Serious injuries can happen to anyone, at any time, without any warning. Oftentimes, these injuries devastate the physical, mental, emotional, and financial states of both the injured person and his or her family. Depending on the injury, people can be limited in how they enjoy leisure activities, perform basic functions, and work for a living. To make matters worse, a serious injury may also require costly, painful, and time-consuming treatment. The impact of a physical injury can negatively affect all areas of a victim’s life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Fayetteville, AR, let Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law help you through this difficult time. We believe that negligent parties should be held accountable for their actions, and are experienced in all types of personal injury cases. For nearly 20 years, our skilled Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyers have been representing clients in matters including but not limited to:
If you have suffered one of these injuries in Fayetteville, AR, Ken Kieklak may be able to fight for you. However, the first step towards taking action to hold responsible parties accountable is to learn about the rights you have by answering common questions. This page will address some of the concerns more frequently held by injury victims and potential clients.
Even if your injury is not on this list, if you were injured in Fayetteville, AR, personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak can help. The first step towards holding the responsible parties accountable is to learn about your right to recovery. This page has some general information about what a personal injury attorney can do for you.
Types of Claims Our Fayetteville, AR Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
Personal injury can encompass a wide range of claims. The manner in which you were injured may affect the type of claim you can file against the party that is responsible for your injuries. The following is a list of common types of personal injury claims a plaintiff may file.
A serious car accident can leave a victim with long-term or occasionally fatal injuries. The type of car accident a victim was involved in will typically determine the type of injuries they may sustain. For example, if a driver is involved in a rear-end car crash, they are likely to suffer an injury like whiplash or a back injury.
Auto accidents are among the most common personal injury claims. According to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, 2,646,515 vehicles are registered in Arkansas today. With nearly three million vehicles sharing the roadways of Fayetteville, accidents can occur at any time. According to the 2011 Traffic Crash Statistics report prepared by the AR State Police, in 2011 Fayetteville experienced:
- 2,415 total crashes
- 340 crashes resulting in injury
- 7 crashes resulting in fatalities
- 430 total injuries
- 9 total auto-related deaths
Additionally, determining liability for a car accident can depend on a number of factors. For example, if a person is struck by a commercial vehicle, the driver of the vehicle and their employer could be held liable for the accident. If multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, a personal injury claim may become more intricate.
Where Do Car and Truck Accidents Occur in Fayetteville, AR?
The report issued by the Arkansas State Police regarding Fayetteville, AR car accidents states that:
- 60% of all crashes occurred on state highways
- 34% occurred on city streets
- 6% occurred on country roads
Accidents occur on both local roads and state and interstate highways. On local roads, rapidly changing traffic conditions, including the frequent stop-and-go of even light traffic is frequently a reason for crashes. While even low-speed accidents can produce pretty serious conditions, they are often less serious than the injuries from highway and interstate crashes.
One reason behind this disparity is speed. While local accidents typically occur at 50 miles per hour or less, accidents on highways often occur at much higher speeds. There is significantly more force involved when a vehicle is traveling at 65 miles per hour, 75 miles per hour, or even faster. While vehicle designs have improved their ability to absorb and redirect these violent forces away from the driver and other occupants, no car or truck design is perfect, and extremely serious injuries can occur.
Some of the major roadways in Fayetteville where auto accidents are most likely to occur include:
- Interstate 540
- US Route 62
- US Route 71
- Highway 16
- Highway 45
- Highway 112
Among the seven fatal crashes recorded in 2011, three incidents — nearly half — involved the use of drugs or alcohol. When drivers choose to recklessly endanger the lives of their fellow motorists by driving under the influence, they should be held accountable for wrongful deaths and personal injury. Other factors which can contribute to car accidents include poor road surfaces, defective roadways, potholes, and debris.
Premises Liability Injuries
Property owners and operators are responsible for keeping their property, buildings, and homes safe for guests and customers. If a homeowner or the owner of a business is aware of dangerous conditions on his or her property, and fails to correct the problem, they may be held liable for injury or death caused by these dangers on their property.
