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Statute of Limitations For Minor Children in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the statute of limitation for a minor child is different from that of an adult. Generally speaking the statute of limitations for adult is three (3) years from the date of injury or the discovery of the injury for a negligence claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52(16). However, this general rules of three (3) years does not apply to minor children who have been injured car accidents in North Carolina.

Firstly, it is important to understand that a minor child is not an adult and is considered under a ‘legal’ disability. Therefore, a minor child is not limited by a three (3) years statute of limitations in the same manner an adult would be in North Carolina.

The law in North Carolina, particularly N.C Gen Stat. §1-17(a), states that a minor is required to initiate a legal action for negligence within three (3) years after the removal of his or her disability. This means that a minor child must file their legal action for negligence within three (3) years after the minor turns eighteen, is emancipated, or has a Guardian ad Litem appointed. For more information about presenting and filing a claim for minor children in North Carolina please visit our article on Statute of Limitations and Minor Children (Link).

A minor child’s claim for negligence arising from a car accident would permit the minor child to: (1) reach the age of majority and file a lawsuit within three (3) years or (2) file the claim within three (3) years of the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem.

It is important to understand that a person is considered under a disability if the person meets one or more of the following conditions founds with N.C. Gen. Stat. §1-17:

(1) The person is within the age of 18 years.

(2) The person is insane.

(3) The person is incompetent as defined in G.S. 35A-1101(7) or (8).


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