What limitations period applies to injury cases?
In Arkansas, most claims based on negligence must be filed within
three years. There are exceptions to this rule and the time period may
be extended in certain circumstances.
What may be recovered in an injury case?
Generally, injured persons may recover damages for the nature and
extent of the injury (whether temporary or permanent), past medical
expenses and those for future medical needs, damages for pain and
suffering, mental and emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement,
lodging and transportation for medical treatment, loss of
companionship for an injured spouse, nursing care, rehabilitation and
other similar expenses may be recoverable.
Are punitive damages recovered in injury cases?
In Arkansas, punitive damages may be recovered in cases of
intentional misconduct or instances of extreme recklessness or gross
negligence. Most injury cases do not involve these facts, but cases for
punitive damages do arise given the right circumstances.
The insurance company for the “at fault” party will rarely pay medical bills until a final settlement or judgment has taken place. Doctors and hospitals will insist that injured persons pay medical bills as they come due, regardless of any pending claims. While injured persons remain primarily responsible for these bills, an attorney may be able to provide a “letter of protection” wherein it is agreed that the medical provider will be paid from any recovery in the pending case and will cease collection efforts until a final resolution may occur.
How are medical bills paid while the case is still pending?
While settlement is often beneficial, it is generally not wise to settle a claim until you have discussed your claim with an attorney. Only then will you understand your rights, the positive and negative attributes of your case, and how they may affect your settlement.