After an accident in Fayetteville, you may wonder how you will pay for all your sudden costs. Arkansas law provides victims of negligence and malpractice with recourse in the form of personal injury lawsuit damages. There are two main types of damages available in Arkansas personal injury lawsuits. Compensatory damages are intended to repay you for actual costs and harms that you suffered. Punitive damages are meant to punish reckless or malicious defendants and to serve as a deterrent to prevent others from acting in the same way. Arkansas allows for the award of punitive damages under certain circumstances. Punitive damages were previously capped under Arkansas law, but a state Supreme Court ruling has found that cap to be unconstitutional in a case where a jury awarded $42 million in punitive damages. For a court to allow these damages, two requirements must be met. First, there must be a compensatory damage award. Second, one or both of these aggravating factors must have been met:
- The defendant must have (or should have) known that his actions would cause injury or damage.
- The defendant acted with the intent of causing you harm.
These elements can be difficult to prove, but an experienced injury attorney can help. Compensatory damages are divided into two categories: pecuniary and nonpecuniary. Pecuniary damages compensate you for your measurable expenses. This includes costs that you are billed for such as medical expenses and therapy. It also includes demonstrable losses such as lost wages from any time you miss at work. Losses that can be mathematically calculated are compensated through pecuniary damage awards. Nonpecuniary damages are meant to make you whole by providing compensation for harms that are not financial in nature. The most common example is pain and suffering damages. Other types of nonpecuniary damages available in Arkansas include:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or loss of companionship
These categories are often expanded to include certain harms such as disfigurement, amputation or the loss of use of body parts or bodily functions. At the Martin Law Firm, we pursue all available damages for Fayetteville-area personal injury victims. Our experienced attorneys make use of evidence and expert testimony to demonstrate your losses to the jury. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 800.633.2160.