More than three million people in the United States sustain injuries in car accidents every year. About 65% of these injuries are permanent.However, even seemingly minor collisions can lead to serious medical expenses.
Trying to cover substantial medical costs without help can be stressful, frustrating, and often unnecessary. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A Fayetteville car accident attorney from Morris Bart can explain your options in a free case evaluation.
Why You May Need a Fayetteville Car Accident Attorney
Understandably, you may be hesitant to retain legal assistance. Rest assured, an experienced car accident lawyer in Fayetteville can:
- Instruct you on what to do at the accident scene – If you call a lawyer immediately after the accident, you will get valuable instructions that could strengthen your case.
- Help you gather evidence – From photos of the scene and police reports to eyewitness testimonies and medical bills, you need a lot of evidence to prove negligence and negotiate a large payout. Without legal advice, you may not collect sufficient evidence to win the case.
- Investigate the case – A car accident lawyer conducts a private investigation to uncover as many factors as possible to strengthen your position at the negotiations table or in court.
- Hire expert witnesses – To prove that you are entitled to some of the damages, you may need expert witness testimonies. A legal professional knows where to find these experts and how to work with them throughout the case.
- Negotiate with the insurance company – Insurance companies work hard to minimize the payout using claim settlement tactics. An attorney knows how to conduct negotiations to help you get the money you deserve. While you can negotiate without a lawyer, the lack of legal experience decreases your chances.
- Represent you in court – If your case doesn’t settle at the negotiation table, you can take it to court. You will need help filing documents, presenting evidence, scheduling appearances, and much more.
- Provide support – Handling legal aspects of a car accident case while you are recovering from injuries or dealing with the death of a loved one can be tough. A car accident lawyer offers the support you need until the case is over.
While it’s possible to recover damages without an attorney’s assistance, the payout is likely to be lower. If the defendant hires an experienced legal team, your chances of winning the case or negotiating a fair amount without legal representation are less than satisfactory.
For a free legal consultation with a Car Accident lawyer serving Fayetteville, call (800) 537-8185
Car Accident Laws to Know in Arkansas
If you are fighting to recover damages after a car accident in Fayetteville, you need to keep these laws in mind.
Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations is the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations is three years. This means you have three years since the date of the accident to file your claim.
There are some exceptions, including:
- The defendant’s age – If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations begins when they turn 18.
- Discover – If you aren’t immediately aware of your injury after the car accident, the statute of limitation begins when the discovery is made.
If you miss the three-year deadline, your case is likely to be dismissed immediately. If three years since the date of the accident have passed, consider contacting an attorney anyway. Some exceptions to the statute may apply to your case.
In Arkansas, if you are partially responsible for the car accident, you could still recover damages. The amount you can get depends on the percentage of your fault.
For example, driver A ignores a stop sign and runs into driver B who is speeding. Both drivers sustain injuries. Driver B sues driver A for $100,000 in damages. The judge rules that driver A is 80% responsible while driver B is 20% responsible for the accident. Accordingly, driver B can only get 80% of the damages, which is $80,000.
Arkansas also follows a 50% negligence rule. This means that if your fault is over 50%, you can’t recover damages. According to this rule, driver A can’t count on any compensation.
Damages You Could Recover in a Car Accident Case
If you and your attorney can prove another party’s negligence in a car accident, you could recover these damages:
- Economic damages, such as medical expenses, property repair or replacement, lost wages, and more.
- Non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
- Punitive damages, meaning damages awarded in case the defendant demonstrated outrageous behavior.
How Much Can You Expect from Your Settlement?
The final amount of your compensation may depend on:
- The extent of your injuries
- The quality of your evidence
- Expert witness testimonies
- The expertise of your car accident attorney
- The expertise of the defendant’s attorney
- Fault distribution
In Arkansas, liability insurance is mandatory for car owners. However, the minimum is only $25,000 per person for injuries, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. So if your damages are higher, the insurance company won’t cover all of them.
If this happens, you can sue the at-fault driver personally and recover the excess amount. To improve your chances of claiming these damages in court, you would need an experienced car accident attorney.
Speak to a Fayetteville Car Accident Attorney Today
If another party’s negligence caused your injuries in a car accident, don’t wait to speak to an attorney. A car accident lawyer can evaluate your case, collect evidence, speak to witnesses, conduct an investigation, represent you in court, negotiate a higher settlement, and much more.
Without legal representation, it could be hard to get the money you deserve. At Morris Bart, our team of car accident attorneys is ready to help you obtain fair compensation. Don’t wait. Contact us at any convenient time.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.