Personal Injury

When Do I Have to File My Construction Injury Claim?

In most cases, construction injuries occur either when a worker is injured on the job or when a passerby at a construction site is injured from falling debris or another hidden danger. In either situation, the person injured at a construction site may be entitled to compensation from a personal injury lawsuit. What our Rogers personal injury lawyer will tell you, construction injury lawsuits like all others have a strict deadline to file. If you miss that deadline, you may lose your right to bring your claims in court. Consult with our Rogers personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Filing an Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Claim for Construction Injuries Like most states, Arkansas generally requires employees to file workplace injury claims with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission before bringing a lawsuit in court. With Workers Comp claims, your employer, through its Workers Comp insurance carrier, will reimburse you for your lost wages and medical expenses. However, under the state Workers Comp rules, you are not allowed to make a claim unless your injury will require you to be out of work for at least fourteen days. Although you may not know that is the case until you have been out for that long, Workers Comp is a little flexible with timing. Still, you need to speak to an attorney right away. Employees might be able to file construction injury lawsuits In some cases, where workers comp does not cover an employee’s claim, an employee may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit for their construction injuries. That typically happens when an employer does not have enough employees to be covered by the law, or if the victim is self-employed or a contractor. Non-Workers Comp Construction Injury Claims It is understood that working at a construction site can be inherently dangers, even with hard hat areas where safety gear is required. Even with safety measures, there are still risks posed by tools, equipment and the environment in general. For those who file personal injury lawsuits instead of workers comp claims, the deadline for doing so in Arkansas is three years from the date of the injury. This is known as the statute of limitations and it is a strict deadline that must be met for your construction injury claim to be viable. Be sure to discuss your options with our Rogers personal injury lawyer. Filing a suit against a construction company for injuries A passerby who is injured near a construction site may be entitled to bring their personal injury claim against the construction company and possibly the construction workers at the site. A passerby would not be limited to filing a workers comp claim, obviously, so the lawsuit would be subject to the same personal injury statute of limitations of three years. This will include personal injuries relating to following objects or debris and slips and falls caused by debris or construction tools or materials. In Arkansas, the time period for filing starts on the date of the injury. Some states have more complicated start times. This deadline only applies to the filing or initiation of the lawsuit in court, not the trial date, for example. If you have questions, contact our Rogers personal injury lawyer. However, if you file your case after the deadline, it could be thrown out. The purpose of the statute of limitations The primary purpose of a statute of limitations is a practical one.  The evidence that will either support or discredit your legal claims will likely be destroyed over time, just as the memories of relevant witnesses will be less accurate.  In accident cases, for example, the scene is most often altered over time.  Business records are usually destroyed as a normal course of business.  In order to preserve evidence, it is important to bring your lawsuit as soon as possible. “Tolling” of the statute of limitations Many jurisdictions “toll” or suspend the limitation period in special situations.  For instance, if the injured party is a minor or if bankruptcy proceedings are involved.  In those situations, the running of the limitations period is paused or tolled until the special situation ends. Equitable tolling can be applied for individuals who were intimated into not bringing the claim or who relied upon a promise that the period would be suspended.  In those case, it would be unfair or inequitable not to toll the period. If you have questions regarding construction injuries or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.

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Personal Injury claim in Arkansas

A Personal Injury Attorney Explains a Manufacturers Duty to Warn of Product Dangers

The manufacturer of a product is typically responsible for any defects in its products that injure consumers. That does not mean that manufacturers must guarantee their products are 100% safe because some products are inherently dangerous.  However, if there was a safer design available, manufacturers should consider that design, especially if they know their design has caused injuries. Manufacturers are also required to warn consumers about dangers that are known but cannot be avoided, such as with power tools or lawn mowers. Let our personal injury attorney explain the manufacturer’s duty to warn. Manufacturers are required to give appropriate instructions Under Arkansas law, for example, manufacturers are required to include “reasonable and adequate” instructions along with their products when they are sold. Determining what is “reasonable and adequate” depends on the specific details of the product and the particular dangers it poses. Some of the important factors include what the product is, what are the chances that a consumer might misuse the product and whether there are any obvious or hidden dangers contained in the product. What type of instruction is required? It is generally understood that, in order to safely use or operate certain products, you need to know how to use it and how to use it safely. That means that some form of instructional materials should be included with most products. The reality is a consumer that does not know how a product works will be more likely to use it in a way in which it was not meant to be used.  That could result in unintended injury. Nevertheless, instructions are generally only required for the foreseeable use of the product.  In other words, even if a product could be used in some unintended way, the manufacturer is not required to provide instructions for every possible use under the sun.  If you have concerns about whether a product that caused you injury provided sufficient instructions, speak to our personal injury attorney. An example of an instruction required for safe use While a circular saw is obviously a dangerous product, intended to cut objects. Consequently, it is not necessary to provide a warning that the blade is dangerous, as that is an obvious danger.  However, it may not be as obvious where the consumer should hold the blade when it is being used, which types of materials are intended to be cut using that particular type of saw, or where the saw can be safely used for cutting. Those types of instructions are necessary for the safe use of the saw, as it was intended to be used.  Warning requirements for dangerous products In addition to the duty to provide instructions, warnings may also be required. In Arkansas, a manufacturer generally has a duty to warn of dangers that may be inherent in a product. If a necessary warning is not provided, and a consumer is injured as a result, then the manufacturer may be held liable for the consumer’s injuries. Essentially, a manufacturer is required to warn consumers about foreseeable dangers in the use of their product. That does not include providing warnings for dangers that are “open” or “obvious.” For example, a knife manufacturer need not warn you that stabbing yourself with a knife will cause injury. Consumers who may be uniquely sensitive to a particular danger Another exception to the duty to warn relates to consumers who may be uniquely sensitive to a particular danger. For example, in one Arkansas case, it was determined that an insecticide manufacturer was not required to warn consumers about a possible allergic reaction.  That type of warning would only apply to people with a specific allergy sensitivity, so that specific warning was not required. Even if you suspect an injury you suffered may have been rare or unexpected, you should still speak to a personal injury attorney about your situation to be sure you do not have a claim. Warning for predicted misuse of a product In some situations, a manufacturer can reasonably predict that consumers will misuse their products in a certain way. In that case, the manufacturer may be required to warn against that predictable misuse. For example, a portable barbecue grill may be able to fit inside your home, but that does not mean it is safe to use it inside the home. For this reason, portable grill manufacturers typically include a warning that it is unsafe to use the grill indoors. Different requirements in pharmaceutical cases Cases involving pharmaceuticals may have different duties because the doctors who prescribe the medication are most often in a better position to warn their patients (the consumers) of any dangers associated with using the drug. For that reason, in some state’s the burden of warning patients of the dangers related to pharmaceutical use is placed on the physicians as opposed to the manufacturers. If you have questions regarding products liability or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.

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