Arkansas Car Accident Overview
In today’s political climate and circumstances, the State of Arkansas is probably best known for being the state where Bill and Hillary’s political career began to gain traction. But there is more to Arkansas than Bill and Hillary: Little Rock, Fayetteville, and other cities are a mix of metropolitan areas and small-town charmers, and the rugged terrain and forested areas throughout the state make it abundantly clear why one of Arkansas’s nicknames is “the Natural State.”
Arkansas has a population of 2.9 million people (according to a 2013 survey). While this puts Arkansas toward the bottom of the list in terms of the most populated states, the state still faces a troublingly-high number of fatal car accidents. The state experiences even more car crashes that cause serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. This makes it important for residents of Arkansas to know what they can expect once a car crash has happened.
Car Crash Data for Arkansas
Arkansas’ Highway Safety Office and State Police prepare accident summaries each year that describe for politicians, policymakers, and interested parties the types and numbers of accidents that occurred over the previous year. For 2013, for example, the Office reported:
- 58,449 total crashes, a number which was slightly lower than the number in 2012;
- A total of 461 fatality crashes that together killed 499 people;
- 26,375 traffic-related injury incidents;
- Alcohol and/or drugs were involved in 203 fatalities.
A car collision that comes about because of the negligent or careless actions of one or more individuals is not truly an “accident.” An “accident” is an occurrence that is truly unforeseen and unexpected and one which no one could have prevented or mitigated ahead of time. Many of the collisions (injury and fatality alike) are crashes in which one or more individual’s careless behavior is a contributing factor. It is unlikely that all collisions and crashes can be eliminated, but individuals who do make rational and reasonable decisions and who do not engage in reckless behavior behind the wheel reduce the likelihood that they themselves will cause a car collision.
Arkansas is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State
Arkansas requires its resident-drivers to obtain a fault-based insurance policy that can provide adequate compensation (as defined by the state) and have this policy in force whenever they drive. This way, if the driver causes a car accident that results in injury or loss to another motorist or passenger, that injured party can obtain compensation from the insured motorist’s insurance carrier. Unlike “no-fault” insurance policies, which will pay valid claims without regard for who actually caused the crash, fault-based insurers typically pay only those claims submitted by injured victims that are supported by evidence showing that the insurance company’s insured client did, in fact, cause the injury accident.
Where there is question over fault and/or what compensation, if any, the insured motorist’s insurance carrier owes to the injury victim, a lawsuit may need to be filed so the injured party may have an opportunity to seek full and fair compensation. In such a lawsuit, the injury victim will need to establish that his or her injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the at-fault driver as well as the extent of his or her resulting injuries. If the victim him- or herself also engaged in negligent behavior, this will be considered in determining what the appropriate amount of compensation is for the victim. If the victim was 50 percent or more responsible for causing the crash or contributing to the victim’s injuries, the victim may be precluded from obtaining any compensation at all.
Deadline to File Arkansas Car Crash Lawsuit
Lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the crash, so injury victims who need to obtain compensation through a lawsuit do not have a long period of time in which to do this. Filing a car crash lawsuit is not as simple as completing a form and submitting it to the court – legal documents that initiate lawsuits must comply with state law and local court rule requirements. And before a legal document initiating a lawsuit can be drawn up, the facts and circumstances of the case and the legal basis for the requested compensation must be investigated and explored. Because of the considerable amount of tasks that must be completed to get a case ready to be filed in court, many injury victims hire experienced counsel to handle the legal part of their recovery while they focus on other matters.
Contact an Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer From Stern Law, PLLC Right Away
Stern Law, PLLC can assist you if you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash in Arkansas or elsewhere. We pride ourselves on helping make sense of the legal recovery process and are committed to helping our clients obtain the best possible outcome as quickly as possible. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.