The state of North Carolina has specific rules which may affect your personal injury case. Understanding these statutes can weigh heavily on the size of your settlement. The following are some important laws regarding personal injury in North Carolina.
Time Limits- North Carolina has a strict statute of limitations on all personal injury lawsuits. This time limit extends three years from the date of the injury. It is important to retain counsel and file your claim within this three year period. Failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of your right to have the matter heard in court.
Shared Fault- In personal injury cases where the fault for the incident is in question, North Carolina employs the shared fault or “comparative negligence” rule. This means that the amount the injured party can receive in non-economic damages shall be reduced by an equal percentage to their fault in the accident. For example, if you are awarded $10,000, and are found to be 10% at fault, your damages would be reduced to $9,000.
Damage Caps- North Carolina places limits on punitive or other non-economic damages for various types of personal injury cases. For instance, in a medical malpractice suit, damages are capped at $500,000. Other types of personal injury cases have a limit of $250,000. These limits do not include compensation for medical expenses or lost wages.
Injury Claims Against the Government- Claims against government entities or employees of the state of North Carolina follow an entirely different set of rules than other cases, although the time limit to file is the same as in other personal injury cases. Each specific type of personal injury case has its own rules, which means that it is very important to retain counsel immediately.
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