Texting and driving is one of the leading killers in America, especially for teen drivers. Car crashes caused by texting while driving are some of the most dangerous and most deadly types of accidents because a distracted driver cannot react to dangers they cannot see, and drivers may not attempt to slow or swerve to avoid the crash.
If you or a loved one was injured in a texting while driving accident in Arkansas, contact Fayetteville texting and driving accident lawyer Ken Kieklak today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, represents the victims of these kinds of crashes and their families and works to get them the compensation they need to keep going after a serious car crash. For help understanding your potential case and to schedule a free consultation, contact our law offices online or call today at (479) 316-0438.
Suing vs. Filing with Insurance for Texting and Driving Injuries
Arkansas is an at-fault state for car accidents. While some states’ no-fault insurance rules block car accident victims from suing and force them to rely on their insurance coverage, Arkansas’ at-fault laws allow you to choose between taking a case to court or filing a claim with the insurance companies.
Because Arkansas is an at-fault state, you file a claim for insurance with the at-fault party’s insurance. That means that if you were injured and file through insurance, the driver who caused the accident’s insurance company will pay for the damages. Your insurance can usually handle this third-party claim for you. If you have your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your policy, you can also file a first-party claim with your own insurance to seek coverage for injuries and lost wages.
However, insurance companies typically do not cover pain and suffering damages. Texting and driving accidents are often more serious because the driver who caused the accident is commonly unable to slow down or swerve because they do not see the accident coming. Because of this, these accidents usually occur at high speeds and cause more severe injuries. In this kind of accident, the damages for pain and suffering may be some of the highest damages, especially since Arkansas law puts no cap or limit on these damages.
When you file through insurance, you typically miss out on the damages for pain and suffering. Most insurance policies do not cover damages for the physical pain and mental suffering from a car crash. Additionally, these policies tend to cover only part of the damages, paying a fixed percentage of medical and lost wage damages. If you use your own PIP coverage, you may also have to pay a deductible to get damages.
When you take your case to court, you can claim any damages in full. This means claiming the full cost of past and future medical expenses, the full value of any lost wages and reduced earning capacity, and the full pain and suffering damages you may be entitled to.
Who is at Fault in a Texting and Driving Accident in Arkansas?
Arkansas has laws against texting and driving. Since these laws are intended to keep other drivers safe on the road, any driver who causes an accident while texting and driving can be assumed to be negligent. Violating a traffic law is a clear indication that the driver’s conduct was unsafe and could be considered “negligence” that helps prove they were at fault for the crash.
This texting and driving law includes not only sending a text while driving but also making other wireless text communications as well. Both reading and writing text messages is prohibited under this statute. In addition, other communications with your cell phone, such as reading or writing emails or social media posts, is also illegal.
When looking at who is at fault, courts can assign partial blame to any parties involved. That means that if multiple cars were involved in a crash, each driver may be assigned their own portion of the blame. For instance, if you were struck by an oncoming driver in a head-on collision, then a driver texting while driving behind you crashed into you, you may be able to collect partial damages from each driver.
When the court determines how much fault each driver shares, they may include you, the victim, in that calculation. If you were speeding or violating other traffic rules when the accident occurred, the court could find you partly at-fault for your own crash. As long as the court finds you less than 50% at fault, you can still recover damages from the at-fault party or parties.
When the jury assigns you partial blame, this may mean having your damages reduced by the amount of blame you shared. For example, a victim who was speeding may be found 5% at-fault for their own crash. This means that if you would have won $100,000 in damages, your damages would be reduced by 5% to $95,000. Other percentages reduce your damages accordingly.
Fayetteville, Arkansas Texting and Driving Injury Attorney
After a serious car crash involving texting and driving, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case. Fayetteville, Arkansas texting while driving car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak offers free consultations to help you understand your potential claim and how much your case could be worth. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us today at (479) 316-0438.