When you get into a car accident, it’s essential to start building your case as soon as possible. This is because most states, including Arkansas, have laws determining how long you have to file a lawsuit. Known as the statute of limitations, this rule is often the difference between a successful or a failed claim.
At the Harris Law Firm, our car accident attorneys know the deadlines for car accident lawsuits based on the facts of the case.
What Is the Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Arkansas?
The Arkansas car accident statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. This rule varies between states and types of cases. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to help ensure the availability of evidence and protect defendants from lawsuits many years after an incident.
In the State of Arkansas, victims have three years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit for their damages. If you try to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, chances are the court won’t hear your case.
When Does the Time Limit Start?
Determining when the time limit begins is more difficult than it sounds. Generally, the clock starts to run at the time of the incident on which your claim is based. For most victims, this will be the date of the accident. However, if the family of a victim pursues a wrongful death claim, the clock starts running on the date of their loved one’s death. In some limited circumstances, the clock may start running even later, or it may stop for a period of time and start again. It all depends on the circumstances of the case and the types of injuries involved. This is why it’s important to speak with an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney who knows how different situations affect the statute of limitations.
Factors Affecting the Car Accident Statute of Limitations
There are a few circumstances that may affect the Arkansas car accident statute of limitations period. Some of these factors might extend or even shorten the time limit after a crash. These exceptions to the statute of limitations include the following:
- The discovery rule: If the victim doesn’t know they have an injury, the clock starts when they discover or should have reasonably discovered that injury.
- Claims against a government agency: If the defendant is a government agency, you must go through their claims process. In many cases, the time limit is much shorter and can be as little as 90 days.
- An absent defendant: Sometimes, the defendant is unavailable or hides to avoid a lawsuit. In this case, the court might extend the statute of limitations.
- Injuries to a minor: If the person who sustains injuries is a minor, the three-year clock doesn’t start running until their 18th birthday.
These are just a few of the major factors affecting the statute of limitations for car accidents. To learn whether any of these factors apply to your case, contact our Arkansas car accident attorneys.
Have Questions About Your Car Accident Claim?
If you sustain an injury in an Arkansas car accident, don’t wait to file a claim. Any delays may jeopardize your case, especially since evidence degrades over time. At Harris Law Firm, our attorneys, backed by more than 35 years of experience, can help determine the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit and effectively manage the various aspects of your case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 662-262-8114.