In 2019 there were a suspected 2,864 serious injuries caused by car crashes in Arkansas, according to a report by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The pain of an injury is only made worse by the pain of having to pay for medical bills and expensive car repairs. When the accident wasn’t your fault in the first place, it can be difficult to imagine paying all of those bills out of your hard-earned money.
Our team at Cortinez Law Firm is here to help. We have decades of experience fighting for our clients both inside and out of the courts. Our specialty is personal injury law, and we’ll use our expertise to fight on your behalf. No matter where you come from or who you are, we’re here to serve you. We’re proud to represent clients in Little Rock, Arkansas, and throughout central Arkansas.
Arkansas is an at-fault insurance state meaning that if a car accident happens, it is the responsibility of the driver who caused, or who was at fault, for the accident to pay for the costs. The at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the expenses as it’s written in their policy.
There are three ways to receive compensation for the financial burdens caused by a car accident.
Option 1: File a claim with your own insurance.
Option 2: File a claim against the at-fault driver.
Option 3: File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
All drivers (and motorcycle riders) in Arkansas must have coverage according to the state’s insurance requirements. The minimum liability required to be carried by law is $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage to others’ property.
Additional state laws that will apply to your personal injury claim include:
Each state has a time limit for when you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. In Arkansas, that time limit is three years after the date of the accident. Once three years have passed, you can no longer file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
In a modified comparative fault state like Arkansas, any potential settlement you might receive would be reduced by the percentage that the accident was determined to be your fault.
For example, if you were going to be awarded $10,000, but the judge or jury determined that the accident was 30% your fault, then you would receive $7,000.
However, in all cases, if the judge or jury decides that the accident was 50% or more your fault, then you cannot receive any compensation for the accident.
In the worst-case scenario, a loved one is lost in a car accident. These situations are the hardest to bear, especially when the accident could have been prevented if the other driver had not been negligent.
It’s possible to file a wrongful death claim in Arkansas to receive compensation for the financial, and emotional, losses caused by a loved one’s passing in a car accident.
For the Arkansas courts to consider a death wrongful, it must have been caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another individual. If the at-fault driver was negligent and not performing their duty of care, that constitutes causing a wrongful death.
In Arkansas, the executor, or personal representative, of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim.
If there is no personal representative, the “heirs at law” can file the wrongful death claim. “Heirs at law” includes the surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings. A person who was acting in the place of a parent, such as a legal guardian, would also qualify.
Finally, if the deceased person was a legal guardian to anyone, or was acting as a legal guardian to someone at any point in their life, then that person can file a wrongful death lawsuit under the “heirs at law” rule.
A car accident can change your life forever. It can also create serious financial issues. When you’re put in a difficult situation, it’s important to have someone on your side who understands. Our team at Cortinez Law Firm will use our decades of experience to help you fight for fair compensation. We’re here to help clients in Little Rock, Conway, Benton-Bryant, Cabot, and all of central Arkansas. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.