If you’ve recently been involved in an unfortunate event such as a work-related injury or car collision, you may be wondering: How long after an accident can you file a claim? As a chaotic and stressful event, taking immediate action following an accident is important to secure the best legal outcome. In North Carolina, accidents leading to claims can encompass a variety of scenarios, such as vehicle collisions, slip and falls, or work-related injuries. Each of these incidents carries its own distinct timeline requirements under the state's laws.

So today, we will explore the importance of claim timelines in North Carolina and how individuals can successfully navigate the process to receive the compensation they deserve after a traumatic event.   

Navigating Claims: How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim in North Carolina?

In the moments after an accident, you may feel a flood of emotions that hinder your ability to reach out for support. It may take days or weeks to get over the physical and emotional distress, causing you to lose sight of timelines regarding when to file a claim for your accident. But if you’ve been in a harmful accident that damaged your property or resulted in a personal injury, you may want to look into filing a claim relatively quickly while the information is still fresh in your mind. 

Statute of Limitations

Statute of limitations is a law that defines the legal time limit a person can file a claim for a civil dispute or wrongdoing. While each state has its own laws, in North Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years for car accident victims counted from the date of the official accident and two years for a worker's compensation claim from the date of the accident. Victims are given this time to file claims for property damages and/or personal injuries. If the accident resulted in the victim's death, the deceased's family has two years from the date of death to file a claim for wrongful death damages. It's crucial to file a claim within this timeline, as failure to do so can result in the case being dismissed by a judge, preventing the victim from seeking damages. This underscores the importance of acting promptly to secure your legal rights.

Once this time period has elapsed, the individual typically loses their right to bring a claim to court. Statutes of limitations vary depending on the type of legal action and jurisdiction. They are designed to ensure that legal disputes are resolved in a timely manner and to protect defendants from facing old claims based on events that occurred years prior. 

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you've been involved in a car accident and only experienced damage to a vehicle, you likely do not need to seek legal services. In many cases, if both drivers hold car insurance, the at-fault driver will cover damages through their car insurance policy. However, if the accident resulted in personal injury and property damage, it's crucial to speak with a lawyer immediately. While a lawyer is not needed for every case, accident victims with more severe, long-term injuries can receive compensation for intangible losses like pain and suffering or emotional distress.

A gavel sits next to toy cars in an accident representing a car accident in which the victim asks how long after an accident can you file a claim

What to Do After a Work-Related Injury 

If an injury occured due to unsafe working conditions, the property owner should be held liable and you may be entitled to a settlement. Whether you’ve slipped on wet floor, dangerous sidewalk, or tripped over unmanaged items, you deserve to be compensated for the medical care required for your injury, the time lost away from work, as well as other non-economic damages like traumatic stress.  

It’s important to note that North Carolina is a state that recognizes contributory negligence, meaning that if a court system finds you in any way at fault for the accident, you will be barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries. 

Why Hire an Attorney?

In the wake of a harmful or emotionally damaging accident, the last thing you want to do is worry about filing a claim. By working with an attorney proficient in personal injury and property damage cases, you can focus more on healing and recovery while your lawyer does the leg work to get you a more favorable outcome. 

Attorneys also understand North Carolina's contributory negligence standards as well as other rules to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve for your losses or injuries. 

Get the Compensation You Deserve With Irons & Irons

At Irons & Irons, our experience and dedication to ensuring our clients receive the best possible legal outcome is of the utmost importance to us. Our unfailing efforts allow us to review the details of your case to provide a close estimate of your claim's full value. We take care of all discussions with insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf to make sure you never receive an offer that is anything less than what you deserve. While many personal injury claims are settled out of court, if a fair settlement can not be reached, we will bring your case to trial.

Understanding the timeframe in which you can file a claim after an accident in North Carolina is paramount in ensuring your case is heard so you can fight for the compensation you deserve. By being aware of the appropriate timelines and taking proactive steps to pursue your claim within the prescribed window, you can confidently navigate the complexities of the legal system. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to securing justice and restitution for your injuries and losses.

When questioning, how long after an accident can you file a claim in North Carolina, look no further than our attorneys at Irons & Irons. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Gib Irons

Gib Irons is the managing partner at Irons & Irons P.A., a law firm in Greenville, NC specializing in divorce, family law, and personal injury litigation. Irons focuses on maintaining a select client roster to ensure personalized attention and exceptional service. His goal is to manage cases efficiently while reducing the stress that often accompanies legal disputes. A local graduate of J. H. Rose High School, Irons went on to earn his BA from Pepperdine University and his JD from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He has been practicing law in North Carolina since 2006, offering client-based service, particularly to high-net-worth individuals aiming for prompt and favorable case resolutions.