If you suffer injuries or losses in an accident in Arkansas that was not your fault, the at-fault party is responsible for the damages. But what if you were partly responsible for the accident? Are you still entitled to any compensation?
The simple answer is yes: You are eligible for compensation depending on the degree of your fault compared to the other party.
However, because of the shared responsibility aspect, such cases are often complex and can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer from Morris Bart in Arkansas can help you through the legal process.
How Modified Comparative Negligence Works
If you are partly responsible for an accident in Arkansas, the court will use the modified comparative negligence rule in your case. The rule allows you to pursue a claim against another negligent party even if you were partly responsible for the accident. However, your total recovery amount is reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
In Arkansas, the modified comparative negligence rule is capped at 50%. This means that the partly responsible party can recover compensation for their injuries only if they are 50% or less at fault. Therefore, you may not be entitled to damages if the fault chargeable to you is equal to or greater than that of the other party involved in the accident.
If you are partly responsible for an accident, a legal representative can help you build a strong case and ensure fair application of the modified comparative negligence rule. Your personal injury attorney can also defend you if the other party alleges that your fault is greater than theirs.
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Which Accidents Does the Modified Comparative Negligence Rule Apply to?
The modified comparative negligence rule applies to any type of accident in Arkansas in which fault must be determined so the victim can recover damages. Below are some examples of accidents the rule applies to:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Four Elements You Need to Prove in an Arkansas Accident
If you are partly responsible for an accident in Arkansas, establishing the negligence of the other party is critical. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances.
There are four elements you need to prove to show that the other party acted negligently and is therefore responsible for your injuries or damages.
- Duty: you must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care—a duty to not cause you harm.
- Breach: after proving the duty of care, you must prove that the other party violated that duty.
- Causation: next, you must prove that the other party’s negligence led to your injuries—that is, if it were not for their actions, you would not have been injured.
- Damages: finally, you must prove that you suffered injuries and incurred economic and non-economic damages due to the other party’s negligence.
Naturally, the other party may dispute at least some element of your claim, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can advocate on your behalf at each stage of the process.
Time Limit for Filing an Accident Claim in Arkansas
If you are partly responsible for an accident in Arkansas, you must be aware of the state’s statute of limitations. This is the period within which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. The time limit in Arkansas is three years, meaning you must file your claim no later than three years from the accident date.
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What if I Did Not Collect Enough Evidence?
If your accident causes you serious injuries, you may be unable to collect sufficient evidence at the scene. Luckily, an attorney can help you get evidence from other sources, such as police reports. They can also help gather evidence that is difficult to obtain.
For example, some new vehicles have a recording device that collects information, including the car’s speed at the time of a collision, which can be valuable evidence in a car accident case. However, you may need the court’s permission to get the data recorded by the other driver’s vehicle.
An Arkansas personal injury lawyer can help you access valuable data like this and build a strong case.
Can I Opt for an Out-of-Court Settlement?
An out-of-court settlement can be a viable option when you are involved in an accident in Arkansas. However, if you are partly responsible for the accident, you may be at a disadvantage unless you have an attorney to help you negotiate.
The at-fault party or their insurance company may offer you an unreasonably low settlement. Insurance company representatives may also press you to issue a statement that could adversely affect your ability to recover compensation.
A skilled Arkansas lawyer can help you estimate the value of your case and ensure you get the appropriate settlement. An attorney can also help protect your rights during the negotiation.
What Happens if a Settlement Cannot Be Reached?
A personal injury lawyer in Arkansas can help you start legal action against the at-fault party if your attempt at an out-of-court settlement is unsuccessful. A skilled lawyer understands the entire process and knows how to help you win your case.
Also, because Arkansas uses the modified comparative negligence rule, your lawyer can help ensure the laws are applied correctly when you are partly responsible for an accident.
Contact a Skilled Arkansas Lawyer Today
If you are involved in an accident in Arkansas, you should not hesitate to seek compensation simply because you are partly responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawyer from Morris Bart can help you through the legal process. With our experienced legal team by your side, you can increase your chances of receiving compensation for your claim.
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