Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
No person wants to be the victim of a severe accident because another person or entity failed to exercise proper care. Unfortunately, hundreds of personal injury lawsuits are filed in Bentonville every year for a variety of circumstances. If you were injured due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced Bentonville personal injury lawyer today.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has practiced for over 20 years and has taken on a plethora of personal injury lawsuits for residents of Bentonville and others across Arkansas. Ken Kieklak understands the importance of pursuing compensation for a serious injury, and he is here to fight for you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact Ken Kieklak using our online submission form.
Common Personal Injury lawsuits in Bentonville, AR
Personal injury is a broad area of law. Many personal injury lawsuits operate on a theory of negligence. Specifically, the plaintiff in the case must show how the defendant was negligent in order to recover damages for their injuries. While personal injury law can refer to many types of claims, some claims are more common than others.
Where a personal injury action can occur is limited only by the need for the presence of people. Most incidents from which a personal injury action stem seem to occur in the course of people’s day-to-day lives. One may decide to drive to the store. An automobile or a commercial trucking accident could conceivably occur while you are on the way. Once you arrive at the store, you could slip and fall on an uneven sidewalk or pathway. Once inside the store, an improperly stocked shelf or a hastily constructed display could, respectively, cause an avalanche of products or a collapse.
Even the products in the store could result in a personal injury suit in the form of a product liability lawsuit. Product defects can be introduced in the manufacturing process. Product defects can also be introduced at the design stage where the product was manufactured according to specifications but are defective regardless—failure to warn claims where a manufacturer failed to warn about a danger from a foreseeable use exists.
Premises liability concerns a landowner’s duty to a visitor or even a trespasser on their property. Landowners have a duty to keep their property free of any defects that could injure a visitor to the property or to at least warn the visitor of the danger. In the case of a trespasser, a landowner typically must avoid reckless or wanton acts that could result in the injury of a trespasser.
A slip and fall accident is one of the most common premises liability lawsuits likely because they can occur anywhere. For example, if a customer at a restaurant slips on a wet spot because the staff failed to place a wet floor sign, this could make the restaurant owner liable for the accident.
There are also other types of premises liability lawsuits that a plaintiff can file. For example, if a homeowner fails to secure their pool and children nearly drown in the pool, the homeowner could be liable even though the children were trespassers. This is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine.
Severe and fatal car accidents occur every day in the United States. When a car accident occurs, the negligent driver will be held liable for the accident. However, depending on the circumstances of the accident, other parties may also be responsible. For example, if an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident, the victim of the accident may pursue compensation from insurance policies provided by the rideshare companies.
Additionally, if you were involved in an accident with a truck or another commercial vehicle, there are multiple parties that could be held liable for the accident. For example, if a truck driver caused an accident due to driving while drowsy, their employee could be held liable for the accident. This is referred to as vicarious liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
We often hope that the doctor we selected to treat an injury or condition will provide us with the best of care. Unfortunately, some doctors may act negligently and worsen the condition of a patient. For example, failing to diagnose a possibly fatal condition like cancer could open a doctor up to liability.
If a doctor was employed by a hospital when the malpractice occurred, there is a possibility that the hospital could be vicariously liable for the doctor’s actions. This is why some hospitals hire doctors as independent contractors. Fortunately, our firm is here to help you determine the relevant parties in a malpractice lawsuit.
It is important to note that a doctor-patient relationship must be established before an injured patient can file for a medical malpractice lawsuit. This means that a person cannot file a claim due to receiving casual medical advice from a doctor. A victim must be able to show they received medical care from a doctor in an official capacity.
Additionally, medical malpractice claims are often not accrued if a patient suffers a mild injury due to the actions of a doctor. A plaintiff must show that a doctor violated the standard of care that is common within their area of practice.
