Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in Little Rock
Helping Accident Victims Get Care & Compensation in Arkansas with offices in little rock, Mountain Home, & Texarkana
The injuries that happen in an accident can be severe and drastically alter the trajectory of a person’s life. Injuries to the brain, head, and spinal cord are prime examples. The same goes for severe burns. Other injuries may result in everything from amputation of a limb to the loss of eyesight to damaged hearing. The importance of getting a truly fair financial settlement can be even more paramount than normal, given the dependence the accident victim will have on the compensation the settlement provides. An experienced Little Rock catastrophic injury lawyer might be the difference in getting that fair settlement.
Calculating Damages in a Catastrophic Injury Case
The basics of a catastrophic injury lawsuit are not unlike those in a standard fender-bender lawsuit. The plaintiff’s attorney must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, and that this duty was breached. The plaintiff’s lawyer then must show that the breach of duty was the cause of the injuries. Then, the process goes to calculating the damages.
The same process might be followed when the injury is catastrophic, but the severity of the injuries means adding up damages is likely to be more complex and require more experience on the part of the attorney.
In a standard car accident case, you can just add up the costs of repair, along with medical bills and missed time at work. But what if the injury means the victim now needs a wheelchair, for example?
In this case, the following must be addressed:
- Suitability of the home: It’s more likely than not that a victim’s house is not wheelchair accessible. Now, rampways need to be installed and accessibility must be dealt with. It’s possible the needed renovations won’t work on the current house and a new property will need to be purchased. Damages must include the costs of relocation and renovation, as well as some type of compensation for the hassle the victim must go through during an already awful period in their life.
- Career impact: This will depend on the age and profession of the victim, and it goes well beyond compensation for missed time at work. Putting in the extra work necessary to advance might now be impossible. Expert witness testimony as to the lost possibilities in their field, along with testimony from supervisors and colleagues, can help gauge just how much money will be lost over the years.
- Mental trauma: How do you place a monetary value on a good night’s sleep, free of recurring nightmares about the accident? How do you fairly compensate someone for the loss of peace of mind and the sufferings that can come with post-traumatic stress disorder? In a literal sense, you can’t, but a court must at least try to come up with a figure that factors in mental trauma.
- Loss of joy: Similar to the above, how do you put a dollar value on the inability of a person to do their hobbies and activities they love? How do you monetarily assess the fact that simply being with family and friends is often a physical burden? Again, no amount of money can make up for these losses, but the legal system owes it to the victim to offer something.
It’s the job of our Little Rock catastrophic injury lawyers to develop the appropriate evidence and witness testimony that will give a jury real insight into how much a person has lost because of their injuries and how many invisible wounds they suffer from, in addition to the injuries that are plain for all to see.
At Collins, Collins & Ray, our lawyers and staff come from backgrounds that include legal defense, the prosecutor’s office, and law enforcement. That background helps us approach challenges from a variety of angles, and we take pride in the personal commitment we make to each client and each case.
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers: Brian Ray 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021
The National Trial Lawyers – Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers: Brian Ray 2021
Little Rock Soiree – Best Lawyers: Brian Ray 2013
AY Magazine’s Arkansas Best Lawyers: Brian Ray 2020, 2021
American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys – 10 Best Client Satisfaction: Brian Ray 2014, 2015, 2016
Nation’s Premier Top Ten Attorney – Personal Injury: Brian Ray 2016
The state of Arkansas uses the system of modified comparative fault when they award damages. How this works is simple — the jury comes back with a figure on damages. They also assign a portion of fault to each party. The victim then collects in reverse proportion to their share of damages — i.e., if they are deemed 10% at fault, they collect 90% of the damage figure.
To illustrate this and how important it is, let’s consider a case where $10 million in damages were awarded. Under the modified comparative fault system, this means that every percentage point of blame can be valued at $100,000. If a plaintiff’s share of fault rises from 10% to 11%, they effectively lost $100K.
Every nuance in how a case is presented is crucial, and every battle with an insurance company is vital. This is a settlement that must carry a catastrophically wounded victim for the rest of their life, and there’s no room for settling for anything less than fairness and equity.
What is a claim for permanent injury?
What is a claim for permanent injury and how can I help a jury or insurance company to understand what I have been through because of the accident?
With the loss of a limb, broken bones, serious infection, traumatic brain injuries, and other significant life-altering injuries, thoughtful concern is appropriate to fully measure how those injuries are likely to change a person’s life.
Often, it is necessary to obtain the benefit of keenly attentive medical oversight to outline the true extent of the injury, the necessity and frequency of continuous medical care.
This often invites the need for life care planning and vocational rehabilitation to show how an injury changes almost every aspect of a person’s life, including their many social, work, and family interactions.
What is a claim for pain and suffering?
This is where a personal injury claim gets very personal. Most people vary in how they experience pain. Some stoic individuals can endure significant suffering. Others have extremely low pain tolerance and require extended periods of recovery and careful management with strong medications, which can be addictive and invite a whole host of other problems that require care and management.
How much money will I get in court?
The answer to this question varies from case to case. Influencing factors include: Facts of the claim Location of accident Extent of personal injury Damages to property Applicable law With so many variables at play, it is hard to say with certainty a specific dollar amount that could be awarded. Through years of experience, we at CCR have learned how to evaluate the factors of each potential claim. Let us evaluate your claim free of charge.
How do I know what parties to name in the lawsuit?
You may not. To non-lawyers, this simple question can be deceivingly complicated in surprising and unfamiliar ways. It remains an extremely important issue, though, because if the necessary parties are not correctly named in the lawsuit, the claim may be severely limited, devalued, or possibly voided altogether. Failure to file suit against the correct person or corporation puts any judgment obtained at risk of being uncollectible. There are a few reasons for this; for example, you may obtain a judgment against one not legally bound to pay it. You also risk losing the right to file against the correct person or corporation if you fail to fix the mistake in time and name the proper party within the time allowed within the statute of limitations period.
In Arkansas, a “party” to the lawsuit includes the persons and legal entities identified directly with causing the harm, but responsibility for the harms and losses may extend much further. True parties to the lawsuit may also need to include any persons, corporations, or class of persons and corporations having legal responsibility to answer for the negligence and the damages incurred because of it. Attorneys take measure of many factors when determining the right person or corporation to name in a personal injury, medical negligence, or wrongful death lawsuit (or any suit for that matter). Legal principles such as respondeat superior, agency, and joint enterprise are just some of the legal liability principles used by attorneys to describe the consequences of one person or corporation’s relationship to another in a way that compels legal accountability. These legal principles likely govern how much insurance money is available to the injured victim(s).
If you or someone you know is about to file a lawsuit and you are unsure of how any of these legal principles might affect the proper party to name in your lawsuit, give us a call. We regularly deal with these issues, and we know how to determine the full extent of legal accountability available to innocent victims of negligence.