According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report on pedestrian fatality statistics, Arkansas pedestrian fatalities increased by 17% between 2019 and 2020. Little Rock is considered the most dangerous place to walk, with 115 pedestrian accidents reported in 2020 alone.
In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently analyzed data from the US Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The results showed that 12% of motor vehicle crashes in Arkansas involved a pedestrian. With the prevalence of pedestrian accidents in Arkansas, how can pedestrians defend themselves against incompetent drivers?
Car Accident Laws in Arkansas
In Arkansas, it is general law for drivers to give way to pedestrians whenever they are crossing at an intersection. Most crosswalks in Arkansas are marked and clearly state that drivers should yield to pedestrians. The rule still applies even when there are no markings at the intersection.
Additionally, when a vehicle enters or leaves an alley, private road, building, or driveway, it must adhere to the pedestrian’s right of way on sidewalks. However, when a pedestrian crosses anywhere other than crosswalk intersections like the middle of the road, they could be in the wrong.
In addition, Arkansas implements a car accident statute of limitation, which is the time limit for a potential plaintiff’s right to bring a lawsuit. The deadlines vary depending on the level of harm inflicted and the kind of case the plaintiff wants to file. The statute applies to most personal injury cases and car accident lawsuits, giving individuals up to three years to ask the state court for a civil solution. The countdown starts from the day the accident happened to the time you decide to file the suit.
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Holding Drivers Accountable for Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents usually happen in one of two ways; a pedestrian entering a street quickly or a driver driving unsafely. Some pedestrian accidents are unavoidable, such as when a child chases after a balloon or an inattentive pedestrian who stumbles and falls onto the street. In such situations, the driver’s hands are tied, and they can’t avoid the accident, so they may not be held at fault for the accident.
However, in most cases, the driver is at fault, whether due to speeding, driving while intoxicated, texting while driving, careless driving, disobeying traffic lights, or distracted driving, and they should be held accountable for their actions. Drivers are required by law to follow all road rules at all times because failure to adhere to them can put pedestrians and other drivers at risk. In any situation, if the driver is at fault, they are responsible for the injuries the accident causes because of negligence.
Additionally, in Arkansas, any driver involved in an accident that involved a driver, passenger, or pedestrian suffering bodily harm or death must report to the Arkansas Office of Driver Services within 30 days of the incident.
Shared Fault in Pedestrian Accidents, Arkansas
Sometimes pedestrians may be hit by a car because they were trying to cross the street outside the crosswalk intersections or simply failed to look both ways. It would be unjust if the legal system denied pedestrians compensation for their injuries due to a minor oversight, especially when the injuries are severe. Arkansas allows pedestrians to take drivers to court even if they directly contributed to causing the accident, unlike other states that may block a pedestrian’s ability to receive compensation if they played a part in the accident.
Arkansas works on a modified comparative fault system, making it more lenient. If you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, Arkansas courts may award you compensation for your damages. However, the settlement often goes down depending on the amount of guilt shared in accidents.
Suppose the court resolves that not looking both ways when crossing a street is worth 10%, the pedestrian will be able to collect 90% of compensation from the driver.
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Compensation in Pedestrian Accident Cases in Arkansas
Pedestrians hit by an at-fault negligent driver can take the matter to court for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other economic damages. To be awarded compensation, the pedestrian must prove they suffered a severe body impairment dysfunction, which is the legal threshold in Arkansas for car accident victims looking to recover economic loss damages. Excess loss of wages and medical bills is the best strategy for getting compensated.
However, it is crucial that pedestrians stay safe to avoid shared-fault compensations. In Arkansas, the legal system is lenient to pedestrians and offers them compensation even when they are directly involved in an accident. As long as you can prove negligence, you can get compensated for the damages caused by the accident.
Let’s Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Navigating Arkansas pedestrian laws can be daunting, especially if you do not have an experienced attorney on your side. At Morris Bart, our personal injury attorneys have helped many Arkansas residents get the compensation they deserve after an accident.
We understand that the time after an accident can be difficult for you and your loved ones. Let our attorneys lead the legal charge for you as you focus on recovery.
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