Medical Malpractice Laws in North Carolina

Medical malpractice laws in North Carolina have specific rules for filing a claim with the court. Here are the state's caps on damages and other important details regarding North Carolina medical malpractice claims.

Statute of Limitations

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit is three years. This means that the plaintiff has only up to three years to file their claim. If the claim is filed beyond that period of time, the court won't hear the case and the plaintiff cannot receive compensation for their injuries.

Damage Caps

Just many of the other states, North Carolina has a limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. These are the types of damages that include compensation for things like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment, which come about after medical malpractice. As of 2011, the state passed a law that limits compensation in these kinds of cases to $500,000. However, as of 2014, that was adjusted so that inflation would be counted toward the amount. It does not apply to any cases where a patient suffered permanent injury or disfigurement or if the conduct of the defendant was intentional, malicious, reckless or grossly negligent.

However, the state of North Carolina does not put a limit on economic damages. Economic damages cover issues like lost wages and medical expenses. However, there is a requirement that the plaintiff undergo two separate trials if the amount they are claiming is greater than $150,000. One trial is focused on liability and the other revolves around the amount of damages suffered. Both are heard by the same judge and jury and the trials can be combined into one trial if the judge sees it as appropriate.

Evidence Requirements

There are two laws in North Carolina related to the use of evidence and how much is needed in a medical malpractice case.

Expert Medical Witness

There is a rule in medical malpractice law that requires at least one expert medical witness. The individual must swear under oath, through a sworn affidavit filed with the court, that they witnessed the plaintiff's medical records and can testify that they receive inappropriate care that was negligent.

If you have been injured in North Carolina due to medical malpractice, it's important to hire a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Wilmington NC like Bain & Rodzik Injury Attorneys. A lawyer is experienced and knows how to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact a medical malpractice attorney in Wilmington NC at your earliest convenience.