Getting hit by an 18-wheeler is an experience no one should go through. Unfortunately, many people go through this horrifying experience. Understanding what to do after a severe truck accident in Arkansas can be challenging. This is especially true if you have never been involved in a crash before. As an injured victim in an 18-wheeler accident, you may wonder who is liable or who you can sue to get compensation for your losses. Our Fayetteville, AR truck accident lawyer, Ken Kieklak, invites you to keep reading as we discuss these critical questions.
Who is Liable if I Get Hit by an 18-Wheeler in Arkansas?
Many commercial truck accidents and 18-wheeler crashes are the result of driver negligence. However, these types of collisions can also happen as a result of other party’s involvement, as well as additional factors. Typically, you would want to hold the truck driver liable for your injuries and losses. However, it would be best to determine whether there are other parties involved that you should include in your personal injury claim.
The most apparent liable party for your truck accident in Arkansas is the truck driver. Driver error is the cause of thousands of truck accidents in Arkansas and the U.S. For instance, it is a known fact; many truck drivers have to meet stringent delivery deadlines imposed by their employers. For this reason, many truckers engage in negligent behavior, such as speeding, which increases the risk of a catastrophic accident.
However, the truck driver may not be the only liable party in your truck collision. It is possible their employer contributed to your accident. Trucking companies must follow state and federal laws to conduct their operations safely. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), outlines everything a trucking company must do to make sure their trucks are safe to drive. For example, trucking companies must ensure their trucks are operating on safe, defect-free tires and braking systems. Failure to adhere to this and many other regulations can lead to accidents for which they could be liable.
Additionally, the manufacturer of certain truck parts and equipment may have also contributed to your accident. There have been multiple cases where trucks have been put into service, despite having design or manufacturing flaws. All manufacturers – including truck part manufacturers – have an obligation to ensure their products are well designed and manufactured. If a defectively-designed truck or part caused your accident, you could hold their manufacturer liable for your losses.
Arkansas Fault-Based System for an Accident with an 18-Wheeler
Arkansas, like many other states in the U.S., follows a traditional “fault” system. Under the fault system, the person who causes an accident is also liable for all losses associated with the crash. In other words, you can file a claim with the help of an Arkansas personal injury lawyer directly against those who caused your accident.
All drivers in Arkansas must carry liability insurance. All drivers must carry insurance providing the minimum required coverage, which includes $25,000 for bodily injury or death, $50,000 for total bodily injury or death, and $25,000 for property damage.
Arkansas’ minimum liability coverage can help pay your medical bills, property damage, and other economic losses. However, this insurance may not fully compensate you for non-economic losses such as your pain and suffering. A Rogers, AR truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
How Much Compensation Can I Get if I Got Hit by an 18-Wheeler in Arkansas?
If you got hit by an 18-wheeler in Arkansas, you can file a personal injury claim to get compensation. However, there are different elements to consider before getting compensation for your losses. First, it is essential to understand how your personal injury claim process works, and you may also need to consider Arkansas’ “comparative negligence” rules.
Filing a personal injury claim in Arkansas requires you to prove the defendant’s negligence. In other words, as a plaintiff, you have the burden of proof in your claim. The best way to meet the requirements to prove your case with the court successfully is to support all personal injury elements with evidence.
It is essential to hire an experienced Arkansas 18-wheeler accident lawyer who can help you through your claim. With your lawyer’s assistance, you should be able to show the defendant owed you a legal duty to drive safely. Additionally, you must show the defendant breached their legal duty, causing your accidents and subsequent losses. After successfully proving your case, the court may grant you compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It is also critical to understand the Arkansas comparative negligence rules. Under this rule, a plaintiff’s awarded damages can be reduced by their percentage of responsibility in their accident. Most defendants in an 18-wheeler accident will try to argue you were at least partially responsible for your accident. However, your Arkansas 18-wheeler truck accident attorney can help you challenge the defendant’s argument and fight for full compensation.
Statute of Limitations in an 18-Wheeler Accident in Arkansas
All injured drivers in an 18-wheeler accident can file a personal injury claim and fight for compensation. However, they have limited time to do it. The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you – the plaintiff – have to submit your petition with the court. Under Arkansas law, you have up to three years from the moment of your 18-wheeler accident to file your claim. It is essential to file your claim within this legal time frame. Otherwise, the court may refuse to hear your case, and you may risk your chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Arkansas 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in an 18-wheeler accident caused by a negligent truck driver in Arkansas, we can help. Our Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer, Ken Kieklak, knows how challenging and stressful it can be to deal with everything that follows a severe truck accident. Thus, we can fight aggressively and strategically in your name to get the compensation you deserve. Call our law offices today and schedule your free, confidential consultation. Our phone number is (479) 316-0438.
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