Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer
After being injured in North Carolina or South Carolina, a flurry of activity usually ensues. Various insurance agencies and/or attorneys will contact you regarding the accident. If you or another person was injured, there will undoubtedly be medical appointments to attend. Filing a lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you do not act promptly, you may find that you are unable to bring a lawsuit at all because of the statute of limitations.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Generally speaking, a statute of limitations is a law that states how much time a plaintiff has in which to file a lawsuit. Unless there are certain extenuating circumstances, if a plaintiff does not file a lawsuit within the prescribed timeframe, that plaintiff may not bring a lawsuit against a defendant. For instance, suppose that a car crash injures Janice which was clearly the fault of Robert. If Janice does not bring a lawsuit for compensation against Robert before the statute of limitations runs out, she may not be able to file a lawsuit at all to recover for her damages.
North Carolina’s and South Carolina’s Statutes of Limitations
The statutes of limitations for personal injury cases in North Carolina and South Carolina are three years. This means that a person injured in a car crash or other accident has only three years from the date of the accident or injury within which to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for those injuries. For instance, suppose that Amanda and Tom are involved in a car accident in November 2014. Amanda suffers serious back and neck injuries and believes Tom is at fault for causing the accident. Amanda will have until November 2017 to bring suit against Tom for her injuries; if she tries to file suit after that time, her suit will be dismissed for being outside the statute of limitations.
Important Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is not as rigid as it might first appear. In some instances, it may be possible to file a lawsuit seeking compensation even though the actual incident happened more than three years ago. These exceptions are extremely narrow, however, and usually apply only in cases in which the defendant defrauded or affirmatively lied to the injured plaintiff, or where an injury was not immediately noticeable. For instance, suppose Amanda feels fine after her car crash and a medical evaluation shows no obvious signs of damage. Four years later, Amanda has severe neck pain and she returns to the doctor. The doctor diagnoses her with a serious spinal cord injury caused by the car crash. Amanda may be able to file her lawsuit, even though more than three years have passed since the date of the accident.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The statute of limitations is meant to ensure lawsuits are brought quickly so as to avoid situations wherein people are sued decades after an accident or long after witnesses and evidence have disappeared. That is why it is important to contact us as soon as possible after an accident or injury. We will make sure your rights are protected and your lawsuit filed in a timely manner. Contact us at 877-BICE-877 today.
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.