Arkansas Car Accident Law: What You Need to Know
March 8 2023
In Arkansas, all drivers are required to have liability insurance and must report an accident if there is personal injury or property damage of more than $1,000. All parties involved in the accident must be identified and provide driver license numbers along with insurance information.
Understanding Arkansas Car Accident Laws
In Arkansas, it is important to understand the car accident laws so that you can take appropriate action if you find yourself involved in an accident. Generally, Arkansas follows a traditional approach to assigning fault and determining liability for damages in personal injury claims. While the “fault” system applies to most car accidents, there are a few exceptions.
In a standard “at-fault” system such as in Arkansas, the driver who is found liable for the accident is responsible for paying any and all damages resulting from the accident, including medical bills and collateral damage repair costs. This system means that one driver will be held responsible for the accident regardless of contributory negligence or comparative fault under the circumstances. If two or more drivers are at-fault for the collision but cannot agree on who was more responsible, their respective insurance companies will determine liabilities and negotiate payments according to applicable regulations.
Under this system, proving liability is essential for recovering damages in a car accident case. Therefore, it is important to gather evidence as soon as possible after an accident to make your case. Types of evidence include photographs or videos taken of the scene of the accident, witness statements, and details about property damage.
The only exception to the at-fault liability model in Arkansas is a “no-fault” policy which is mandatory in some states (Arkansas isn’t one of them). Under this rule, each driver’s insurance company pays out its own policyholder’s claims regardless of who caused the accident. The no-fault policy limits an individual’s right to sue another party, though they may still sue if they meet certain criteria.
It is important to understand that different states often have different legal approaches to car accidents—so even if you live in another state where fault and liabilities vary from Arkansas’ at-fault system—it’s still your responsibility to follow Arkansas regulations when driving through or visiting the state.
Now that we have understood the basics of Arkansas Car Accident Law, next we will discuss how fault is determined in car accidents within this state – let’s look at Determining Fault in Car Accidents in our next section.
Determining Fault in Car Accidents
Determining who is at fault in a car accident can be difficult. When both drivers believe they are not responsible for the damages or injuries sustained in a crash, it may be necessary to work with experienced professionals to decide who is liable for the damages and injuries.
The primary determining factor when assigning fault for a car accident is negligence. If one of the drivers involved in the accident acted negligently which caused injury or damage, then that driver will be at fault for any resulting harm. Negligence may include things like speeding, bad driving practices, failure to yield the right-of-way, poor vehicle maintenance, ignoring traffic laws or safety regulations, etc.
Another way to determine fault in a car accident is by proving comparative negligence, which may involve proving that both parties were negligent in some way and assigning degrees of fault based on who was more responsible for causing the accident. Arkansas is a pure comparative fault state, meaning that each party is considered responsible for their own damages in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to them. For example, if you are determined to be 25% at-fault for an accident then any damages awarded will be reduced by 25%.
In some cases where there is no available evidence and no witnesses, fault may remain unassigned—a situation known as “no-fault” insurance. No-fault insurance means that regardless of who caused the accident both drivers will be covered by their respective insurance companies up to their policy limit.
All of these principles also apply to pedestrian accidents as well as collisions involving cyclists or motorcycles. Ultimately determining fault between parties involved in an auto accident requires an investigation into all facts associated with the incident and often involves legal counsel to resolve disputes between those affected by an accident.
Now that we understand how Arkansas determines fault in a car accident let’s move on to better understand what it means for an at-fault driver and their liability for any damages or injuries sustained in an auto accident.
At-Fault Drivers & Liability
When it comes to Arkansas car accident law, at-fault drivers and liability can be particularly difficult to decide upon. Many of the state’s legal statutes and case precedent favor a “fault” system for determining who is liable for financial damages due to injury and destruction of property. This means that the driver determined to have acted negligently will be financially responsible for any reparation claims. The other party that wasn’t negligent would not need to pay in cash or insurance premiums.
In some cases, multiple parties may be found to share differing levels of fault for an auto accident. Generally, Arkansas follows a modified comparative negligence analysis (often referred to as AR MODIFIED C/N) when apportioning out damages in these types of multi-party cases. Under this system, each person may be assigned a percentage of blame and damages awarded accordingly – with reckless or grossly negligent individuals bearing a higher tier of responsibility than those considered less reckless or negligent.
On the flip side, there are circumstances when neither driver has been identified by a court of law as the sole cause of an automobile accident. In such instances, Arkansas is one of several states that applies a legal regime called “No Fault” insurance laws. Under no fault rules, neither party is monetarily liable for the costs associated with an accident and instead each individual’s own insurance company will compensate them regardless of which side was deemed at fault by the court.
With at-fault drivers and liability being so complicated in regards to car accidents within the state’s legal parameters, it’s important for parties involved in an auto accident to seek professional legal advice if issues arise. With that said, let’s move onto examining what happens if both drivers are at-fault in an auto collision within Arkansas borders.
