I Was Injured. What Can I Do Now?

You can make a claim against another party if they are more at fault for your injury than you are. In Arkansas, they adhere to the doctrine of comparative fault. A claimant's negligence does not bar recovery unless the claimant's fault equals or exceeds the combined fault of the defendants. A claimant's negligence diminishes his recovery by his percentage of fault. Whether or not you are entitled to compensation may depend on the type of accident that caused the injury.

For example, workplace injuries generally are covered by worker's compensation benefits, which compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, and impairments, without regard to fault by anyone. A claim can be made if the accident was caused by someone other than the employer or a co­worker.

Generally, people who operate motor vehicles must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to use reasonable care is the basis for most lawsuits for damages caused by an automobile accident. In these cases, proof of fault is often contested and requires thorough investigation. A driver may also be liable for an accident caused by intentional or reckless conduct. A reckless driver is one who drives unsafely, with willful disregard for the probability that the driving may cause an accident.

If you were injured at someone else's home or at a commercial establishment, the person responsible for the premises may be found liable. You will need to prove that the injury was caused by an unsafe condition that the owner should have known of and corrected before the accident. In a typical slip and fall accident, the injured person must show that the person responsible for the premises was negligent in the design, construction or maintenance of the property. The standard of care a property owner owes to a trespasser is usually less than that owed to a person who has permission to be on the property.

Claims for injuries caused by an unsafe condition on public property are subject to strict claims requirements and liability is only established in certain circumstances. For lawsuits brought against public entities, there are statutes which often require lawsuits be brought within a very short period of time, and only after written notice of the injury has been given to the government.

Injury can result from defective products, as well. When a company designs and manufactures a product, they have a responsibility to ensure that anyone exercising reasonable care within the expected parameters of usage expected for the product will not be injured. In a product injury case, you do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent. You only have to prove that the product was defective or that the manufacturer did not provide sufficient warning of potential risks or fail to provide adequate instructions. This concept is called strict product liability. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture for that product, from the manufacturer, to the designer to the retail store.

Injuries can occur in many other situations as well as those outlined above. Once again, you may have a claim if someone else was more at fault for your injury than you are.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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