If you slip and fall in a grocery store or place of business because an employee failed to clean up a wet spill, it can derail your life. A common injury in such a case (such as a broken arm) could prevent you from working for days or weeks. The expense of the ER visit and follow up exams could be excessive. It can be too much for your financial situation. But did you know the establishment in which you fell may be required by Arkansas law to pay you for your expenses, your lost productivity, and your pain and suffering?
If you’ve been injured at a retail establishment, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses under Arkansas premises liability law. This law was designed to protect victims from injuries suffered because of another entity’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. Indeed, most businesses in Arkansas have what’s called general liability insurance which is designed to pay out in accident cases like this.
Arkansas General Liability Insurance
Most business establishments in Arkansas (from grocery stores to restaurants and bars) have General Liability insurance (also sometimes called commercial liability insurance or business insurance).
These types of policies are created to insulate the business or the owner from the financial responsibility associated with paying victims for injuries which occur on these commercial properties. In essence, the insurance company pays instead of the business owner.
However, having this insurance is not legally mandated by the state.
If a business is covered by a commercial business insurance policy, getting compensation for your injuries may be as simple as crafting a compelling demand letter and submitting it to the insurance company. Insurance companies are usually quick to pay small settlements in simple cases to minimize their own financial investment.
However, many insurance companies won’t offer you the maximum amount you may be entitled to the first time. Getting that higher dollar figure may require:
- Providing more evidence
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters
- Seeking assistance from experts (such as medical specialists)
- Or hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you
If a business doesn’t have insurance and you are injured while on their property, you may be able to hold the business owner financially responsible for your injuries. In cases such as that, the financial compensation process can get much uglier and often the only way to successfully get the compensation you deserve is to take your case to court. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in Arkansas is recommended.
Comparative Fault and How it Affects Your Settlement
Arkansas is a modified comparative fault state. That means that businesses and insurance companies may not be required to pay for a victim’s injuries if they don’t bare the majority of the fault in the accident. Indeed, victims are only able to recover financial compensation for injuries if they are deemed 49% or less at fault for the accident.
Calculating that percentage of fault can be tricky. Therefore, it’s up to you (or your Arkansas personal injury attorney) to prove beyond a doubt that you were not in fact responsible for the conditions that caused your injury. To do this, you or your legal representative must:
- Collect evidence from the scene of the accident
- Gather necessary investigative documents (accident reports, statements, etc.)
- Prepare a compelling argument
- And present that argument in a fashion that leaves no doubt as to who is at fault
Deciding whether You Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Arkansas
Many personal injury cases involving relatively minor injuries and modest compensation sums do not require intervention by legal professionals. If your injuries only set you back a few hundred dollars, a simple insurance payout may be the quickest and easiest way to get the money you deserve.
However, if you’ve suffered serious injury from a slip and fall accident in an Arkansas business establishment, and that establishment is refusing to pay what your injuries have cost you, taking that fight to the next level may not be something you’re not prepared (or even able) to do yourself.
To find out if you can benefit from the skills and resources of an experienced personal injury attorney in Arkansas, contact the Pfeifer Law Firm today. Get in touch online or call 501-374-4440 for your free consultation.