It is understandable for a person to avoid reporting an accident if they feel they were able to resolve any issues with the other driver personally. However, Arkansas law requires that car accidents be reported under certain circumstances. If you or a family member was involved in a car accident and are unsure if the accident must be reported, consult with an experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyer. Reporting a car accident can be important if you wish to pursue a claim against the driver that caused the accident. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, explains how long a person has to file a report for an injury sustained in a car accident.
Arkansas Car Accident Reporting Requirements
Many people will refrain from filing a car accident report if they feel they are capable of resolving the accident without the aid of law enforcement or other parties. As a result, it may come as a surprise that Arkansas requires that certain types of car accidents are reported to the state.
There are a number of circumstances that determine whether a person involved in an accident will have to fill out an “Arkansas Motor Vehicle Accident Report.” Specifically, a vehicle accident report must be filed if any of the following occur:
- Damage to property above $1,000 (only requires damage to at least one person’s property)
- A party involved in the car accident suffered an injury (injury does not have to be severe)
- The death of any person caused by the car accident
It is important to note that a vehicle accident report must be filed within 30 days of the accident. If a driver involved in the accident is incapable of reporting the accident due to their injuries, the owner of the vehicle must file the report within five days of the accident. If the driver of the vehicle and the owner are the same person, the driver will not be required to report until they are no longer incapacitated (e.g., in a coma).
The accident report can be downloaded from Arkansas’ Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) website. The report will request routine information like the name and address of the driver and the details of the accident. Additionally, if anyone was killed in the accident, the name of the person(s) must be included as well.
To learn more about when to file a car accident lawsuit after a crash, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Arkansas
As a report of a car accident has a filing deadline, so too does a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident. This filing deadline is referred to as the statute of limitations. It is a statute that determines the length of time that a person has to file a particular type of lawsuit with the court.
In Arkansas, a potential plaintiff has three years to pursue a personal injury lawsuit with the court. If a plaintiff fails to file their case within three years, they risk having the court bar their claim. This can be accomplished if a defendant motions that the case violates the statute of limitations. Our Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer can help you.
It may seem strange that each state would implement laws that can bar a person from filing a lawsuit against a person that committed a civil harm. However, the statute of limitations benefits a plaintiff and a defendant. The law ensures that plaintiffs promptly pursue their claims, which can help avoid many issues down the line, like a failing memory from a witness. Alternatively, it also helps a defendant avoid worrying about a legal claim that could be filed against them several years in the future when they are unprepared.
Filing a Car Accident Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arkansas
If your family member was killed in a car crash, you could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party that is responsible for their death. In Arkansas, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within one year of the decedent’s death.
It is important to note that only certain family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Arkansas enforces this law in order to prevent possibly estranged family members from benefitting from the death of others. The following parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Arkansas:
- Surviving spouse of the decedent
- Children of the decedent or children that were cared for by the decedent as a guardian
- Parents of the decedent
- Personal representatives in charge of the decedent’s estate
There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, a brother or sister can file the wrongful death claim if they serve as the decedent’s personal representative.
Contact Our Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer Today for Help Reporting Your Injury
If you or a family member was injured in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today. Car accident attorney Ken Kieklak is committed to fighting for his clients in a wide range of personal injury claims, and he would be honored to work with you. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal situation, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm online.
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