If you have been injured as the result of a dangerous drug, defective product or medical device, or the negligence of another, the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury.
Because time can be a critical factor in pursuing a personal injury claim, it is important that you understand what a statute of limitations is, and how it might affect your ability to file a claim.
If you have been injured or if your loved one has been killed as a result of the negligence of another, contact Linville Johnson today. Those affected and their families may be able to pursue a claim and recover compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney.
We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that fixes the maximum time within which a lawsuit on a claim must be filed. Statute of limitations apply to civil as well as criminal actions and are enacted by the legislature of a particular country, state or region. After the statute of limitations has been exceeded, a claim can no longer be filed.
Statutes of limitations are designed to protect defendants from dormant claims by requiring potential plaintiffs to pursue a claim within a reasonable amount of time before evidence has been lost.
Although statutes of limitations in the United States are different from state to state, the period typically begins the plaintiff’s cause of action occurs, or when the plaintiff became aware of the alleged injury.
Statutes of Limitations in Arkansas
In Arkansas, general negligence and personal injury claims have a three-year statute of limitations beginning with the time the injury accrued, or when the injury was discovered or when the injury should have reasonably been discovered (known as the Discovery Rule).
According to Arkansas state law, other limitations include:
- Medical Malpractice – Actions for medical injury must begin within two years after the cause of action accrues unless the action is based on the discovery of a foreign object in the body and could not be discovered within the two-year period. If this should happen, then the action must begin within one year from the date of discovery.
- Products Liability – All product liability actions shall be commenced within three years after the date on which the death, injury or damage complained of occurs.
- Wrongful Death – Wrongful death actions should begin within three years after the death of the person alleged to have been wrongfully killed, unless the action is a murder charge.
Certain situations may alter, suspend or prolong the legal limitations for filing a personal injury claim. Special circumstances are granted for people with disabilities (who are disabled at the time of their alleged injury), military personnel serving during “the existence of a state of war between the United States and any other nation,” and persons who were entitled to pursue personal injury claims but died “before the expiration” of the statute of limitations.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer About My Personal Injury Claim?
If you do not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you could potentially lose your ability to file a claim forever. Before you pursue legal action, or if you are unsure whether or not you have a personal injury claim, consider seeking medical help to evaluate any potential injuries.
Once you’ve been seen by a medical professional, you can then begin contacting a personal injury attorney about pursuing a claim for damages. The attorney will be able to answer your questions, and if they determine that a claim can be pursued, they can help guide you through the legal process.