Most people spend a part of every day in a car. With thousands of cars and miles of roadways in Arkansas, it is not surprising accidents occur. Many times, an accident is the result of a series of unfortunate events. However, others are the direct result of the reckless or careless conduct of one of the drivers involved. If you were an innocent victim in a car crash, you should not be financially liable for your medical costs and other damages.
Our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys have been aggressively representing innocent victims for over twenty years. Whether negotiating with an insurance provider or fighting for your rights in court, our office is committed to maximizing your compensation.
It is not uncommon to have no idea what you should do after a car accident. If you were injured, you could be worried about the cost of medical treatments and lost income. Calling our law offices should be a priority. To review your case, call (479) 316-0438.
What Our Arkansas Car Accident Attorneys Can Do for You
The first thing you should do following a car crash is get medical attention. If you do not receive emergency treatment immediately following a crash, you should see your doctor within a day or two. After you have seen to your health, you should contact our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys – especially if another driver caused the accident.
We Investigate Your Car Accident
Car accidents are traumatic events that often seem to end before they begin. It is unlikely you are aware of what really happened. While your recollection of the event is important, our office has the resources to thoroughly investigate the crash. Depending on the circumstances, this could mean speaking with witnesses, retrieving surveillance video, ordering a police report, or having a professional accident reconstructionist analyze the chain of events that lead up to the crash.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
After a car crash, you should concentrate on your physical health. Dealing with insurance companies is often frustrating. A claims adjuster is actively working to reduce their company’s liability, not pay you a fair settlement. A casual comment could give an insurer a reason to reduce or deny your claim. Our Arkansas car wreck lawyers have years of experience working directly with insurance companies. Many car accident cases end up settling before going to trial. However, having seasoned legal representation will increase the chances of maximizing your compensation.
We Determine A Proper Claim Settlement
Before you can think of negotiating an insurance settlement, you need to know what your claim is worth. This means calculating your complete damages, including your medical expenses and lost income. It is important to remember that this calculation includes any medical treatment you will require in the future and the income you would have earned if you were not injured.
In addition to calculating your damages, our office will assess the legal strength of your case. If the evidence is in your favor, an insurance provider will most likely offer a reasonable settlement to avoid risking a trial. Only once you know the value of your claim and the likelihood of success in court, can you make an informed decision regarding a settlement offer.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents in Arkansas
Sometimes a car accident in Arkansas is just an accident. However, in many situations, an accident would have been prevented if another party did not act negligently. There are some common mistakes and intentional conduct that result in car crashes throughout Arkansas.
When a person is driving while drunk or taking drugs, they are breaking the law. Their mental and physical capabilities are also impaired. If someone gets behind the wheel after drinking, they should know that their conduct could lead to a devesting accident.
Nearly everyone is guilty of driving distracted at one time or another. Turning to talk to a passenger or changing the radio station takes your attention away from driving. Any time a driver is engaged physically or mentally in another task, they engender other motorists. Probably the most dangerous conduct people regularly engage in is texting while driving.
There are many forms of reckless or careless driving. However, the one that results in the most catastrophic injuries is speeding. When driving at an excessive speed, it is harder to control a vehicle or react to changing traffic conditions. In many cases, speed is the primary contributing factor in a fatal accident.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions also create hazards for motorists. When an accident occurs because of an uneven surface or debris in the roadway, another driver who ignored the condition, the municipality charged with maintaining the road, or a construction company could be held liable.
Defective Car Parts
When an accident is because a vehicle failed to perform properly or a system failed, the car manufacturer could be held responsible. Part defects and design flaws contribute to accidents and injuries.
Common Types of Car Accidents?
Not every car accident is created the same. The type of accident that you were involved in will impact your injuries and your personal injury lawsuit. Proving liability is easier in some accidents and much more challenging in others.
It is usually not hard to hold a driver that hit your car from behind responsible for the accident or your injuries. Rear-end collisions often result in neck and head injures, such as whiplash, due to the sudden jolt.
When a car slams into the side of another vehicle, it is often referred to as a T-bone collision because of the shape created. Because the sides of most vehicles lack protection, passengers sitting near the impact site often sustain traumatic injuries.
Rollover accidents are often fatal. It typically takes a significant amount of force and speed for a car to roll over. Some vehicles, such as SUVs, are prone to these types of accidents because of their high center of gravity.
