Unfortunately, serious injury can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere, and Springdale is no exception to this rule. Good drivers can be hit by reckless drivers, innocent pedestrians can be hurt by hazards on badly maintained properties, trusting patients can be fitted with defective medical implants, and any number of other catastrophes. An outside party’s reckless or negligent conduct can change an accident victim’s life in the blink of an eye, leaving that victim and his or her family members to pick up the pieces. If you or someone you love was hurt because of another person’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence: you deserve justice for all you’ve been forced to endure.
A personal injury claim cannot turn back the hands of time to prevent your accident from happening. But it can prevent other people from being hurt by the same product, defect, hazard, or person in the future, while simultaneously compensating you financially and granting you precious peace of mind. To speak privately with an experienced Springdale, Arkansas personal injury lawyer, call Ken Kieklak right away at (479) 316-0438. The statute of limitations places a deadline on the time you have to file a claim following an accident, so don’t wait until it’s too late: call our firm today to start exploring your legal options.
Types of Personal Injury Accidents in Springdale, AR
When you or one of your loved ones is in pain, the outcome of a case becomes more important than ever. You want to feel confident you have the support of an aggressive, knowledgeable, and highly qualified attorney on your side. Ken Kieklak has nearly 20 years of practical experience advocating for accident victims, survivors, and their families, and has handled complex cases in numerous fields of personal injury.
Car accidents happen throughout Springdale for a variety of reasons. Many times, they are caused by the negligent conduct of another driver. When someone is driving drunk, recklessly, distracted, or otherwise ignoring the rules of the road, they could be held responsible for any harm they caused. Accidents are also not limited to cars. Trucks, buses, motorcycles, and even pedestrians walking through Springdale are involved in devastating accidents.
Air travel remains one of the safest ways to travel. The industry is highly regulated and there are protocols that help maintain a high safety standard. Unfortunately, accidents do occur, often caused by pilot error or a mechanical malfunction. When these rare incidents happen, families are devastated.
Defective Medical Implants
Many medical devices are designed to improve people’s lives. Pacemakers, prosthetics, and other implants are beneficial but come with some risk. When an implant is defective, it could present more harm than good.
When someone in Springdale buys a product, they expect it to work as advertised. What they do not anticipate is being injured by a product that should be perfectly safe. Design flaws, manufacturing defects, and inadequate warning labels all contribute to preventable injuries.
Pharmaceutical companies have provided near medical miracles for many people. However, some medication has proved to be more harmful than helpful. When a pharmaceutical company negligently or purposefully allows a dangerous drug into the market, they should be held accountable.
Property owners and managers have a responsibility in Springdale to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for their guests and invitees. Homeowners also have a similar obligation to those invited into their homes. If you are injured on another’s property, the owner or manager could be held liable for the harm you suffered.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall cases are some of the most common personal injury lawsuits filed in Springdale. People who slip and lose their footing suffer injuries ranging from a bruised ego to permanent brain damage. No fall or injury should be taken lightly and an injured person often deserves compensation.
The above represents only a brief overview of the areas personal injury law can cover. Personal injuries may arise under a myriad of circumstances, but the common element that holds everything together is that a person suffers a potentially serious injury due to the reckless, careless, or intentional act of another.
What to Do If You Were Hurt by a Dangerous Product in Springdale
Companies that market and sell their products in retail stores in Springdale or to Springdale residents over the phone or Internet have a duty to make sure that the item is free from problems or hazards that can result in serious injury or death. While most companies are aware of this duty and attempt to market safe products, certain problems can slip through the cracks. Even though industry standards and regulations make defective and dangerous products rarer, they are still out there.
To name a few, there have been significant issues with cars and trucks in recent years. Defects include the General Motors (GM) ignition switch issue that causes vehicles to stall and lose power, the Takata airbag inflator defect that results in airbags deploying with excessive force, and the FCA rear fuel tank fire problems. Outside of the automotive industry, problems with fires and falls from hoverboards have caused significant injuries and property damage.
If you have been hurt by a defective product, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If you are injured and feeling pain or discomfort, let the doctor know so that the full extent of your injuries can be treated. Once you have received medical treatment, be sure to keep the defective product and take photos of any damage or other problems that may have occurred. However, if the product is still in a dangerous state, be extremely careful when handling it or call a products liability lawyer who can help you locate a qualified person who can handle and preserve the product.
What to Do If You Were Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Springdale
Auto accidents account for a large portion of personal injury cases – many of them devastating. In Arkansas in 2019 alone, there were over 460 fatal accidents, with drugs or alcohol involved in roughly half of all reported fatalities. Roads can be dangerous places — particularly when reckless drivers make the careless decision to speed, weave, drive aggressively, send text messages, drive while intoxicated, and other safety violations. If a motorist’s reckless and dangerous driving habits cause injury to another driver or pedestrian, that motorist may be considered financially liable.
Ken Kieklak handles a wide variety of auto accidents on roads ranging from rural to highway, including but not limited to:
- Accidents at Railroad Crossings
- Bicycle Accidents
- Car Accidents
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Accident With Two Cars
While the above addresses some of the types of possible accidents in Springdale, there have been a number of fatal accidents in the area. For instance, one 2014 fatal accident involved a pedestrian who was hit by a car when a driver backed out of his driveway. In February 2013, a driver and passenger were killed after losing control of their Ford Mustang on Cowface Road. The vehicle left the roadway and careened down an embankment where it hit a tree.
How Is Premises Liability Defined in Springdale, AR?
