Published on:

Many victims are under the false impression that if a driver is charged with a crime because of their involvement in a truck accident in Arkansas, that the injured individuals cannot seek financial compensation via a personal injury claim. That’s simply not true. Personal injury claims pursuing financial damages from at-fault parties and their insurance companies can be filed regardless of any active or pending criminal prosecution. The two processes are completely separate in the eyes of the law and (when/if necessary) will be handled by different branches of the court system.

Many personal injury claims resulting from truck accidents in Arkansas never result in lawsuits. Most insurance companies are eager to settle with victims who are represented by an attorney before the lawsuit makes it to the courthouse. This means that the majority of victims can get any monetary damages they are entitled to without an extended legal battle or having to wait for criminal cases to crawl through the justice system.

The Danger of Big Truck Accidents in Arkansas is Real

Published on:

If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Arkansas, chances are the last thing on your mind is the machinations of the state’s legal system. You’re pouring all your effort into recovering from your injuries one day at a time. But there are important factors which can determine the long-term outcome of your recovery that must be addressed as soon as possible. Chief among them is determining who exactly is at fault. This has a tremendous impact on your ability to provide a stable financial situation for yourself and your family following a devastating motorcycle crash.

Motorcycle Accidents in Arkansas are Increasing

There were 79 fatal motorcycle accidents in Arkansas in 2015 according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). That number represents a 25% increase over the previous year’s figures and makes 2015 the deadliest year for motorcyclists since 2010 (and the second deadliest since way back in 2006). To put these numbers in perspective, deaths caused by motorcycle accidents in Arkansas represent over 13% of all traffic fatalities even though there are only 91,000 bikes registered as opposed to almost 950,000 automobiles. And it’s estimated that for every fatal motorcycle accident there are between 3 and 10 non-fatal accidents which leave riders suffering from serious, long-lasting injuries.

Published on:

Deteriorating roadways in the United States are a major concern. We all hear politicians from different political ideology talk about investment in infrastructure to help us economically. However, fewer discuss the need for major updates to our roads for the safety of drivers and passengers of cars and trucks. A new report found that infrastructure investments have the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over a 20-year period if changes and updates were made to interstates and roads.

“Safety Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investments” released earlier this month by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and education association, details key strategies to accomplish that goal. The report noted that the U.S. is ranked nearly last among developed countries in annual traffic fatalities. This fact should not be ignored. The report listed six items that the group recommends to greatly reduce car accident deaths and injures. They recommended that key intersections be turned into roundabouts, install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects, add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossings on majority of roads, install median barriers on divided highways, install shoulder and center line rumble strips, and pave and widen highway shoulders.

Inattentive driving is a big cause of car and truck accidents. The changes outlined in the report would help alleviate careless driving and make our roads safer. Several cities in Arkansas are putting roundabouts in new developments to help alleviate traffic congestion. I hear complaints about these intersections; however, I believe that as they become more common, people will not have issues with their use. Several people have told me that they hated roundabouts at first but they really enjoy them now. We should all do our part to tell our politicians to start making these changes for the good of our economy and our safety.

Published on:

Determining fault in an Arkansas car accident is not always a straightforward affair. While some accidents lend themselves to simple explanations of what happened, others present a much less clear situation.

Surveillance CameraNormally, police or other investigative authorities will survey the scene of an accident for evidence that can help them determine what caused a car accident and who was at fault. Of course, this may mean collecting physical evidence from the scene of the accident, and it may also include noting skid marks, checking cell phone records, and surveying nearby homes and businesses for video surveillance.

As video technology has increased over the years, the price of high-quality surveillance systems has significantly dropped, making them more affordable for homeowners and business owners. While owners of these surveillance systems are not likely thinking about catching an accident on tape, police can request video that may be able to help them determine what happened in the moments leading up to a serious accident.

Continue reading

Published on:

Proving an Arkansas personal injury case against another driver is not always as straightforward as it may seem. In some cases, this is because determining what happened in the moments leading up to the accident is difficult to impossible, given the injuries sustained by the parties or a lack of available evidence. In other cases, however, it may be relatively easy to determine who was at fault for the accident, but proving that they can be held legally responsible can be an issue.

Windy RoadGovernment Immunity

Accidents involving a government employee can present particular difficulties for victims. This is because as a general rule, government entities and employees are entitled to immunity from personal injury lawsuits. However, in some situations, government immunity does not apply to an employee’s actions. For example, if the government employee is not acting within the scope of their employment, immunity may not attach. Similarly, if a government employee’s actions are intentional or especially reckless, immunity may not apply. Determining whether immunity attaches is highly dependent upon the surrounding circumstances of the accident.

