If you have suffered a personal injury and you seek to file suit in Arkansas it is imperative to know that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your case. Civil lawsuits generally must be brought within a certain amount of time or a plaintiff will lose the right to file their case entirely. This can be devastating if an injury victim needs the compensation from the case to handle various bills. If you are worried the deadline on your case is fast approaching, you should consult an attorney immediately. If you need help with filing your personal injury case in Arkansas, contact the Fayetteville car accident attorneys of Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP today.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in AR?
The statute of limitations in Arkansas determines the amount of time parties have to file either civil or criminal cases in court. The statute of limitations does not apply to the length of a case; the law only concerns itself with when a case is brought before a court.
In Arkansas, you generally have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. This period begins counting down from the date of the injury. Arkansas also follows the discovery rule, meaning if you were injured and were not aware of this injury until three years later, then the statute of limitations on your case will run from that point.
While you may have three years to file your personal injury case, that does not mean you should wait a lengthy amount of time to file your case. There are various reasons that an injury victim should seek to file their case early. For example:
- Filing your case early makes it easier to investigate.
- Filing early prevents having to deal with the degradation of witnesses’ memories.
- Evidence that is crucial to your case may be lost or destroyed if you file too late.
- The quicker you file, the faster you may be able to receive your compensation.
For these and other reasons, filing your case as early as possible is always the safest bet.
An injury victim should also be aware of the kinds of injuries which may be considered grounds for filing a claim. These injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Wrongful death lawsuits
For a more exhaustive list of injuries, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally three years in Arkansas. However, there are several exceptions that can arise in certain cases, depending on factors like the nature of the injury and the age of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, there are two major exceptions to the statute of limitations of which accident victims in Arkansas should be aware:
- If the victim was injured due to medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is generally two years, not three years.
- If the victim was under 21 when he or she was injured, he or she has up to three years to file a claim upon turning 18.
What Happens if I Do Not File My Personal Injury Case on Time?
Filing your personal injury case before the statute of limitations deadline is important if you want justice and compensation for your case. If you do not file your personal injury case within the three-year deadline, the likely result is that you are barred from filing your case, meaning you cannot recover any compensation for your injuries.
A defendant would likely challenge the lawsuit as violating the statute of limitations as a precaution anyways, so even if an individual were able to file their case after the deadline it would likely be discovered in court. A waiver of the statute of limitations deadline could happen if the defendant allowed the case to proceed, but obviously, this would not be in their best interest at all and is highly unlikely.
Being too lax with your filing date can result in an injury victim facing high medical bills alone, while also dealing with lost wages if the injury they suffered was severe enough to keep them from working. Get started on your personal injury lawsuit by consulting a lawyer as soon as possible, as you deserve to get justice and compensation for your injuries.
Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyers Fighting for Accident Compensation
Three years is a lengthy amount of time to file a personal injury case. However, every day that you delay in filing your case may negatively impact your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. That is why you should contact a Fayetteville injury lawyer to handle your case as early in the process as possible.
If you or a family member have been the victim of an injury in the Fayetteville area, speak to a lawyer as soon as you can. The Arkansas personal injury lawyers at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP have years of experience in proudly serving personal injury victims in Arkansas. To set up a free consultation, contact us at (479) 439-9840 or reach us online.