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You may know that personal injury claims allow you to recover financial compensation when you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence.
But how does it work?
In this article, we will go over the basics of personal injury law in NC, including:
There may have been a time when people were forced to either 1) walk away or 2) take matters into their own hands to get retribution or compensation for injuries, but, in today’s society, we can go to the courts and ask them to settle disputes for us.
This system of civil justice is called “personal injury law” or “tort law,” and, like the criminal justice system, it is an important component of the glue that holds our society together and prevents chaos in the streets.
Personal injury law, or the “tort system,” allows someone who was injured due to another person’s negligence to recover damages that are intended to “make them whole.”
Although we cannot turn back the clock and undo the damage that was done, the courts can order a defendant to pay financial compensation for the harm that they have caused.
In personal injury law, you will often hear the word “tort.” What does that mean?
A tort is an act (or omission) that causes harm to someone else and that is compensable under NC personal injury law. When someone commits a “tort” that causes damage or injury to you, you may have the right to file a lawsuit asking for compensation.
There are three general categories of torts:
A settlement is when a resolution is negotiated between the parties. For example, in a NC car accident case, your attorney may negotiate with the insurance companies and, based on the evidence of liability and damages, reach an agreement for the insurance company to pay your claim.
A settlement can happen before a lawsuit is filed or after the lawsuit is filed. A case can settle at any point – during discovery, on the eve of trial, during the trial, or even while your case is on appeal.
A lawsuit is the process that begins when you file a complaint with the NC court that contains your allegations of negligence (or intentional conduct) and why the defendant must pay your damages, and that continues through the trial and any appeals after trial.
Personal injury claims in NC have statutes of limitations – a deadline for filing your lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations that applies to your case, you will be forever barred from filing suit.
There are different statutes of limitations for different types of cases. These can be found in the NC Code at § 1-52, § 1-54, § 1-15, and § 1-47.
For example, in most personal injury claims, the deadline is three years, but, in a defamation claim, the statute of limitations is only one year:
|Civil Claim in NC||Statute ok Limitations|
|Personal injury claims||Three years|
|Defamation, Libel, Slander||One year|
|Injury to personal property||Three year|
|Professional malpractice||refer to § 1-15 (One to ten years depending on the circumstances)|
|Collection of rents||Three year|
|Oral or Written Contracts||Three year|
In most personal injury claims in NC, your only remedy is financial compensation for the damages caused by the negligence of the at-fault party.
In other types of cases, other remedies may be available, like the specific performance of a contract, a declaratory judgment from the court, or an injunction preventing the defendant from engaging in harmful activities.
What is involved in the process of filing a personal injury claim and lawsuit in NC?
Each case is different, but most share common elements including:
If you or someone you know has been injured by someone else’s negligence in NC, you may have a personal injury claim/ personal injury lawsuit.
Do not lose hope! Call Northstate Auto Law now at (336) 990-0572 or send us a message through our website to talk to an attorney who cares.