Many people do not think about the dangers of riding in a car when they drive to work, take their children to school, or simply run an errand. Driving is convenient but, unfortunately, risky. When another person’s recklessness or carelessness results in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation if you were injured.
Our Sebastian County, AR car accident attorney understands the impact a serious car crash can have on a person’s health, welfare, and financial state. If you are injured in a car accident, you could be facing overwhelming medical bills, extended hospital stays, and lost income. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, will help you fight to recover your damages while you concentrate on healing. Call (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Sebastian County, AR
It is safe to say that no individual wants to get into a car, truck, or SUV accident. Unfortunately, the possibility of being involved in one is simply a part of modern life. Furthermore, the potential causes of an automobile accident are numerous. Some of the more common causes of accidents in Sebastian County are listed below.
Safe driving requires paying attention. When a motorist takes their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, they place themselves and others at risk. Texting and driving is probably one of the most dangerous distracted behaviors people engage in regularly. Texting requires taking your hand off the wheel, your eyes from the road, and your mind focuses on what you are writing or reading. Other distractions include eating, putting on make-up, talking on the phone, or having an animated conversation with a passenger in the car.
Reckless driving covers a wide variety of dangerous behaviors. To ensure your safety, and the safety of others, a driver should obey the posted traffic laws. When a driver speeds, fails to yield, ignore signals, does not signal, or otherwise fails to comply with the rules of the road, they endanger others around them.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents. Additionally, the injuries sustained in an accident are often more severe when vehicles collide at a high rate of speed.
Severe Weather Conditions
Drivers must factor in the current weather conditions when making decisions. If the conditions are icy or the visibility is
poor, traveling at the posted speed limit could be careless.
Cars are complicated machines that could malfunction, resulting in a driver losing control or otherwise causing an accident. When a tire blows or a steering wheel locks, a car crash is likely. In some situations, the defect in the car was the result of a manufacturing error. In other cases, the vehicle’S owner could have failed to maintain the car, resulting in a part that should have been repaired or replaced to malfunction. Depending on the cause of the defect, the manufacturer, driver, or mechanic could be held liable.
If you have been injured in Sebastian County, Arkansas due to another driver’s inattention, negligence or other carelessness, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can stand up for you and fight for compensation for your injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Sebastian County Car Accident Lawsuit
If you are in a car accident in Sebastian County, you are entitled to recover your damages through a personal injury lawsuit. To do so, you will likely have to establish that another driver or party was negligent. Proving negligence in a civil claim requires an injured plaintiff to demonstrate four elements.
The Defendant Owed the Plaintiff a Duty of Care
A duty of care is a legal responsibility to act in a way that does not harm another individual. Determining what duty of care exists depends on the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. Every driver in Sebastian County has an obligation to operate their vehicle safely. This includes obeying all traffic laws and ensuring their car is well maintained.
The Defendant Breach Their Duty of Care
Proving that a person breached their duty of care is often challenging. When someone is speeding while driving drunk, they are clearly violating their obligation to operate their vehicle safely. If they cause an accident, police reports, toxicology results, and witness testimony could be used to establish that the duty of care was breached. However, if someone was texting while driving, it could be more difficult to prove. More than likely, a person will not admit to texting and their cell phone records might not be conclusive. One of the main jobs of our experienced Sebastian County car accident attorneys is to gather evidence to establish a breach.
The Defendant’s Breach Must Have Caused the Plaintiff’s Injuries
At first, this might not seem difficult to prove. If you were rear-ended and suffered a back injury, there appears to be a clear link between the accident and harm. However, many potential plaintiffs hurt their cases by the decisions they make immediately following an accident. Linking an injury to a crash still requires evidence. Medical documentation is critical in not only tying your injury to the accident, but it is also vital in calculating your potential damages. When someone hesitates to see a doctor after a car crash, it opens the door for a defense attorney to argue that the injury was not related to the accident. If you are in a car accident, it is critical to receive a medical examination. Medical care protects your health and provides evidence for a lawsuit or insurance settlement negotiation.
The Plaintiff Must Have Suffered Quantifiable Damages
Not every car accident results in serious injuries. Many people walk away from a car crash without incident. If that is the case, you might not have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to receive monetary compensation for the harm you suffered. Therefore, our Sebastian County car accident attorney will have to provide evidence to support your claim.
Damages usually come in two categories: economic and non-economic. Each requires different documentation to substantiate the amount sought.
Economic damages include your financial losses related to the injury. These could be medical expenses, the cost of medication or treatment, and any other out-of-pocket costs you incurred. You are also entitled to recover lost wages, including the income you would have earned in the future if the injury is severely debilitating.
Non-economic damages include emotional distress and physical suffering. These intangible damages are often unique to the individual. Our office will thoroughly review the impact of your injury with medical professionals and other experts to evaluate your non-economic damages.
How Will My Car Insurance Work in Sebastian County?
Arkansas is a state that has an at-fault car insurance system. In an at-fault system the party that is determined to be at-fault for the accident pays for the damages of the vehicle that was not at-fault. Typically, this means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be required to compensate the non-responsible party. While many times the compensation is paid without dispute, in some circumstances the insurance company may attempt to litigate over responsibility or the extent of damages. When dealing with the insurance company – whether it is your own or the other driver’s – it is essential to keep in mind that their interests may not align with your own. Therefore, think twice before making any statements to the insurance carrier. Ken Kieklak can handle all aspects of insurance negotiation or litigation.
What Types of Injuries are Legally Actionable After a Car Crash?
As many people rightly suspect, most legal actions following a serious car accident in Sebastian County are concerned with serious bodily injury or fatal injuries. Injuries like these are life altering, not only for the individual, but often for the injured person’s family and friends. Many serious injuries what can be the result of a car accident include:
- Broken bones – Fractured bones are not uncommon for automobile accidents. Higher speeds and more violent collisions are more likely to produce complex fractures and more serious bone injuries.
- Traumatic brain injury – Either a closed head injury or a penetrating TBI can occur in a car accident. Brain injuries are particularly damaging because they impair the control center of the body. When a brain injury occurs, nearly every bodily system can be affected. Those with a TBI often report nausea, loss of orientation or time and place, confusion, dizziness, increased aggression, and difficulty with abstract concepts.
- Severe burns – Burns can be caused due to heat, such as if the gas tank were to ignite, or be caused by chemicals that may leak or spill following a serious collision. Burns can require extensive treatment and rehabilitation.
- Neck and spine injuries – Injuries to the neck and spine can affect one’s mobility and mental abilities. The consequences of a neck or spinal injury can range from whiplash-like symptoms like nausea and confusion to severe impairments like paralysis.
- Lacerations and bruising – The violent forces that exist in a car accident often result in serious cuts and bruises to the individual.
Put Sebastian County, AR Car Accident Attorney Ken Kieklak to Work For You
If you have suffered a serious injury in a car accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another, do not delay seeking medical attention for your injuries. Also, do not hesitate to call an experienced Sebastian County, AR car accident attorney. Schedule your free and confidential consultation by calling Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438 or contact our firm online.