Generally, owners of real estate have a duty to keep their land safe for other people to traverse. This duty prevents landowners from being careless with their property. For example, a storefront would be required to shovel snow in front of their property or risk injury to a pedestrian or customer passing by. A person suffering a slip and fall injury on another person’s property due to a condition that could have been remedied may lead to liability for the landowner. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, you should speak with a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer immediately. The lawyers at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP are here to explain the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims in Arkansas.
How Long Do You Have to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
There are several reasons a slip and fall could occur, like uneven floors, wet floors, dangerous stairwells, or insufficient lighting. Slip and fall accidents commonly occur when a property owner does not correct an unsafe condition on their property. People must use regular care to avoid injuring themselves while walking or running, however, this does not alleviate a property owner from correcting defective conditions on their property. Failing to uphold this duty to correct defective conditions on their property can also lead to other premises liability cases.
The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time you have to file a civil (or criminal) lawsuit with the court. Arkansas, like many other states, has unique time limits for filing a civil case. The time limit given by the statute of limitations depends upon the type of civil case being filed.
Slip and fall claims fall under the umbrella of “personal injury cases.” A personal injury case includes any case involving bodily injury. Personal injury cases in Arkansas have a time limit of three years to be filed with the court. The clock to file your case starts ticking on the date the injury occurred. In some cases, you may be able to get an extension for certain factors. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case only applies to the filing of the case. The entirety of the case does not have to be adjudicated within three years, only filed.
If you have suffered a slip and fall, it is important to file your case as soon as possible. Filing your case early has many benefits, like:
- Ensuring evidence does not decay or degrade over time.
- Keeping the memory of any witnesses fresh and reliable.
- Quickly securing money required for medical bills if you are seriously injured.
What Happens if You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you miss the deadline to file your slip and fall case, you may not be able to file the case at all. The statute of limitations is a strict deadline and only has a few exceptions.
If you are under the age of majority when you suffer a slip and fall injury on another’s property, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you reach the age of majority. Alternatively, if you were legally insane at the time you were injured, the statute of limitations does not start ticking because you cannot fully appreciate your injury and your ability to file suit. If the mental illness is cured, you will have three years from the date you were cured to file your personal injury claim.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Arkansas, unlike many other states, does not have a cap for damages in injury cases. A damage cap would act to limit the amount of money an injured party could receive in a personal injury case.
People who are injured in a slip and fall case should know that Arkansas has adopted a version of modified comparative fault, which is known as the “50 percent bar” rule. To recover damages in a personal injury case, you have to show another party was responsible for your injuries. The 50 percent bar rule prevents a party from recovering damages if the court determines that the party was 50% or more responsible for their injuries.
This is not a complete guide to how the statute of limitations operates. If you wish to know more you should speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney.
Fayetteville, AR Slip and Fall Attorneys Can Help You Meet Your Filing Deadline
The Fayetteville personal injury attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP can help you recover damages for your slip and fall injury. Our lawyers have dedicated their time to tirelessly representing clients in Fayetteville and across Arkansas and would be proud to represent you. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (479) 717-9068.