How Is Fault Determined in Head-On Car Accidents in Arkansas?

Drivers who sustain severe or life-threatening injuries may face intense pain and suffering after a car crash. The situation gets more complicated as medical bills keep piling up and you can’t return to work. However, there are ways you can receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. You may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party and their insurance company so you can get back on your feet. Fayetteville car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, invites you to read on as we discuss more about determining liability after a head-on car crash in Arkansas.

Determining Liability in a Head-On Car Crash

Head-on collisions occur when cars traveling in opposite directions meet and crash into each other. Most of these car accidents are caused by distracted, drunken, drugged, or careless drivers. The outcome of frontal car crashes can be devastating, often causing catastrophic injuries such as head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, and other catastrophic injuries.

Who is responsible for a head-on collision can change depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. For instance, if driver “X” tries to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone and crashes into an oncoming driver, then X would be liable since he or she did an illegal act. However, the story can be very different if driver X enters the opposing lane due to a mechanical defect or exploding tire. The bottom line is that the specific circumstances of your case determine liability in a head-on collision.

If you are the injured party during a head-on collision, you can file a claim against the at-fault party. Seldom do people walk out of a car accident scene unscathed; in many cases, car crashes can cause severe, debilitating injuries. In more serious car accidents, injury victims will need costly medical treatment that can last for weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime. Vehicle accident victims can often recover compensation from the wrongdoers through a lawsuit.

Proving Fault in a Front-End Car Crash

Liability lawsuits for head-on collisions are based on a “negligence” theory. To prove the other driver was negligent and responsible for your car crash, you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care
  • The at-fault driver breached the duty of care
  • The breach of the duty of care caused the accident
  • The accident caused you damages

Once the negligence has been established, then you can recover compensation from the responsible party for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and loss of wages. On the other hand, if a drunk or drugged driver caused your head-on collision, you do not always need to prove he or she breached a duty. The drunk or drugged driver may be presumed to be at fault for your head-on accident.

Arkansas follows a legal rule known as the “modified comparative fault” rule. The rule decides what to do when both drivers are partly responsible for the accident. Essentially, the rule is used to determine the percentage of responsibility attributable to each party during the crash. If it is found the plaintiff was partially liable, then the damages awarded will be reduced by their percentage of responsibility. For instance, if the court awards $100,000 in damages to the victim, but finds he was 10% responsible for his own accident, then he would receive $90,000 in damages. However, be aware if you are found at least 50% responsible for the crash, you would not be entitled to receive any compensation.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive for my Head-On Car Accident?

The total compensation you will receive for your car accident depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. Arkansas does not have a “cap” or limit on the amount of compensatory damages a car accident victim can receive. However, the amount you receive changes depending on the medical expenses you faced, how serious your pain and suffering was, and how much work you missed.

Furthermore, if the court finds the at-fault party’s actions where especially reckless and egregious, they can also award what is known as “punitive damages.” Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and persuade others from making similar decisions in the future.

Fayetteville, Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer Representing Personal Injury Victims

Recovering from any injuries after a car accident in Arkansas should be your primary concern. You don’t have to take on those responsible for your injuries. Let an experienced, knowledgeable Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer fight for you while you recover. However, you should retain the service of a skilled Arkansas lawyer before time runs out. There is a legal time limit for filing your lawsuit known as the “statute of limitations.” If the statute of limitation’s window closes, you would be left out without recourse. To learn more about your case in a free consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.