While not listed above, Ken Kieklak can handle many other types of personal injury claims for you, like defective product claims and commercial vehicle accidents. To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Bentonville, AR, continue reading and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Bentonville, AR
Our firm understands the difficulty of suffering a serious injury due to the negligence of another, and we are here to offer you the representation that you deserve. When seeking a personal injury lawsuit against the party that caused your injuries, a victim should be aware that their case is subject to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a person has to file a personal injury lawsuit with the court. The filing deadline set by the statute of limitations depends on the type of lawsuit that a plaintiff needs to file. For example, a personal injury lawsuit arising from a car accident may have a different filing deadline than one based on medical malpractice. If you are uncertain about what type of lawsuit you need to file, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years from the date of the accident. Additionally, if a plaintiff wishes to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, the filing deadline would be two years from the date of the injury. However, the filing deadline for a medical malpractice claim can change depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if a victim was injured while they were under the age of 18, they may be provided with additional time to file their lawsuit.
If a plaintiff fails to file their lawsuit within the amount of time detailed in the statute of limitations, they risk losing their opportunity to seek compensation for their injuries. Specifically, if a lawsuit was filed after the filing deadline had expired, the defendant can move to dismiss the case.
Note, however, that some filing deadlines are subject to change depending on the circumstances of the case. A potential plaintiff may be able to delay or extend their filing deadline. You should not assume that you are able to delay the statute of limitations for your case without speaking with an experienced attorney first.
To learn more about proving your personal injury lawsuit, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Bentonville personal injury lawyer today.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits typically require a plaintiff to prove how a defendant acted negligently. In order to prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff must show the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff (e.g., the defendant caused an accident by driving their car drunk)
- The plaintiff suffered a severe injury due to the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff sustained an injury that is compensable by a court of law
After proving all four elements, a plaintiff can be awarded damages for their injuries and other financial losses.
What Damages are Available in Bentonville, Ar Personal Injury Lawsuits?
In Arkansas, the main category of damages that can flow from a personal injury action are compensatory damages. As the name suggests, damages of this type are meant to compensate you for the losses or injuries you suffered due to another’s negligence. There are two categories of compensatory damages: economic losses and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are awarded based on financial losses that are easily calculated. Noneconomic losses are calculated based on a number of subjective factors, like emotional distress.
Plaintiffs also have to show the damages they have incurred before they are able to recover compensation. For example, if you want to be awarded compensation for medical expenses, a plaintiff may have to submit records showing the extent of medical expenses due to the accident.
Compensatory damages can include things like medical bills, rehabilitative therapy costs, lost wages, lost future wages, and pain & suffering. The goal of these damages is to make you whole after a serious injury or loss.
In some cases, a plaintiff may even be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when a defendant has committed an especially heinous or intentional act. For example, if a property owner set traps on their property with the intention of injuring visitors, this may be valid circumstances to award punitive damages.
Arkansas Modified Comparative Fault Rule
If a plaintiff prevails in a personal injury lawsuit in Bentonville, AR, against a defendant, the defendant will have to pay the plaintiff damages for their injuries. Arkansas’ modified comparative fault rule can affect the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff. Under this rule, a plaintiff’s damages are decreased in accordance with their level of fault in the accident. This means that if a plaintiff were 30 percent negligent, they would lose 30 percent of their damages.
The state also uses the 50 percent rule when calculating damages. The 50 percent rule bars a plaintiff from receiving compensation if their fault was equal to or greater than that of the defendant. This means if the court or jury finds the defendant 50% at fault, they will be unable to receive compensation. This also means that a court or jury can find a plaintiff 49.9% at fault and the plaintiff will still be awarded damages.
Due to the negligence rules adopted by Arkansas, it is vital to ensure you gather sufficient evidence to show that you did not act negligently. For example, if you were struck when another driver ran a red light, taking pictures of the accident can help the jury determine the circumstances of the accident.
Work with Our Dedicated Bentonville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a family member was injured in a serious accident, consult with an experienced Bentonville personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Injury lawyer Ken Kieklak is here to provide you with the aggressive legal representation that you deserve for your case. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438.