Suffering a serious injury on the property of another person can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. When filing a premises liability lawsuit, or any type of civil suit, you should always keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit. If you or a family member was injured on the property of another and wish to file a premises liability lawsuit, contact an experienced Fayetteville premises liability lawyer. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, we are prepared to help you hold a negligent property owner accountable for their actions. Our firm is here to explain the statute of limitations for premises liability lawsuits.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Lawsuits?
Premises liability is an area of law that deals with accidents that occur due to the negligence of a property owner. For example, if a person slips and falls on the property of another because the owner failed to shovel snow after a storm, there is a possibility that they will be liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
Property owners have a duty to warn visitors of safety hazards on their property or to correct the hazard to avoid any accidents. Under certain circumstances, a property owner may be liable for injuries to a trespasser if they act recklessly.
If a person is injured on the property of another person, the severity of their injuries could lead them to pursue a premises liability lawsuit. As mentioned, a plaintiff does not have an unlimited amount of time to file a cause of action for premises liability. The reason for this is the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time that a person has to file a certain type of lawsuit, whether it is a premises liability claim or medical malpractice claim. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for premises liability lawsuits is three years from the date of the accident. If the plaintiff does not file their case within this three-year timeframe, the court may bar your claim, leaving you without an avenue to pursue compensation.
Additionally, like other states, Arkansas does not have a provision to extend the length of a filing deadline for a personal injury claim. To learn more about filing a premises liability lawsuit, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer.
The Purpose of the Statute of Limitations
The primary purpose of the statute of limitations is to spur a plaintiff into pursuing their claim in a timely fashion. Lawmakers recognize the various issues that would occur if a plaintiff was permitted to pursue their claim at any time after an accident. For example, gathering evidence for a case that is five or ten years old could be nearly impossible if evidence was lost or destroyed. Even an experienced attorney would have difficulty litigating a claim if the plaintiff waited several years to file the case.
The statute of limitations also provides several benefits to a defendant that is facing litigation. For example, if a defendant knows that a plaintiff only has three years to file a premises liability claim, they do not have to look over their shoulder for several years waiting for a lawsuit that may never be filed. However, if the filing deadline was indefinite, a possible defendant must always be prepared to defend themselves in court.
While it may seem unfair that a person has to deal with a serious injury and then also deal with a filing deadline for their case, upholding the statute of limitations has benefits for all parties to a case. Other issues that are often avoided by the implementation of the statute of limitations include:
- A vital witness forgetting information about the case
- A defendant moving to another state or overseas and can no longer be located
- Having to litigate a claim that does not have sufficient evidence
There are various other benefits that the statute of limitations provide for civil and even criminal cases. Our firm can ensure that your civil case is filed before the statute of limitations has run.
Contact an Experienced Arkansas Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a family member was the victim of a serious accident on the property of another, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The injury attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP possess decades of combined legal experience that we will utilize to help you to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 439-9840, or contact us online.