What if Both Drivers are at Fault?
When both drivers are at fault for a car accident in Arkansas, the legal process determines liability by assigning a certain percentage of blame to each party involved. This is called comparative fault and is intended to ensure that one driver does not disproportionately shoulder the full burden of liability for an accident. To prove comparative fault, it’s done on a case-by-case basis but generally the court may look to the police report, witness testimony, photographs, or other evidence to determine the exact extent of each driver’s negligence.
Comparative fault doesn’t absolve any driver of responsibility; instead, it can reduce the total amount that each driver responsible is required to pay based on their percentage of fault. For example, if one driver is found to be 90% responsible and the other driver 10% responsible in a car accident, then the 90% negligent driver is liable for the full compensation owed. The 10% negligent driver is liable for only 10 percent of that amount.
Despite this system of assigning percentages of fault, however, it can still be challenging for both attorneys and insurance companies when attempting to fairly apportion blame and liability between two parties in an auto accident. It therefore requires experienced representation and thorough investigation in order to make sure all facts are presented accurately.
This section has explored what happens when both drivers are at fault after a car accident in Arkansas. In the next section we will examine what legal action can be taken after such an incident occurs.
Legal Action After a Car Accident
When it comes to taking legal action after a car accident in Arkansas, injured parties have several potential avenues they can pursue. Depending on the severity of the crash and resulting injuries, victims may be able to file a claim against a negligent driver either through their insurance company or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. It is important that victims act quickly when assessing their legal options since there are statutes of limitations and other deadlines they must abide by in order to pursue successful action.
If an injured person was not at fault for a crash, they will likely want to pursue compensation from the negligent party’s insurer. Under Arkansas state law, drivers are only required to carry liability insurance that covers up to $25,000 for property damage and bodily injury per accident; insurance compensation can be used to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage and more. In cases where negligence can be proven—when a driver operated recklessly or failed to comply with certain traffic laws—victims have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Through this process, victims may seek additional categories of damages, such as for pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Whether or not an individual takes legal action in the wake of an accident depends largely on factors related to fault, damages, and limitations imposed by Arkansas’ civil codes. That being said, those seeking legal assistance would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney prior to taking any action so they understand their rights under state law.
After making decisions regarding whether or not to take legal action, injured parties should familiarize themselves with how the claims process works if they intend to proceed with filing an injury claim. The next section will discuss exactly that: How to File an Injury Claim.
How to File an Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in an Arkansas car accident, you may have a legal right to recover damages for your expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To ensure that you get the compensation you deserve after an accident, learning how to file an injury claim is essential.
In Arkansas, the primary way to seek compensation for accident-related injuries is by filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party’s insurer. Your first step should be contacting an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process of filing a successful claim. The legal team at XYZ Law Firm can help evaluate your case and determine what steps need to be taken to set up a successful settlement agreement.
Your lawyer will then prepare a written demand letter outlining all of your losses that are related to the accident. The insurance carrier receives the letter and responds with either a settlement offer or a denial of liability. If the insurance company offers a settlement amount that is acceptable to both parties, and then it can be accepted as payment for your damages and the case is closed.
However, if there’s disagreement about fault or liability or over the amount of damages awarded, there’s always the possibility of taking your case before a jury in civil court. While this option is sometimes necessary when insurers don’t make fair offers, it should not be pursued without proper guidance from an experienced car accident attorney.
After filing an injury claim and working with an attorney on either acceptance or rejection of a settlement offer, it’s important to understand additional regulations surrounding insurance coverage in Arkansas. Our next section will cover these details further, so stay tuned for more information on Insurance Regulations in Arkansas.
Insurance Regulations in Arkansas
The insurance process after a car accident in Arkansas often involves filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy. Legally, all drivers must have the minimum limits of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury of two or more people. Liability insurance covers designated damages to the other person in the crash, no matter whether it was an at-fault or not-at-fault driver.
Under fault laws, if it is determined that no single motorist is responsible for the accident, either party’s uninsured motorist coverage can be used. In Arkansas, uninsured motorist coverage is only required if the insured expressly selects coverage for that purpose in advance; this means many drivers may go uninsured even though it is not a legal requirement. The point of uninsured/underinsured motorist protection is to cover bodily injuries sustained by the insured while they are operating their vehicle against a driver who either has no coverage or inadequate coverage to compensate the injured party.
It should be noted that not all medical bills will be covered under these policies since some may be excluded by your insurer’s terms. Property damage is not typically included in these policies as these losses are usually associated with collisions caused by another motorist who has a valid form of significantly higher auto insurance liability coverage which would then become responsible for repair expenses associated with the incident.
Finally, it’s important to know that all states have different regulations when it comes to driving without insurance or with inadequate insurance. In Arkansas, those found guilty of driving without any form of liability protection could face criminal penalties like jail time and hefty fines along with suspension of one’s license.
