Statute of Limitations
For negligence cases, such as medical malpractice, the statute of limitations in North Carolina is generally three years from the date of injury. For cases involving wrongful death, the statute of limitations in North Carolina is two years from the date of death.
Statute of limitations: a deadline that determines the amount of time in which a claim must be filed or resolved.
Statute of Limitations Exceptions
Several exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in North Carolina may allow you to file your claim after three years from your date of injury, such as:
- Cases where injuries are not apparent right away
A claim must be filed within one year of when the injury was or should have been discovered, with no more than four years passing from the date the injury was caused.
- Foreign objects left in the body by surgeons or hospital staff
A patient must file a claim within one year of the discovery of the injury or the date the injury should have been discovered. No claim may be filed after 10 years from the date the object was left in the body.
It’s vital to consult an experienced attorney immediately in cases where an injured patient is under age 18. Medical malpractice law for minors is complicated, and calculating an accurate statute of limitations relies upon a minor’s age, guardianship status, and other legal factors.
It’s important to talk with a North Carolina medical malpractice lawyer about your case as soon as possible after your injury. Your attorney needs time to calculate the proper statute of limitations for your case, particularly if your case involves conditions or symptoms that took time to discover or develop.
Medical Malpractice Damage Caps in North Carolina
Non-economic damages—such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life—are capped, or limited, to $500,000 for medical malpractice claims filed in North Carolina. This cap will be adjusted for inflation every year starting in 2014.
Economic damages caused by medical malpractice injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings, are not capped. At Henson Fuerst, our experienced medical malpractice team can help build a strong claim that takes all of your damages into account, so you get the money you need to support yourself and your family.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Be mindful that medical malpractice cases are very complex, and filing a lawsuit can be more complicated than it seems. Don’t wait until the last minute to contact a lawyer to file your lawsuit. Provide adequate time to:
- research the case,
- obtain the necessary records and documentation,
- make a determination of the strengths and weaknesses of the case,
- determine what legal claims should be made,
- decide what parties to sue,
- and select the proper court in which to file the case.
Many law firms will not accept a case that only has a short amount of time remaining on the statute of limitations. Act now. And remember, there is no cost for the first consultation with a lawyer, so complete a free initial consultation form or call the North Carolina medical malpractice attorneys at Henson Fuerst today at (919) 781-1107.