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What is the statute of limitations for personal injury cases?

The victim of a car accident often not only suffers serious physical injuries but the person can also face extreme financial challenges because of the car accident. Medical expenses to treat injuries are often very high; those injuries include head injuries as well as internal and external bleeding. In many cases, the victim of a car accident suffers permanent disabilities as well.

In other cases, the car accident victim might lose a limb or may lose function of a body part. All of those injuries can hinder the car accident victim from returning to the job that the person held previously or from finding a new job. Additionally, North Carolina law dictates that car accident victims are entitled to seek compensation from the other driver's insurance company as well as the other driver for injuries and damages.

In many cases, the car accident victim and the victim's family might get caught up in recovery and rehabilitation. However, it is also important to make sure that justice is served to the victim of the accident and anyone else who is affected by that accident. However, it should be noted that, according to state laws, the statute of limitations only allows the car accident victim or the victim's family to initiate a personal injury and accident lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. That means that it is critical for the victim and the victim's family to consult an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

However, in some cases, even if the loved ones of the car accident victim fail to initiate a lawsuit within the prescribed three years, the judge might feel that it is still appropriate to dismiss the statute of limitations regarding that particular car accident lawsuit. State laws also suggest that the statute of limitations is calculated from the time when the victim realized that the injury or damage due to the fault of another person first became apparent. For example, in a hit-and-run case, the statute of limitations often begins after the arrest. Furthermore, the statute of limitations also depends on the age of the victim. Hence, a minor victim might have a longer statute of limitations period in some cases.

Source:, "Time limit to bring a case: the stature of limitation," Accessed on June 24, 2015

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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