Every personal injury case in Arkansas is limited by what’s known as a “statute of limitations.” These cases put a time limit on your ability to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file your case, you may be time-barred from filing at all. This means you would miss out on compensation and other benefits. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Arkansas, make sure to talk to an attorney as soon as you can to discuss when you will need to file your case by. If you need an attorney in Arkansas, contact Fayetteville, Arkansas car accident attorney Ken Kieklak today for a free consultation on your case.
How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Arkansas?
Statutes of limitations are in place to prevent old cases from resurfacing. Many injury cases are filed soon after the injury, so that the legal process can begin, and the injured party can work quickly toward getting the compensation they need. In many cases, the freshness of evidence and memory is also important. If you wait too long before a case goes to trial, the evidence may decay or deteriorate over time, and witnesses’ memories of the event will fade. Moreover, it is unfair to leave a defendant on-edge, wondering if an old case will ever re-emerge and cause them to end up in court. Because of this, many statutes of limitations are around 2 years.
In Arkansas, the law is more generous than most states and gives you 3 years to file your case. For any civil lawsuit based on personal injury or property damage, you have 3 years to file your case with an Arkansas State Court.
Three years can be a long time, but in many cases, it does not feel like it. If you suffered serious physical injuries, you may be unable to take the time to research a lawyer, research your case, and get in touch with an attorney. If you are suing for the loss of a loved one in a car crash, it may also take a long time get your household finances under control, deal with the grief and loss, and get your life back on track. Still, it is vital that you talk to a lawyer about your case and get the initial steps of a case moving as early as possible.
Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Car accident cases are often stronger when filed earlier. Especially in cases of truck accidents or bus accidents where large corporations may be involved, evidence may be lost quite quickly. If a driver’s car is damaged, they usually want that fixed as soon as possible, especially if they need it to get to work or run errands. This means there is a limited amount of time to have experts examine the vehicle, take pictures of the damage, or otherwise assess the evidence. Trucking companies may also be in a hurry to get their vehicles repaired and back into service or replaced.
They may also routinely erase records, “black box” data from their trucks, and driver logs. These items could be priceless evidence to an injury victim, as they may give proof of how fast they the driver was traveling, how long they’d been on the road, how heavy their vehicle was, and if they violated any trucking regulations. If you do not act fast, the company may have already erased any evidence as part of their typical retention policy.
Your injuries also heal over time. Pictures or videos of your injuries when they were fresh may be better evidence than your current situation, when you appear in court years or months later. An attorney can capture evidence like this and help you understand the best way to document your recovery to build the strongest case.
Lastly, if you need additional witnesses or police testimony, acting quickly is the best way to preserve that evidence. Your attorney will have the power to subpoena witnesses and take depositions while the information is fresher in their minds. If there are no witnesses, your attorney may be able to track down people who were in the area, as well as security cameras or other possible footage of the accident. This kind of evidence is routinely wiped from servers only days after it is recorded, and you need to act as quickly as possible to preserve it for trial.
Fayetteville Car Accident Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, or a family member was killed in a car crash, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. For a free consultation on your case, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today. Ken is a Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer with decades of experience working on personal injury cases. For your free consultation, contact our law office today at (479) 316-0438.