Being in a car accident can have short term, long term, and life-altering consequences. In the short term, you may be without a reliable car for a few days while your car is being repaired, or you may suffer some immediate pain from the accident. Long-term consequences may be more severe and can include permanent physical damage, or even extended time away from work. A car accident is never a pleasant experience, particularly when it has life-altering consequences. You may have a physical impairment that affects your ability to work or drive.
If you have suffered a severe injury or if a loved one has been killed in a car accident in Bentonville, AR, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation typically attempts to make you whole by awarding money for damages. Our Bentonville, AR car accident lawyer can work to obtain payment for your pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of services, damage to property and other losses. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm online.
Car Accident Statistics
According to 2011 accident statistics, there were 1,364 auto crashes in Bentonville, Arkansas. Of those accidents, the vast majority, 1,130 or approximately 83%, resulted in only property damage. While it is a good thing that more people were not injured or killed, damage to a vehicle, land, or other property should not be imposed upon an innocent party.
However, 17% of accidents did produce an injury of some type. Of the remaining crashes, 232 produced an injury or injuries while there were two fatal crashes. All in all, there were 311 motor vehicle injuries in Bentonville and 3 deaths. Unfortunately, updated accident statistics do not appear to have been made publicly available on the state website.
Types of Car Accidents in Bentonville, AR
Accidents can occur for many reasons. Many times multiple factors combine and significantly increase the likelihood of a collision. While the following is not a comprehensive list, this list provides the most common reasons minor and severe accidents occur:
- Distracted driver
- Texting driver
- Poor visibility
- Rain or other adverse weather conditions
- Reckless driving
- Failure to signal lane changes or turns
These are but a few of the reasons why serious car and truck accidents occur in Bentonville, Arkansas. Another factor that often increases the odds of a serious accident is drivers who fail to account for the characteristics of other vehicles and if the other driver is paying attention.
Types of Bentonville, AR Car Accident Injuries
Each and every car accident is the result of a unique combination of speeds, vehicles, drivers, road conditions, weather conditions, and more. While it is impossible to predict the exact nature and severity of injuries an accident will produce, some injuries are more likely to occur than others. Some of the most common injuries that drivers experience in a car accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury – A TBI is potentially one of the most devastating injuries possible. Injuries to the brain can affect or impair the functioning of all other bodily systems and functions. A traumatic brain injury can make the things you used to do difficult or impossible to accomplish. They can also lead to problems with memory, focus, attention, and other skills that allow you to be productive at work or at home. Furthermore, they can cause communication difficulties and impair the processing of information.
- Whiplash – Whiplash is the most common car accident injury that can cause a number of symptoms from severe nausea to confusion. Others may report severe neck or back pain. In any case, a whiplash injury is one that is caused by the rapidly cycling forces of acceleration and deceleration. These forces cause shearing and tearing of nerve and muscle tissue resulting in whiplash signs and symptoms
- Spinal column injuries – Injuries to the spinal column, vertebrae, or spinal discs can cause significant pain and suffering. Others may lose sensation in their extremities, while some may even be paralyzed due to damage to the spine.
- Broken bones – Car accidents can produce simple or compound fractures. In general higher speeds are typically more likely to produce broken bones.
Unfortunately, these injuries merely represent those that are most common. Many other injuries can and do occur as a result of negligence, carelessness, and recklessness.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Bentonville, Arkansas
If you were a victim of a car accident that occurred in Bentonville, you should take a number of steps to not only ensure your safety but also to make it easier to pursue compensation for your injuries in the future.
Seek Medical Attention
After being involved in a serious car accident, one of the first actions should be to contact emergency medical services for yourself, any passengers in your vehicle, or any other party that was injured in the accident. It is important not to underestimate the possibility that you suffered an injury. Some victims of a car accident may suffer an injury that may only exhibit signs and symptoms after a few days or possibly more than a week after the accident.
When getting medical attention for your injuries, you should ensure that you inform the medical staff of how the injury occurred. The medical team can help you document the cause of the accident, which will help greatly when pursuing damages from the driver that caused the accident. A medical evaluation may also assist you in calculating the cost of the injuries you suffered.
Contact Law Enforcement
A victim of a car accident should also take time to contact law enforcement to assess the scene of the accident, especially if motorists were injured or there was severe property damage. A police report can be an excellent resource to provide to your insurance company to help you receive compensation for your accident. Some insurance companies may even require that a motorist obtain a police report under certain circumstances.
Collect Information from the Negligent Driver
After you have gotten yourself to safety, you should speak with the negligent driver that was responsible for the accident. Request to exchange information and ensure that you ask about the following information:
- The driver’s name and contact information
- The make, model, license plate, and insurance carrier for the vehicle the negligent driver was operating
Your insurance carrier will require this information to help you secure compensation for your injuries.
Gather Evidence Regarding the Accident
It is also important to gather evidence that can help your insurance company piece together how the accident occurred. For example, if there were multiple witnesses that observed the accident, you should speak with them about securing a statement. Be sure to document the name and contact information for any witnesses that are willing to provide you with a statement.
Other valuable evidence that should be collected include:
- Any adverse weather that may have played a role in the accident (e.g., severe snowstorm)
- Photographs of the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident
- Photos of the injuries sustained by you or any passengers in your vehicle
Additionally, if you believe that the negligent driver was operating as an Uber or Lyft when the accident occurred, this is also vital information. Under certain circumstances, Uber or Lyft may provide compensation to individuals that were injured due to the actions of a negligent rideshare driver.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Once you are able, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. After you report the accident to your insurance, you may be contacted by an insurance claim adjuster from the insurance company that represents the negligent driver. You should be wary of speaking with the insurance claim adjuster as they may seek a way to diminish your claim for damages.
If you are concerned about speaking with a representative from the insurance company, our firm can help guide you through the process.
To learn more about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Bentonville car accident injury lawyer.
Proving a Car Accident Lawsuit in Bentonville, AR
If you were a victim of a devastating car accident, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver that caused your injuries. Personal injury lawsuits are often based on a plaintiff proving how a defendant acted negligently. To prove that a defendant acted negligently, a plaintiff must present evidence of the following four elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care (e.g., to operate their car with caution)
- The defendant breached their duty of care
- The plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff’s sustained an injury that is compensable by the court
If a plaintiff can prove all four elements, they can win their case and be awarded damages for their injuries, damage to their vehicle, and other related expenses.
Note, however, that personal injury lawsuits are subject to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a particular type of lawsuit with the court. When a plaintiff does not meet the filing deadline, they risk their opportunity to pursue compensation for their injuries.
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident. If you are concerned about when the filing deadline for your case began to run, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Bentonville, AR Car Accident Lawyer Ken Kieklak Is Ready to Help
If you were involved in a serious car accident and have suffered a severe injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. To schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Bentonville car accident injury lawyer, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438 or contact our firm online.