Premises liability claims are relatively common in matters of wrongful death and personal injury, in part because so many property conditions can be hazardous. Hazardous conditions may exist on both commercial and residential properties, and can affect residents, visitors, customers, and passerby alike. Some common interior and exterior property conditions which can result in injury or death include:
- Loose or Faulty Wiring
- Wet or Slippery Surfaces
- Uneven Surfaces
- Poor Lighting
- Insufficient Security
- Structural Damage
One of the most common reasons for premises liability accidents in Fayetteville, AR and throughout the nation is the simple slip and fall or trip and fall. Despite the simplicity, slip and falls can produce extremely serious injuries. According to the Center for Disease Control, slip and falls are a leading cause of broken bones, back and neck injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Furthermore, senior citizens and those already recovering from injury are especially vulnerable to being hurt in a fall.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim that is filed within civil court likely because they may occur anywhere. A slip and fall occurs when a person trips over some type of hazard and suffers an injury. For example, if a retail store fails to mop up a spill and a customer slips and is injured, the owner of the retail store can be held liable for the accident. Other safety hazards that can lead to a slip and fall accident include:
- Poor lighting in areas like stairwells or parking lots
- Unplowed snow and ice
- Unstable stairwells or handrails
- Poorly marked construction areas
Liability for a slip and fall injury will fall upon the owner of the property. A property owner has a legal duty to ensure their property is free of safety hazards that could injure visitors or to at least warn a visitor of a safety hazard.
Defective Products and Product Liability Injuries
Companies know that if they create dangerous or defective products, they will be liable for the injuries they cause. Still, companies keep cutting corners in design or manufacturing, and make dangerous product. One of the biggest recent examples is the “Hoverboard.” Its design is unsafe without handlebars like those on a Segway or scooter. Its internal computers are also prone to malfunction, endangering riders. The Consumer Product Safety Commission indicated that serious head injuries occurred as a result. Plus, many batteries in the units were of low quality and prone to catch on fire while being charged or used due to poor manufacturing. We have also seen similar dangers in batteries with regard to recent cell phone manufacturing from Samsung.
Unfortunately, these are far from the only current products liability concerns. Other major issues regarding products liability concerns includes the Takata airbag defect where the inflator deploys with excessive force, sending metal shrapnel into the face and neck of the driver. The GM ignition switch defect has caused a number of injuries and deaths due to a power outage when the keyring is jostled. Furthermore, there is a potentially large alleged defect situation brewing regarding the rear-placement of fuel tanks in Jeeps and certain other vehicles.
This is only a sampling of defects currently on the radar – nearly any products can potentially harm the user, especially if it is improperly manufactured.
Medical Malpractice and Doctor Negligence
When we seek medical treatment, we expect that we will be taken care of. Some of the biggest tragedies occur when our doctors fail to give us the proper care, perform procedures without the required skill, or when they fail to diagnose an illness until it is too late. A typical mantra among doctors is “first do no harm.” When doctors fail this promise, and end up harming their patients, those patients deserve a way to regain their losses.
Medical negligence can occur in many different ways. Doctors can make errors during surgery, medical staff can fail to keep the operating room and the unconscious patient safe, healthcare providers can fail to run necessary tests to catch illness or disease, or medical professionals may hide their mistakes and lie about your condition. In rare, but extremely unfortunate circumstances, healthcare providers can much huge mistakes, such as performing the wrong procedure or amputating the wrong limb.
In other cases, the issues come down to what the doctors and nurses have permission to do. People cannot touch you – and certainly cannot perform surgery on you – without your permission. If healthcare providers fail to explain procedures and get your full, informed consent (outside of an emergency), you might have a case against them, even if the procedure was performed correctly.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim Arkansas?
All states place a limit on the amount of time a person has to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as the “statute of limitations.” A statute of limitations is intended to force people to bring their claims forward in a timely manner before evidence is lost to time or discarded, and before people forget what happened. There is no single statute of limitations that covers all personal injuries. Rather, the amount of time you have to file is based on how the injury occurred. In general, these are the rules:
- Negligence, like a car crash or slip and fall, has a two-year statute of limitations, and
- Medical malpractice has a three-year statute of limitations
In some cases, especially if the injury or its cause was hidden from you, you might be given more time – but that is never guaranteed!
If You Were Hurt in the Fayetteville Area, Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Suffering a serious injury due to the negligence of other parties can be stressful and sometimes a life-changing experience. Fortunately, victims of serious injuries can pursue a lawsuit against a negligent party to recover the compensation they need for medical bills and other unexpected expenses. If you or a family member was injured due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer today.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands the complications that can arise after a serious accident, and he is here to stand with you. Whether you were injured in a car accident or a slip and fall, Ken Kieklak will help you determine the appropriate legal action take for your potential claim.
If you or a family member was injured in a severe accident, contact an experienced Fayetteville, AR personal injury attorney today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has represented residents of Fayetteville for over 20 years, and he would be proud to represent you. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your injury claim, contact Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438.