If a North Carolina family has suffered through an unexpected loss it is likely that grief, rather than time limits, will be on their minds. Though the period can be an emotionally difficult one, the reality is that in North Carolina there is a finite amount of time that families have to file a wrongful death suit to ensure that the person responsible for your loved one’s death is held financially accountable.
What is a statute of limitations?
In North Carolina, a statute of limitations describes the amount of time that a person is legally allowed to bring a lawsuit. Once the time has expired, that person’s legal ability to file a claim vanishes. Because of this, it is important if you are considering filing a wrongful death claim that you not wait until the last moment to begin the process of consulting with attorneys.
What is the statute of limitations in a North Carolina wrongful death case?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. This two years is measured from the date of the victim’s death. This time limit is quite strict and only rare cases are allowed to proceed past this point, usually those involving the death of a parent survived only be a minor child.
Why does time matter?
The single most important reason why timing is so critical is because of the statute of limitations. If a wrongful death claim is not brought in the time contained in the statute then the claim will be lost and the person responsible for your loved one’s death will never be punished under civil law.
Besides the statute of limitations, another reason why time is so crucial in wrongful death cases is because of how important it is to begin assembling evidence for your case. The reality is that companies do not hold on to records forever. Important hospital files, surveillance footage or driving records may be lost for good if not obtained early on. By taking the time to consult with an experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney as soon as possible you can be sure that the information needed to successfully try your case is preserved.
Here's a video where one of our experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorneys discusses the claims process: