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Types of Damages Available in Jonesboro, AR Lawsuits
If you've been injured or lost a love one due to another person's negligent or wrongful acts, you deserve compensation. This page is intended as a guide to help you understand the different types of damages and legal remedies available if you have been wronged, from compensatory damages to punitive damages. Jonesboro trial lawyers, whether they be general Jonesboro personal injury attorneys, Jonesboro car accident lawyers, Jonesboro truck accident lawyers, Jonesboro medical negligence attorneys, or any other Jonesboro lawyer, can help you gain a greater understanding of how damages work in Arkansas.
Call one of the Jonesboro trial lawyers on this site today!
State Court or Federal Court
Before discussing damages and factors involved in monetary recovery, one of the largest decisions your Jonesboro trial counsel will make is where to file your lawsuit. Sometimes you do not have an option between state court or federal court. The ability to select federal court is governed by something called "jurisdiction". This should not be confused with another factor called "venue".
There are specific statutes and laws that confer federal court jurisdiction on a given set of facts. If these are laws are applicable, then your Jonesboro federal court attorney could choose to file a federal lawsuit. Just some of the law are:
- 28 U.S.C. 1330 Actions against foreign states;
- 28 U.S.C. 1331 Federal question;
- 28 U.S.C. 1332 Diversity of citizenship; amount in controversy; costs; and
- 28 U.S.C. 1333 Admiralty, maritime and prize cases
There are a multitude of factors your Jonesboro Arkansas trial lawyer will consider before choosing federal or state court to proceed. If federal court is chosen, no matter what the substantive law is, the federal action wiil be governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and all questions of admissibility of evidence will be governed by the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Recovery of Money = Damages
Compensatory damages reflect the harm actually suffered, including out-of-pocket expenses, doctor’s bills, and pain and suffering. Compensatory damages, as the name suggests, are intended to compensate a victim or a victim’s family for losses suffered due to the injury or death of a loved one. Your Jonesboro trial lawyer can review the facts of your case and discuss compensatory damages with you.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for wrongdoing, and are available only if the defendant acted with malice or reckless indifference to the rights of the plaintiff. Generally, the goal of the law is to compensate plaintiffs for their injuries. However, a court may award punitive damage to punish the defendant and to deter them and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
When are punitive damages available in Arkansas? Punitive damages vary from state to state, some allowing punitive damages in wrongful death lawsuits, workers' compensation claims, or other types of cases, while other states disallow punitive damages in these cases. Speak to one of the Jonesboro trial attorneys on this site to learn more about Arkansas's punitive damages laws.
One other instance in which punitive damages may be available across the nation is in some maritime injury and offshore injury cases when on-the-job accidents injure or kill seamen or offshore workers. Under the Jones Act, an employer may be automatically responsible for punitive damages if they arbitrarily and capriciously deny payment of maintenance and/or cure benefits to an injured worker. Certain Jonesboro trial lawyers can shed more light on where punitive damages may be available in maritime or offshore injury cases.
Calculating Damages can be complicated. Jonesboro professionals can help you calculate expenses and costs that will give a good estimate of damages in your case. Here are some Jonesboro area accountants that can help:
Goad & Co
Lamb Stan CPA
Bowdon Dudley CPA
Mitchell Steve CPA
Deborah Lamb Cva
Jones & Co Ltd
Cassady Brent CPA
Osborn & Osborn
Other Considerations: Contributory Negligence, Comparative Negligence, and Joint and Several Liability
Every state has rules governing the liability of all of the parties involved in a civil tort claim. In the most basic case, one person is completely at fault and must pay for all of the damages. Reality, unfortunately, is usually more complicated. Often, multiple parties cause or contribute to a person’s injuries. Things get even more complicated when the injured party shares some of the blame. State courts, including Arkansas courts, have developed methods for apportioning fault. There are four systems for apportionment of fault:
1. pure contributory negligence
2. pure comparative negligence
3. 50 percent modified comparative negligence
4. 51 percent modified comparative negligence
These four systems are explained at length below.
