A Quick Glance at Everything You Need to Know After a Car Accident in Arkansas
If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident in Arkansas, your life has been turned upside down overnight. You’re hurt, scared, worried about getting back on your feet, back to work, and back to your family. And, if this is your first time fighting through the aftermath of a car accident in Arkansas, you may be completely overwhelmed.
While the physical and financial recovery process after a car accident in Arkansas can be extremely complicated, lengthy, and often involves personal injury attorneys, insurance agencies, and sometimes even the court system, below you’ll find a few quick tips to help you get started along the recovery process the right way.
When Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Arkansas?
The first question many people ask is whether or not they have to report a car accident in Arkansas. In most cases, the answer to that is “yes.” Arkansas law requires parties involved in most car accidents to report those crashes to law enforcement agencies and in many cases the Arkansas Office of Driver Services.
The law requires drivers to report an accident within 30 days of the crash if:
- There is property damage in excess of $1,000
- A person involved in the crash (driver, passenger, pedestrian, etc.) has suffered bodily injury.
The property damage clause includes damage to the vehicles involved but also includes damage to other material objects such as:
- Even shrubbery and trees
In short, any physical damage at all totaling more than $1,000 requires mandatory reporting. And, if you’re unsure of the estimated value of the damage involved, always assume that it’s over $1,000.
If you fail to report car accidents in Arkansas involving personal injury or property damages above $1,000 in value, you’re breaking the law and could be held accountable.
What’s the “Statute of Limitations” for Car Accidents in Arkansas
How long do you have to seek compensation for injuries and property losses you’ve suffered in a car accident in Arkansas? In most cases, three years from the date of the accident, but it’s important for you to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
While, as an Arkansas personal injury attorney, I do not recommend actually waiting until the end of that three-year period, the limitation is codified in Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-56-105.
It is important to have an advocate on your side while you are healing from your injuries. Hiring a personal injury attorney after an accident allows your advocate, your attorney, to begin securing crucial evidence, talking with witnesses, and building a solid case while you take the time necessary to receive medical treatment and heal from your injuries. The insurance company for the person who caused your injuries begins immediately securing evidence and building a case against you. If you wait to hire an attorney, evidence could be removed or destroyed, and witnesses forget important details, making it difficult to properly valuate your claim.
So the best advice in such cases is not to wait until it’s too late to seek financial compensation from at-fault parties.
How the Arkansas’ Comparative Negligence Laws Will Affect Your Car Accident Recovery
Arkansas is a comparative negligence state. That means that the legal system will actually assign a percentage of negligence (fault) to every party involved in a car accident. This can be good news for victims because even if their actions played some part in the crash, they could still successfully seek damages.
For example, if you failed to signal a turn and were struck by a speed driving coming in the other direction, you may be assigned a portion of the fault for not signaling, but the speeding driver will likely be assigned a larger portion.
What does this mean for your financial recovery? The total amount of money you could potentially have received will be reduced by a percentage (based on the amount of negligence you are assigned). However, you will still be eligible to collect at least some compensation for your losses.
And if you are assigned the majority of the fault in an accident case, the amount you may have to pay out will be reduced by a percentage (based on the amount of fault assigned to the other parties).
Do All Drivers Have to Have Auto Insurance in Arkansas?
All drivers are legally required to carry some amount of liability insurance in case they cause car accidents in Arkansas themselves. This mandatory insurance policy is designed to protect innocent victims injured by negligent drivers.
However, if the driver who caused the car accident in which you were injured doesn’t have an insurance policy, there may be other legal options available to you. It’s definitely worth a phone call to discuss your legal recourse and options.
Have More Questions?
Contact the experienced legal professionals at the Pfeifer Law Firm today to speak confidentially about your case. We can give you the advice you need and help you decide how best to pursue financial recovery after a car accident in Arkansas.
Contact us online or call 501-374-4440 to schedule your free consultation. We are so confident in our representation that we get paid only if you recover. So if we don’t settle or win your case for you, you don’t owe us anything. Call us today.