Continue reading

Published on:

Earlier this year, the Arkansas Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in a motorcycle accident case that was brought by a man who was injured when an overhead cable was accidentally pulled down by a passing tractor. The issue presented to the court was whether the owner of the wooden poles that held the cable could be held liable to the plaintiff for his injuries. Ultimately, the court determined that the owner of the poles did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff’s case was dismissed.

Power LinesThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was riding a motorcycle behind a tractor on a rural road when the tractor’s sickle caught an overhead cable, pulling it down. The cable fell, causing the plaintiff to lose control of his motorcycle and ultimately resulting in a crash. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against several parties, including the driver of the tractor as well as the company that owned the wooden poles that held up the cable.

The company that owned the poles was not the same company that owned the cable. However, the company that owned the poles had previously entered into an agreement with the cable company to allow the placement of the cables.

Continue reading

Published on:

Earlier this month, the Arkansas Court of Appeals issued a written opinion affirming a trial court’s decision to deny all post-trial motions in a car accident case in which the jury found in favor of the defendant, despite the fact that the defendant admitted that he caused the accident. Ultimately, the court held that due to the conflicting evidence presented, the jury was free to find that any injuries the plaintiff sustained were not caused by the defendant’s negligence.

Car AccidentThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was involved in a rear-end accident in July 2009. The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the defendant, who was the motorist who rear-ended the plaintiff. The defendant admitted that he was at fault for causing the accident but claimed that he was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant testified. The plaintiff explained that he was on his way to the gym when he was rear-ended by the plaintiff. He explained that after the collision, he had to “brace” himself to keep his head from hitting the steering wheel. He also reported that his vehicle sustained minor damage in the collision. On the day following the accident, the plaintiff went to the hospital, and a doctor ordered an x-ray. The plaintiff was prescribed painkillers and engaged in a three-month course of physical therapy. The plaintiff was seeking $10,000 in lost wages as well as compensation for his medical expenses.

Continue reading

Published on:

Most car accidents involve the fault of one or more of the parties involved. Generally speaking, anyone injured in a car accident can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver they feel was responsible for the accident. However, in some cases, an accident may involve not just the fault of one or more of the parties involved but also a negligently designed or poorly maintained roadway. In many states, lawsuits against state and local governments based on poorly designed or maintained roadways are permitted, but Arkansas’ system of government immunity almost completely eliminates a government’s liability in these situations.

Logging TruckArkansas law does permit an accident victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against another driver they believe to be at fault for the accident causing their injuries. If successful, the injured party can receive compensation for their past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering caused by the accident.

As it pertains to claims against the government, Arkansas has a very strict system of government immunity. Arkansas government immunity prevents injured parties from filing personal injury cases against the state and local governments except in some very rare situations.

Continue reading

Published on:

It’s common knowledge that drunk driving is against the law. However, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, each year across Arkansas there are approximately 150 deaths caused by drunk driving. For whatever reason, the fact remains that too many drivers do not see a problem with getting behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink.

Beer TapsIn Arkansas, not only is it a criminal offense to drive while intoxicated, it can also give rise to civil liability for any damage or injuries caused in a drunk driving accident.

In addition, the Arkansas Legislature has done its part to help the victims of drunk driving accidents obtain financial compensation following an accident by enacting what is commonly known as a “Dram Shop” law. Arkansas’ version of a Dram Shop law, located in Arkansas Code Section 16-126-104, allows for some drunk driving victims to seek financial compensation from the vendor that knowingly sold the drunk driver alcohol. In order for a vendor to be held liable, the victim must prove that the establishment knowingly served someone who was either under the age of 21 or “clearly intoxicated.” In many cases, this is difficult to prove and may require a detailed investigation immediately following the accident.

Continue reading

Published on:

When someone is injured due to the negligence of another party, the injured party is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person whom they claim is responsible for their injuries. If the accident victim is successful in proving their case, they may be entitled to various types of damages awards, depending on the circumstances of the accident and their injuries.

GavelMost common are compensatory damages, which are designed to make the plaintiff whole again. As the name implies, these damages are meant to compensate a plaintiff for the medical and other expenses, pain, and lost income with being involved in an accident. However, in some cases, punitive damages are also appropriate.

Continue reading