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Arkansas Car Accident Compensation Laws

Whether you were in a minor car accident or were partially at fault for your own injuries, you can often receive economic recovery for the losses you suffered. A single accident may lead to loss of wages, physical injuries, medical expenses, and even uncertain future. Thus, it is important to know what types of damages are available and how to calculate them in order to avoid unfair settlements. As with other states, Arkansas has its own laws in personal injury cases, and they can affect the amount of damages you can recover. Read on to learn more about Arkansas car accident compensation laws.

Types of Damages Available in a Car Accident Case

Damages you can recover depend on the losses and types of injuries you suffered. Here is a list of the most common types of damages in car accident cases and how they're treated under Arkansas law:

Property Damages
  • Damages done to your car and other property;
  • Measure of damages = [the fair market value of your vehicle immediately before the accident] - [the fair market value of your vehicle immediately after the accident];
  • Additional costs to repair the damaged vehicle may be considered
Medical Expenses
  • You may be entitled to both past and future medical expenses
Lost Wages
  • Damages recoverable to compensate your past and future loss of wages
Mental Pain and Suffering
Punitive Damages
  • Damages awarded if your opponent operated the vehicle with malice or in reckless disregard or intentionally caused injuries or damages [§16-55-206];
  • You must show that the opponent is liable for compensatory damages and clear and convincing evidence of aggravating factors [§16-55-206]

Limitations in Recovering Damages in Arkansas

In Arkansas, personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the accident. After this three-year period, you are barred from filing your claim. This law is called a "statute of limitations." Arkansas generally does not impose strict limitations on the amount you can recover in personal injury cases, except in punitive damages.

Statute of Limitations
  • 3 yrs. (§16-56-105)
Compensatory Damages
  • No limit (§16-55-212)
Punitive Damages
  • $250,000, or 3 times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in the action, not to exceed $1 million (§16-55-208(a))
  • Exceptions apply (§16-55-208(b))

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly passed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to contact an Arkansas personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Arkansas' Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

Legal damages are typically calculated under three different standards: pure contributory negligence, pure comparative negligence, and modified comparative negligence. In Arkansas, the state applies the modified comparative negligence standard in personal injury cases. Under this standard, you are able to recover damages - the amount diminished in proportion to the degree of your fault - as long as you are less than 50% at fault. However, if you are 50% or more at fault, you won't be able to recover any damages.

For example, if you were 10% at fault and the amount of damages equals to $100,000, you would be able to recover $90,000 of damages.

Speak with an Arkansas Attorney about Car Accident Compensation

Not all car accident claims go to court. However, it is easy to overlook your legal options or find yourself agreeing to an unfair settlement. With the help of a skilled attorney, you may have a better chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. In order to best understand your rights, contact an Arkansas car accident attorney right away.

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