If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, it is important to talk to an attorney about your case as soon as you can. In Arkansas, you must file any injury lawsuits within a reasonable amount of time. Train accident cases often require investigation by state and federal agencies, and their findings may not come out until months or years later. However, you may need to file your case before the time limit runs out. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case today to avoid missing out. For a free consultation, contact Fayetteville train accident lawyer Ken Kieklak today.
Deadline to File Train Accident Cases
A personal injury case is any lawsuit that involves physical injury to your body. It may also include financial injury and property damage, but the primary concern of courts and lawyers is to set right the injury to your body. All personal injury cases in Arkansas have the same deadline to file: 3 years from the date of injury.
This deadline is called the “statute of limitations,” and train accidents share this 3-year statute of limitations. In many train wreck, train crash, and derailment injury cases, the victims are immediately aware that their injury was someone else’s fault. This makes it easier to file a case against the train operator, the railroad or transportation company, and other potentially liable parties like train staff, maintenance workers, or the designers of the vehicle.
It is important to note that this deadline is the deadline to file your case. In many train crashes, especially serious ones, the federal and state investigations can take a long time before their results are made public. The information contained in these reports and investigations may greatly help your case. However, you may not be able to wait until the investigation is finished before you file. Instead, you may be able to file your initial case with allegations against the responsible parties, and clarify the issues later.
Train accidents can occur in a variety of ways, but all injury cases carry the same 3-year deadline. That means that if the train crashed into a car, caused you to fall down inside the train, or lead to any other injuries like head or brain injury, you have the same deadline to worry about.
What Happens if You File a Train Accident Case After the Statute of Limitations Runs?
If you file your case too late, you may be blocked from proceeding. The defendants – the train operator and train company – may be able to use the statute of limitations as a defense to the case. If you file after the deadline, the court may be unable to allow your case to proceed, and you will be unable to collect damages on your case.
In some rare instances, you may be able to extend the deadline for your case. With something like a train crash, the train company and others may tightly hold the information while you wait to file your case. If they release any information that is factually incorrect, it may lull you into a sense that they were not responsible for the accident, and there was no negligence. In very rare circumstances, this may qualify as “fraudulent concealment,” which can extend your deadline to file your case.
If you were what the law considered “disabled” when the accident occurred, you may also have an extension to the statute of limitations. These extensions are known as “tolling” the statute of limitations, and effectively pause the timer. The 3-year limitations period will not begin running until you are cured of your disability.
For a disability, in this context, you must be either a minor or someone with severe mental illness that makes you legally “insane.” In either case, the government considers you unable to appreciate what happened to you, understand the legal consequences, and the understand that you may sue for damages. A minor in this context is anyone under the age of 21.
As soon as you turn 21 or your mental illness is relieved and you become “sane,” your 3-year time limit begins to run. Even if you may be entitled to an extension, you may not need to use it if you file your case before you turn 21. Whatever the situation, you should talk to an attorney as soon as you can to get your case filed on time.
Lawyer for Train Accident Victims in Fayetteville, AR
You do not have to face a train injury case alone. Talk to an attorney about your case to have someone handle the deadlines, filings, legal process, and trial on your behalf. Especially if you were severely injured, you may need a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer like Ken Kieklak on your side. For a free consultation on your case, call (479) 439-1843 today.