How do I Determine Liability for Car Accidents in Arkansas?
What is Liability?
One of the most important steps in the financial recovery process after a car accident in Arkansas is determining liability. Liability is the legal term most people closely associate with “fault.” Therefore, determining legal liability is the process of determining who exactly is at fault for the car accident in which you were injured.
How the State of Arkansas Views Liability
Arkansas is an At-Fault state. That means the person who causes a car accident is financially liable for paying back any and all victims the full amount of compensation that they deserve. Most often this process is handled by insurance companies and results in payouts to victims directly from these insurance policies.
However, Arkansas also allows insurance policyholders to purchase special “No-fault” add-on insurance. These policies allow the victims to seek medical payment and disability compensation from their own insurance companies even if another party is deemed to be liable for the accident.
But that is not all you need to know in order to determine liability for a car accident in Arkansas and get the compensation you deserve. Arkansas also embraces what’s known as “comparative negligence” so multiple parties may be deemed at fault for your car accident—which can make getting the compensation you deserve all that much more difficult.
Understanding Arkansas’s Comparative Negligence Laws
Comparative negligence, in a nutshell, simply means that each party involved in a car accident may be held liable for the damages associated with the crash in proportion to their level of fault. In some cases, you—the victim—can even be held partially responsible.
What happens early on in the compensation process is that fault is assigned based on the actions (or inactions) of all parties involved in a crash—the victim, the other driver, or others. That fault is often expressed as a percentage. That percentage will then be used to calculate how much of the total financial award each party is liable to repay.
If you’re deemed to be partially at fault for the accident, the amount you will ultimately end up with will be decreased by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
That’s good news for victims because, unlike in several other states, if they’re even partially at fault for a crash they can still get some compensation.
Proving Liability After a Car Accident in Arkansas
In order to prove liability—or fault—in a car accident, you have to have evidence that shows that fault. That evidence will go a long way toward convincing insurance companies and courts of law that you’re not responsible for the crash and therefore should be justly compensated.
The types of evidence you should collect to help prove liability include:
- Photos and video from the crash scene
- Eyewitness statements
- Official records and documentation (police reports, etc.)
- Expert opinions
Basically, anything that you can collect to create an unbiased picture of what actually happened during your accident can be used to successfully determine liability.
However, in many cases, victims aren’t prepared to gather all the evidence they need to prove their case without a doubt. Indeed, if you’ve been seriously hurt in a car accident in Arkansas, you’re likely concentrating solely on your physical recovery and may not even be able to leave the hospital to secure this evidence.
That’s why we always recommend that people who have been seriously hurt at least consult with an experienced car accident attorney in Arkansas immediately after a crash. Crucial evidence can be washed away or removed from the scene as each day passes. The Pfeifer Law Firm uses multiple investigators and crash experts who can go into the field and collect the types of evidence you need to prove liability after a crash while you’re still recovering.
To speak with a legal expert, schedule a free consultation today. You can do so online or by calling (501) 374-4440. Weekend and after-hours consultations are available upon request.