Accidents and injuries are a part of life. Unfortunately, a severe injury could impact the financial welfare and emotional wellbeing of a person and their family. Medical bills and lost income often make life difficult. When an injury results from another’s conduct, the injured person should not have to bear the full force of the consequences.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident due to the negligence of another party, we may be able to help. Our Johnson, Arkansas personal injury lawyers can help you file your claim and fight aggressively to obtain the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your Johnson personal injury case in a free, confidential consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today at (479) 279-2115.
Do I Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim in Johnson, AR?
If you were involved in an accident in Johnson and suffered injuries due to the actions or omissions of another party, you may be able to recover compensation or “damages.” Generally, personal injury cases involve the negligence of another party, which can lead to painful injuries and — in severe cases — the wrongful death of a human being. Often, the primary way a person can obtain compensation for their injuries is through a personal injury lawsuit.
To have a successful personal injury claim, you must prove a set of elements with the court. As a plaintiff, you have the burden of showing that the other party was negligent and that their negligence led to your losses. The elements you will need to show with the court in a personal injury case include:
Duty of Care
The duty of care is the first element you will need to show the court in your personal injury case. Duty of care refers to another party’s obligation to act as a reasonable person. For instance, a property owner has the duty to make sure their premises is free of any hazards that may injure their guests. The same would apply to drivers on the road. A car driver has a duty to operate their vehicle in a way that is safe for other motorists.
Breach of Duty
The second element you will need to show is a breach of duty. Through this second element, you will need to prove that the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care. In keeping with the previous example, you will need to show how the defendant failed to make sure their premises was safe for their guests. In the case of a car accident, you will need to show that the defendant was unable to drive their vehicle safely.
Not every bad decision or negligent act results in an injury. To prove causation, you will need to link the defendant’s actions to your accident and any injuries suffered as a result.
Once you have shown the first three elements to the court, you will need to show the losses you suffered a consequence of your accident. In other words, you will need to produce evidence of any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you successfully demonstrate all these elements with the court, you may obtain compensation for any damages you may have suffered.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Johnson, AR
A personal injury can happen for multiple reasons and can take a number of forms. However, the most common types of personal injury cases we handle include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases in Johnson, AR. Unfortunately, thousands of people end up severely injured or dead due to the negligence and recklessness of irresponsible drivers. Most of these injuries happen because the at-fault driver was drunk, distracted, tired, or was driving at high speeds. Whether you were in an accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, or were a pedestrian, our personal injury lawyers can help you hold the liable parties accountable for your losses.
When we visit the doctor, we do it trusting that these professionals will take good care of our health. Sadly, this is not always the case. Every year, thousands of patients suffer severe injuries or die at the hands of negligent and careless healthcare providers. Things like delayed diagnoses, incorrect diagnoses, incorrect prescriptions, and improper surgical procedures are common medical malpractice examples. If the negligent actions or omissions of your doctor led to injuries, we may be able to help.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents commonly happen on another person’s property. Most of these cases are handled by filing a premises liability claim against the negligent property owner. If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury on another party’s property in Johnson, AR, you may have the right to obtain compensation from those responsible.
When someone in Johnson buys a product, they fully anticipate that it will work correctly. Unfortunately, sometimes a product is defective and causes an injury. When this happens, an injured person could have a claim against the manufacturer or another party in the chain of distribution. Some underlying grounds for a products liability lawsuit include manufacturing defects, design flaws, and failure to warn.
Calculating Your Damages in a Johnson, AR Personal Injury Lawsuit
No matter how you were injured, if another’s negligence caused the injury, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Damages is not only the fourth element in proving negligence, it is also the legal term that refers to the expenses and emotional losses you experienced because of your injury.
Every injury is unique and the circumstances surrounding every case are different. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to provide what an average settlement would be. The amount of damages you are likely to recover in a lawsuit depends on the quality of the evidence and the severity of the injury. Unfortunately, there is no spreadsheet or straight-line calculation that will tell you exactly what your damages are. Our Johnson, AR personal injury lawyers will thoroughly evaluate your actual financial losses and the emotional and physical toll the injury took on you to estimate your total damages.
Types of Damages Available in a Johnson Personal Injury Case
The purpose of damages under Arkansas personal injury law is to put the victim back into the position they were before the accident or injury occurred. The at-fault defendant will be required to pay restitution, usually through their insurance provider, for the harm they caused through their negligence. As stated above, the exact amount you will recover will be based on the severity of your injuries, their impact on your life, and the facts surrounding your case.
Plaintiffs in Arkansas are permitted to recover three types of damages.
Economic damages are a plaintiff’s measurable expenses. These damages include medical costs, travel expenses to and from medical appointments, physical therapy, medical equipment, home healthcare, lost wages, and future lost earning capacity. Our office will gather the necessary documentation and expert opinions to place a value on your total financial losses.
Non-economic are subjective or intangible losses you experienced because of your injuries. The one most people are familiar with is pain and suffering. However, non-economic damages are more expansive and include mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety, loss of sleep, and the loss of enjoyment of life. Documenting non-economic damages is more challenging. Our Arkansas personal injury attorney will rely on expert medical opinions, witness testimonies, journals, and other evidence to demonstrate the injury’s impact on your life.
Punitive damages are rarely imposed and are not related to your financial losses or pain and suffering. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant when their conduct is grossly negligent, malicious, or intentional. The purpose of these damages is to detract the defendant from ever taking similar actions. For example, if a company knowingly puts a deadly product into the commerce stream, punitive damages could be imposed to stop it from happening again. It is important to note that punitive damages are rarely awarded. Our Johnson personal injury lawyer will advise you if you are likely to recover punitive damages in your case.
How the Plaintiff’s Conduct Affects Their Johnson Personal Injury Lawsuit
The job of our Johnson personal injury attorney is to evaluate your case, gather evidence to prove negligence on the part of the defendant, and calculate your damages. It also includes countering any argument the defense makes regarding your conduct.
Arkansas follows a modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. In every personal injury lawsuit, liability is one of the critical components. Without demonstrating that the defendant was liable for your injuries, you will not recover any compensation. However, in some cases, both the plaintiff and the defendant contributed to an accident. If a jury or judge determines that a plaintiff was more than fifty percent to blame for an accident, the plaintiff is prohibited from recovering any damages. For example, if you were also texting when a car accident occurred, a jury could find that you were more than fifty percent at fault.
This liability test could also impact cases when a defendant is found to be more than fifty percent at fault. If you were in a car accident and the jury determined that you were twenty percent at fault, your award would be decreased by that percentage. Therefore, under these circumstances, a $100,000 award would be reduced to $80,000.
In some cases, the evidence available shows that both parties played a role in an accident. However, many potential plaintiffs hurt their chances to recover their full damages when they make statements to insurance adjusters after an accident or injury. You need to remember that an insurance company is not looking out for your best interests. Any self-incriminating comment will be used to lower a settlement offer or offered in court to demonstrate culpability. After any injury that you believed was caused by another party, you should seek medical attention and then contact our experienced Johnson personal injury lawyer. Our office can handle the communication and negotiations with insurance providers while you concentrate on healing.
Johnson, AR Personal Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
The emotional, physical, and mental toll you must endure after an accident can be extremely challenging. This trying time can also put your family under a lot of stress. However, you do not have to face this time alone. There are ways you can hold the liable parties accountable for their wrongdoing and your losses. Johnson, AR, personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can help you file your claim. To speak with a professional about your case in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 279-2115.