Automotive insurance is required if you want to drive in the state of Arkansas. While you never want to utilize your insurance policy, there are times when it is necessary. If you were hurt in an accident, your insurance could pay for your medical expenses and the cost of repairing your vehicle. When you hit someone else, your insurance could cover their damages. Car accidents result in a wide range of damages – from minor dents to serious injuries. However, when an accident involves a large commercial truck, the injuries and property damage is often significantly more severe.
What if you are hit by a truck and are driving without insurance? Do you have options if a truck driver was uninsured? The answer to the former question is relatively simple. While you will probably be issued a ticket for driving without insurance, you can still file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver. Unfortunately, the answer to the second question is not as clear and depends on several different factors.
Truck accident victims have rights. After an accident, you should contact our experienced Fayetteville personal injury attorneys. However, if you were involved in an accident with a large commercial truck and there are insurance issues, having a competent Arkansas truck accident attorney representing your interests is necessary. Call (479) 316-0438 to review the facts of your case.
Arkansas is a Fault Based State for Truck Accidents
States are typically described as fault or no-fault states regarding car accidents. In a no-fault state, a driver’s insurance would normally cover their medical expenses and physical damage no matter who caused the crash. In a fault state, the driver who caused the accident is legally liable for any damages. This is the case in Arkansas.
If you do not have insurance, you are still entitled to file a third-party claim against a truck driver’s insurance policy. Depending on the facts surrounding the crash, you could also pursue financial compensation through a lawsuit against the driver or the trucking company that employed them. The fact that you did not have insurance does not bar you from seeking damages from a reckless truck driver.
Our experienced Bella Vista truck accident attorneys understand the intricacies involved in complicated litigation. When a truck is involved in an accident, the injuries are usually severe. It is critical to ensure you hold all possible parties responsible, including the driver, the trucking company, the vehicle or part manufacturer, or any other party that contributed to the accident.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Arkansas.
There are penalties for driving without insurance. For your first offense, you could be fined between $50 and $250. Additionally, your license plates could be removed and replaced with a 10-day sticker. Unless you provide proof of insurance within that period, your registration could be suspended. If it is your second offense, the fine increases to a fine of not less than $250 though not more than $500. For a third offense, you could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. This charge carries a hefty fine of $500 to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
The Truck Driver That Caused the Accident Does Not Have Insurance
As stated above, Arkansas requires all motorists to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. This is also true for truck drivers. However, if you were hit by someone without insurance, your options are limited.
The first thing you will have to consider is your insurance coverage. While Arkansas functions as a fault state, it is truly a hybrid one. Insurance companies are required to offer their policyholders Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP coverage goes into effect whether a driver was at fault or not. When the at-fault driver is uninsured, your PIP coverage could pay for a significant portion of your medical expenses. Additionally, insurance companies also must offer uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance provides supplemental coverage if the at-fault driver does not have insurance.
There are two problems with this option. One is that you would have had to opted for this additional coverage well before the accident occurred. The second is that truck accidents often result in severe or catastrophic injuries. In nearly every case, the supplemental coverage will be insufficient to cover your total losses.
Suing the Truck Driver Personally
You could file a civil lawsuit against the negligent truck driver if they are uninsured. However, it is usually an insurance company that compensates an accident victim. One of the reasons insurance exists is because most drivers lack the resources to pay for the damages that result from a devastating accident. While our Arkansas truck accident lawyers could build a case against the truck driver, if there is no insurance coverage, you will likely be unable to collect any judgment that is awarded.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Third Party
When an uninsured driver causes a car crash, injured victims are usually out of luck unless they have supplemental insurance coverage. However, if the uninsured motorist was driving a truck, there could be other options. It might be possible to hold the company that hired the truck driver accountable. Even if the driver was an independent contractor, you still might have a case against a company that failed to ensure that its contracted drivers were properly insured.
The cause of the accident could also provide additional options. Some truck accidents are caused because a critical system or part malfunctioned. If this is the case, our Arkansas truck accident lawyers could hold the truck or part manufacturer liable for your damages.
Contact Our Experienced Arkansas Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents are often devastating and life-altering events. Just because you were uninsured does not mean you forfeit your rights. It also does not free a negligent driver from liability. However, if an uninsured truck driver caused the accident, you still have options. Contact our Bentonville truck accident attorneys for a free consultation. Call (479) 316-0438 today.