So you’ve been injured in a car accident or by a defective product, and you want to make a claim. If you wait too long before you take action, you may have missed your window of recovery. There is a legal rule known as the “statute of limitations.” This law restricts the period of time after certain events that a person may initiate legal proceedings. The time limits vary depending on the type of personal injury case and the state in which it occurred. After the expiration of the statutory period, your personal legal claim is barred and your right to sue and recover money damages is lost forever.
So when does that time period start? That’s defined by the “Discovery of Harm” rule. It states that the time period starts the moment the person knew or should have known they suffered harm. While this may be obvious when a car accident or construction accident is involved, the case may be different in a medical malpractice claim. Sometimes it’s not until years later, while undergoing another surgical procedure, that a person discovers that a surgeon mistakenly left an unauthorized foreign object in their body. Because this person had no knowledge of the surgical mistake when it initially happened, the time to bring a lawsuit is different.
Here are the Statutes of Limitations in North Carolina:
- Medical Malpractice Actions – 3 years from the date of the incident
- Personal Injury Actions – 3 years from date the injury occurred
- Product Liability Actions – 3 years (but in no event more than 6 years after introduction of the product into the stream of commerce)
- Wrongful Death – 2 years from the date of death
Time is of the essence. Contact an Asheville Personal Injury Attorney the moment you’ve discovered you’ve been injured. You don’t want to lose your right to be made whole from the damages you sustained. Our personal injury lawyers have the experience and skill to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured, call us today, 828.505.4300.