Fayetteville Law Firm | Booneville Law Firm

Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury in Arkansas

What does a personal injury lawyer do? What does a typical case look like? How long does it take? When you’ve been in an accident, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. The obvious answer you might expect is that a personal injury case is different for every person. It depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. However, there are some things that tend to be true for most cases.

Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is how you would enforce your rights, as well as obtain monetary damages for your losses — when you’ve been injured in some way at the fault of another party.

People and companies carry insurance to protect themselves in exactly this type of situation. So in many situations, you would seek compensation from the responsible party’s insurance company. Car accidents are the most common cause for a personal injury claim, but there are many scenarios that would be classified as personal injury claims, including:

  • Crashes involving motor vehicles, including auto, truck, and motorcycle collisions
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • Injuries caused by dangerous conditions on property (often called “slip and fall” cases)
  • Injuries that result from a dangerous, defective consumer product
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites and animal attacks

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

You are not required to seek out legal representation when you suffer an injury. In fact, in many cases, the insurance company will try to settle with you quickly — before you have a chance to learn about your rights. 

When you’ve suffered a serious injury, it’s strongly recommended that you work with a personal injury attorney who will guide you through the murky waters of a personal insurance claim. While a quick settlement may sound appealing as you face medical bills, missed work, and other expenses, remember that the insurance company does not represent your interests. 

The insurance company’s job is to pay as little as possible to resolve the issue.

When you’re represented by a personal injury lawyer, the attorney will take steps to expedite and simplify the process. This includes sending representation letters to all parties involved (insurance companies, involved individuals, medical providers, etc.), working with insurance representatives to get medical and other bills paid, as well as helping you navigate your own insurance policy to understand what coverage is available there.

Reasons Your Personal Injury Lawsuit May Fail

1. Failure to seek proper medical care after the incident

After you’ve been in a personal injury incident, it may not be immediately apparent that you need to go to the hospital. Some injuries are simply not immediately visible. But if you delay in getting treatment, you may be sending the message that your injuries aren’t serious. So when you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to for your claim (and for your health) that you go to the ER, an urgent care clinic, or your own doctor to determine and document the full extent of your injuries.

2. Failure to support your claim with proper documentation

It is important to save all medical records stemming from the incident and to wait until AFTER you are done with all treatment before settling a case. With a personal injury case, it’s critical that all of your injuries are realized and treated, so you and the other parties involved know the full extent of the damage and costs. If the case is settled before treatment is completed, then any treatment needed after settlement will come out of your pocket.

When you have a personal injury lawyer on your side, that means you have an experienced professional to gather records of treatment from all your medical providers. A personal injury lawyer will work with them to ensure they are paid for the treatment from any available insurance coverage. 

3. Saying too much to the insurance company

While it may sound pessimistic, remember that the insurance company is not on your side. Their job is to pay as little as possible to resolve any issues that arise for their customers. Insurance is a for-profit business. The individual you speak with on the phone may sound genuine, but they are not concerned about your wellbeing. They are trying to get as much information from you as possible to build their case. Anything you say to the insurance company can and will be used against you in an effort to reduce compensation for your injuries. 

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Engaging in settlement discussions with other parties and insurance companies can be tricky because there are a number of factors to consider when calculating what a fair settlement will be. Specific medical treatment is not the only element that should be compensated for. Along with medical bills, you may seek compensation for lost wages if you were unable to work as normal. In more extreme cases, if you lose your job because of the injury, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, both physical and emotional. In some cases, alternative medical expenses are incurred for scarring or counseling. 

If a person has died as a result of injuries caused by someone else, then there are other damages that can be claimed by his or her surviving family, such as loss of companionship or future earnings.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the case does not settle, then your personal injury attorney may consider filing a lawsuit against the person or company at fault (and any insurance provider representing them) in order to seek fair compensation. 

Trials associated with personal injury cases can be daunting. It will likely require testimony from the injured person, as well as any other witnesses such as the other driver in an auto accident. Often, these cases will require the use of experts to testify, as well, including any doctors that may have provided treatment. 

It is important to understand that while trial is the ideal option for some personal injury cases , it is not a fast or cheap option. It is definitely more costly to go to trial and to retain experts than it would be to simply settle the claim out of court. Ultimately, the anticipated costs of trial and the risk of not getting any compensation at all should be weighed carefully against any offer of settlement.

If you do decide to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial or suit settlement, you need to be sure that you have not exceeded the statute of limitations provided by the state in which you are filing. These statute of limitations are typically specific to the type of injury involved. 

If the statute of limitations has expired, you will be unable to file the lawsuit. If you have hired an attorney to represent you, you can be sure that he or she knows the statute of limitations for your case and will file any lawsuit within that time frame.

What Happens After the Lawsuit?

After a case is settled or finished, there is always the question of “what now?” 

A common misconception is that once the lawsuit is finished, the person who is awarded compensation will automatically receive it. However, a judgment is just a piece of paper unless the person has money or property you can recover from them. 

Often, the insurance company will pay the award up to their policy limits, but anything after that will be up to the person or company at fault. Once compensation has been collected, the injured person’s own insurance company may want to be reimbursed for any money they paid, which is collected through a process called subrogation. During subrogation, the insurance company will calculate how much they paid for the injured person’s care and request reimbursement for all or part of that amount. This process will need to be completed before the compensation can be paid to the injured person or to his or her surviving family members.

As you can see, the process of handling a personal injury case is just that…a process. There are many steps that need to be taken and unfortunately, the process can be very lengthy. It is not uncommon for a personal injury case to take years to reach a conclusion. By trusting your personal injury case to the attorneys at Danielson Law Firm, you can be sure that we will be thorough and work with you to obtain the best outcome. 

In The News

Northwest Arkansas voted Danielson Law Firm one of the best Personal Injury Law Firms around.

Work with an Experienced Marijuana Law Firm.

CONTACT

News

Fayetteville Law Office

(479) 935-8313

909 Rolling Hills Dr.
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Booneville Law Office

(479) 935-8060

4 Village Loop
Booneville, AR 72927

Consumer Ratings