When a catastrophe knocks you out of your everyday routine, it is devastating in ways much greater than it may first appear. All of a sudden, simple day-to-day routines seem insurmountable. No more trips to school for plays or special events or even to drop off your child; no more light-hearted shopping trips or easy mornings, waking up slowly with the newspaper; no more picking up small children or household items. Devastating loss robs you of all of these ordinary things and much more.
What does Arkansas law say about Personal Injury?
Under Arkansas law, a person who is the victim of another’s negligence must have their losses restored by the negligent person. Because no single individual has the power to instantly put someone back together again, the law provides that money must be paid for those losses. The goal is to provide the innocent victim(s) with resources to get back to the life they had before being thrown into a small life of forced limitation.
Therefore, to address these consequences, Arkansas law guides the award of damages by compelling payment for the following losses (and possibly others depending on the type of case):
- The nature, extent, duration, and permanency of any injury.
- The reasonable expense of any necessary medical care, treatment, and services received including transportation expenses necessarily incurred in securing such care, treatment, or services and the present value of such expenses reasonably certain to be required in the future.
- Any pain and suffering and mental anguish experienced in the past and reasonable certain to be experienced in the future.
- The value of any earning salary and working time lost.
Within these few short legalistic sounding phrases, qualified personal injury attorneys find everything needed to force the law to open up the client’s world again. In handling hundreds and hundreds of injury claims, I know not everyone is affected the same way, even when dealing with very similar injuries. Indeed, people in the same collision can experience it very differently.
That is why here at Collins, Collins & Ray, P.A., we understand personal injury is personal—it affects everyone very personally in unique ways. For example, very active people have many daily physical demands, and even a minor physical injury takes away some of the most rewarding parts of their lives. Even less active people report that their harms and losses force them to confront consequences of the catastrophe many times a day, in ways they would not have anticipated. Just getting out of bed and attempting a short walk around the neighborhood, visiting a local park, taking a bike ride to the nearby gym, walking on a treadmill, or other taken-for-granted activities are now the source of serious difficulty, which often leads to depression on top of everything else. The law takes notice of these losses and the “pain and suffering and mental anguish” they cause; the law makes an effort to make remedies obtainable, although an experienced attorney is usually the key in making sure you attain all the remedies available to you.
Other victims of serious injuries may not have been as active, but enjoyed certain routines they were not even aware required physical effort until becoming injured. Simple activities like sewing, knitting, gardening, driving, using the restroom, cooking, or household cleaning often become impossible due to the required reaching, standing, bending, sitting, or stooping. Just getting dressed, and possibly getting into a wheelchair, to go to the doctor can invite hours of difficulty and pain. Others experience surprising limitations forcing them to forego tasks like assisting neighbors or friends, going grocery shopping, and even driving to work. Sadly, the world of someone seriously injured can shrink into a mundane cycle of restless sleep, pain medication, and reliance on others for basic needs.
What can I do?
We proud Southerners were raised not to complain and to learn to accept the circumstances we are given. This stoic willingness to not complain has its upside; however, there comes a day we must seek help from other professionals. There comes a day to hand over our problems to those trained to handle them. There comes a day to trust others with what we can no longer handle alone. Here at Collins, Collins & Ray, P.A., we tell our clients to leave their legal problems with us so they can focus on recovering and returning to a normal life.
Many people find the healing period following a catastrophic injury continues for the rest of their lives. These devastating events are traumatic and life altering. Many people are never the same, but it does get better. Many clients report stages of grief and acceptance with a lot of hardship in between. Just as often, people find strength in challenging situations after succumbing to weakness and temporary despair. These are very trying times with circumstances way beyond ordinary, but it is our experience that many people work their way through and indeed learn to thrive again. There are many good books on these topics, so we will not cover much of them here; we would like to report that there is light remaining in every life, but sometimes people need help getting back on the path to find it. Because of our many experiences in guiding people through these trying times, we truly understand the devastating losses our clients and others go through after a serious injury, and we want to help. If and when that day comes for you, we can offer insights on how others dealt with the life-changing circumstances.
If you or someone you know had their world ripped apart because of another person’s negligence, we are here to offer experienced help. It is an honor when people trust us to help them get what the law offers so they can get back to enjoying life. It is worth the effort!
Brian W. Ray is honored to represent many people needing assistance with catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims as well as a vast and diverse docket of civil, criminal, and business litigation cases. He has tried and settled cases all over Arkansas for many years. He is rated “Superb” by peers on the attorney directory, Avvo, and has earned status as a “Preeminent Lawyer” with the Martindale-Hubbell® lawyer index. Mr. Ray is a regularly sought out speaker for attorneys looking to obtain further legal education on many litigation and injury topics. Other attorneys and previous clients speak firsthand to his skill and dedication by referring many of Mr. Ray’s clients.
Collins, Collins & Ray, P.A., 912 West 4th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone (501) 603-9911 • Fax (501) 603-9919 • Email firstname.lastname@example.org