A man was killed in a tragic truck accident in Arkansas late last month—just hours after the Thanksgiving Holiday. The individual was part of a team of two employed by the city of Little Rock, Arkansas to clean up leaves and other debris along the roadside. The two men were working along North Cypress Street when tragedy struck. One young man—just 21-years-old—was outside the truck while the other unnamed individual was driving. The worker outside the vehicle was somehow struck by the truck and critically injured.
Emergency services were immediately notified and several local agencies responded to the call within minutes. However, the young man’s injuries proved too severe to overcome. He was pronounced dead.
Investigators have kept details surrounding the accident from the news media while they piece together exactly what happened. Where this particular truck accident in Little Rock involved multiple municipal employees, there will no doubt be several agencies involved in the investigation in addition to Little Rock police.
Such work-related accidents often involve separate inquiries by national and local OSHA officials in order to determine whether:
- The individuals involved were properly trained
- Safety protocols were employed
- Proper equipment (such as visibility vests and hard hats) was available and in use
If deficiencies are identified, those government agencies could levy fines and penalties against the city of Little Rock. However, such investigations are not conducted specifically with the victim (or their surviving family members) in mind.
Getting Compensation for Work-Related Accidents in Arkansas
This truck accident in Little Rock has multiple layers which must be peeled back in order to get at the key component of a victim’s compensation package: liability. Under the conditions of the law in Arkansas, in order for a victim (or their financial dependents) to be awarded compensation for an accident, a party (or parties) must be identified as liable (legally responsible) for the accident. Once liability is determined, the victim’s advocate (usually a personal injury attorney in Arkansas) can then determine how best to go about seeking compensation.
Compensation for similar accidents in the state has come in a variety of forms including insurance claim payouts, civil lawsuit court-ordered award packages, and out-of-court settlements between the victim’s representatives and the legal team employed by the at-fault party.
As both the victim and the potential at-fault individual in this particular accident were employed by a municipality any compensation claim could potentially name the city of Little Rock at least partially liable for the fatal injuries which claimed the life of this young man. Municipalities (much like regular employers) are required by law to carry insurance policies that can be used to compensate injured individuals or the surviving family members of deceased victims. However, many such cases result in civil lawsuits against the municipalities involved.
Out-of-Court Settlements for Accident Victims
If a case does escalate to the level of a civil lawsuit against the city of Little Rock, it’s likely that the city (or a representative of the city) will actively seek to settle the case out of court. Municipalities do this for a number of reasons. First, they can often settle for a smaller dollar figure than they might be ordered to pay at the end of a lengthy trial. Second, they can avoid unnecessary legal fees by shortening the financial recovery process. Lastly, settlements often include clauses that absolve the municipality of fault and may even bar the plaintiff from speaking publically about the accident, the lawsuit, or the terms of the settlement.
However, settlements may have significant benefits for victims as well. Indeed, because settlements often cut the compensation process short, a victim may receive a payout much sooner than they would if they plowed through a messy trial. This can minimize the legal expenses incurred by victims and reduce the “late fees” and other charges that may pile up on top of medical bills, funeral expenses, and more.
Legal Expertise on Your Side
Regardless of whether your claim is likely to be settled without a lawsuit, out of court, or at trial, if your compensation process proceeds this far, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced legal team. While there is nothing in Arkansas law that states you must hire a lawyer to file a civil lawsuit, the process is complicated, and even simple errors on your part can completely derail the process.
That’s why seeking the counsel of an experienced truck accident attorney in Arkansas before you get deep into the compensation process is always in your best interest. At the Pfeifer Law Firm, we offer free consultations, which can help you decide the best route for you to take, how much you’ll likely receive from the various compensation methods available to you, and how difficult each method may be based on the circumstances of your accident.
The legal team at the Pfeifer Law Firm can help you get the expert advice you need and the compensation you deserve. Our consultations are free and can be scheduled after hours if needed. Contact us online or call 501-374-4440 today. You don’t owe us anything until we recover for you.