A court awards damages for something that might have affected us negatively. It’s common to encounter situations leading to unprecedented damage in our daily lives, whether in a car accident or an unpleasant exchange with another person. In any case, we get affected physically or mentally and sometimes experience direct property damage. Given the unpredictable nature of these situations, it’s important to get in touch with the car accident lawyer Rogers, Arkansas, and be aware of steps that can be taken to recover compensation.
Types of damages that can be recovered
All across the USA, the damage compensation laws tend to vary. This is why you can’t rely on general know-how to get yourself through such situations. Here are the types of damages that are eligible for compensation in Rogers:
These damages are direct and evident. For economic damages to be claimed, there must be evidence directly related to the incident. Broadly, there are three types of economic damages you can be compensated for:
- Property damages
If the incident caused damage to your property, such as your house, garden, backyard, car, or bike. These issues are compensated by covering the repair costs. In some cases, if the damage is beyond repair, a complete replacement is also provided.
- Damages due to loss of income
This is applicable for personal injury cases. If the incident leads to personal injury that disables the person from working for a temporary or permanent period, the loss of income is compensated for. Usually, the compensation is equivalent to the person’s wage before the injury.
- Medical bills
If the incident leads to personal injury, the medical bills are covered by the defendant (if proven guilty). In addition, sometimes, the doctor visits and home appointments of nurses are also paid for.
These damages are not directly visible but can be proven through diagnosis or other means. These damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment
If the incident leads you to miss out on activities of your social life, this damage can be claimed. Since due to the incident, your quality of life gets affected in such cases.
- Loss of companionship
If you lose a companion in the aftermath of the incident, you can receive monetary compensation for it.
- Pain and suffering
If the incident causes you mental distress, anxiety, or any form of mental suffering detrimental to your mental health, damages can be recovered for it.
Whether these damages can be implemented depends on a case-by-case basis. Punitive damages can be claimed if the defendant’s actions are aggressive and ignorant of the general laws. Stronger the actions, multifold the claims.
How much can be recovered in different cases in Rogers
In Rogers or any other location in Arkansas, the following rules apply when receiving compensation for damages. It’s important to remember that every incident is different and has different layers of damages for which compensation can be claimed. A car accident is a suitable example of an incident that can involve considerable economic and non-economic damages.
Thus, in case of car accidents, the plaintiff is entitled to the following:
- Property damages estimate = Measure of the damages [repair of the damages + cost of the property (car in this case) before the accident]
- Medical expenses = No limitation, includes past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages estimate = Wages earned before the accident for the duration of loss of income due to the accident
- Pain and suffering = No limitation, depends on the severity of this damage
- Punitive damage (if proven) = Upper limit of recoverable damages of $1 million or 3 times the economic compensation. General compensation $250,000.
Overall, if the defendant’s actions are proven to be aggressive and out of malice, the economic and non-economic damages are multiplied to obtain punitive compensation. In summary, your entire compensation can become 2x or even 5x, depending on the nature of the incident.
How to claim compensation in Rogers?
There are a few steps to follow so that you can claim your compensation for damages in Rogers, Arkansas. These include-
- Collect evidence
This is the most important step in filing for your damages. Arkansas operates on a “modified comparative fault” basis. Meaning that the defendant’s fault needs to be proven in court, and if the plaintiff has also contributed to the incident, the amount of compensation is decreased. It can even be nullified depending on the extent of the fault.
- Prove liability
Due to the abovementioned law, it’s important to find all the evidence that proves liability on the defendant’s part. Recordings, photographs, and even third-party witnesses of the incident can help you prove the defendant’s liability. If the defendant’s lawyer proves that you were also at fault for the incident, it will negatively affect your compensation chances. Thus, it is important to curate the evidence so that liability is strongly proven on the defendant’s part.
- File your claim within the correct timeline
For such cases, timelines need to be strictly maintained. In Rogers, Arkansas, the statute of limitation i.e., the maximum duration within which the claim has to be filed to court, is as follows:
- Property damages: 3 years from the date of damage
- Personal injury: 3 years from the date of damage
- Product liability: 3 years from the date of damage
- Medical malpractice: 2 years from the date of damage
However, filing for a claim as soon as possible is recommended. The longer the gap between the incident and the trial, the greater are the chances of the details getting blurry. This can become a disadvantage for you.
- Negotiate with insurers
If it is a car accident or involves any form of physical and property damage, insurance agencies will surely be involved. Make sure that your insurance professionals don’t minimize your compensation amount. The fact that your incident was reported to the insurance company will strengthen your court case when you claim compensation from the defendant.
- Take legal advice
The entire process of finding evidence and proving liability cannot be done without legal advice. It is best to have an experienced attorney to represent your case in court. Especially due to the comparative fault law in Rogers, securing your compensation from the defendant is tricky.
If you find yourself in a situation where compensation can be recovered, make sure you have had minimal or no contribution to the incident. If you’re not sure, take legal advice first, before any of the other steps. Opt for a case assessment from the best Arkansas personal injury attorney to ensure your chances of receiving compensation are strong. Otherwise, it will be a waste of effort and legal fees if you go to trial, and then your compensation is reduced due to substantial comparative fault.