Statute of Limitations on an Injury Claim

If someone is injured by the carelessness or negligence of another, the laws of North Carolina allow the injured party to file a lawsuit to receive compensation ("damages") for their injuries. However, there are time limits known as the statutes of limitations that establish time limits during which a personal injury lawsuit.

In brief, the statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits filed in North Carolina are as follows:

Personal Injury - 3 years from the date the injury occurred

A lawsuit seeking damages for a personal injury claim must be filed within 3 years of the date on which the injury occurred. If not, the lawsuit will be dismissed by the court.

Medical Malpractice

The statutes of limitations for medical malpractice are more complicated than those for personal injury cases and fall into 3 general classes:

  1. A lawsuit alleging than an injury, or a death, was due to medical malpractice must be filed within 3 years of the alleged act.
  2. If the alleged cause of an injury or death was not discovered until later, the lawsuit must be filed within 1 year of the date the cause of the injury or death was discovered or the date the alleged act of malpractice could reasonably have been expected to be discovered. All lawsuits alleging "late discovery" medical malpractice must be filed within 4 years of the date the act of malpractice occurred.
  3. If the injury is alleged to be the result of a foreign object (a surgical instrument or surgical sponge) that was accidentally left inside the human body, the lawsuit must be filed within 1 year of the date of its discovery, but no more than 10 years after the date the object was allegedly left inside the victim.

At The Rodzik Law Group we understand how confusing legal concepts such as the statutes of limitations can be to a non-attorney. We urge anyone who is considering filing a personal injury lawsuit to contact our personal injury attorney in Wilmington NC, or in our Supply NC office, to discuss your concerns regarding the North Carolina Statutes of Limitations and how your injury claim may be affected by these laws.