When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in North Carolina [2024]

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in North Carolina [2024]

Jan 14, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you’ve experienced a personal injury, you should contact a North Carolina personal injury lawyer immediately. The statute of limitations on personal injury claims in North Carolina is a maximum of 3 years. It becomes more difficult to achieve proper compensation as time goes on, as evidence often becomes harder to obtain. Before doing anything, though, it’s important to understand what a personal injury claim can be as well as what the process looks like.

What Can I Claim as a Personal Injury in North Carolina?

Almost any injury that was directly caused by another party be it intentional or not, can be claimed as a personal injury in the state of North Carolina. Most of the time, this involves unintentional and negligent behavior, such as driving recklessly, poor judgment of safety levels, or general lack of foresight. While there are numerous things that can be claimed as a personal injury, common examples of claims include:

  • Car accidents
  • Animal bites and scratches
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace-caused injuries
  • Neglect from caregivers

Additionally, it’s important to understand what you stand to gain by claiming for a personal injury in North Carolina. Typically, personal injury claims result in compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The amount awarded to you is based on the proven value of what happened to you during the incident. For example, if you were in a minor car accident, you might only recover the amount it costs to repair your car. However, if you were to incur a neck injury in said accident that causes you chronic neck pain, you may be entitled to a greater amount of reimbursement.

How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina?

The process of filing a personal injury claim in North Carolina involves the following steps:

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Following the incident, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. It’s at this initial meeting that you will describe the situation, including what exactly occurred, proof of the injuries sustained, proof of the costs incurred, and who it was that caused your personal injury. After this, you and your lawyer can discuss the most effective options for you to recover the highest amount of compensation possible.

Settlement Offer

After compiling evidence with your personal injury attorney, you will submit an offer to settle to the opposing party or the insurance company. A settlement offer outlines the facts of the situation, including important documents such as police reports, medical bills, and witness statements. If the other party accepts, the claim ends, and your lawyer can collect and distribute the funds to you. If they counteroffer, you can negotiate the new offer and ideally accept it without filing a claim. However, if they reject the offer entirely, you can file a claim.

File the Claim

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a claim on your behalf. This is a series of documents that lay out the details of the incident as well as the rejected offers. After the other party is informed of the claim, they are granted the opportunity to respond to the claim by filing an answer or a counterclaim. This is a document that explains their side of the situation and often denies or lays blame for the injury on the party suing them.

Mediation or Arbitration

Before a trial in North Carolina, every personal injury case must go through a series of mediation attempts. This is when both parties meet with another third party to attempt to reach an agreement outside of court. A court can also order arbitration. Similarly, arbitration requires a third party to hear out and advise both parties. However, unlike mediation, the arbitrator decides what the agreement is rather than either party coming to their own agreement. If either party is dissatisfied, the case goes to trial.


Just like any other trial, a personal injury trial involves both parties making their cases as to who is at fault in the situation. After a series of detailed explanations, the judge makes the final verdict, and the case is concluded.


Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina?

A: The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is 3 years in the state of North Carolina. However, this timeframe can be paused if the plaintiff is a minor or the defendant is out of the state. It’s highly suggested that you make your claim well before that date, as delaying the process may make it more difficult to achieve a fair settlement.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a North Carolina Personal Injury Claim?

A: It can take a few weeks to several months to settle your injury claim in North Carolina. This is often due to disagreements over the settlement and fault for the injury, along with the time needed for court proceedings. To settle a personal injury claim faster, it’s highly suggested that you meet with a trusted lawyer. They can help you build a fair settlement that the other party would agree to.

Q: When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in North Carolina?

A: You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you’ve been injured by another person and compensation is required. Often, personal injury lawyers are needed to help address disagreements over compensation or who was at fault for the injuries. They can represent their clients in negotiations and in court.

Q: What Are the Limitations on Personal Injury Claims?

A: While there isn’t necessarily a limit on what you can claim as a personal injury, there are cases that are nearly impossible to win, which are often dismissed entirely. For example, if you received a small scratch from a neighbor’s cat on your arm, it would be almost impossible to successfully file a claim against them. However, if that scratch required stitches or other medical care, and your neighbor refused to cover those costs, you may have a claim.

Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Today

A North Carolina personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC can help you achieve the greatest possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.