In the simplest of terms, “statute of limitation” refers to a deadline for filing a lawsuit. These limits vary based on several factors including the state and the nature of the claim. Since Virginia and North Carolina are neighbors, they are a prime example of how subtle differences in the statute of limitations can effect your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Please note this list focuses on specific causes and is not an exhaustive list.
Wrongful Death Claim
North Carolina – an action must be brought within two years of the date of death.
Virginia – an action must be brought within two years of the date of death.
North Carolina – an action must be brought within three years of the date of bodily harm as the result of a negligent act – it is apparent or should have been apparent – whichever occurs first. In no event can a lawsuit be filed more than 10 years after the act.
Virginia – an action must be brought within two years of the date of injury.
Medical Malpractice Injury
North Carolina – a cause of action for malpractice accrues at the time of the occurrence of the last act that caused the injury. The lawsuit must be filed within 3 years of this date or 2 years after the date the injury was, or should have been discovered. In no event can a person bring an action more than 4 years.
Virginia – actions against health care providers must be filed within two years of the date that act giving rise to the injury occurred.
Product Liability Injury
North Carolina – in the case of a personal injury caused by a defective product or product failure the suit needs to be filed within 12 years of the date of the initial product purchase.
Virginia – actions must be brought within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury.
As you can see, there are some major differences in the time frames for filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Do not guess the amount of time you have to take legal action. If you or a loved one get hurt in an accident, talk to a lawyer right away so you know how much time is available to file a claim.