A statute of limitations is a statute, or law, that restricts the period of time, after certain events, that a person may initiate legal proceedings. These time limits vary depending on the type of case and the state where the particular cause of action occurred. After the time limit has passed, the injured person no longer has the right to sue to recovery money damages, unless a legal exception applies. The following provides a brief summary, in alphabetical order, of some of the limitations periods for the state of Arkansas for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability. Please contact a qualified Arkansas lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Actions based on fraud must be filed within 3 years.
Libel claims must be filed within 3 years from the date of the action. Slander and defamation claims must be filed within 1 year from the date of the action.
All actions against medical professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date of the negligent act or omission.
Medical Malpractice Actions Based on Foreign Object Left in Body:
Where a person asserts that a health-care provider left an object in a person’s body and that person did not discover, and was not able to discover, the foreign object within the 2 year limitation period for medical malpractice, the claim may be filed within one year from the date the foreign object was discovered, or should have been discovered, whichever date is earlier.
Personal injury actions must be filed within 3 years from the date of the injury.
Product liability actions must be filed within 3 years from the date of the injury.
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 3 years of the date of death.
Special Rules Tolling the Statute of Limitations:
A statute of limitations is tolled when certain conditions are present. When a statute is tolled, the limitations period is essentially put on hold for a period of time. Some typical reasons that a statute is tolled include situations when the victim of the injury was a minor at the time of the injury (minority), when the victim of the injury was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury (mental incompetence), and when the defendant has filed bankruptcy.
In Arkansas, when the injured party is under 21 that party ordinarily has 3 years after his or her 21st birthday to file his or her claim. This applies in all cases except for wrongful death claims. When a minor nine years of age or under suffers a medical injury, a medical malpractice claim must be filed by the minor’s 11th birthday or 2 years from the injury, whichever is later. A person who is deemed to be insane at the time of the cause of action will have three years after the disability is removed to file a lawsuit. When there are two or more disabilities present at the time of the injury, the limitation period will not begin until all disabilities have been removed.