August 17, 2019

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North Carolina Statutes of Limitations for Civil Cases

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to monetary compensation that can be used for medical bills and other expenses associated with the harm you suffered. North Carolina personal injury attorneys specialize in the cases in which people have died or have been seriously injured due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another person (or, in the cases of product liability, injured by a defective product).

One very important aspect of all personal injury cases is that there are statutes of limitations which limit the time victims have to take legal action.  Just think of the statute as the time period you have to file suit.

North Carolina Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

In most personal injury cases in North Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years, so you really must act quickly once you realize you’ve been injured through no fault of your own. If you don’t act within the statute of limitations for your type of personal injury case, your case will be thrown out and you will not be able to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is also three years, but this time period is not applicable to every single med mal case. There are exceptions because often times, the mistake made by the medical professional does not become evident until months, or even years, after the fact. For instance, if a surgical tool, say, a sponge, is left in your body when you had surgery in 2012, but you didn’t experience any adverse effects until early 2017, the deadline to file suit has been missed, but since you had no way to know you were harmed, shouldn’t you get an extension? Yes, you should get more time, and there are times when the statute of limitations will be “tolled” or extended to account for the time you didn’t even know you were the victim of medical malpractice.

Your North Carolina attorney will explain the specifics of the statute of limitations for medical malpractice when you meet, and how it might apply to your case. Don’t depend on what you’ve learned from others and don’t delay because the longer you wait to seek legal help, the more you cut into that time period you have by law to file suit.

Product Liability Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for product liability cases in North Carolina is three years with a 12-year statute of repose. Unlike the statute of limitations, the statute of repose starts running whether or not you are aware of any defective product or injury caused by the faulty product. The statute of repose just means that the suit must be filed within 12 years of the product’s initial purchase. The statute of repose allows for extra time because a defect does not necessarily cause injury in the first three years after purchase. For example, a defective auto part may not cause injury until an accident that occurs several years after the vehicle was purchased. Accordingly, the longer statute of repose is the saving grace for many victims of defective products.

Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a breach of contract suit is three years for both verbal and written contracts. There are three main solutions to breach of contract cases: Damages, Specific Performance, and Cancellation/Restitution.

You may receive compensatory “damages” (money) if you win your breach of contract suit. If damages are inadequate, in some cases, the non-breaching party may be entitled to an alternative remedy called “specific performance,” which is a court-ordered performance of duty under the contract assigned to the breaching party. Lastly, the non-breaching party may cancel the contract and sue for restitution (repayment) of the amount of goods or services not provided.

If you or someone know know needs help with a contract dispute, product liability, medical malpractice, or other area of personal injury law, find a law firm near you.

About Lynn Fugaro

Lynn has been writing web content since 2007 after a lengthy career as a middle school English teacher and administrator. Writing web content seemed a natural progression following a career teaching adolescents about the beauty and the power of the written word, and she quickly got hooked on the challenge of writing SEO- and reader-friendly content that could be found on Page 1 of Google and other search engines.

Having written content for physicians and attorneys for the first few years of her writing career, Lynn has most recently produced original, informative, entertaining, and relevant content for the entertainment industry, the automotive industry, senior communities, pet rescues and numerous other businesses hoping to increase website traffic and page views for all clients looking for informative, vibrant content.