Auto insurance is definitely a lifesaver if you are ever in an auto accident, especially if your vehicle is totaled. Most of us are not prepared for the unexpected expenses of an auto accident. But what happens when the person at fault in the accident has no auto insurance, or not enough to cover your injuries. Unfortunately, the risk of being involved in an auto accident with a driver who has no insurance in Arkansas, is much higher than it should be. The good news is, Arkansas, like many others has laws that require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage be offered with every auto insurance policy.
Arkansas is an “at-fault” state
When a state is considered an “at-fault” state, with regard to auto insurance, it means that all drivers in Arkansas are required to carry auto insurance. The “fault” element of Arkansas’ law means that whichever driver(s) is responsible for causing the accident, will be financially responsible for injury and property damage caused in the accident.
With whom do I file a claim?
If you are involved in an auto accident in Arkansas, you essentially have three choices on how to proceed legally:
- file a claim with your own insurance
- file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, or
- file a personal injury lawsuit in court
If you file a claim with your own insurance carrier, they will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. If you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, and you are injured in an accident, you can still file a claim with your own insurance carrier.
Does Arkansas have minimum coverage requirements?
In Arkansas, each driver must have auto insurance before driving or registering their vehicles. The minimum insurance coverage amounts must cover the driver’s liability if he or she happens to be at fault. Out-of-state drivers must also carry at least the minimum coverage amounts in order to legally drive in Arkansas.
Does Arkansas require uninsured motorist coverage?
Arkansas has a statute, which mandates that insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage, which can be made available in two parts — uninsured motorist bodily injury and (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides supplemental coverage if the at-fault driver does not have any car insurance, or does not have sufficient insurance to cover your losses.
Other insurance options in Arkansas
There are also other auto insurance coverage options. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is also available. PIP benefits cover medical bills and other costs for anyone involved in the accident. This is regardless of who may have been at fault. Arkansas drivers can also purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, if they choose, which will pay to fix your car if it is damaged in a crash (collision) or by weather or an animal or object (comprehensive).
If you have questions regarding automobile accidents, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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