Arkansas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
After you’ve been involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury, loss of property, or death, you have a specific window of time for filing a lawsuit against the person or entity that caused you harm. This window, or time limit, is known as the statute of limitations. In the state of Arkansas, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury. Once that time has passed, you can no longer file a lawsuit. If you need help determining the statute of limitations for your case, the Arkansas personal injury lawyers at NST Law can help you understand and navigate the course of filing a claim.
If you’re considering getting a lawyer after an accident, you need to know that time is of the essence when it comes to getting legal representation. Three years may seem like enough time to file a lawsuit, but a personal injury lawsuit can become complex and require time to gather evidence. At NST Law, we’re here to provide you with information about the statute of limitations in Arkansas, how they apply to your personal injury case, and how we can work quickly to avoid missing the deadline.
What is the personal injury statute of limitations in Arkansas?
According to Arkansas Code § 16-56-105, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years from the date of the injury. That is, the clock starts running from the day you were injured. The law defines the relevant action as, “All actions for taking or injuring any goods or chattels,” which includes the following types of incidents:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Premises liability
- Nursing home neglect
- Construction accidents
The statute of limitations applies to any injury or death that has happened as the result of neglect.
There May Be Other Limits Based on the Particular Type of Claim
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims applies to most types of accidents, but some types of personal injury have a different classification under the statute of limitations. They include:
- Wrongful death: Three years from the date of death.
- Product liability: Three years after the date of damage, injury, or death.
- Medical malpractice: Two years after the date of the injury.
Sometimes the type of accident doesn’t have an applicable statute of limitations. In those cases, the time limit is five years from the date of the incident.
There May Be Some Exceptions to the Arkansas Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is usually a hard time limit, in that most personal injury cases can’t be filed after the statute of limitations has expired. However, there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations that toll, or stop, the clock from running for a period of time. Before relying on any potential tolling of the statute of limitations, you should consult an attorney. This may apply if:
- The accident victim was a minor at the time of the injury. You may have three years from the date of majority.
- A victim of a medical malpractice case serves notice of intent to sue within 30 days of the time limit expiration and meets the specific criteria outlined in the statute.
- The victim of a medical malpractice case was under nine years of age when the injury happened. The statute of limitations is halted until the victim turns 11 or commences within two years of the injury, whichever date is later.
- The victim of a breach of warranty claim for a defective product that results in a product liability claim has four years to file a lawsuit.
What happens if I miss the deadline to file my injury claim in Arkansas?
If you miss the deadline to file a personal injury claim in Arkansas, you most likely will not be able to file a claim to recover compensation, as seen in Stewart v. Philip Morris. The only way you can file a lawsuit is by qualifying for one of the exemptions. If you don’t have a qualifying exemption and try to file a lawsuit, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the case, and the court is likely to comply with the request to dismiss.
You need to act quickly to file a personal injury claim, and NST Law can make sure you don’t exceed the three-year statute of limitations and lose out on the opportunity to recover damages.
What is the discovery rule in Arkansas injury claims?
Arkansas has a discovery rule that covers situations where an accident victim doesn’t know they’re injured immediately after the accident. Some injuries don’t show up right away, but their cause can be traced back to the accident. As a result, the delay can cause the accident victim to miss the statute of limitations. The discovery rule resolves this issue by extending the statute of limitations to the date the injury was discovered, allowing the accident victim the opportunity to file a claim after the three-year limit has passed.
Why does Arkansas limit the time to file a claim?
It may seem unfair that Arkansas has a time limit on filing a personal injury claim, but there are practical reasons for the existence of the statutes of limitations. Quality or existence of evidence is the primary reason for time limits. Over time, evidence can get lost or degrade, making it hard to definitively defend a claim. Also, eyewitness memories fade and become less reliable in court. The time-limit period prevents individuals from taking unfair legal action against the defendant.
Our Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Meet the Statute of Limitations in Your Case
Contact us today at NST Law to set up a free and confidential consultation with a personal injury attorney to talk about the details of your injury accident claim. Our law firm has been operating for over 30 years, and we’ve recovered over $1.5 billion in damages for our injured clients.
We’re here to help you get the compensation you need for your injuries, and our attorneys can answer any questions you have about the statute of limitations. We will stay on top of your case and file all necessary documents in a timely manner, so you don’t have to worry about missing any case deadlines.