Many injuries only occur because someone involved in the accident failed to use the proper care or skill to keep you safe. Due to our relations and interactions with others, we often have a duty to keep them safe and act to protect them from harm. This is especially clear with regard to traffic laws intended to keep others safe or a doctor’s duty of care to keep a patient from further harm. When people fail to follow these duties, people can be seriously injured or killed.
Harris, Arkansas personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak may be able to help if you were injured because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. To schedule a free legal consultation on your injury case, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.
Suing for Injuries in Harris, Arkansas
Whenever you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to sue them in court for the injuries sustained. In many cases, there may be insurance available to file a claim against, such as auto insurance, business liability insurance, or medical malpractice insurance. However, most insurance policies do not cover the full value of your damages, and you may be better off filing a lawsuit to cover your damages.
To win a lawsuit for your injuries, you must prove what the defendant did wrong to cause your injuries. Generally, people have a duty not to intentionally injure each other, but they do not owe them other duties unless there is some relationship between the victim and the defendant. This duty is imparted in many situations and takes a different form depending on the specific circumstances at hand. The following are all examples of duties someone might owe you:
- A driver owes other drivers a duty to drive reasonably and avoid accidents.
- Your doctor owes patients a duty a provide reasonable medical care.
- A product manufacturer owes purchasers a duty to carefully design and manufacture a product and to warn of potential dangers.
- A property owner owes guests a duty to clean up or repair hidden dangers or to warn guests about the danger.
If the defendant fails to use the proper care or skill to uphold that duty and you are injured because of it, you may recover damages for the injuries and other harms their negligence causes you.
The damages you can recover in a lawsuit typically include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These damages can be proven by producing medical bills, financial records, pay stubs, and other documentation of the costs you faced because of the injuries. Evidence of intangible injuries like pain and suffering can include your testimony about how the injury affected you and impacted your life.
If you can prove all of these elements, you may be entitled to payments to cover the damages you proved. Typically, this means convincing a jury, not the judge, that it is more likely than not that your claim is true and that the defendant was responsible for your injuries.
Types of Personal Injury Cases in Harris, AR
Personal injury cases are as varied as the number of people who file them. Every personal injury lawsuit is unique and requires a different approach depending on the severity of the injury and the facts surrounding the accident. Our Harris, AR personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling different types of cases.
Medical malpractice cases are very common in Arkansas. When our trusted healthcare providers, medical professionals, doctors, nurses, or other specialists fail to provide the required standard of medical care, they could be held liable for the harm they cause.
Many medical malpractice cases stem from professional incompetence or negligence. For instance, a surgeon could carelessly leave a surgical instrument in a patient, resulting in either an infection or other adverse medical complications. Errors occur in the administration of medication or the results of medical imaging tests could be misinterpreted.
Medical malpractice cases are often the most challenging lawsuits because of the difficulty in determining fault. A poor outcome is not necessarily grounds for a medical malpractice case. Even routine procedures that are correctly performed could result in unintended and devastating results. By turning to medical records and expert testimony, our office will look to prove you were the victim of medical malpractice.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Driving is one of the most dangerous things an average person does during the course of their day. Some accidents in Harris are just that, accidents. Sometimes a car accident occurs because of circumstances beyond anyone’s control. However, when an accident results from negligence on the part of one or more parties, they should be held accountable for any injures.
Motor vehicle accidents come in all types, from fender benders to catastrophic head-on collisions. They also involve a wide variety of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and even pedestrians. Each case requires a different legal strategy.
When someone in Harris buys a product, they have a reasonable expectation that it will perform as described and safely. Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure that the products they provide are reliable and reasonably safe to use. When a product causes an injury, either because of a manufacturing defect or design flaw, victims are entitled to seek compensation through a civil claim.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Probably the most common reason for personal injury lawsuits are slip and fall accidents. When someone loses their footing, they could suffer everything from a slight bruise to a life-altering brain injury. Often, slip and fall accidents occur on another’s property. Property owners, building managers, and landlords are responsible for ensuring that their properties are safe for their guests and invitees. It is important to talk with an experienced Harris personal injury lawyer to understand precisely what type of obligation a property owner owed you if you were injured in a slip and fall accident.
