Arkansas is no stranger to accidents and personal injuries. Maybe you were the one who experienced a life-changing incident, or perhaps it was a family member or friend. Either way, someone could use a strong support system. If you or someone you know is bringing a personal injury suit in the state of Arkansas and needs more information, Enjuris has answers.
Arkansas Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
Arkansas statutes online
This is where you'll find Arkansas's code, which determines how long people have to bring lawsuits, any damage caps on personal injury rewards, and other relevant information.
Damages are what plaintiffs (AKA victims) collect as compensation after an injury or loss. This can take the form of an award from a jury after deliberation or a settlement between parties prior to the end of litigation.
Damage caps in Arkansas have been in a recent state of flux. As of 2017, the state legislature had debated a measure to cap non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering, mental anguish) in personal injury suits. This "tort reform" bill originally limited non-economic damages to $250,000, but after passing it back to the House, the cap was raised to $500,000. Attorneys' fees are also capped at 33.3% of the total award. Voters will be examining the issue in the state's 2018 election.
As it stands right now, there are only caps on punitive damages (damages intended to punish a defendant). There is an interesting twist, however; if the plaintiff proves by "clear and convincing evidence" that the defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff for the express purpose of harm, there is no cap. If the plaintiff does not prove this by clear and convincing evidence, then punitive damages are capped at $250,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater, not to exceed $1 million. See Ark. Code Ann. § 16-55-208(b)(1)- (2). Either party can request that periodic payments be made if a judgment is more than $100,000. See Ark. Code Ann. § 16-114- 208(a)(1)(A).
Modified comparative fault (depending on your % of responsibility, damages might be reduced accordingly)
No economic loss rule (Farm Bureau Ins. Co. v. Case Corp., 878 S.W.2d 741 (Ark. 1994).
Hiring a lawyer in Arkansas
Consultations for personal injury representation are usually free -- at least, the first meeting is. After that, lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that their office will receive a third of the eventual reward, plus office expenses.
If the client's case ends up going to trial, the percentage might rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set in stone, so don't be taken aback if your lawyer suggests something different. Find your state page here.
These are some of the most important Supreme Court cases to come out of the state of Arkansas in the past century:
Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958): In this case, the Supreme Court reinforced their holding in Brown v. Board of Education, their landmark case from 1954, and held that the state of Arkansas could not pass legislation undermining their ruling – which desegregated public schools.
Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968): The Supreme Court invalidated an Arkansas law that prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools under First Amendment grounds. The Justices decided that teaching did not need to be tailored to any particular religious sect.
McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255 (1982): Public schools were attempting to balance "creation science" and "evolution science," which a federal court decided violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution because, according to their written opinion, creation science is not actually science.
Data and statistics
Here is some interesting data about the state of Arkansas.
There are many issues you can solve on your own if you know where to look. And if you don't, a law librarian will always be available to help you. They are generally legally trained and can help you both with texts or online sources like LexisNexis or Westlaw.