The Statute of Limitations for Different Personal Injury Cases in North Carolina

According to N.C. Personal Injury Act, a certain period is allotted in which a victim must file a personal injury lawsuit. This statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case and the individual’s age.

In North Carolina, civil cases have a standard two-year statute of limitations. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, children under 18 years old have an extended six-year law for all types of claims.

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Other exceptions to this rule include cases involving slander per se, libel per se, malicious prosecution, and wrongful death. These cases have a one-year statute of limitations.

Defamation Cases

These cases involve the defamation of character, reputation, or both. In North Carolina, such issues have a one-year statute of limitations (see Gardner v Foard).

Some states have a six-year limitation, and North Carolina’s sister state South Carolina follows this rule. In North Carolina, slander per se, libel per se, and malicious prosecution have a one-year statute of limitations.

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Cruelty Cases

There is no statute of limitations applicable to cases regarding cruelty per se. The reason is that cruelty per se can only be decided by a judge, not a jury, and therefore there is no time limitation for the judge to deliberate on the matter.

Medical Malpractice Cases

In North Carolina, there is a two-year statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice. Almost all states have similar statutes of limitations. If the case is not settled within that time frame, the claim is considered “time-barred,” and the plaintiff cannot proceed.

Product Liability Cases

In NC, there is also a two-year statute of limitation for product liability cases. Product liability requires all actions to be brought within two years before the courts; the courts can expand on the specific laws in these cases.

One of the most common product liability cases is a car accident caused by a defective seatbelt or airbag. Here the issue is not only faulty parts but also whether or not this defect was known, and nothing has been done to correct it, making the business liable for negligence. Some of these cases can take years to settle.

A personal injury lawyer in Rutherfordton can help you gather evidence that supports your claim. They will also ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings.

Copyright and Trademark Cases

Copyright and trademark litigation generally requires a one-year statute of limitation. If the paperwork is not filed within the given timeframe, the plaintiffs lose their chance to recover.

A legal expert can help ensure that all the legal paperwork is filled out correctly and filed on time. Also, after reviewing your case, an attorney can inform you if you qualify for an extension of the statute of limitations.

Contract Cases

These types of cases stand out among other types of personal injury cases. If a contract exists between the plaintiff and the defendant, that contract can be enforced outside the statute of limitations.

This is called an “antecedent fact” case. In North Carolina, if any part of a contract existed in the past, it must be enforced within two years after discovery. Therefore the statute of limitations does not start to run until at least two years after discovery.

Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death has a general two-year statute of limitations. In other words, if the plaintiff files suit after the two years elapses, they cannot put forward any claims for their injury.

Final Thoughts

In North Carolina, civil cases have a standard two-year statute of limitations, with children under 18 years old having an extended six-year law for all types of claims. The exception to this rule are cases involving slander per se, libel per se, malicious prosecution, and wrongful death.

Before taking legal action, consult a lawyer. After reviewing the details of your case, they will be able to determine the statute of limitations that applies to you. While the standard statute is two years, you may have a shorter or longer period, depending on the specifics of your case.

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