Arkansas law gives victims quite a long time to file a car accident claim against the at-fault driver. If you were injured and have taken a long time to focus on recovery, manage your injuries or disabilities, and get back to normal life, you could have faced a hard few years. It is important that if you have taken 2 years or more that you talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about your case. However, you are usually still under the deadline to file your accident claim if it has been 2 years since the crash. Fayetteville, AR car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak explains.
Can I File a Lawsuit in Arkansas if it’s Been 2 Years Since My Car Crash?
Waiting a long time to file a car accident lawsuit might not be your fault. In some cases, serious injuries or disabilities prevent you from being able to address the case and schedule an appointment with a lawyer. If you were in a coma or suffer from serious traumatic brain injuries or other disabilities, there may be serious constraints that kept you from filing your case sooner. Even just the fear of addressing what happened or having your claim rejected are perfectly valid reasons for waiting 2 years to file a car accident case. Rest assured that in most cases, you still have plenty of time to file your case if it’s been 2 years since your crash.
Arkansas has a 3-year statute of limitations for car accident injury claims and personal injury lawsuits. This means that victims have until the third anniversary of the accident to file their lawsuit and still have it be considered “on time.” Many states cut off victims at the 2-year mark, preventing them from filing lawsuits for cases that are 2 years old or older. Arkansas’ laws are much more forgiving in this respect, giving you an additional third year to file your claim.
If your case is filed after the 3-year period, your case will be barred and you will not be able to claim damages. It is important to get your case filed on time to have a chance at getting the compensation you need.
Is 2 Years Too Late to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for an Arkansas Car Accident?
If your accident happened 2 years ago, it is important to talk to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. Although you conceivably have one more year before your case needs to be filed, there are many important issues that could prevent you from getting your case filed on time. To make sure that your claim is not time-barred, it is vital to get your case filed as soon as possible.
In some cases, you might need to refile your case if there are issues with the claim. This refiling still needs to come within 3 years of the accident. If you file your case at the 2-year mark then find out in 6 months that there are issues with the claim, that might not leave you enough time to refile your case on time and properly manage the case with only 6 months left.
There are multiple issues that could require you to refile your case. First, you could want to add additional parties like a trucking company that hired the driver who injured you in a commercial truck accident. Second, you could find out that the accident happened over county lines and you’ve actually filed your claim in the wrong courthouse. Third, your claim could be dismissed if you were lacking important information or if you actually had the wrong defendant, and you would often need to refile the claim to correct these issues. These are only some examples of issues that could require you to resubmit your claim before the deadline passes.
Collecting evidence early on in the case is vital in making sure your claim is strong. If you already gathered videos, photos, and eyewitness statements, this might be less of an issue 2 years after the crash. However, if you are going to try to collect security camera or traffic camera footage of the accident 2 years after the fact, short retention policies might mean that the footage has long since been overwritten. Similarly, photos of the vehicles, injuries, or accident scene taken 2 years after the crash will not accurately depict how things looked on the day of the crash.
Most importantly, eyewitnesses might forget what happened. Fuzzy details and unexpected changes to a witness’ recounting of what happened might make your case harder to prove.
Having this evidence from the beginning makes a case much stronger. If you already have much of this evidence, there might be no issue with filing your claim 2 years later, but otherwise, the claim could be harder to prove.
Expenses and Damages
If you were seriously injured in an accident, you might need financial help right away. If you turn to your insurance company to pay for medical bills and treatment, you might end up losing additional money on the case. First-party medical benefits might cover damages, but insurance policies often allow the insurance company to pay you less than the full value of your damages. Your policy might also allow your insurance company to take a large cut of your damages later when you do go to court. Lastly, getting paid earlier means you have more money to work with when you need it most. Waiting to accept a settlement or file your lawsuit 2 years later will mean that you miss out on time that you could be investing your damages into necessary medical expenses, which could potentially drain your savings or disability benefits in the meantime.
Call Our Fayetteville Car Accident Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation
If you were injured in a car accident and need help filing a case, call our law offices immediately. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer with extensive experience handling car accident claims for injured victims and their families. If your case is already 2 years old, you have a very short deadline to gather evidence and file the claim before the 3-year statute of limitations expires. Call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438 to set up a free case consultation.