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What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?

Published on Mar 28, 2024 at 2:40 pm in Personal Injury.

What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?

If you listen to the radio, watch the news, view certain content on the internet, or look around as you’re driving, you’re bound to encounter advertisements about personal injuries where an attorney recommends that you reach out for help if you’re hurt.

While you may be familiar with the terminology in that marketing material, you may be unsure what qualifies as a personal injury.

Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what this large legal practice area refers to.

How Does Arkansas Law Define Personal Injury?

The terminology “personal injury” isn’t explicitly defined in our state’s statutes. However, different Arkansas laws, such as the following, provide enough of a context for understanding what this concept entails. Here’s what we can glean from reviewing those statutes:

  • Arkansas Code § 16-62-102: This statute speaks of wrongful death actions and how they can be filed when the death of an unborn child or person results from neglect, default, or a wrongful act.
  • Arkansas Code § 16-64-122: This section of code describes the Arkansas comparative fault doctrine. This statute connects both personal injuries and wrongful death to the potential fault of another.
  • Arkansas Code § 16-114-203: While the focus of this state statute is on the filing deadline in medical injury cases, it provides insight into examples of this type of personal injury when describing how the standard statute of limitations for wrongful acts, like foreign objects being left inside of patients, is different.
  • Arkansas Code § 16-116-202: This law describes the rights a victim has to bring a product liability action when they suffer, among other things, a personal injury, including wrongful death, when using a product with design, manufacturing, marketing, and other flaws.
  • Arkansas Code § 16-60-112: This state statute describes how “actions for damages,” also referred to as “civil actions,” should generally be brought in the same county where the wrongful acts result in the personal injury or wrongful death occurred and how such filings should be handled in extenuating circumstances.
  • Arkansas Code § 27-53-101: While this section of our state’s code doesn’t specifically use the terminology “personal injury,” it does refer to the concept of “physical injury” in describing responsibilities motorists have after becoming involved in auto accidents in which someone gets hurt.

As you might imagine, we could certainly continue referencing different laws that mention different concepts related to personal injuries. However, we think that providing a quick rundown of common cases personal injury lawyers often take on can be helpful here.

Types of Personal Injury Cases Attorneys Often Handle

Over the years, lawyers like ours at McMath Woods P.A. have represented clients in personal injury cases such as the following types:

  • Motor vehicle accident cases: This is a catchall category that may include passenger car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle wrecks, boating accidents, mass transit collisions (i.e., ones involving city buses), and even pedestrian strikes and bicycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice: Included in this category are situations where patients are misdiagnosed, they fall victim to a surgical error, or a radiologist misreads an X-ray, for example.
  • Product liability situations: If a product hurts or kills someone, one or more parties along the supply chain, whether they’re responsible for that product’s design, fabrication, distribution, or some aspect of it getting into a customer’s hands, may be held accountable for that outcome.
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect: Assisted living facilities that force or are permissive of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse against residents or who neglect them.
  • Premises liability incidents: These are situations where someone gets hurt on another person’s property, whether due to issues such as disrepair, negligent security, failures to warn, and other types of negligence or oversight.
  • Workplace injuries: While these scenarios may occur because of a colleague’s inadvertent actions, the choices of a property owner or third-party vendor, such as a product manufacturer, can also cause you harm.

All of these situations, and countless other instances that result in a personal injury, generally share one detail in common. That commonality is that they could have been easily prevented had it not been for a defendant’s actions or inactions in a specific situation.

Another commonality in cases like these is that you have the responsibility to prove that the party who harmed you was negligent. Generally, you must be able to show the following to adequately prove that was the case:

  • That the defendant owed you a duty of care
  • The defendant breached (violated) the duty of care they owed you
  • You suffered harm because of that violation
  • You incurred damages (i.e., monetary loss) because of the harm you suffered

We urge you to reach out to our Little Rock law firm if you’ve suffered injuries that you attribute to someone else’s negligence, as described by the American Bar Association (ABA). (Acts resulting in harm can be intentional or unintentional or planned or unplanned.)

Doing so can be instrumental in helping you understand if what happened to you qualifies as a personal injury and, if so, facilitate dialogue between you and the personal injury attorney you speak with about legal avenues available to you, filing deadlines, and other important information regarding your rights.

Consultations with our lawyers are free for matters regarding personal injuries.

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