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.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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