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What is the Statute of Limitations in a North Carolina Car Accident Claim?

Wondering about the statute of limitations for North Carolina car accident claims?

Like all states, North Carolina imposes a time limit, or statute of limitations, for seeking monetary damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Civil actions based on North Carolina car accidents must be filed within three years of the date of injury. Wrongful death claims for fatal car accidents must be filed within 2 years of the date of death. States impose these deadlines to ensure that lawsuits are filed while pertinent evidence and memories remain fresh and intact.

Time Limits for Filing an Injury Case After an Auto Accident in North Carolina

To recap, in North Carolina:

  • You have three years from the date of injury to file a claim involving an auto accident
  • You have two years from the date of death to file a claim involving a death suffered as a result of an auto accident

What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in North Carolina - Riddle & BrantleyThere are some exceptions to the three-year deadline, which can be clarified by an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney at Riddle & Brantley. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a senseless car accident, call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE consultation. The case review comes with no obligation and provides an excellent opportunity to explore your options for legal recovery.

Our North Carolina car accident lawyers offer results-driven advocacy on a contingency fee basis, so you owe nothing unless we secure money damages through a settlement or verdict.

For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina injury lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111.

Do Statutes of Limitation Apply to Accident Insurance Claims?

North Carolina’s statutes of limitation apply to civil lawsuits, and do not have any bearing on insurance claims. The time limits for this process will depend on your insurance carrier and policy language. However, if the time designated in your policy expires, then the insurance company may deny your claim.

Regardless of whether you pursue an insurance claim or not, it’s important to remember that the clock starts ticking the day of your accident. In this regard, it’s prudent to retain a qualified car accident attorney to help you from the very beginning. A legal advocate can gather crucial evidence, speak to eyewitnesses, and present a strong case to adjustors. In the event the insurance company refuses to settle fairly, your lawyer may file an injury suit well before the statute of limitations runs out.

NC Statutes of Limitation for Accidents Resulting in Death

Does the North Carolina Statute of Limitations Apply to Insurance Claims_ - Riddle & BrantleyIf the crash resulted in the death of a family member, you or a qualified representative of the deceased may bring a claim for wrongful death against the negligent party. According to NC General Statutes section 1-53, the deadline for wrongful death actions is two years from the date of your loved one’s death.

There are some auto accidents where the victim is badly injured and dies several weeks or months later. In these types of legal scenarios, the deadline for filing suit would be two years from the date of death and not two years from the date of the accident.

Once the statute of limitations has expired, victims are barred from bringing a legal action for injury or wrongful death.

Exceptions That Toll Deadlines for Legal Action

The state’s three-year statute of limitations for injury claims is “tolled” or, extended, for minors who are harmed in auto accidents. In this case, the victim would has until their 21st birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.

The deadline would also be extended for car accident victims who are mentally incompetent, or considered ‘disabled’ and unable to participate in legal proceedings. Examples include someone who has suffered traumatic brain injury, or a senior adult with severe cognitive impairment. The statute would go into effect once the disability has resolved completely.

Several years ago, we were contacted by a young lady two days away from turning 21 years old. She was in an accident several years earlier but had not settled. We were able to file suit and recover $900,000 for her after negotiating and arbitrating with at least two insurance companies, including her father’s own underinsured household policy. Her injuries included serious head trauma and nasal fractures requiring surgery (see disclaimer below).

Contact Riddle & Brantley to Preserve Your Right to Compensation

If you have been injured in a car accident, Riddle & Brantley stands ready to help. Our attorneys leverage more than 225 years of combined legal expertise, and we have a proven track record of outstanding results. Recently, our attorneys procured a $2.75 million award on behalf of a North Carolinian who suffered severe injuries to his leg, arms, and neck in a head-on collision (see disclaimer below).

“Every time I’ve needed them, they were there for me.”

-Tyronnie T., Riddle & Brantley client.

Put our experience, resources, and dedication to work on your injury case. To discuss your car accident and how we can obtain justice for you, please call 1-800-525-7111 for a free, no-obligation case review.

Justice Counts for North Carolinians, and we would love to help however we can.


*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.