Premises is simply a synonym for private or commercial property. As a result, premises liability — the issue of a hazardous property or property element — can come in many different forms. One of the most common forms is slip and fall, which is precisely what it sounds like: an accident in which a victim slips and/or falls because a given premises is not well-maintained. Factors which can cause slip and fall accidents to occur include:
- Broken Railings
- Insufficient Lighting
- Loose Carpeting/Wiring
- Slippery Patches
- Structural Damage
- Uneven Surfacing
- Weakened Floors
While some types of accidents tend to strike specific demographics, such as surgical implants affecting only surgical patients, slip and fall does not discriminate by age, gender, race, or environment. However, the health effects of slip and fall are especially dangerous to some segments of the population, such as the elderly. According to the CDC, fall accidents are the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries to adults aged 65 and older.
Slip and fall accidents are, unfortunately, a leading cause of injuries for Americans. However, the simple mechanism of injury belies the fact that many fall injuries cause serious and life-altering damage. According to statistics provided by the CDC, 20% of all falls cause a serious injury. Serious injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and broken or fractured bones. In fact, more than 700,000 individuals are hospitalized each year due to a fall injury.
Business and individuals have a duty to keep their property free from defects (hazardous conditions) or, at minimum, to provide a warning of a that a dangerous condition exists. For instance, the most common and recognizable form of a warning is a “Wet Floor” sign that retail stores and other locations should place quickly after a spill occurs. Other unsafe or risky conditions that can increase the chances of a trip or slip occurring include broken or crumbling steps, uneven steps, unsecured throw rugs that can slide or present a tripping hazard, and a lack of a handrail along a stairway or in a bathroom. Additionally, a loose banister or guardrail can also present a significant fall hazard.
How to Prove Liability for Your Injuries in a Springdale Personal Injury Claim
Injured people in Springdale file personal injury lawsuits to be compensated monetarily for the harm they suffered. Whether a reckless driver hit your car or you slipped on a spill in your local supermarket, you will have to prove that the defendant was negligent to recover any compensation. Proving negligence requires showing four elements.
Duty of Care
A duty of care is a legal obligation a person or company has to act in a certain way to avoid harming another person. Whether a duty of care exists in a case is determined by the relationship between the defendant and plaintiff. This relationship does not have to be personal. For example, a manufacturer has a duty to the general public to ensure that their products are reasonably safe when used as intended. In some cases, the duty of care is determined by a more direct link between the parties, such as the relationship between a doctor and a patient.
Breach of Duty of Care
One of the crucial pieces of any personal injury case is proving that the defendant breached the duty of care. In basic terms, when someone’s conduct deviates from the actions or decisions a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances, they have breached the duty of care. For example, every motorist in Springdale has an obligation to operate their car safely. If a driver decides that they can get home from work faster by ignoring red lights and stop signs, they are breaching that duty. A reasonable and prudent driver would not ignore traffic signals simply to get home quicker.
The third element a plaintiff must establish is often referred to as causation. Causation is the direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s injury. Simply put, the plaintiff must show that the defendant caused their injury. If you suffered spinal cord damage in a rear-end collision, it might not be challenging to prove that your injury resulted from the defendant crashing into your car. However, if you did not seek immediate medical attention and waited days or weeks after the accident to make a doctor’s appointment, the defense could allege that a non-related incident caused your injury. After suffering any harm or injury, it is vital to seek medical treatment for your health and to document evidence for a lawsuit or settlement negotiation.
The final element that a plaintiff must demonstrate is financial losses or damages. Damages can be actual expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and intangible harm, including pain and suffering. Our Springdale personal injury lawyer will collect evidence to prove the damages you suffered. This evidence could include receipts, bills, and expert testimony from medical and healthcare providers.
If you were injured in an accident, you are entitled to seek compensation if another’s negligence caused your injury. However, your behavior could impact your personal injury claim. Arkansas follows a modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury lawsuits. Under this rule, a judge or jury will consider the percentage of fault of all parties involved in the case. For instance, if you were in a car accident caused by a drunk driver but were texting at the time of the crash, a jury could determine that you were also at fault. The percentage of blame is critical. If the jury determines that you were more than 50% at fault, you will be prohibited from receiving any compensation. If the percentage is less, then your award will be reduced by that percentage. This is one of the reasons why you should be careful when you speak with an insurance adjuster or police officer following an accident. You do not want to give a statement that could be construed as admitting fault, even partially.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Springdale?
In most cases, a person who suffers a serious personal injury has a three-year window during which they can bring a personal injury lawsuit for their medical expenses and other damages. For injuries arising from a claim of medical malpractice, however, the amount of time provided by the statute of limitations is only two years. In certain scenarios, such as when the injury occurs to a victim under the age of 21, additional time can be provided. Furthermore, in certain scenarios the discovery rule may provide for a tolling or pausing of the time limit. However, these exceptions are narrow and should not be relied upon. Rather, a personal injury victim should pursue any and all claims as expediently as possible. Individuals who wait to bring a claim run the risk that not only will their claim be time-barred, but also that evidence will be lost destroyed.
Contact Our Springdale, Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers
We pledge to treat our clients with dignity, care, and compassion, and will always keep you informed and up-to-date as the details of your case develop. Ken Kieklak is client-focused and results-oriented and will fight tirelessly in the pursuit of justice for all the pain and financial hardship you and your family are going through. No matter how overwhelmed you may feel, we have decades of experience to bring to your case: we can help. If you or one of your loved ones was hurt in Arkansas, a personal injury lawyer can help. To schedule your confidential case evaluation, call Ken right away at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online today.