It is only natural to pursue compensation for a car accident that is not your fault. You should not have to shoulder the blame for the actions of a negligent driver. That is why it is important to learn what to do after being involved in a car accident. If you or a family member was a victim of a car accident, contact an experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyer today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, possesses over 20 years of legal experience, and he is here to help you understand the steps to take after a car accident that is not your fault.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Arkansas
If you suffered an injury and your car sustained damage in a car wreck that you did not cause, it is important to take steps to ensure that you can prove you were free of any negligence. However, before documenting evidence of the accident, you should seek medical attention for yourself and any other individuals that may have been injured in the crash.
Additionally, you should also contact law enforcement to assess the scene of the accident and to receive a copy of the police report for your records. You should then take the following steps to help support your legal claim.
Trade Information with The Negligent Driver
It is vital to exchange information with the negligent driver in order to report the claim to your insurance company. In this trading of information, you should ensure you request the following items:
- Names and contact information
- The make, model, and license plate of the vehicles involved
- The name of the insurance company that provides car accident coverage for the negligent driver
Document Details of the Car Accident
This is the most important step if you wish to prove that you did not act negligently during a car accident. Thoroughly documenting evidence of the accident can help your insurance company or a jury determine the level of fault that should be attributed to either party. You should ensure you have the following evidence before you leave the scene of the accident:
- Photographs of the damage to all vehicles involved or photos of any injuries
- Evidence of any injuries sustained by you or passengers in your vehicle
- The details of the crash (e.g., intersection car accident or head-on collision)
- Any adverse weather or other circumstances that may have contributed to the accident
All of these details can help recreate the accident to prove that you should not be held liable for the crash.
Report the Car Crash to Your Insurance Company
If you have obtained a copy of the police report and document the evidence of the accident, you can then report the crash to your insurance company. At this stage, your insurance company and that of the negligent driver will begin negotiations to determine who should be liable for the accident.
Additionally, you will likely be contacted by a representative of the other party’s insurance company. This representative will look to flesh out the details of the accident but may also ask questions that are designed to impact your claim negatively. If you are uncomfortable speaking with the representative, you should consider working with a lawyer that can speak on your behalf.
Contact an Experienced Arkansas Car Accident Attorney
If your injuries and the damage to your vehicle was extensive, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation. The insurance held by the negligent driver may not be enough to cover your medical expenses and repairs to your vehicle. As a result, you may need to seek additional compensation in court.
To learn more about how liability is determined in a personal injury lawsuit, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer.
Liability Laws for Car Accidents in Arkansas
To win a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver, a plaintiff must show how the other driver acted negligently. When assigning fault in a negligence claim, Arkansas operates using modified comparative negligence rules.
Under Arkansas law, modified comparative negligence assigns a plaintiff and a defendant a level of fault that can be used to determine an award of damages. For example, a defendant can be assigned 90 percent worth of fault while a plaintiff is assigned 10 percent worth of fault. In this scenario, the plaintiff’s award of damages will be decreased by 10 percent due to their part in the accident.
It is important to note that Arkansas has also adopted the 50 percent rule for negligence claims. The 50 percent rule states that if a plaintiff’s fault is equal to or greater than 50 percent, the plaintiff will not be eligible to receive compensation for their losses. For example, if a crash occurred because one driver ran a stop sign while another was making an illegal U-turn, the jury may find that each party held 50 percent liability for the accident.
To avoid having your damages reduced or barred, it is important to supply valuable evidence that can show that you did not play a role in the cause of the accident.
Consult with Our Experienced Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim
If you were seriously injured in a car crash, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney today. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak is committed to providing his clients with the aggressive and unique legal representation they deserve to pursue compensation for their injuries. You do not have to fight your case alone. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm online.
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