North Carolina Statute of Limitations

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death action must be brought within two years of the date of death.

Personal Injury Actions

These actions must be brought within three years of the date when bodily harm caused by a negligent act is apparent or should have been apparent, whichever occurs first. In no event can suit be filed more than 10 years after the act giving rise to the injury occurred.

Medical Malpractice Actions

In North Carolina, a cause of action for medical malpractice accrues at the time of the occurrence of the last act giving rise to the injury. Suit must be filed within three years of this date or two years after the date the injury was, or should have been, discovered. In no event can a person bring a medical malpractice action more than four years after the last act giving rise to the injury occurred. Actions on behalf of minors arising out of the performance or failure to perform professional services must be filed within these time limits, except if the limits expire before the minor reaches age 19. In that case, the action may be brought before the minor’s 19th birthday.

Medical Malpractice Actions Based on the Insertion of a Foreign Object

These actions must be filed within one year of the date of discovery of the foreign object or within one year when the object should have been discovered. In no event can a person file suit for insertion of a foreign object more than 10 years after the last act giving rise to the object's insertion occurred.

Products Liability Actions

In cases of personal injury caused by a defective product or a product failure, many products liability claims fall under a three year statute of limitations. No products liability claim can be raised more than 12 years after the date of the injury.

Special Rules for Minors

Except in certain cases of medical malpractice or wrongful death, a minor must file suit within the applicable limitations period after his or her 18th birthday.

Workers' Compensation

A workers' compensation action must be filed within two years from the date of injury. You also must report your injuries to your employer within 30 days of the occurrence. You may also choose the option of filing a complaint through the North Carolina Employee Discrimination Bureau. If you choose this, you have 180 days from the date of retaliation to file a complaint.

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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.