Car accidents, even minor ones, can be stressful, traumatic events. Handling the incident can be made easier if everyone involved follows the laws and cooperates. Unfortunately for a number of car accident victims, some negligent drivers leave the scene of the accident. The person who remains is left to deal with the situation on their own, with no guarantee that the responsible party will ever be held accountable. If you find yourself dealing with a hit-and-run, it’s important to know the state laws that apply to your situation and what actions you should take to recover as quickly as possible.
No matter how responsible of a driver you are, there’s no way to control the others on the road. Any unsuspecting driver could end up in an accident because of someone else’s negligence. As a result, serious physical, psychological, and financial consequences are likely. In Arkansas, distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding top the list for the causes of accidents, but it’s also important to be aware of where a crash is most likely to happen.
In order to reduce the number of accidents and save lives, drivers need to acknowledge where a significant number of crashes take place. While a collision can happen anywhere, the following roads are the most dangerous in Arkansas.
Whether you’re driving home on a Friday after a long week or driving across the country for a family reunion, we’re all guilty of giving less than 100 percent of our focus to the road when we’re behind the wheel. Unfortunately, there are a variety of dangers associated with distracted and fatigued driving. If you’ve been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, our Little Rock car accident lawyers are here for you.
Thousands of accident occur on Arkansas’ road every year. Many of them are related to instances of distracted driving. To aid in the prevention of accidents related to distractions and fatigue, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do before driving and while driving to stay alert and remain focused.
You need to be able to trust that your vehicle is safe for the road. One of the main ways to ensure this is to take care of your tires. When tires aren’t properly taken care of, they can lose air or become damaged while you’re driving the vehicle, potentially causing an accident that may result in injuries to yourself and others.
There are a few ways to know whether your vehicle is road-ready and if your tires are as good as they should be for the type of driving you need to do. Here are some tips, as well as some information about how often accidents are caused from poor, damaged, or malfunctioning tires occur:
Tire-Related Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following statistics show the danger of failing to keep up with tires.
11,000 tire-related crashes happen each year.
In 2016, 733 total traffic fatalities occurred where tire malfunction was a factor.
Even when one tire fails, a driver may be unable to keep proper control of their vehicle in order to avoid causing an accident. This is why tire-related accidents are such a risk. If people knew more about their tires and how to take care of them, these numbers could be greatly reduced. When you put in the time to maintain your tires, you know that your vehicle is ready for the road.
As responsible drivers, we understand the necessity of obeying all the established traffic laws. Unfortunately, there are drivers out there that choose to ignore these laws. When individuals make those choices, they’re putting their lives, as well as the lives of others on the road, in danger. If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, our Little Rock car accident lawyers are prepared to help you with your case.
According to the 2014 Arkansas Crash Summary, there were a total of 60,947 vehicle accidents reported – a 4.3 percent increase from 2013. Of those accidents 436 of them were fatal, resulting in the wrongful loss of 470 lives. Nearly half of those lost lives resulted from drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
As you can see, car accidents are a common occurrence on Arkansas’ roads. Many of these accidents result from broken traffic laws. Let’s take a look at which of these laws are broken most often.
Besides physical injury, one of the initial “headaches” after a car wreck is dealing with the damage to your vehicle. We get a ton of questions about property damage claims, particularly when our client’s car or truck is totaled. Ark. Code Annotated Sec. 23-89-211 governs total loss settlements. You are entitled to the fair market value of your car or truck prior to the wreck. An insurance company when making a settlement offer to you must not only include the value of the car or truck but all sales tax, license fees and other fees due you as laid out in Arkansas Insurance Department Rule and Regulation 43. The offer from the insurance company should provide an itemized list stating how much they are offering on the car or truck and listing separately amounts for sale tax, license fees and other fees. The sales tax is figured as if you were purchasing an automobile of the same value of the car or truck totaled. Keep in mind that you can negotiate over the value of the vehicle if you disagree with insurance company, but you will need some evidence of fair market value of your car or truck immediately prior to the wreck. Most law firms taking car and truck wreck cases do not take any fee for helping with the property damage settlement so long as a trial or litigation is not required.
