Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Nursing homes are a haven for our elderly and infirm loved ones. You should not have to worry that nursing homes responsible for the safety and daily care of your family member are abusing them. Unfortunately, some healthcare workers exploit the trust placed in them by nursing home residents and their families. If you or a family member was a victim of nursing home abuse, contact an experienced Fayetteville nursing home abuse lawyer today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has almost two decades of experience fighting for the rights of abused nursing home residents. Ken will help you and your family hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions. Ken Kieklak is here to explain the statute of limitations on nursing home abuse cases in Arkansas.
What Does the Statute of Limitations Do in Nursing Home Negligence Cases?
The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that an abused person has to file their nursing home negligence lawsuit with the court. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for nursing home negligence claims is three years from the date of the abuse. This means that you must file your negligence lawsuit with the court within three years or the court may bar your claim.
In some cases, a family member may file on behalf of an abused nursing home resident if a disability or other illness will make it difficult for them to file their case. If you believe your family member was abused and you are unsure of when the abuse started, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be methods available to delay your filing deadline.
The statute of limitations deadline only applies to the amount of time you have to file a case. It does not apply to how long the nursing home negligence case takes to be adjudicated. Therefore, once you have filed your claim within three years, you do not have to worry about the statute of limitations.
If you are unsure about how long you have to file your abuse claim, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Why Do Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuits Have a Filing Deadline?
It seems unfair that nursing home negligence lawsuits have a filing deadline that may help an abusive caregiver avoid liability for their ctions. However, the law has several reasons why lawsuits should have a time limit.
The main reason for enforcing statutes of limitations is in the interest of reasonableness. The court system wants the plaintiff and the defendant to each have an opportunity for a fair trial. The courts want to encourage plaintiffs to pursue a valid claim with diligence, whether it is a nursing home abuse case or another personal injury lawsuit.
The courts also want to ensure that the defendant does not have to defend a stale claim. A stale claim means that the plaintiff waited an unreasonably long amount of time to pursue their case. A defendant who must defend against a stale claim may run into several problems during litigation:
- Witnesses who cannot accurately recall the incident
- Witnesses who cannot be located
- Evidence that was destroyed or misplaced
It is common wisdom that a stale claim may not lead to justice for either party. This means that a claim filed too long after the date of the injury may not result in a fair outcome for the plaintiff or defendant. Additionally, others may unfairly view the plaintiff as careless for not pursuing their claim sooner. Alternatively, a defendant may be forced to look over their shoulder forever for a case that may never be filed.
Why You Should File Your Abuse Claim Quickly
Besides the statute of limitations, there are reasons why you should file your nursing home abuse claim early. One reason is to bring your family member’s abuse to light and notify other residents of the nursing home of the facility’s unsavory practices.
Another reason to file your case early is to ensure that any witnesses and evidence are readily available for trial. While it may not correct the trauma of abuse, receiving compensation for your injuries may help with medical bills to treat injuries caused by the abuse.
If nursing home abuse resulted in the death of your family member, you could also initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home.
Fayetteville, AR Personal Injury Attorneys Will Get You the Compensation You Deserve
If you or a family member is being abused at a nursing home, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville personal injury attorney immediately. Ken Kieklak understands how traumatic it is to discover that your loved one was the victim of abuse in a facility you trusted. Ken will fight to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (479) 251-7767 or reach us online.
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