Schedule Your Consultation


Schedule Your Consultation


What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Car Accident?

Charlotte | Huntersville | Hickory

Learn Your Rights After a Car Accident

Being involved in any type of car accident, injured with minor or severe injuries, you first need to seek medical help. But, it is important to know that you have the rights of compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and material damages. Once the accident happens and you are out of it alive with or without injuries, you have the full right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. 

The smartest way to do this is with the help of a car wreck lawyer in Huntersville, North Carolina. Such processes can be complicated and contain information that you need to know well – a statute of limitations, deadlines, and partial fault.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Car Accident?

Sounds tricky already?

When someone is involved (injured) in a car accident in the state of North Carolina, they have the right to claim damage to the injuries. The person can file a lawsuit against the insurance company that covers the injury of the vehicle that they were riding when the accident occurred. Also, the file can be against the insurer or against the driver or third party that caused the accident.

This state is with at-fault car insurance. To put it simpler, after you were involved in a car accident, the liable driver will pay for the damages they caused (injuries and property damages) after they caused the accident.

You and your car accident attorney will gather the evidence (medical bills, lost wages, BAC tests, etc.) and file a compensation claim.

Statute of Limitations

Every state has a different statute of limitations. In North Carolina it is three years; this means that three years is your time limit on your right to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you will not have the right to file the lawsuit, so you won’t have the right to seek any compensation. In fact, you can seek the compensation after the deadline, but insurance companies are fully aware of the law. They will do their best not to pay you anything after the deadline. Also, intentionally skipping your deadline, makes your case suspicious; why would an injured person wait for so long before seeking compensation.

If you were injured in an accident in the state of North Carolina (no matter if you were a passenger, a driver, pedestrian, motorcycle rider, or bicyclist), you must file your lawsuit within the three-year time range, from the date of the accident. The same statute of limitations applies to vehicle damage compensation.

If a person dies in the accident and the agent of the deceased person files a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, the deadline is also three years from the date when the person died (which can be different from the date when the accident occurred).

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is the inability of the plaintiff to use reasonable care for their safety. This universal law rule can prevent recovery or decrease the amount of compensation you can get if your actions added for the accident. Usually, defendants will use contributory negligence as a defense.

Most states use variations of contributory negligence. North Carolina is one of the fewer states that use this doctrine.

It means that if you got in an accident in this state and you were ten percent liable for the accident, you will get ten percent less of the compensation. So if you had $1000 in damages, you could collect $900 from the defendant.

Contributory negligence has an element of causation.

There are two types of causation:

  • Cause in Fact is also known as a factual cause (“but for” cause). If your injuries would not have occurred without the other driver’s negligence, then there is cause in fact.
  • Proximate Cause checks if the plaintiff’s injuries could have been a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s behavior. Even if there is cause in fact, the legal liability won’t be imposed for negligence if the plaintiff’s injuries were not sufficiently connected in time and space. If the defendant’s actions were direct and uninterrupted, it will have proximate cause.

Shared fault

“Shared fault” is the situation in which more than one driver is liable for causing the accident. North Carolina  follows the doctrine contributory negligence for multiple-car accidents as well. If it shows that you too contributed to the accident, you will not get any compensation.

Call our North Carolina car accident injury law office today at (704) 286-0947 and schedule your first free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.