Head-on collisions are frightening. They also often result in catastrophic injuries for all drivers and passengers involved. In many cases, these horrible accidents are caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel or driving while drunk.
When an accident involves multiple vehicles, the damage could spread over long stretches of road. In many cases, it is difficult to how an accident happened and which driver was at fault. When multiple cars are involved, multiple drivers could be to blame. Our experienced Arkansas car accident lawyers will have to sift through the evidence to determine the cause.
What Should I do After a Car Crash in Arkansas?
Believe it or not, your personal injury lawsuit or insurance settlement negotiations begin moments after an accident occurs. The actions you take following a car crash could help you maximize your possible compensation.
Seeking medical treatment should be your priority. Even if you feel fine, you should still see a doctor. Medical documentation is critical in determining your damages and holding another party liable. If you are unable to link your injuries to the accident, you will not prevail in a personal injury lawsuit and will not be offered a reasonable settlement.
If you are physically capable, you should start gathering evidence. This includes collecting the names and contact information of witnesses and taking photographs of the accident scene. Having impartial third parties confirm another person caused the accident is a key component in a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, photos allow experts to determine what occurred and serve as visual evidence of the accident’s aftermath.
How to Prove Liability in an Arkansas Car Accident Claims
While every personal injury lawsuit is unique, there are some similarities in any car accident case based on negligence. A plaintiff must prove negligence by demonstrating for distinct elements.
The Duty of Care
The defendant must have owed you a duty. Luckily, in a car accident case, this is not difficult to prove. Every motorist owes every other motorist a duty to safely drive their vehicle.
Breach of Duty of Care
A breach of duty occurs when someone’s conduct violates their duty of care. In some cases, the violation could be clear. For example, if someone drives home after drinking for hours, they have breached their duty of care to other motorists. In other situations, this might be harder to prove, such as demonstrating that someone was texting when an accident happened.
The Breached Caused The Accident
People do stupid things every day. Not every bad decision results in a car accident. A plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s conduct caused the accident.
Plaintiff Suffered an Injury
Finally, the plaintiff must have suffered quantifiable harm, such as medical expenses or lost income. Without an injury, you do not have grounds for a personal injury case.
Comparative Negligence in Arkansas
Arkansas’ modified comparative negligence laws govern personal injury lawsuits. Under Arkansas law, an injured plaintiff’s conduct could impact their compensation. A jury could determine that a plaintiff was speeding and contributed to an accident. If this happens, the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff was award $40,000 in damages but found to be 10% at fault, they would only receive $36,000. In cases where a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, they are prohibited from recovering from the defendant.
When Should You Agree to an Insurance Settlement in an Arkansas Car Accident?
An insurance company will often offer an accident victim a quick settlement hoping that it is accepted. A claims adjuster knows that a check could look like a windfall. However, you should never accept the first insurance offer. You are allowed to negotiate. The first thing you need to do is determine what your claim is worth. That is where our Arkansas car accident lawyers come in.
Whether you should accept an offer or take your case to court depends on several factors. First, is the settlement sufficient to cover your damages? Once you agree to an amount, you are not permitted to file an additional claim. If your injury requires additional medical treatment or you are out of work much longer than you thought, you are out of luck.
The second important factor is the legal strength of your case. If the evidence clearly shows the other driver was at fault and the insurance company’s offer is unreasonable, you should consider going to court. However, if winning at trial is unlikely, accepting a settlement could be in your best interest.
It is important to remember that you could accept a settlement until a verdict is entered. Sometimes it is necessary to start the litigation process to let the insurer know you are serious.
Damages Rewarded After an Arkansas Car Accident
You are entitled to seek compensatory damages in a personal injury case. These damages are usually broken down into two types: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are your out-of-pocket losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injury. For example, you could recover the cost of parking and babysitting fees to go to a medical appointment. If your home requires modifications to accommodate your injury, you should be compensated for the expense.
Non-economic damages are often called pain and suffering. There are a wide variety of damages included in this category, including emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
In rare cases, punitive damages could be awarded. Unlike compensatory damages, which are related to your injury, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. These special damages are only awarded if the defendant’s conduct is grossly negligent or malicious.
Contact our Arkansas Car Accident Attorneys
If you were an innocent victim in a car accident, you need to take steps to protect your rights and fight for just compensation. One of the best things you could do is contacting our knowledgeable Arkansas car accident attorneys. We have a long history of aggressively representing our clients. Call GKD Law at (479) 316-0438.