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Understanding Car Accident Compensation In Arkansas

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Find Out How Much Your Car Crash Injury Claim Could Be Worth 

After a serious car accident caused by another driver in Arkansas, injury victims need to act fast to demand the money they rightfully deserve for their accident. Whether it’s a rear-end collision on I-40 near Little Rock or a speed-related crash in Fayetteville or Fort Smith, there’s no time to waste after a serious car crash. Otherwise, injury victims could end up having to pay for their accident out of their own pocket. That’s not fair.

That’s why anyone involved in an Arkansas car accident needs to know how the compensation system works there. And an important part of that process involves understanding how an Arkansas car accident attorney can help them build a strong legal case.

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Yes. Like most states, Arkansas has what’s known as an at-fault car insurance system. This means whoever was at fault and caused your collision is legally responsible for paying for your accident-related expenses.

Often, this means the at-fault driver’s insurance company must pay for your Arkansas car accident. That might sound simple. But the reality is getting the money you rightfully deserve can often be a lot more difficult than you might expect.

Is car insurance is mandatory in Arkansas?

Yes. Every driver in Arkansas must have car insurance in order to legally drive a car in the state. The mandatory minimum amount of car insurance required for registered vehicles in Arkansas is:

  • $25,000 per accident for property damage liability coverage.
  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability coverage.
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability coverage.

What optional car insurance is available in Arkansas?

In addition to the mandatory minimum car insurance that all licensed drivers are required to obtain in Arkansas, many drivers choose to get additional insurance. Common optional car insurance choices in Arkansas include:

  • No-fault insurance – Also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, this form of insurance pays for medical expenses due to your accident, as well as disability benefits if you are unable to work and death benefits if someone is killed. In Arkansas, PIP insurance is included in all policies by default, but you are allowed to decline it in writing (that is, it’s opt-out rather than opt-in).
  • Collision coverage – Covers vehicle damage in the event of a collision, regardless of who caused the accident. This is optional by law but usually required by the lienholder for financed vehicles.
  • Comprehensive insurance – Covers vehicle damage from a non-collision event, such as fire, vandalism, theft, natural disaster, or a collision with an animal. Again, this is usually required if your vehicle is financed.
  • Medical payment coverage – Also known as “MedPay", this form of insurance provides compensation for medical expenses regardless of fault.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage – Insurance coverage that pays for accident-related expenses for a collision with someone who does not have car insurance or is underinsured and cannot pay for all the costs associated with the accident.

There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to different types of Arkansas car accident claims. Similar rear-end accidents or whiplash injury claims might be worth thousands of dollars more depending on a wide range of factors, including the severity of the damage to the vehicle or how much time off from work someone needs to fully recover from their car accident injury. The value of your claim may also depend on the amount of available insurance coverage.

As a result, you should always be skeptical if an attorney gives you a quick answer about the value of your Arkansas car accident claim without knowing all the facts about your case. The best way to know how much money you could be entitled to receive for your accident-related expenses is to talk with a lawyer who takes the time to find out exactly what happened and conducts an in-depth investigation of your accident.

What can I be compensated for?

As explained above, you should be financially compensated for all accident-related expenses due to your Arkansas car accident. Such expenses can cover a wide range and may include:

  • Cost of emergency medical care to treat a serious injury immediately after your accident.
  • Ongoing future medical care if you have long-term health issues due to accident.
  • Physical therapy, especially if you experience chronic pain as a result of your accident injury.
  • Repairing damage to your vehicle or purchasing a new one if your car is a total loss due to your collision.
  • Replacement income if you need time off from work to recover from your accident.
  • Lost future income if you have to work in a reduced capacity or cannot perform your job at all as a result of a permanent disability sustained in your collision.

Should I accept a settlement offer for my car crash?

Many times, insurance companies will make a settlement offer to injury victims soon after an accident. If you are contacted by your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you might be tempted to accept such a settlement offer.

