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How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be wondering how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. The answer depends on the state in which you live, what type of personal injury claim you have, and who caused your injuries. This timeline to file a claim is called the “statute of limitations.” 

In Arkansas, the maximum amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit is three years. However, there are exceptions, so keep reading. Our Arkansas personal injury attorney will guide you through an overview of deadlines that apply to different personal injury cases. 

Note that this is just an overview, and for any number of reasons, the statute of limitations applicable to your case may be different than those discussed below.

Statute of Limitations on an Arkansas Personal Injury Claim

In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years from the date that the injury occurred. For example, if you are injured in a car accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, the court will likely dismiss your claim, and you will lose your right to compensation.

The three-year statute of limitations applies to personal injuries that result from:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Accidents involving defective products

This list is not exhaustive. Talk to an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer about your specific situation to ensure you are working on the correct timeline.

Statute of Limitations on an Arkansas Wrongful Death Claim

Survivors of a loved one who died wrongfully can bring a lawsuit within three years after the death of their loved one. This timeline will vary if the death was caused by medical malpractice.

Statute of Limitations on an Arkansas Medical Malpractice Claim

If you were injured by a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical provider, your deadline for filing a lawsuit is shorter than the typical three-year statute. The medical malpractice statute of limitations in Arkansas is two years “from the date the cause of action accrues.”

This last part is important because it doesn’t necessarily mean two years from the date of a particular surgery or injury. For example, the timeline may differ when a foreign object is left inside a patient during surgery. There may also be a different timeline when a child suffers an injury due to medical negligence.

Special Statute of Limitation Rules for Minors

When a minor child is injured, his or her parent or guardian can pursue a claim on the minor’s behalf. In personal injury cases, generally, the parent or guardian has until the minor reaches the age of majority to pursue the claim. Once the minor reaches the age of majority, he or she can pursue the claim on behalf of him or herself. 

Note that there may be a different deadline, depending on who causes injury to the minor child. It is therefore critical that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible, or you will risk running out of time.

Don’t Risk Losing Your Rights

The laws regarding statutes of limitation in Arkansas can be complex. That is why it is always best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to get the best information and advice for your specific situation. Contact us today to discuss the facts of your case to ensure you understand the timeline applicable to your case.

Tim Reed lawyer

Tim Reed is an experienced personal injury attorney based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tim has experience in a variety of practice areas, including car accidents, premises liability, brain injuries, and wrongful death. If you have questions about this article, contact Tim today by clicking here.