The effects of a serious injury accident can linger for years after the accident occurred, but there is a limit to how long victims have to seek compensation from the party responsible. Each state has laws establishing this length of time, known as a statute of limitations. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years.
That is not to say that personal injury victims should wait an entire three years before bringing a claim, though. In fact, if you have suffered a personal injury, time is of the essence. The three-year clock starts ticking as soon as the accident has occurred, and your attorney will need time to gather all the evidence and build a strong case.
Moreover, a number of other factors can make a case more difficult to win as time goes on, even within the statute of limitations. An experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you get started as quickly as possible to protect your right to compensation. Contact the Goldsboro personal injury lawyers of Strickland, Agner & Associates today to schedule a free consultation about your case.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Broadly speaking, a personal injury claim may be filed if you suffered harm in an accident that was the fault of another party. If you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you might be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against the person or persons responsible. This case will be separate from any related criminal trial the other party may face, like driving while intoxicated (DWI). Personal injury claims may be filed for injuries caused by:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability, including dangerous drugs and defective medical devices
- Dog bites
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Intentional injuries such as assault and battery
All of these cases involve different circumstances and require different legal strategies to fight successfully. However, one thing that they have in common is that they fall under the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
Whether you have experienced one of these accidents or been hurt in another type of incident in North Carolina, you have three years to take legal action. If you act quickly enough and your claim is successful, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost wages due to time off work, property damage, and more.
An experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you understand your case and the types of damages you can seek.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
No two personal injury cases are the same, and the timeline for each can vary drastically. While it is not uncommon for some cases to be settled six months, others may drag on for years. Even in the longest of cases, however, a successful settlement can make the entire process worth it for the victim. Many factors influence the length of the claims process, including:
- The nature and extent of injuries you suffered
- The strength of the evidence that supports your claim
- The amount of money involved in the case
- The other party’s lawyers and their approach to the case
- Whether the other party offers an attractive settlement, or the case goes to trial
These, along with other factors, can influence how long your case will take. An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your timeline depending on the specifics of your case, but it is always possible that unforeseen circumstances will make it take more or less time than expected. Regardless, your case will almost certainly go more quickly if you contact an attorney and get started as soon as possible.
Should I Contact an Attorney Right Away?
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is not a suggestion: It is a cutoff point. Regardless of how long you have, it will help your case to get started as soon after your accident as possible. The primary reason for this is that it is much easier for your attorney to gather evidence for a personal injury case soon after the injury occurred.
In the first days and weeks after an accident, it is easier to track down witnesses and to gather details such as road conditions or what the scene of the accident looked like. Furthermore, it is easier for you to remember the details of the accident accurately.
These factors can make it easier for your attorney to build a strong claim for compensation if you act quickly. So do not hesitate to schedule a free legal consultation right away.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
When you’ve suffered a personal injury, the physical and emotional recovery can consume your life. While it is important to focus on getting better, it is unfortunately too easy to lose track of time and let a potentially significant settlement slip away. Don’t let this happen to you. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your case is handled properly right from the start, and make sure that your rights and interests are protected from day one.
If you have been injured in an accident in North Carolina, Strickland Agner Pittman is here to help. Our experienced Goldsboro personal injury attorneys have the know-how to handle your case effectively and efficiently. Don’t delay: Call us today at (919)-735-8888 for more information on how we can help protect YOU from THEM and increase your chances of winning the compensation you deserve.