The Financial Impact of Personal Injuries: Understanding Your Right to Compensation

Woman checking medical bills.

Broken bones, whiplash, and head injuries cause physical pain and suffering, but the financial impact of personal injuries can be even more profound. From medical expenses to lost wages, personal injuries have the potential to leave you facing a financial black hole. However, if you were injured and it was not your fault, you may have the right to pursue compensation that could help you recover both physically and financially.

After suffering a personal injury, you may be bombarded with conflicting information about your rights. If you listen to the insurance company, you may feel you have little recourse to damages. Yet, with proper legal representation, you may discover you have the right to pursue financial support for the losses you have suffered.

Common Losses After Personal Injuries

In legal terms, the expenses you suffer as a direct result of your personal injury are called “losses.” The purpose of economic compensation in a personal injury claim is to make you “whole” again, so the compensation you receive should cover all your financial losses related to your personal injury.

Under Arkansas law, for instance, you may have the right to receive compensation for the following expenses related to your accident.

Medical expenses

Soon after an accident, you may face bills for:

  • Ambulance transportation to the hospital
  • Emergency room fees
  • Hospital care
  • Imaging services, including X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans
  • Specialist fees
  • Ongoing rehabilitation, which could include physical or occupational therapy

You may be eligible to receive compensation for these expenses as well as reimbursement for your transportation and parking costs for your appointments. 

It could be easy to lose track of your expenses, but documenting each is crucial to ensuring that you do not personally pay for losses in the long run. Keep a file of all your expenses – including all bills, invoices, and gas receipts – to claim later.

Property damage

Property damage claims are commonly associated with auto accidents. If someone crashes into our car, we expect that person to shoulder the financial burden of fixing or replacing it. However, “property damage” can also be a factor in other types of personal injury cases.

For example, if you get hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, your devices may have crashed to the ground at the same time. If your phone, watch, or other property got damaged, you may be able to pursue compensation for repair or replacement costs.

Lost earnings

If you are an employee and had to take some time off work after an accident, it may be relatively easy to calculate your lost earnings, but you must prove that your injuries were the direct cause of your time off work. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to support your claim.

If your case goes to court, your personal injury attorney may use an expert medical witness to testify as to how you were unable to work due to your injuries. Your employer will be asked to provide evidence of the number of days lost and how much money you would have earned if you had been able to work.

If you are self-employed, time away from work may mean you lose clients. You can provide evidence of lost business to bolster your claim. Self-employed people and independent contractors may need to produce recent invoices, tax records, or statements from clients to show the amount of work missed due to an accident.

Lost earnings might initially seem simple to calculate, but these few paragraphs have shown how navigating the legal process is complex. That’s why you should work with a personal injury attorney who has the legal skills necessary to help you to recover these losses.

Calculating future expenses

Calculating past expenses is relatively straightforward – you simply add up all your bills. However, calculating future expenses is more complicated, especially since no one can say for certain what the future holds. If your injuries are serious or will cause a permanent disability, you may have to give up your job.

In this situation, a potential settlement must consider your future lost earnings, which could include future raises, promotions, and other increases in earnings you could reasonably have expected to secure. You may also require financial support to retrain in a new type of work.

You may also need ongoing medical treatment, drugs, and caretaker support. Your home may require adaptations to make it suitable for your needs.

If you go it alone, it would be too easy to miscalculate these future expenses. If you work with a personal injury lawyer, though, he or she will leave no stone unturned in calculating fair compensation for your current and future needs. He or she can fight on your behalf, either at the negotiating table or in court, to mitigate the financial consequences of your accident.

Understanding Non-Economic Losses

As well as recouping your financial losses, you may also have the right to pursue compensation for the non-economic losses you suffered. 

Non-economic losses may include:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering, including anxiety and depression, caused by your accident
  • Disfigurement or permanent scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of family life

How non-economic losses are calculated

Non-economic losses are harder to quantify than economic losses. There are no bills to add up. 

Insurance companies and personal injury attorneys often use the multiplier method to calculate this compensation. This method involves multiplying the total amount of economic damages by a number between 1 and 5 to calculate your non-economic losses. Generally, the more serious your injuries, the higher the number will be.

