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Fast Facts: Statute of Limitations in NC

Let’s say your car is damaged in an accident. At the time, you don’t have the resources to file a lawsuit against the other driver. You wait a year before deciding to take the case to court. Is the case still valid?

The laws determining the length of time during which a lawsuit may be brought are called a statute of limitations. According to the legal dictionary at, “If the lawsuit or claim is not filed before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or make a claim is forever dead (barred).” The longer a person waits to file a lawsuit, the higher the chances are of losing valuable evidence, forgetting facts, losing track of witnesses, or even the passing of a critical case figure. Statutes of limitations attempt to prevent evidence and memories from getting stale. They are also very strictly enforced so if a lawsuit is not filed within the allotted time, you will lose your right to file the lawsuit forever.

Statutes of limitations vary based on the area of law or category of case. Here are some examples of statutes that are effective under North Carolina legislation:

● Personal Injury or property damage claims due to an accident are barred after three years.
● Wrongful death claims cannot be brought forward after two years from the date of death.
● Trespassing upon real property must be brought forward within three years of the initial trespass.
● Assault, battery, or false imprisonment cannot be brought forward more than three years after the act.
● Libel and slander must be brought forward within one year of the act.

A full list of statutes of limitations currently active under North Carolina legislation can be found on the NC Legislature website.

If you think you have a lawsuit, you should contact a Lillington attorney as soon as possible to learn more. Even if you don’t file suit immediately, it’s best to know what deadlines are in place. Speak with one of our legal professionals today, and we’ll answer your questions.

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