But it’s important to understand that a settlement offer is a one-time payment intended to settle your accident claim, once and for all. If you accept a settlement, your case is settled. That means you cannot ask for more money in the future, even if your accident expenses go up more than you expected.

This is very important since many future accident-related expenses can turn out to be much higher than you might expect. So if you’re not sure if you should accept a settlement offer, talk to an attorney who can help you better understand your options.

A complex negotiation process often takes place between all the insurance companies involved with an accident claim – your insurance company as well as the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

If you are involved in a car accident in Arkansas, you should be part of these important discussions. The best way to do this is by having an experienced attorney at the negotiating table or in a courtroom working on your behalf. That way, you can make sure your voice is heard loud and clear when determining how much money you should receive for your Arkansas car accident claim.

Can I ask for more money for my car crash claim?

Yes. You have the right to request more money for your car accident, provided that you have not already accepted a settlement. This is why it’s important for anyone who receives a settlement offer for their car accident to carefully review it before agreeing to accept it.

Insurance companies know this and often make lowball settlement offers that don’t even come close to covering all your expenses. That’s why it’s important to carefully review such offers.

And if you believe you should receive more money for your accident, make sure you ask for it. Remember, you didn’t do anything wrong. You shouldn’t have to pay for another driver’s mistakes. That’s the law in Arkansas when it comes to at-fault car accidents. The at-fault party should pay injury victims enough money to cover all their accident expenses.

How is car accident compensation calculated in Arkansas?

Insurance companies often insist that they use complex formulas to accurately determine how much money injury victims should receive for their accident. But the truth is such calculations often don’t take into account every accident-related expense, especially future anticipated expenses like ongoing medical care and lost future income due to a serious injury sustained in an accident.

Your lawyer can help make sure such calculations accurately reflect the true financial impact of your Arkansas car accident. Experienced attorneys know how to accurately determine how much injury victims should receive and often provide evidence (bills, expert testimony, etc.) in support of their financial request.

If you believe your settlement offer does not cover all your expenses or that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is acting in bad faith, you have the right to file a car accident lawsuit seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation.

However, it’s important to realize that you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action after your Arkansas car accident. According to Arkansas Statute §16-114-203, you only have three years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit in Arkansas. If you miss this deadline (known as the statute of limitations) you could miss out on your only opportunity to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your accident.

Can I sue for pain and suffering in Arkansas for a car accident?

Yes. Under Arkansas law, anyone injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions has the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

“Non-economic damages” is a legal term used to describe anything that has a financial impact on injury but that does not have an exact bill or objectively measurable expense associated with it. For example, economic damages might include a bill for medical care or car repairs. Non-economic damages can include diminished quality of life due to a serious car accident.

Just because non-economic damages don’t have a specific number associated with them doesn’t make them any less real or important. Car accident injury victims deserve to be compensated for pain and suffering – and a lawyer can help with the process.

What happens if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?

Depending on what type of car insurance you have, you may be able to file an accident claim with your own insurance company. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage, that coverage will stand in for the other driver’s insurance. You can also file a PIP, MedPay, or collision claim if you have those types of coverage on your policy.

But even if you have UM insurance, don’t simply assume you will be fairly compensated for your crash. In many cases, insurance companies will make a lowball settlement offer or deny UM insurance claims. This is why it’s always best to consult with a lawyer right away if you have been involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Getting the financial compensation you’re entitled to receive for your Arkansas car accident can often be very challenging, even if the other driver was clearly at fault. Because you could be entitled to receive thousands of dollars or significantly more, don’t be surprised if the insurance company responsible for compensating you – usually the at-fault driver’s insurance company – does everything they can to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all.

This is why you need an experienced attorney on your side, looking out for your best interests. Your lawyer can help calculate how much money you should receive for your Arkansas car accident, gather evidence in support of your claim, then demand the compensation you deserve. You should not have to pay for your accident if another driver was clearly at fault. An Arkansas attorney can make sure your rights are respected.

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