Car accidents are often dramatic and traumatizing events. Immediately after an accident, your head may be swimming with questions like do I need to call the police, should I take pictures, are there any forms that I need to fill out? If you are injured in the car accident you may have even more questions. How much money will insurance cover? How do I file a claim? How much is my claim worth?
If there is any silver lining to this unfortunate event, it is that you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s wrongful death. For more than 20 years Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has fought for Arkansans hurt due to the negligence or recklessness of others.
Are There Any Forms I Have to Fill Out if I Was in an Accident?
If you were in a car accident in Fayetteville, AR or a surrounding city Arkansas there are a few forms that you may need to fill out. It is important to fill these forms out as promptly as possible because if you fail to do so you may be unable to recover any money for your injuries.
Arkansas has two forms that are important to fill out if you have been in a motor vehicle accident. These are the SR-1 and SR-21 forms. An Arkansas Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form SR-1) must be filed if you are involved in a car accident resulting in:
- More than $1,000 in property damage to any person.
- Injury to any person.
- Death to any person.
Additionally, you must provide proof of financial responsibility meaning that you have insurance. Arkansas motor vehicle insurance laws will be discussed in the next section. However, if you were in a motor vehicle accident you must fill out an SR-21 proof of liability form that is attached to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form SR-1). Additionally, this form must be completed by your car insurance company proving that you did have the minimum required car insurance when the accident occurred.
What Are the Car Insurance Requirements in Arkansas?
Arkansas law requires you to be financially protected in case of costly incidents that may come with owning a car.
To fulfill Arkansas car insurance requirements, you must have liability auto insurance to help pay for injuries or property damage to another person resulting from a car accident you cause. Your liability car insurance must have the following minimum limits:
- $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident, if multiple people were injured in said accident.
- $25,000 for property damage, per accident.
Additionally, there are other optional forms of car insurance that you may have or if you were in an accident the other driver may have. Collision, comprehensive, and underinsured/uninsured motorist insurances are all common types of optional car insurance.
What Documentation Should I Gather for a Personal Injury Auto Accident Claim?
The following documentation is important to gather in Arkansas for a personal injury auto accident claim:
- Photographs of the accident scene, injuries, and vehicle damages to both or all cars involved in the accident. Having these photographs may assist you or the investigators in setting the overall scene of the accident as well as prove crucial for proving injuries that were sustained in the accident.
- Correspondence from each doctor, hospital, and medical office that you went to seeking medical treatment, or that provided you with medical attention as a result of the accident.
- Receipts and bills for all medical expenses. These may include co-payments from insurance companies, equipment you may be given, surgeries for injuries, prescriptions for medications
- Travel expense records related to medical appointments.
- Income loss documentation that proves you have a lesser income than prior to experiencing your injuries.
It is generally a good plan to keep each and every document you receive resulting from a car accident.
How Much is Your Car Accident Injury Claim Worth?
One of the hardest things to do, when there is an accident, is placing a dollar amount on the case. If you are working with an insurance company it may be a little easier, but if you are considering filing a case you may wonder how much is my injury claim worth?
Insurance companies are often quick to pay for out-of-pocket expenses and reimburse money you spent or lost as a result of the accident. Likewise, insurance companies may be willing to pay for lost income while you are recovering from your injury. However, pain and suffering or emotional distress due to an injury often involve more negotiation. Insurance companies use formulas to help pinpoint a reasonable dollar figure for pain and suffering. The types of damages an insurance company will typically pay for including the following:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning ability
Often the most accurate way to determine how much your injury claim may be worth is to look at how an insurance company would value your claim.
Get the Experience of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Fayetteville, Arkansas
At the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak, Ken Kieklak works to protect the rights of Arkansans injured due to the recklessness or negligence of others. If you have suffered a serious injury or a loved one has been killed, contact our car accident attorneys by calling (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.
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