How long do you have to file an injury lawsuit in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2021 | Personal Injury |

A car accident can leave you physically and mentally shaken. If you have sustained an injury as a result of someone else’s negligent or reckless acts, you might be eligible for compensation for your damages. 

Should you choose to follow through with your claim, it is important that you understand how personal injury claims work. North Carolina, like other states, has a deadline within which you must file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. With a few exceptions, you risk forfeiting your right to compensation if you file your claim after the statute of limitations window closes.

When does the clock begin to run after your injury?

According to North Carolina law, you have three years from the date you sustained the injury to sue the at-fault party. In other words, the clock begins to tick on the date of the accident that resulted in your injury. However, if the injury resulted from a condition that occurred over time, such as mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, the statute of limitations begins on the date of your diagnosis — or when you knew or reasonably should have known your injury was the result of someone’s negligence. 

Tolling and your personal injury claim

“Tolling” refers to a pause of the clock on the statute of limitations for a specific reason. The duration the statute is tolled in your personal injury claim does not count toward the filing period as indicated in the law. This means that your deadline for filing a claim may be extended for a certain time period. Your personal injury claim can be tolled, for example, if you were a minor at the time of the accident. That protects your rights to file once you become an adult.

Every state has a time frame within which you can sue the negligent party for compensation following your injury. This law is in place to keep cases current and applicable while deterring the plaintiff from filing a claim whenever they feel like it.