These insurance regulations underscore the importance of being adequately insured and staying up to date on state laws related to auto accidents and car insurance policies. Next we will discuss th options available for financial compensation after an accident.
Financial Compensation After an Accident
The finances related to a car accident can be difficult to manage. An individual who has been involved in an accident in Arkansas may be entitled to financial compensation to help with their medical bills and other expenses associated with the collision.
Compensation can come in several forms depending on the severity of the accident and who is at fault. In some cases, an individuals’ insurance company may pay for some of the damages if they have adequate coverage; however, if the other party was responsible for the accident, then that party’s insurance company will provide the funds.
In more serious cases, there may also be non-economic damages awarded, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. Other considerations include lost wages due to the accident and any damage done to personal property. A person may also claim punitive damages which are meant to punish and deter bad behavior from happening again.
It is important for individuals who have been involved in an accident to understand their legal rights and options when seeking financial compensation. With the assistance and guidance of a qualified attorney, many people are able to receive fair compensation for injuries suffered due to an automobile accident in Arkansas.
Navigating these complex financial concerns is typically best done with experienced legal representation, so it can be helpful for individuals injured in car accidents to seek out professional help as soon as possible. In this way, an individual can ensure they receive maximum compensation for their losses.
The following section will explore ways that an attorney can help those injured in car accidents navigate through their options surrounding financial recovery after an accident in Arkansas.
Ways an Attorney Can Help
When it comes to complicated Arkansas car accident law, having an experienced attorney on your side is often vital. An experienced lawyer who is familiar with relevant state laws and regulations can explain how the law applies to your case and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for any losses.
The following are ways a lawyer can help with filing a successful car accident claim:
Expert Advice – Experienced personal injury attorneys can often provide expert advice throughout the legal process. They understand that even minor mistakes can be costly, so they take their duty seriously when guiding you through the claims process. A knowledgeable lawyer will remain informed about relevant statutes and regulations, as well as changes or interpretations in the law, which could affect your case. In addition to providing assistance in formulating arguments for your case, an attorney may also handle complex legal tasks such as researching precedent cases and organizing evidence needed to support your argument.
Negotiate a Settlement – An experienced car accident lawyer can advocate for you in settlement negotiations with insurance companies and other parties involved in the litigation. Attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to explore all possible avenues of recovery in order to achieve the most favorable outcome for their client. Your attorney is also skilled at finding weaknesses in an opposing party’s argument and using them to leverage a better outcome.
Representation at Trial – If your case goes to trial, your attorney will provide valuable representation and vigorously defend your case against strong opposition from insurance companies and other third parties involved. A well-prepared attorney will thoroughly review pertinent deposition transcripts, discovery documents, and other evidence before trial preparation truly begins. Additionally, some attorneys specialize in appellate work should an appeal be required down the line.
Ultimately, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney if you are involved in a car accident in Arkansas. Your lawyer can help ensure that you get a fair hearing and proper compensation for any injuries or property damage suffered in the accident.
Common Questions and Explanations
Is there a minimum insurance requirement to drive in Arkansas?
Yes, there is a minimum insurance requirement to drive in Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Insurance Department, drivers are required to carry at least $25,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for all persons injured or killed in one accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident is required. These requirements are intended to help ensure that drivers can pay for damages resulting from a car accident.
What are the legal ramifications of a car accident in Arkansas?
The legal ramifications of a car accident in Arkansas depend on the severity of the accident and the resulting damage. If the accident results in serious injury or death, individuals may face criminal charges ranging from reckless driving to vehicular homicide. In cases involving property damage or injury, state law requires drivers to possess both liability insurance coverage as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Those found guilty of causing an accident without having adequate insurance could face fines and even jail time. Additionally, state law dictates that any driver involved in an accident must stop at the scene and render aid if possible. Failing to do so can lead to harsher penalties including fines andlicense revocation, even if the driver is not deemed at fault for the accident.
What steps do I need to take after being involved in a car accident in Arkansas?
As a driver in Arkansas, it is important to take the proper steps after being involved in a car accident.
First and foremost, if there are any injuries resulting from the accident, contact medical services right away. It is also important to ensure that the scene of the accident is safe before attempting to move any vehicles or individuals involved.
After taking safety precautions, the next step is to call 911 to report the car accident. Make sure to provide all relevant information concerning the mishap and stay put until the authorities arrive at the scene. This will ensure that a police report is filed with an accurate account of the criteria leading up to and resulting from the accident.
It is also essential to exchange insurance information with other parties involved in the accident. Furthermore, snap pictures of the location and damage for further records as evidence for a potential future claim.
The last step is to find legal representation if necessary — researching attorneys who specialize in Arkansas car accident law can help you work through any complicated legal matters that may arise out of your case should you choose to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company or take legal action against them.