically and psychologically. They can also impact you financially and it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury lawsuit, so that you’re compensated for your losses. But if so, there are restrictions of which you must be aware.

What is the statute of limitations?

Unfortunately, people commonly commit negligent acts which result in injury to another person. When this happens, North Carolina provides the victim with a means to redress the wrongdoing – a personal injury lawsuit. Although not the only type of negligence, motor vehicle accidents are the most common form these take. If a person or business fails to properly care for their property, and someone is injured, this is another type of personal injury case.

The statute of limitations is a legal time limit placed upon the victim to take action. For most personal injury lawsuits, North Carolina Statute Section 1-52 gives a time limit of three years. What this means is that the victim must file the lawsuit within three years. If they fail to do so, they lose their right to bring the suit forever.

An important aspect to the statute of limitations is when the victim discovers their injury. In situations like a car accident, the timing is obvious – the person is injured when the accident occurs and the statute begins to run from that date. But sometimes, such as cases of medical malpractice, the victim doesn’t discover the injury until much later. This can have a significant affect upon the date the statute of limitations begins and, therefore, ends.

For victims, a personal injury lawsuit is a powerful tool at their disposal. It gives them a means to hold the responsible party accountable and to be compensated for their injuries. But there are legal requirements, such as the statute of limitations, which must be strictly followed.