How Long do I Have to File a Drunk Driving Personal Injury Lawsuit in North Carolina?

A statute of limitations is a law that states the amount of time in which an injured person needs to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you have suffered an injury from a car accident caused by a drunk driver, it is wise to speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to do so within the period allowed by the statute of limitations.

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we offer potential clients a free initial consultation. One of our skilled car accident attorneys can evaluate your case and advise you as to your legal options. It is smart to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Personal injury trials can take years, and it takes time to gather evidence for trial effectively. Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina, law office today to schedule your free initial consultation.

North Carolina Statute of Limitations

In North Carolina, the statute of limitation period depends on the cause of action. North Carolina plaintiffs must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. The law of limitations usually begins when the accident that causes your injuries happens. The following causes of action have a three-year statute of limitations:

  • Personal injury causes of action
  • Negligence causes of action
  • Medical malpractice causes of action, in most instances
  • Personal property damage claims

If you suffered personal injuries resulting from the car accident, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of the crash. Our attorneys can help you determine the exact time by which you must file your personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina.

When Does the Clock Start Ticking for Statutes of Limitations?

In many cases, the clock starts ticking the day that the injury or accident happens. For example, if a drunk driver caused your car accident on January 1, 2019, you must file your lawsuit on or before January 1, 2022. North Carolina does recognize a few exceptions to this general rule.

One of the exceptions to the general statute of limitations for personal injury claims is the discovery rule. If a plaintiff does not discover the injury or damage until after the car accident, he or she may be entitled to a longer statute of limitations. In this instance, the statute of limitations beings the day that the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered his or her injuries.

Tolling or delaying is another exception to the statute of limitations. If the plaintiff is disabled, a court can award him or her a longer statute of limitations. The term disabled include those who are mentally incompetent, such as minors, those with developmental disabilities, or those with dementia in some cases. Determining the correct statute of limitations is vital in any personal injury case. Once the statute of limitations expires, the plaintiff cannot bring a lawsuit in any court in North Carolina.

Statute of Limitations in the Other States

In some instances, you may need to consider the statute of limitations of another state. For example, even if a commercial driver caused the car accident that resulted in your injuries, you may need to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company that employed him. If the truck company is in a different state, you may need to file the suit in that state. Different states have various statutes of limitations.

If You Have Suffered an Injury in a Drunk Driving Accident, We can Help

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we understand the amount of stress being in a car accident can cause. If you have suffered an injury at the hands of a drunk driver, you are probably worried about paying your bills and healing from your injuries. You may also be unable to return to work due to your injuries. Our attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We have successfully represented many clients who suffered injuries at the hands of a drunk driver.

It is essential to speak to a Charlotte car accident attorney as soon as possible. If you are unsure about the statute of limitations in the drunk driving accident that caused your injuries, we can help. One of our experienced Charlotte drunk driving car accident attorneys can advise you as to the best way to fight for compensation. It is better to start seeking compensation sooner rather than later. Contact our Charlotte law firm to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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