No pain and suffering damages in certain cases

In workers’ compensation claims, injured workers are not entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, even if their accident leaves them with a permanent disability. This underscores why it is so important to seek the legal representation of a personal injury lawyer if you suffer work-related injuries. He or she can help you seek the full benefits you are entitled to receive from workers’ compensation insurance. 

Your Rights to Compensation in Arkansas

The following are examples of circumstances that can affect your rights to compensation:

  • Car accidents: Many of us spend hours each day behind the wheel, so it is no surprise that many personal injury claims involve car accidents. Arkansas car insurance laws, though, make it possible for you to pursue compensation for all your losses if you get hurt in a car crash and are not the main at-fault party.
  • Workplace injuries: Most employers in Arkansas are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, which can ease the financial burden on people who suffer work-related injuries by paying for necessary medical care and a portion of lost wages.
  • Premises liability: If you slip and fall or get injured in another way due to the negligence of a property owner where the accident occurred, you may be able to pursue compensation. 
  • Product liabilityDefective products can cause injury or illnesses that result in financial consequences. In such a case, you may be able to fight to recover your costs and more.

These are just a small sample of the wide range of scenarios that can lead to costly personal injuries. Each accident is unique, so it is important to get tailored legal advice before deciding whether to take legal action. All it takes is a free consultation to get a realistic assessment of your chances of securing compensation from a personal injury lawyer at Minton Law. 

Liability in Arkansas

Before pursuing compensation, you must establish who was liable for the accident. Arkansas is an at-fault state, meaning the person responsible for the accident must pay compensation for the losses he or she has caused. 

However, Arkansas is also a modified comparative fault state. That means you can only pursue compensation in a personal injury case if you were less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. 

If you are partly to blame, the amount of compensation you receive will also be reduced. To illustrate this, let us imagine that, if you were not to blame for the accident, your total compensation would be $50,000. If you were 40 percent responsible for the accident, you would receive 60 percent of the total compensation – $30,000.

Do not be quick to conclude that you were partly to blame and there is no point in pursuing compensation. As this example shows, even if you bear a substantial portion of the blame, as long as your share is less than 50 percent, you could be entitled to compensation. Talking to an experienced Arkansas personal injury attorney can help you to make an informed decision.

How to Protect Your Rights

There are several practical steps you can take to protect your legal rights after sustaining an injury:

  • Seek legal representation: An Arkansas personal injury attorney has the legal experience to advise you on your rights and the best course to pursue compensation. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to explore your legal rights. 
  • Keep accurate records of expenses: Documentary evidence is often crucial in proving your injuries’ past and future financial impact. Keeping a record of each expense, however insignificant it may seem, could be crucial to proving your past and future expenses.
  • Do not talk to insurance companies:Insurance companies generally have one goal – to pay out as little as possible. Every time you talk to insurance adjusters, you could unintentionally give them ammunition to use against you in the future. If you hire personal injury attorneys, though, they can handle these discussions on your behalf.
  • Do not accept a lowball offer: One common tactic an insurance company may use is to offer you a quick settlement to close the case. Insurers hope you will accept their offer and sign away your legal rights to the compensation you deserve. Rather than giving in to pressure, though, let a personal injury attorney fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
  • Report workplace injuries: Arkansas workers’ compensation law requires you to report an injury to your employer. Employers must then follow up with their insurance representative. It is vital to keep up to date with all other reporting requirements as well – to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Let Minton Law Firm Fight for Your Rights

No one should bear the financial consequences of a personal injury incident caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence. Whether you sustained a work-related injury or got injured while you were out minding your own business, do not try to navigate the complex world of personal injury law alone.

Instead, talk to one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Minton Law Firm. Our founder, Justin Minton, worked as a claims adjuster for a major insurance company before establishing his law firm. He knows exactly how the other side operates. Now, instead of adjusting claims, he and his team fight to lift the financial burden off of their client’s shoulders.

Minton Law Firm offers a completely free case consultation. You have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by telling your story to one of our attorneys. Call us 24/7 at 855-Xadjuster or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation and find out your legal rights.

We are proud to offer our legal services to the people of Little Rock – Pulaski County – Arkansas, Benton – Saline County – Arkansas, and Conway – Faulkner County – Arkansas.

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