Being involved in a car accident can turn your world upside down.
Between physical injuries, emotional trauma, and significant financial ramifications, moving forward after an accident can feel impossible.
An Overview of Arkansas Car Accident Laws
Before proceeding with your case, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the process and requirements. Here are a few things you should know about car accident claims.
Negligence and Fault Under Arkansas Law
Car accidents and other personal injury cases generally require proving that the at-fault party was negligent.
Pursuant to Arkansas Code § 16-64-122(c), “fault” includes any “act, omission, conduct, risk assumed, breach of warranty, or breach of any legal duty which is a proximate cause of any damages sustained by any party.”
Notably, however, Arkansas follows comparative fault rules, which govern situations where more than one party is at fault for the accident.
Thus, if an injury victim is found to be even partially at fault, their damages will be reduced in proportion to their share of liability.
Comparative negligence rules can be a complicated topic. Thus, if you have questions about whether and to what extent these rules may apply to you, speak with a qualified legal professional to discuss the facts of your case in more detail.
Arkansas Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Importantly, injury victims do not have unlimited time to file their claims.
Rather, Arkansas law imposes a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury actions, meaning that in most cases, you must file your claim within three years of the date of the accident. Because time is of the essence, it’s crucial that you seek assistance as soon as possible to preserve your rights.
What to Know About Hiring an Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer
Many people aren’t sure whether they should hire an attorney for their car accident case.
If you’re not sure whether working with a lawyer is the right decision for you, below are a few things to keep in mind before moving forward.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
A car accident lawyer can assist with nearly every facet of your car accident claim. For example, an attorney can help you:
- Assess the strength of your case and determine the best course of action for your legal claims;
- Gather evidence that can be used to help prove the defendant’s fault;
- Locate and prepare potential eyewitnesses who may be able to testify on your behalf;
- Negotiate with opposing parties, their insurers, and legal counsel in an effort to reach a favorable settlement; and
- Prepare for and take your case to trial when a fair and reasonable settlement is not feasible.
In short, an Arkansas car accident attorney can take some of the weight off of your shoulders so you can get back to focusing on recovering from your injuries.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Car Accident?
The cost of hiring a car accident lawyer will vary from firm to firm. For example, some firms will charge an hourly rate for any services provided throughout the course of your case.
In such situations, the total cost of the lawyer’s services will depend on the total time required to settle the matter or litigate it to a conclusion.
Conversely, some firms will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will receive a percentage of your total settlement or judgment, and you don’t pay anything unless and until you get your compensation.
Before selecting a firm to handle your car accident case, be sure to consult with an attorney to discuss what their fee arrangement will look like.
Should I Hire an Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer for My Case?
An experienced personal injury attorney can certainly provide a number of benefits. That said, hiring a lawyer is not required under Arkansas law.
Thus, the decision is ultimately yours as to whether you should hire an attorney or attempt to handle the case yourself. However, keep in mind that insurance companies have tactics they use to confuse victims who don’t know what their case is worth.
So if you decide to go it alone, you could end up settling for far less than your case is worth. And if your medical bills keep piling up, you can never go back for more after you accept a settlement.
Speak with a Car Accident Attorney at the Cottrell Law Office Today
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a car accident, consider speaking with an attorney to discuss your case and options moving forward.
At the Cottrell Law Office, we pride ourselves on relentlessly fighting for the rights of our clients. Firm founder and managing attorney Wesley A. Cottrell has more than 32 years of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims.
When you hire our team, you can feel confident knowing that you have someone on your side with the background and resources necessary to give your case its best chance at success.
When you’re ready to discuss your case, call us to schedule a free consultation and see if we might be the right fit for you.