When Should I File a Personal Injury Claim?
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we represent clients throughout the greater Charlotte area who have suffered serious personal injuries. Many of our clients suffer injuries in motor vehicle collisions, work-related accidents, and medical malpractice accidents. Nobody ever expects to have to file a personal injury lawsuit after suffering a severe accident. If you have suffered a serious personal injury, you might have a valid personal injury claim.
Under North Carolina law, any individual who has suffered harm, an injury, or damages caused by the negligent actions of another person has a right to file a serious personal injury claim. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can help you fight for your right to compensation.
Many of our potential new clients ask us when they should file a personal injury claim. The answer is, ‘immediately.’ We always recommend speaking to one of our experienced personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. We offer free initial consultations so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by learning whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim.North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations
If you are deciding when the right time to file your lawsuit may be, it is important to consider the statute of limitations that applies to your case. A statute of limitations provides a certain period of time in which a person can bring a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, the statute of limitations acts as a time limit on a legal claim.
When a plaintiff does not file a personal injury lawsuit within the specified period of time, the injured party will be barred from bringing the lawsuit in court. When a defendant can prove that the statute of limitations has run out, North Carolina courts will dismiss the lawsuit.
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years. Medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability, and property damage lawsuits all have a statute of limitations of three years. In a wrongful death lawsuit, on the other hand, the family of the deceased must file the claim within two years.When Does the Clock Start Ticking for Statute of Limitations?
The clock normally starts to tick when the claim for compensation arises. North Carolina courts sometimes call this point the “accrual” or the “cause of action.” The cause of action begins when the event that causes the basis of the lawsuit takes place. For example, when a person becomes seriously injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations begins when the car accident took place.What do You Need to Prove to Win a Personal Injury Case in North Carolina?
There are three key grounds for filing a successful personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina. Clients can bring personal injury claims under three different theories of liability — negligence, intentional wrongdoing, and strict liability. Negligence is action or inaction that constitutes a failure to use reasonable care or caution.
This failure must cause injury to another person, and that injury must induce damages. Car accidents are some of the most common causes of personal injury lawsuits. When a distracted driver causes a car accident, the injured party can bring a lawsuit under the legal theory of negligence.
When the defendant intentionally causes the plaintiff harm, the victim might be able to bring a lawsuit for one of the intentional torts. For example, if a person commits battery and hits another person, the injured person might be able to bring a civil lawsuit to recover damages for the resulting injuries.
Finally, in some cases, the victim can bring a lawsuit under the theory of strict liability. For example, when a product that is defective causes serious personal injury, the victim might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Under strict liability, the injured person can hold another person accountable for their injuries whether or not they were negligent or intentionally harmful. There are three different legal theories under which a plaintiff can bring a strict liability claim — manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn of a dangerous product.Compensation Available in Charlotte Personal Injury Lawsuits
Successful personal injury plaintiffs can seek the following types of compensation:
- Compensation for medical bills, supplies, and all expenses related to the injury
- Compensation for continued or future medical care
- Compensation for past and future medical care
- Compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and disfigurement
If you have suffered a serious personal injury in North Carolina, you might be entitled to compensation. The best time to begin the process of seeking compensation is now. Contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.