Determining Fault in Arkansas Personal Injury Cases
After a car accident, truck wreck, fall or other Fayetteville area injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Arkansas law allows victims of accidents and injuries to recover damages when they can prove that the other party was negligent. Damages are awarded based on the circumstances of the case and the percentage of fault lying with each person or company involved in the accident.
To recover anything in an Arkansas injury suit, you will need to prove negligence. Negligence is based on a duty and a breach of that duty. For example, surgeons have a duty to perform their work at a professional level. When they leave a sponge or scalpel in a patient, they are breaching their duty to the patient. The breach must directly cause the victim to suffer an injury. In the case of the surgeon’s scalpel, it is clear that a scalpel left in a body could cause pain, nerve damage and other complications.
Once a jury has determined that the defendant was negligent, they must decide whether any part of the accident or injury was the victim’s fault. This is because Arkansas uses a legal doctrine known as “comparative fault.” This doctrine, also known as “comparative negligence,” reduces a victim’s personal injury award based on the percentage of blame the jury assigns to the victim for the accident. What this means is that your own negligence can be used to reduce the amount you recover.
In Arkansas, a modified form of comparative fault is used. This means that you can recover the percentage of damages that were the fault of the defendants as long as you were less than 50% responsible for the accident. For example, if a jury finds that you were 10% at fault for a car accident because you were speeding when someone else ran a red light, you could still recover 90% of the damages. However, if the jury determined that you were 50% or more responsible, you would not be entitled to damages in your personal injury lawsuit.
When awarding damages, a jury will consider your actual monetary costs such as lost wages, medical expenses and diminished earning potential. They may also award damages for nonpecuniary harms such as your pain and suffering.
At the Martin Law Firm, we strive to help Fayetteville accident victims recover the largest amount of damages possible, either through a settlement or a lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys use all available evidence to prove that you were not at fault and to hold the defendant accountable. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at