What is the Statute of Limitations? What You Need to Know in North Carolina
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have a limited amount of time to pursue legal action against the responsible party.
As in all cases for remedy under civil law for damages, North Carolina has applicable periods of limitation (called Statute of Limitations) that define the period of time in which an action must be brought, or the claim is considered abandoned or time barred.
In North Carolina, the type of action determines the appropriate time period of the Statute of Limitations.
There are many different deadlines for the Statute of Limitations in North Carolina, and they vary depending on what type of case you want to file. However, in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death and workers compensation, there are generally two time periods that we focus on the most.
In North Carolina, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury cases is usually:
- 3 years from the date of injury to settle your claim or file a lawsuit for injury or breach of contract
- 2 years for wrongful death and workers compensation claims.
For specific reference under North Carolina Statutes, refer to NCGS section 1-52 (three years), NCGS section 1-53 (two years), and NCHS section 1-51 (one year).
North Carolina Statute of Limitations by Action
For specific claims and applicable time periods of limitation:
1. Under Section 1-52 the Statute of Limitations is 3 years for:
- Fraud or mistake – Subsection (9)
- Upon a claim for loss covered by an insurance policy – Subsection (12)
- Against an officer for excessive force or assault – Subsection (13)
- For personal injury or damage to property – Subsection (16)
- Assault, battery or false imprisonment – Subsection (20)
2. Under Section 1-53, the Statute of Limitations is 2 years for:
- Wrongful death – Subsection (4)
Workers Compensation is set at 2 years pursuant to NC General Statute 97-24 from the date of the injury. Keep in mind, however, if your claim is an occupational disease then it is 2 years from the date of the last injurious exposure. This is regardless of injury or death.
3. Under Section 1-54, the Statute of Limitations is 1 year for:
- Libel and slander
Statute of Limitations for Claims Against the State or Federal Government
If you have a claim against the State of North Carolina under the State Tort Claim Act, then the same period would apply for injury or death.
If your claim is against the federal government, then your time period is just two years and you must begin your action by filing a Form 95 within that two-year period.
As always, exceptions exist that could extend the applicable Statute of Limitations period. These exceptions may include:
- People with a disability have extra time to file after the normal period has expired.
- A minor is given until age 21 to file an action.
- People suffering from mental disabilities may also be entitled to extensions
Because every situation is different, you should consult with an attorney long before your applicable limitation period is near.
Do You Have a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, or Workers Compensation Claim?
We like to get our cases as soon as possible after an injury or death so we don’t have any issue with meeting these time requirements. The Statute of Limitations period is very complex. It is important to talk to an attorney to sort out any questions you may have.
At Riddle & Brantley, our attorneys will be glad to talk with you about any concerns you may have. For a free case review and consultation, please call us at 1-800-525-7111 or complete the form below.
The consultation is free and there is no attorney fee unless we win your case and get you financial compensation.
You deserve justice, and we would love to help.