You must file your case within a certain time frame known as a statute of limitations.
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years. It begins running from the date of your injury.
A statute of limitations protects victims from being sued for something that happened in the distant past.
Important benefits of a statute of limitations include:
- Witnesses’ memories are fresher,
- Key evidence is less likely to be lost or destroyed, and
- You could recover compensation faster.
If you fail to file your personal injury case within the statute of limitations, you cannot file your case. You should contact an Arkansas personal injury attorney to assist you in filing your case within the statute of limitations.
What If I Don’t File My Personal Injury Case Within the Arkansas Statute of Limitations?
If you do not file your Arkansas personal injury case within three years of the date of your injury, you cannot recover any compensation for your injuries.
If you file your case late, the court will most likely dismiss your claim. Defendants often challenge whether you filed within the appropriate time. You will then have to demonstrate that your claim is subject to an exception to the statute of limitations.
Although it is unlikely, defendants can waive the Arkansas statute of limitations. If you file your case after three years and the defendant allows the case to proceed, they may waive their statute of limitations defense.
The personal injury attorneys at Harris Law Firm, PLLC, can help you avoid these issues by filing your case within the statute of limitations.
What Are Some Exceptions to the Arkansas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?
Arkansas law provides some exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations.
There are some circumstances that will cause the statute of limitations to stop running for some period of time. This is called tolling. One common situation where tolling occurs is when you are injured as a minor. In that case, the statute of limitations tolls until you turn 18.
You will then have three years—until you turn 21—to file your case. For example, if you were 15 when injured, you will have six years to file your case.
Arkansas also follows a discovery rule. The Arkansas discovery rule says that if you were not aware of your injury until after your accident, the statute of limitations does not begin running until that time.
For example, if you found out that you suffer from mesothelioma 25 years after being exposed to asbestos, you have three years from the date you found out to file your case.
Also, be aware that not all types of claims fall under the three-year statute of limitations. For example, in medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is two years. So if you were injured by a medical procedure, you have only two years from the date of your injury to file your case.
We recommend talking with a personal injury lawyer if you think your case might qualify under one of the exceptions to the Arkansas statute of limitations.
How Can an Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
An Arkansas personal injury lawyer can help you avoid the problems that come with filing your case after the statute of limitations has run.
The personal injury attorneys at Harris Law Firm, PLLC, will take the time to get to know you personally so we can determine how to best help you. Call us today for a free consultation.