How Long Do You Have to Sue for Personal Injury?

Every state – including North Carolina — has statutes of limitation that outline the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit.

If you are wondering, how long do you have to sue for personal injury? — you’re in the right place. Here you can find the answer to this question and other important information.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

Before diving into the answer of “how long do I have to sue for an injury,” it’s important to know what a statute of limitations is. The term “statute of limitations” refers to the amount of time that someone has to file a specific type of lawsuit or legal claim.

For personal injury cases in North Carolina, it refers to the amount of time an injured person has to settle their claim or file a lawsuit to preserve their claim against the person  responsible for the injuries they suffered. Usually, the court is not going to allow claims that are filed after the statute of limitations has passed (although there are some exceptions to this rule).

In the state of North Carolina, most personal injury lawsuits have to be filed within three years of when the negligent act and injury occurred. While three years seems like a good amount of time, you need to act fast so that you don’t lose your right to file a lawsuit for compensation for the losses or injuries you suffered because of someone else’s negligence.

It’s smart to get in touch with our law firm to talk about the statute of limitations and what this means for your situation. Our attorneys have handled all types of injury and death claims and can help you understand how long you have to sue for personal injury.

Your Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina

In most situations, personal injury cases will have a direct and easy-to-identify cause. If you are involved in a car accident, you will likely know what type of injuries you have suffered immediately or soon after the accident occurs.

Because of this, most car accident cases will be controlled by the three-year time limit/statute of limitations.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in North Carolina

Sometimes, patients aren’t aware that their doctor made a mistake resulting in injury. In some situations, injuries and other related complications won’t become clear until several months or years after the incident occurs.

Because of this, the law in the state isn’t always on the side of individuals who have been harmed in cases of medical negligence. In most cases, medical malpractice claims will be subject to the three-year statute of limitations. But the exception to this is if the harm that was caused by medical negligence isn’t discovered for two or more years after the situation occurs — then the rule of discovery will only extend one more year. Also, all malpractice claims must be filed within four years of the negligent medical care.

There are different rules for claims when some type of foreign object is left inside a person’s body. In these situations, patients have a year from when the issue was discovered to file their lawsuit. The maximum amount of time they have is 10 years from when the error or mistake occurred.

Product Liability Statute of Limitations in North Carolina

A defective product claim applies the same three-year statute of limitations as any other type of personal injury claim, although consumers have a maximum of 12 years to file a claim if their injury was caused by a defective product.

This means if the defect didn’t cause the product to fail until multiple years after you purchased it, it is still possible for you to file a lawsuit for your injuries within a period of three years. Sometimes, you have more time to file if you discovered your injury at a date sometime later.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in North Carolina

If your loved one has been killed by someone else’s negligence, you have just two years to file a wrongful death claim. It’s important to note that the “clock” in these situations will start on the date when the person dies.

How Long Does an Injury Settlement Take?

The amount of time that your personal injury settlement will take depends on the situation, evidence, and other parties involved. It’s important to have legal representation from an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve and to help your case move along as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Hire Sumwalt Anderson for Help with Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit, there are more than a few factors that must be considered. Be sure to keep the information here in mind and speak to our attorneys to ensure that your case has the best chance of success. We have represented all types of cases and can provide you with the legal services that you want and need to help you have a successful case. The first step in this situation is to contact our legal team by calling (704) 377-3770. We are here to help you and protect your rights. Call us today to learn more about the services that we offer.

Attorney Mark Sumwalt

Mark Sumwalt is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina who has practiced law in Charlotte since 1981, primarily in the field of worker’s compensation. He has litigated hundreds of cases to decision all over the state and handled many significant appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, particularly in the area of attendant care. [ Attorney Bio ]


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