Statute of limitations (SOL) on a court desk.

Personal Injury Cases: What the Statute of Limitations Means in North Carolina

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for physical damages to your person or property. But, in order to be eligible to receive those funds, there is a timeline in which you must act. The legal time period in which you as the plaintiff have the right to file a claim is referred to as the “statute of limitations”.


Why is there a statute of limitations for personal injuries?

The statute of limitations law offers a layer of protection. It prevents prosecutors from charging someone with a crime that was committed over a specified number of years ago. The main reason for this is to prevent convictions based on evidence—physical or eyewitness—that may deteriorate over longer periods of time. 


When does the clock start ticking?

Your statute of limitations begins the moment your accident occurs. From the day of your injury, a three-year clock begins counting down the time during which you can make a claim. 


Are there exceptions to the three-year rule?

Although a three-year statute of limitations is the case for most situations, there are a couple of important exceptions:

  1. This rule doesn’t generally apply to minor-aged car accident victims (individuals under the age of 18 years) or victims who may be physically disabled or mentally incompetent.
  2. Additionally, injuries that occur due to medical malpractice and wrongful death, as well as workers’ compensation cases, have different statutes of limitations to consider.


What happens if I wait too long?

If you’re looking to file a personal injury claim, timing is critical. Unfortunately, if you wait too long you could stand to lose any money that may be owed to you. 

If you fail to file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires, the defendant’s legal team may be able to motion for case dismissal. And, if that happens, your case won’t be heard and you may not be able to recover any financial compensation for your injuries. You will instead lose your case on a legal technicality.

Don’t let this happen to you! If you’re the victim of an accident and have suffered a physical injury, partnering with a personal injury lawyer is the sure-fire way to bring your case successfully to trial.


We’re here to help

Our experienced legal team at Wilson Williams Law can help you with a variety of personal injury claims, and ensure your claim is filed well within the North Carolina statute of limitations. Give us a call today at (888) 253-4071 to learn more about how we can help you build or manage a case. 

We look forward to helping find a successful resolution to your personal injury case,


Note: This blog is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.