Getting Started With A Personal Injury Lawsuit In North Carolina


Filing a personal injury lawsuit can differ quite a bit from state to state. To give you a good idea of where to begin when filing in North Carolina, here are some questions you should ask yourself:

How long do you have to file?

Your first and biggest concern is going to be whether you are within the statute of limitations. If you aren't, then your case might be dead in the water. For North Carolina, this means filing within 3 years of the incident. There are some exceptions, but they are generally judged on an individual basis.

For example, if a minor wants to file a case, then they can wait until they are a legal adult. The 3 year timer will not start counting until they become an adult, which gives them a fair bit of time to plan out their lawsuit and gather evidence.

You might also be able to argue that your injuries went undiscovered for many years and that they only affected your life after the statute of limitations that expired. In order to successfully argue this, you will have the difficult task of proving that your injuries are directly related to the injury from many years before. This is often easiest when dealing with chemical exposure cases.

How much money can you get?

Many states have explicit caps on how much money you can actually get in a given case. They restrictions are often dependent on the type of damages that you are asking for. While normal compensatory damages (auto bills or medical bills) will usually be totally unrestricted, you might not be able to ask for $1,000,000 in pain and suffering or loss of companionship (non-economic damages).

North Carolina rarely utilizes such restrictions, but there are two situations where you might need to deal with them.

  1. If you are filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, then you will be restricted to $500,000 when it comes to non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Your other damages will not be restricted, which means that you will still be able to sue for the full amount of your medical expenses.

  2. In very extreme lawsuits, you will be able to sue for something called punitive damages. However, these damages are restricted to either $250,000 or three times the rest of your damages combined, whichever is greater. Punitive damages are rarely warranted since they require that you prove the other party acted out of gross negligence, which is not easy to prove.

  3. Since states vary, be sure to check your state's rules carefully and enlist the help of professionals like Master Weinstein Shatz Moyer, P.C.


14 January 2016

My Day in Court

When I sued a product manufacturer after a disfiguring accident, I never expected to actually go to court. I assumed that the case would eventually be settled, like most personal injury cases are. To my surprise, they wouldn't budge, and we ended up having to go all the way to court. I was pretty nervous about testifying, but I had a great attorney that prepared me well, and everything went smoothly. In the end, the jury saw things my way. I realized that I probably wasn't the only person to ever experience an unexpected day in court, and that's how I got the idea to start this blog. If you're looking for tips to help you prepare or wondering what to expect when you go to court for a lawsuit, this blog contains important information for you.