The majority of Harris, Arkansas workers can claim benefits under workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. However, these benefits are limited, and if your injury is severe, the benefits might not be sufficient to cover all your financial losses. Additionally, workers’ compensation does not compensate an injured worker for the physical and emotional suffering associated with their injury.
While in most cases, an employee is prohibited from filing a lawsuit against their employer, there are exceptions. In addition, there are times when a third-party could be held liable for a worker’s injuries. If you were hurt on the job, it is critical to speak with our workers’ compensation attorney to assist you with your claim and determine if a personal injury lawsuit is viable.
Common Types of Injury Claims
People can be injured in many ways, but the types of injury cases are typically grouped together into various categories of personal injury cases. Our injury lawyer handles cases in these categories, as well as unique cases or cases that fall between categories.
Car accidents are one of the most common types of injury cases. People are hurt and killed in thousands of car accidents each year in Arkansas alone, and working with a lawyer may be vital to getting the full damages you are entitled to. In addition to car accidents, other auto accidents such as truck accident, bike accidents, and pedestrian accidents could lead to a lawsuit
Cases where victims are injured because of dangers on someone else’s property are typically categorized as “premises liability” cases. The most common of these cases are slip and fall or trip and fall cases where someone fell down because of a dangerous puddle, uneven surface, ice or snow, loose cables, or other dangers on the owner’s property. This could also include cases with injuries from sharp objects, fires, electrical hazards, and other property defects.
Medical malpractice and medical negligence cases account for another broad category of injuries. This could cover injuries and damages from misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, birth injuries, surgical errors, and other medical errors or hospital negligence.
Products liability cases cover injuries from negligent product manufacturing. These injuries could occur because the manufacturer used a patently dangerous design, because of errors in the manufacturing process that made the product dangerous, or because a dangerous product did not carry sufficient warning of its risks. These injuries could occur from tools and appliances, but product injury cases also cover auto defect injuries, pharmaceutical injuries, and medical device injuries.
Injury cases dealing with specific types of injuries are also a common way to classify personal injury cases. For instance, our injury lawyer handles cases dealing with any of the following types of injuries, regardless of how the injury occurred:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and spine injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash injuries
- Broken bones
- Drowning injuries
- Burns and chemical burns
Damages Available in a Harris, AR Personal Injury Lawsuit
The primary reason someone files a personal injury lawsuit in Harris, AR, is to seek compensation for their financial losses and emotional suffering. Injured victims are permitted to recover three classifications of damages in a personal injury claim.
Economic damages are exactly what they appear to be – your monetary losses incurred because of your injury. Medical expenses are the most obvious. However, there are many out-of-pocket costs associated with an injury, including parking fees for a doctor’s appointment, medication expenses, physical therapy, or any additional treatment you might need. Furthermore, you are entitled to be compensated for any income you lost and income you anticipate losing because of the injury. Our Harris personal injury lawyer will collect receipts, bills, and documents as evidence. We will also work with financial experts to calculate the full amount of your losses.
Non-economic are more challenging to understand and prove. Typically, these are the subjective and intangible harm you experienced because of your injury. Nearly everyone is familiar with the idea of suing for pain and suffering. However, non-economic damages encompass much more. In addition to being compensated for your mental anguish, anxiety, insomnia, or other post-traumatic symptoms you might have, you are also entitled to recover for loss of enjoyment of life. For instance, if you were an avid waterskier and could no longer ski because of a surgical error, you could be compensated for this negative impact on your life. Our office will work with medical experts, witnesses, and your own testimony to determine your non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are very different from both economic and non-economic damages. The first two categories are compensatory damages meant to restore the injured victim to where they were before the injury. The plaintiff is required to substantiate any damages with evidence related to the injury. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant. When a defendant’s conduct is grossly negligent, malicious, or intentional, the court could award punitive damages as a deterrent and punishment. For example, if a drunk driver caused a car accident, the court could award punitive damages because of the driver’s especially egregious behavior. Our Harris personal injury attorney will evaluate your case to determine if punitive damages are a possibility.
Call Our Harris Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free to Discuss Your Legal Options
For help with your injury case, contact our Harris, Arkansas personal injury lawyer today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, works to get injury victims the compensation they need after serious accidents and injuries, and he can fight to help you and your family recover from avoidable injuries by working to maximize the compensation you receive. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.