Suffering an injury due to the negligence of someone else can have a significant impact on your life. In addition to the physical pain, there can be emotional distress and financial difficulties. The right to file a personal injury lawsuit is one of the most powerful tools available to those who are injured, but you can't wait forever.
North Carolina law requires that everyone must use reasonable care in their actions. When someone fails to use reasonable care and injures another person, they are considered legally negligent and can be held liable.
The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for lawsuits. At any point within the time limit, a lawsuit may be filed. But once the period has passed, an injured person is not allowed to file suit and loses the right to do.
North Carolina's statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is three years. The time starts counting from the date of the accident or injury. So, if you were injured in a car accident, you would have three years from that date to file a lawsuit, or you would lose the right entirely.
One exception to this rule, however, is when the injury could not reasonably have been discovered by the victim until sometime after the accident. For instance, if the victim of a car accident suffered head trauma resulting in a coma, they could not know they were injured until they recover. In a case like this, the statute of limitations would not begin to run until the victim awoke and discovered the injury.