Common Questions About Injury Cases
If you were recently injured in a motor vehicle accident or other event caused by another’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
On this page, the Little Rock injury lawyers at the Minton Law Firm address some of the most commonly asked questions about personal injury cases.
Our accident attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims from the greater Benton and Little Rock, Arkansas, areas.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
If you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party and/or their insurance providers.
In order to have a solid foundation for a personal injury case, you must be able to show that your injuries are the direct result of the defendant’s negligence or malicious intent and that the injuries caused some form of loss (including—but not limited to—medical expenses, time away from work, property damage, etc.).
What are common sources of personal injury cases?
Motor vehicle crashes are the most common source of personal injury claims. Other frequent sources of personal injury lawsuits in Arkansas include:
- Pedestrian and bicycle collisions
- Boating accidents
- Premises liability issues such as slip-and-fall accidents or dog attacks
- Defective consumer products
If a loved one died due to another party’s negligence, eligible survivors may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Is there a deadline to file a personal injury claim?
Yes. Personal injury lawsuits are bound by a timeframe known as a “statute of limitations.”
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is three years from the date the injury was suffered or three years from the date at which the injury should have been discovered.
While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s in your best interest to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible after the injury.
What should I bring to a consultation with a personal injury attorney?
In order to help your consultation with a personal injury attorney be as efficient as possible, there are a few things that you’ll need to bring with you:
- Accident report: If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash, bring a copy of the accident report or police report. This report often provides a beneficial assessment of factors that contributed to the collision as well as an assessment of liability.
- Receipts: If you paid expenses that were directly related to your injuries or other damages, bring receipts to your consultation. These may include receipts for medical bills, prescriptions, or repairs.
- Medical records and insurance information: Save copies of your medical records and any related insurance documentation.
- Pay stubs: If you had to miss time away from work due to your injuries, bring pay stubs or other documentation that details your wages.
- Witness information and correspondence: If you were able to gather contact information for witnesses, bring this information to your consultation. Also keep any correspondence you had with witnesses or with the responsible party’s insurance provider.
Should I accept an insurance company’s initial settlement offer?
Insurance companies’ initial settlement offers are rarely adequate to cover injury victims’ long-term needs. Yet many victims aren’t aware that they don’t have to accept these settlement offers. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney who understands the far-reaching effects of your injuries may be able to negotiate a higher settlement or fight for just compensation in court.
Will my personal injury case go to court?
Although thousands of personal injury claims are filed each year, only an estimated 4-5 percent of those cases go to trial. The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled outside of court during pretrial negotiations.
There are some circumstances where taking a personal injury case to trial is necessary, such as when the involved parties cannot reach an agreement on appropriate damages.
What damages are available in personal injury cases?
There are two main types of damages available in personal injury claims: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages seek to compensate the victim for what they lost as a result of the incident that caused their injuries. These types of damages are intended to restore the victim to the state he or she would have been in had the injury incident not occurred.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for especially egregious negligence, and to discourage the defendant and others from engaging in similar acts in the future. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases.
Common compensatory damages associated with personal injury cases may include money for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium
- Property loss
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
Many injury victims accept initial insurance company settlement offers because they believe they can’t afford to retain an attorney.
The personal injury lawyers at the Minton Law Firm work on a contingent-fee basis. This means that we don’t charge for our services until we successfully resolve your case and recover compensation on your behalf.
Furthermore, our attorneys offer free consultations. These personal consultations help you determine whether you have the grounds for a personal injury case and to develop an understanding of your legal options.
Our attorneys are proud to advocate for injury victims and their families from the greater Benton and Little Rock, Arkansas, areas.
Other Useful Links
- Arkansas Insurance Department: http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/
- Arkansas Model Jury Instructions: http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=armji-1000
- Arkansas Court Forms: https://courts.arkansas.gov/forms-and-publications