Contributory Negligence Explained
In states that follow the pure contributory negligence system, if a plaintiff is even a little bit negligent, that plaintiff recovers nothing. In a personal injury case, for example, the defendant wouldn't have to pay any damages if he or she could demonstrate that the plaintiff had even a minor role in causing the accident. This means that if you in any way contributed to your own suffering, you will be totally barred from any recovery in a contributory negligence system. Only five states use the pure contributory system today.
Comparative Negligence Explained
In the comparative negligence system, a plaintiff can still recover even if their actions contributed to their injury. However, the plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by the percent of their fault. The jury must apportion fault among the parties involved. The judge will then use those percentages to calculate the damage award.
Most states use some type of comparative negligence system. Twelve states use the 50 percent comparative fault system. Under this modified version of comparative fault, a plaintiff can only recover if the jury apportions that plaintiff 49 percent or less of the fault in causing the accident. Therefore, if the jury determines that a plaintiff is 50 percent responsible, then that plaintiff will not be able to recover.
The states that do not follow either comparative negligence system explained above or contributory negligence use the 51 percent comparative fault system. Under this modified version of comparative fault, an injured party can only recover if the jury determines that his or her fault is less than 51 percent. Unlike the 50 percent comparative fault system, a plaintiff in a 51 percent comparative fault jurisdiction can recover even if both parties were equally responsible for the injury.
Joint and Several Liability Explained
A lawsuit can become complicated when the negligence of multiple defendants causes a plaintiff’s injury. The legal system tries to deal with this problem fairly. Who should pay for the injury — the party who is more at fault or both negligent parties that caused the damage? What happens if one defendant doesn't have the means to pay for his or her share of the injury? State court systems have come up with different answers to these questions. Some states apply the theory of joint liability, while other states use the theory of several liability. Some states even combine the two doctrines into the legal theory of joint and several liability.
The doctrine of joint liability makes each defendant liable for up to the total amount of the damages awarded. A plaintiff, however, cannot recover the entire amount from each defendant, as that would mean he or she could potentially recover more than the court intended. In the several liability system, each defendant is liable for the damage they caused. For example, in a car accident, if the court determines that a defendant caused five percent of the harm, he or she would have to pay five percent of the damages. However, if one of the other defendants did not have the financial resources to pay their share, the other defendants would have to make up the difference.
To learn more about the negligence laws in Arkansas, contact one of the Jonesboro trial lawyers on this site. Jonesboro trial attorneys can fully explain the fault and liability systems in Arkansas, and how they apply to your case.
In what types of cases can Jonesboro Trial Lawyers recover damages?
Jonesboro trial attorneys litigate a broad range of issues. Pretty much any type of case that can go to trial could be handled by a trial lawyer. These cases could include issues like:
- personal injury
- breach of contract
- patent litigation and copyright litigation
- construction litigation
- products liability or defective product suits
- medical malpractice
- labor and employment disputes
- insurance disputes
- white color crimes
- toxic torts
- class action cases
- commercial litigation
Jonesboro area Hospitals and Health Care Providers
Home Instead Senior Care: Jonesboro
Superior Senior Care
St Bernards Medical Ctr
NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital
Surgical Hospital of Jonesboro
Lawrence Memorial Hospital
Regional Health Care Services
Vision Care Center-Ne Arkansas
Ascent Children's Health Service
Equitable Relief is a Type of Damage as Well
In some instances, the recovery of money is not the reason to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, you need to seek the powers of the court to get was is called equity or equitable relief. Examples of equitable relief are temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions, permanent injunctions, relief from a contract. The threshhold test is usually as follows: without immediate relief will irreparable harm be caused? If yes, then the court's equitable powers can be exercised.
Contact a local Jonesboro, AR Trial Lawyer now to discuss your case.
Serving clients throughout Northeastern Arkansas, including Bald Knob, Batesville, Blytheville, Bradford, Forest City, Harrisburg, Hickory Ridge, Jonesboro, Keiser, Lepanto, Little River, Marked Tree, Newport, Paragould, Pocahontas, Searcy, Trumann, Walnut Ridge, Wynne, areas in the vicinity of Jonesboro Municipal Airport, and other communities in Craighead County.