North Carolina Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations 2024 Explained

North Carolina Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations 2024 Explained

If you have been impacted by your attorneys’ negligent, intentional, or accidental action that led to your harm or damage, you may have grounds to pursue a legal malpractice claim in North Carolina. Not only are the specific merits of your case essential for a viable claim, but you must also adhere to the North Carolina legal malpractice statute of limitations. This is a law that has established a legal timeframe in which parties can seek legal action against their attorney.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Legal Malpractice in North Carolina?

The statute of limitations for legal malpractice in North Carolina is generally three years from the date of the attorney’s action that led to their client’s harm or damage. There are unique cases where this deadline is extended due to the delay in the discovery of damage or injury, typically for one more year.

The statute of limitations is intended to provide a form of protection against a defendant’s liability after a certain period of time, as circumstances can be unfair after a certain point. Claim judgments should be determined based on legitimate evidence, both physical and eyewitness. However, evidence can deteriorate and be affected over time.

What Is the Difference Between a Statute of Limitations and a Statute of Repose?

The statute of limitations and statute of repose are terms that often get confused, as they are both laws that relate to the time limits for taking certain legal action. At times, both can differ from state to state and within different jurisdictions. The main differences between these two deadlines are the start of the timeframe and for how long.

The statute of limitation timeline starts from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury, whereas the statute of repose starts from a specific event unrelated to the injury. For example, in a legal malpractice case, it would start from the date the attorney last represented the client or the date of the official termination of the attorney-client relationship. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years, and the statute of repose is four years.

How to Initiate a Legal Malpractice Claim

There are several steps to initiating a legal malpractice claim. The following is a list of actions you can take to start the process:

  • Contact Another Attorney: If you believe that you have grounds for a legal malpractice claim, consult a new attorney who has experience working in legal malpractice cases. The attorney can listen to your explanation of your circumstances and help determine if you have the merits to pursue legal action.
  • Gather Documentation: It is essential that you gather all relevant documentation and information from your previous attorney. This can include obtaining your case file from them, a copy of your attorney/client agreement, and more. All records and documentation can help your new attorney assess the previous attorney’s action and provide essential evidence to support your claim.
  • Statute of Limitations: Consider the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction. In North Carolina, this is three years from the date the malpractice occurred or was discovered.
  • Draft an Official Complaint: Should the new attorney agree to work on your case, they can assist you in drafting and filing an official complaint that outlines the allegations of malpractice. This officially initiates legal action.

After these steps, an attorney can assist you with thorough investigations as well as representation in any mediation, negotiation, or litigation scenarios.

North Carolina Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations FAQs

Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Malpractice Claim in North Carolina?

A: The length of time you have to file a malpractice claim in North Carolina is generally three years. This deadline is generally referred to as the statute of limitations, and it is a law that maintains a strict timeframe on a party’s legal right to initiate legal action against a defendant.

If you are looking to file a malpractice claim, it is vital to do so as soon as possible because, if you are outside the statute of limitations, the case may be dismissed without a trial.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Attorney Malpractice in North Carolina?

A: The statute of limitations on attorney malpractice in North Carolina is generally three years. A statute of limitations is the law that dictates the amount of time that a plaintiff has to pursue legal action against a defendant. As there are few exceptions to this law, it is essential to pursue legal action as soon as possible to ensure the viability of your claim.

Contact a North Carolina Legal Malpractice Attorney Today

If you have a legal malpractice case in North Carolina, do not wait to pursue justice; act now to ensure that you are within the statute of limitations. You do not want your claim to become unviable due to the deadline. At the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, we prioritize prompt response and efficient legal representation. We work to ensure that our clients meet every deadline so that their legal claim is not negatively impacted.

Contact our office today to set up a consultation and learn how we can support you in your legal malpractice claim.