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A High Point man, Charles Ray Brooks, was recently in the news for pleading guilty in connection with a homicide that occurred over two years ago. Melissa Elizabeth Marsden suffered a gunshot wound to the head during an argument with Brooks in September 2007.

North Carolina has no statute of limitations barring prosecution of a felony, but that is not the case for civil actions. What is a statute of limitations? Consider it a ticking clock counting down the minutes, hours, days, a person has to file a lawsuit before their claim is forever barred by the courts. If the time runs out, the case is over – permanently. It won’t matter how meritorious the claim appears, what the damages are, or how badly the other party acted.

There are different statutes of limitations in North Carolina depending on the type of case. Accident cases such as motor vehicle collisions and slip and falls typically are governed by a three year statute of limitations, but that can change depending on the age of the plaintiff, if the plaintiff was killed in the accident, etc. Medical malpractice cases, cases of libel and slander, product liability cases….they all have their own unique time deadlines.

If you are hurt in an accident remember…the clock is ticking.


  1. Gravatar for Mike Bryant
    Mike Bryant

    See a experienced attorney early and always ask the question, it will make a difference and it's time that is always worth it. Great information.

  2. Gravatar for Steve Lombardi
    Steve Lombardi

    Good morning Lawrence: Iowa's statute of limitations is 2 years for most civil lawsuits. Your point is an excellent one. I might also point out that waiting to see a lawyer never helps preserve evidence; delay plays out for the insurance industry, which is why they promote not seeing a lawyer.

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