The questions on this page were answered by our team of lawyers. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car wrecks, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice case in North Carolina?
State law enforces a 3-year statute of limitations for nearly all personal injury claims. For wrongful death claims brought in North Carolina, the standard statute of limitations is 2 years. Exceptions do apply, and we outline a few below.
Be aware that this brief answer and explanation cannot cover all situations. Always consult with an experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney before assuming you have missed North Carolina’s deadline for filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against a doctor, surgeon, nurse, pharmacist, hospital, clinic, pharmacy or nursing home.
- Statistics Show How Common Medical Malpractice Is
- A Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains Caps on Damage Award
- What You Should Know About North Carolina Wrongful Death Claims
The first things to understand about the medical malpractice statute of limitations in North Carolina or any other state involves what courts and lawyers call “tolling” and “the discovery rule.” Tolling describes when the statute of limitations clock starts running and when it stops, and the discovery rule prevents tolling until malpractice becomes apparent.
For adults in North Carolina, tolling starts on either the day that an act of malpractice occurred or on the day that a definitive connection was made between the act of malpractice and an injury or death. Victims have a total of 4 years from an alleged act of malpractice to take legal action.
Cases involving objects left inside patients’ bodies and cases involving children younger than 18 years of age follow different rules. Patients who have sponges, scalpel blades or clamps left inside them must file a medical malpractice claim within one year of the day on which the object was discovered and within 10 years of when the object was not removed.
For children who fall victim to medical malpractice in North Carolina, their parents can file claims on their behalf within the generally applicable statutes of limitations. If their parents do not take legal action, children have the right to file claims themselves between their 18th and 20th birthdays.
A final thing to know about North Carolina’s medical malpractice statute of limitations rules is that they can apply in cases brought by full-time state residents against health care provides in places like Virginia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky or Tennessee. Very specific requirements must be met for this to happen, but our medical malpractice law firm has successfully used North Carolina’s statute of limitations in a case filed in Virginia.
What about defective fentanyl patches?Sometimes there can be a defect in the 'skin depot' of the pain patch, and you can receive a very high dose of the drug too quickly. This can kill, and could be grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
How high is the failure rate for the DePuy ASR hip replacement product?
It is estimated that one out of eight patients has to go through the physical and mental pain of corrective hip surgery within 60 months of the original surgery. That level of failure is about twice the industry averag
How many patients have received the DePuy ASR hip replacement device?
It is estimated that 93,000 patients have been treated with this hip replacement device.
My child was born with a serious and permanent injury. Do I have a personal injury case?
Yes, you may very well have a viable personal injury or medical malpractice case. It depends on the specific circumstances of your child's injury. If your child was hurt during birth, you may have a medical negligence case against the doctor who oversaw the birth. Our North Carolina personal injury law firm has handled serious birth injury cases where a child suffered a brachial plexus injury (a.k.a. shoulder dystocia). This was a permanent injury caused during the birthing process. We took the case to trial and secured a multi-million dollar jury verdict.
We work tirelessly in these cases since some of the most tragic, heartbreaking injuries can happen during a birth. In most cases, both the baby and the parents have the right to pursue financial restitution.
My doctor performed a routine surgery on me and during the procedure, henicked my bowel. Do I have a medical malpracticecase?
Depending on the type of surgery your doctor was performing and how quickly the doctor realized he nicked your bowel, you might have a case. You should call our office for a free consultation.
What questions should I ask when selecting a doctor or surgeon?
While you can never find out every small detail about your doctor or surgeon, there are a few things you can do to make a better informed decision. First and foremost, ask questions. For example...
Where did you go to medical school?
What American Board of Medical Specialty Certifications do you have?
How long have you been practicing?
Are there any disciplinary actions outstanding against you?
All of these are perfectly legitimate questions to ask. Do not hesitate. If you'd like to learn more about surgical safety, medical negligence and ways not to become a victim, download our free report.
Is there a medical malpractice "damage cap" in North Carolina?
Unfortunately, yes. The North Carolina state legislature passed a damage cap of $500,000 for "noneconomic damages". Noneconomic damages compensate a victim for “pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, inconvenience, and any other non-pecuniary compensatory damages.”
It's an unfair and illogical law that punishes victims. Nevertheless, it is the law of North Carolina.