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.
Who is At Fault
While the press likes to sensationalize stories about reckless motorcycle riders engaging in unsafe behavior, several nationwide studies of available crash data show that automobile operators are at fault more often than not. In most cases (approximately 50%-60% of all crashes) the driver, not the rider, caused the motorcycle accident.
Common types of motorcycle accidents in Arkansas involving automobiles include:
-Failure to Yield
Many times these types of accidents are made worse by the poor behaviors drivers practice including speeding, distracted driving, and following too close to motorcyclists.
Case In Point:
Just this past April (2017) a motorcycle accident in Jonesboro left a rider dead after he was cut off by an SUV. The police investigation into the crash revealed that the SUV driver failed to yield to the oncoming motorcyclist collided with the bike while attempting a turn. The head-on collision left the rider with injuries so severe that he passed away hours after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
What You Can Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Crash
The most important thing is to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a motorcycle crash—even if you don’t feel the immediate need to be treated. This accomplishes two goals:
1) It prevents future complications from unnoticed injuries
2) It creates a thorough and accurate documentation of the injuries you’ve suffered.
The first item is important because it decreases your personal recovery time. The second item is important evidence when documenting your injuries from the very beginning. It’s important to be able to present the at-fault driver’s insurance company with a clear and accurate history of your pain and suffering.
If a crash investigation proves that the driver of the automobile is indeed at fault, they could be held legally liable for the financial damage caused by the accident. An experienced Arkansas motorcycle accident attorney can help you get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and sometimes even punitive damages for pain and suffering.
Call the Pfeifer Law Firm at 501-374-4440 to schedule your free consultation and put a dedicated Arkansas personal injury attorney on your side today. You can also visit the web page and chat online.