Going in and out of stores and onto others, people’s property is probably a regular occurrence in your life. While you always try to be careful, you never know when you are going to trip and fall because of a puddle of water, or because there is an uneven sidewalk or even a pothole in the parking lot. Unfortunately, these accidents are more common than we want to admit. While you may think that these types of accidents only happen to older adults, you would be surprised by the number of healthy young adults and children who are injured every day as a result of a slip and fall accident.
If you have been injured in Crawford County Arkansas as a result of a slip and fall accident you may be able to recover some or all of the money you lost as a result of your accident. Whether it is medical bills, lost time at work, or even if you find that you are no longer able to work as a result of your accident, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. We stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. To schedule your free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.
What is Property Owner Negligence?
Most slip and fall accidents are decided by applying the elements of the legal concept known as negligence. Most people are aware of the term negligence and have a general understanding of the term negligence and may even be able to think of what it means to be negligent. However, as you are probably aware, the law likes to take a simple term and make it a complicated process. Arkansas has a well-developed series of laws that define what it means to be negligent.
A negligence claim for any personal injury and for slip and fall accidents is based on the four following legal elements. In order to win a personal injury case, you as the victim must be able to show all four of the following by at least a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the facts are more likely than not the ones that the plaintiff presents.
- Duty– The first element of a personal injury or slip and fall case is a duty. There are different levels of duty that a person owes other people and there is a specific duty that a store or property owner owes. Additionally, individuals may have certain duties imposed on them by law, such as the duty to act as a reasonably prudent driver when operating a motor vehicle. Generally, people owe each other the duty to avoid causing injury to others. In order to prevail in any personal injury case, you will need to show that the property owner owed you a duty.
- Breach – This is the second element of any personal injury and slip and fall case. If you have been injured you will need to show that the defendant store or property owner breached their duty of care. There are a variety of factors that may lead to a breach of duty but one of the most common is for a store-owner to neglect to clean up a spill on the floor.
- Causation – this is a tricky element in any personal injury or slip and fall case. You will have to prove that the defendant’s actions actually caused you to suffer the particular harm.
- Damages – This element is probably the most familiar element to a person. As the final element of negligence, you will have to prove that you actually suffered some form of damages that the court can compensate you for by finding in your favor.
Often you will see a store displaying one of the famous yellow signs with a picture of a man slipping as a means to avoid liability and to warn patrons that there is some substance on the floor that they should be aware of. However, often times people slip on water or other liquids that are left on the ground and there are no warning signs.
How Long Do I Have to file a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Arkansas?
While it takes time for your injuries to heal you may be debating whether or not you should file a lawsuit against the store or property owner. However, it is important that you understand that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your case. Each state, including Arkansas, has a series of laws known as statutes of limitations. It is very important that you comply with the statute of limitations. If you do not abide by the deadlines that these laws set up then you will not be able to recover for your injuries. It is very common for a court to simply dismiss a case that has been filed after the statute of limitations time frame has run.
The Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-56-105 sets the statute of limitations that applies to almost all lawsuits arising from a slip and fall incident. As per the language of this statute, a person who has been injured in a slip and fall injury or for that matter any other personal injury claim will have three years to file their case with the state court to request a remedy.
However, there are certain exceptions or events that can happen after your injury that can cause the statute of limitations to be extended. If a person dies as a result of a slip and fall accident then that person’s family members can file a claim three years after the person has died as a result of their injuries. While people do not like to think about death and hopefully death is not a result of a slip and fall accident it is important for anyone considering filing a claim to understand when they can file a claim.
It’s true that not every slip and fall injury will lead to the filing of a lawsuit, but it’s always a good idea to keep all your options on the table, even if you think your injury claim will be resolved through a settlement. At the very least, keeping all your options on the table will give you more leverage during settlement talks. So if the three-year deadline is approaching, it may be time to talk with an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney.
Rely on Experienced Crawford County Slip and Fall Attorney Ken Kieklak
If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, contactKen Kieklak. We stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. To schedule your free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.