Many times in big car wrecks, particularly wrecks with 18-Wheelers, there can be disputes over how the wreck occurred. Who was speeding, who veered into which lane of traffic, who made first contact, or who was distracted are all questions that can arise. Most newer vehicles, and almost all 18 Wheelers, are now equipped with event data recorders, referred to many times as an EDR. It can be very important to secure the information from the event data recorder or at least to make sure that it is preserved. If you delay seeking such information, it can be destroyed or disappear when a totaled car or 18 wheeler is salvaged or sold. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set some guidelines as to what EDR’s are supposed to record. Arkansas Law prohibits release of the EDR data without consent of the driver or without a court order in many circumstances. See Arkansas Code Annotated Sec. 23-112-107. McMath Woods, in certain cases and particularly in cases involving 18 wheelers, will send letters asking that the driver or owner preserve the EDR data in case of future litigation or will seek retrieval of the data in compliance with Arkansas law so that evidence helpful to determining fault is not lost. Keep in mind that retrieval or preservation of EDR data is time sensitive and you or your lawyers need to act quickly to insure the data is not lost when it is needed to prove fault or facts important to your case.
Injured in a car wreck? Suggestions on what to do and when to do it are below. These suggestions or tips are designed to apply to your typical car wreck. Other blog posts note that wrecks involving 18 wheelers or other commercial vehicles can be different and more complicated. You may need to consider hiring a lawyer almost immediately in those instances involving significant injury or property damage, particularly when an 18 Wheeler and/or other commercial vehicle are involved. Also, keep in mind that many vehicles now have downloadable data recorders in them that can reveal speed, hard breaking events, air bag activation, and seat belt usage. This data can become very important at times in cases where both sides are claiming fault on each other or in cases where there are no witnesses besides the parties involved. To preserve this data, you may need the help of a lawyer.
What to do at the scene of the wreck:
1) Call the police. Whether you’re injured or not you need to call the police to make a record of the collision.
2) Do not move your vehicle until instructed by the police to do so. Police officers use the location of the vehicles and vehicle debris to make determinations of fault.
We get calls all the time from injured folks who are worried about how their initial medical bills will be paid. Most people in Arkansas have what is commonly referred to as first party “med pay” coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on their vehicles. The amount of coverage available is usually at least $5000. Arkansas law requires that these coverages be offered in most instances and must be rejected in writing if a person chooses to forgo this insurance. See Ark. Code Ann. Sec. 23-89-202. First party med pay coverages provide initial payment for medical bills and treatment no matter who is at fault. Most people’s health insurance will typically want all first party med pay benefits to be exhausted prior to the health insurance beginning to pay bills. If you are hurt or injured you should be able to get the care you need covered, whether initially through first party med pay or health insurance. Who is at fault and how the different insurance benefits coordinate can be worked out after you make sure to take care of yourself.
I chose Charles Harrison of McMath Woods P.A. to represent me in my personal injury case. He worked hard to handle my case and did a fantastic job explaining the process every step of the way. It’s important to feel like the person representing you has your best interest as their top priority, and Charles definitely made me feel that way. I would highly recommend Charles Harrison to anyone in need of legal representation for a personal injury case. Thank you, Charles.
Sandy Edlemon at ReManCo liked the experience working with John and Marilyn. They were very understanding and did the best job I could have asked of them. I feel like I had a wonderful team and more I feel like I have made new friends with these people. Thanks guys for all the hard work!!!!!!
My attorney was John Coulter. He did a perfect job handling my case and he always had my best interest in mind. He kept me informed and always steered me in the right direction. I can’t imagine using any other attorney in the future.
I am giving Attorney John Coulter 5 stars because he is very much worth every one of them. I was extremely happy with him and the services he provided to me for my unemployment appeal. He was extremely knowledgeable, honest, caring, kind, and considerate. He was in constant contact with me about my case. I couldn't have asked for a better attorney to assist me with my case. Thank you so much John! :-)
Carter has handled 2 unfortunate cases for me and did so wonderfully both times! Very professional, patient and kind. Answered any and all of my many questions. I trusted him the first time and def the second. I know my case wasn’t handled thoroughly. I hope I never need him again but if I do I will be back to see him.
Will and Neil were so awesome to work with. They made us laugh in sometimes very uncomfortable situations, and we really felt like they did their absolute best to fight for our case. We were very pleased with the outcome and would recommend this firm to anyone looking for legal counsel. Top Notch!
Attorney Stein and his team were absolutely fantastic!! They received my case after my original attorneys had to release it. Attorney Stine and Ms Whitney are thorough, compassionate, honest, and truly have the best interest of the Client at heart. If I am ever in need of legal representation again in the future I will not hesitate to retain the McMath Woods Law Firm!!