Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Fayetteville is one of the best places to live in the nation. U.S News ranked Fayetteville as one of the best places to retire however that does not mean that Fayetteville is a sleepy little town where nothing happens. Unfortunately, you may be coming home from a Razorbacks game and suddenly find yourself in a car accident, or you might have slipped and fell while walking down Dickson Street. When you are injured you will naturally have many questions. You may wonder how you will pay your bills, or if the injury is severe enough, you may wonder how you are going to be able to go back to work. You also may be wondering which state laws apply in your case.
The Law Practice of Ken Kieklak will explain your situation to you clearly and present your options in an easy to understand manner whether it be to litigate the matter, settle, or another option. For example, if your injury occurred at work, the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak can assist you with obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Further, if you have had to stop working due to your serious injuries, you may wonder how you will pay your bills.
What are the Legal Elements of a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases are known in the legal community as a tort claim. Regardless of where you are in the country all tort claims for personal injury are generally the same. If you want to bring a personal injury claim you will have to prove four essential elements. If you do not meet any one of these elements then you will not be able to recover any money or another form of damages for your injury. However, the mere existence of these elements does not guarantee you will be successful. The elements of a personal injury claim are:
- Duty: You must demonstrate that the other person was responsible for your injury and that they had some duty that they owed to you. Generally, when you are driving a car you have a duty to be a cautious driver. However, each personal injury case is different and the concept of duty is determined by the specific circumstances of your accident.
- Breach: In a personal injury case breach refers to not meeting the duty that a person owes to another. This can be demonstrated by violating a motor vehicle law.
- Damage: This is the element that most people are aware of and most people are concerned with. At its most basic level, personal injury law is about compensating people who have suffered an injury, be it physical, financial or emotional. To successfully win a personal injury claim you will need to demonstrate that you have suffered some damage.
- Causation/Connection: In a personal injury claim you must establish that there is a casual link between the persons’ actions and your injuries. If there is no connection between what a person does and your injuries you will not be able to recover for damages.
Each of the elements are essential to a personal injury claim. If you fail to meet any of these elements then you will not be able to recover for any of your damages, which can seem unfair. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you meet all of these elements and will be familiar with how to prove each of these elements. At the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak, we have over 20 years of experience working with clients who want to file a personal injury claim.
The Comparative Fault Rule in Arkansas
When car accidents happen people often start arguing that it was not their fault but it was the other persons’ fault. This type of arguing can quickly digress into child-like finger pointing and is not the best way to resolve your injuries. Before you charge into court you should be aware of how fault is assigned in Arkansas. Arkansas uses what is known as “modified comparative fault” rule in cases where an injured person is found to share some level of blame for causing his or her injuries.
Twelve states follow the 50 percent Bar Rule, including Arkansas, This means that the court will weigh how much each party was at fault. Under the 50 percent Bar rule, a person who has suffered damages cannot recover if they were 50 percent or more at fault, but if they were 49 percent or less at fault, they can recover.
It’s important to note that Arkansas’s modified comparative fault rule reduces your damages as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If you are 50 percent or more at fault, this rule operates to prevent you from collecting damages from any other at-fault party.
What are Deadlines to File Arkansas Injury Lawsuits?
Every state in the country has what are known as Statute of Limitations. A statute of limitation operates like a deadline. If you want to file any claim you have to be sure that you have at least begun the suit before the statute of limitations has run or in other words before the deadline. Like every state, Arkansas has its own deadline for filing a personal injury case. Arkansas has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which means that you must file your case within three years after the accident if you want to receive any compensation. While this may seem like a long time to file a case, you would be surprised how many cases are won and lost because the other person did not file their case in time. Sometimes it takes a long time to gather all the information you need to file a case, such as reports from police and insurance companies. Other times, people are simply trying to get their life back in order and forget that they should file a case as soon as possible. Whatever the reason, if you have been injured in Fayetteville or in Arkansas you need to be aware that the statute of limitations begin to count down how long you have to file a claim as soon as your injury occurs.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury due to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another person you may be entitled to a damage award. For your free and confidential consultation, contact the personal injury lawyers at the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak at (479) 251-7767 or contact us online.
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