Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. Nationally, they cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. Arkansan’s suffers disproportionately from injuries, with a higher incidence rate per capita in many injury categories and in most age groups. One of the most common injuries in Arkansas and nationally is the classic slip and fall injury. Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%).
If you have been injured in Sebastian County due to a dangerous condition on the property of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law possesses more than 20 years of experience standing up for injured Arkansans.
Unfortunately, injuries happen when we least expect them, and can often happen in public places, or when you are at someone’s home. Injuries because of dangerous conditions on someone’s premises can range in severity from minor to catastrophic and life altering. Some of the relatively minor injuries may include a scraped knee, a bruised elbow, or some minor swelling. Generally, these injuries go away in a few days. However, sometimes catastrophic injuries occur, including the loss of loved ones. Regardless of the type of injury, if the accident was the property owner’s fault, the injured should hire an attorney as soon as possible to pursue the compensation that they may be entitled to under the law.
As contrasted with minor injuries, catastrophic injuries can change the course of your life. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include gas explosions, slip-and-fall accidents, animal attacks, and burn injuries. These types of injuries can leave victims permanently disabled or disfigured, or may even result in death. Catastrophic injuries cause severe damage physically and, often, emotionally and psychologically. Additionally, catastrophic injuries often require intensive medical treatment that can last for weeks or months, or even life. Common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Brain injuries – These are injuries that result due to injury to the skull and or brain as a result of an impact.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – These injuries typically consist of damage to the spinal cord, which can result in full or partial paralysis.
- Burn Injury – Burn injuries can range from a minor first-degree burn, to more serious second and third-degree burns. Any one of these types of burns may require surgery and lengthy hospital stays.
A catastrophic injury may dramatically change the course of your life. If you have experienced a catastrophic injury while on someone else’s property or business you may be unable to work or to pay your medical bills. Hiring an experienced premises liability attorney in Sebastian County can greatly increase your ability to recover for your injuries.
Damages in a Premises Liability Claim
Victims injured while on another’s property may be eligible to collect a variety of premises liability damages, depending on the type of injury and what damages they incur. When a property owner fails to exercise reasonable care to prevent an accident from occurring on their property or business, they may be required to pay damages to anyone who is injured as a result of their negligence. The compensation an injured person may be able to receive depends on several factors, including the type of personal injury, the total amount of insurance available, and if the jury decides to award punitive damages. In general, victims can pursue compensation for medical costs, lost income and other losses, and pain and suffering associated with their injury.
People who are injured on another’s property or at their business may be able to recover some or all of their medical expenses. Some of the most common medical expenses that you may be able to recover are:
- Doctors visits
- Hospital stays
- Prescription costs
- Rehabilitation services
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Ambulance costs
- Medical supplies
If the victim was fatally injured, his or her family may be able to pursue wrongful death damages to cover funeral and burial expenses and other losses.
Lost Income and Other Expenses:
Another form of damages you may be able to recover as a result of being injured on another’s property or business includes lost income. A victim may be compensated for financial losses incurred during his or her recovery from the injury. This includes:
- Lost wages and income from not being able to work or from taking time off to recover.
- Living expenses, which may include childcare expenses.
- An injured person may be able to recover compensation for potential future losses. This may include their ability to earn an income in the future, and income they may lose because they are unable to gain a promotion or higher position as a result of their injury.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are some of the most difficult types of damages to determine, but may be a legitimate part of your case. Depending on the severity of the injury and its effect on the victim’s everyday life, damages for pain and suffering may cover:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of ability to enjoy a previous lifestyle or activity.
These damages tend to be more emotional damages rather than physical damages.
Another type of damages you may be able to recover are known as punitive damages. Under Arkansas law, punitive damages may be imposed to punish a wrongdoer and to deter the wrongdoer and others from similar conduct. In order to recover punitive damages from a property owner or business owner, the injured person has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence either:
- That property owner knew or should have known, in the light of the surrounding circumstances, that their conduct would naturally and probably result in injury or damage and that the property owner continued such conduct (with malice or) in reckless disregard of the consequences.
- That the property owner intentionally pursued a course of conduct for the purpose of causing the injury or damage.
The Arkansas courts have interpreted “Clear and convincing evidence” to mean: proof that enables you without hesitation to reach a firm conviction that the allegation is true. Under Arkansas rules for punitive damages, the trial judge has the discretion in the first phase whether to allow the jury to decide if punitive damages are warranted — not the amount — or to defer the determination to the second phase. Upon the motion of any party and if warranted by the evidence, the amount of punitive damages, if any, must be decided in the second proceeding.
Contact Sebastian County Premises Liability Attorney Ken Kieklak
Proving a premises liability case requires a clear and focused approach. If you have been injured in Sebastian County, Ken Kieklak can work to hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. For your free and confidential initial consultation, call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.