Rules To Keep In Mind When Filing An Auto Accident Lawsuit In Arkansas
If you were recently in a car crash, then you are probably dealing with a lot of different sources of stress. You might have some pretty hefty medical bills and auto repair bills, which can ultimately add up to a lot of money that you are forced to pay. To help make these burdens a little easier to bear, you could file a lawsuit. However, lawsuits are not ideal for every situation, and the individual laws in your state can make or break your lawsuit before it even gets to court.
Therefore, it's critical to understand how the laws work in your state before seriously considering such an endeavor. To help you figure out if a lawsuit is the right fit for you, here are some of the pertinent laws in Arkansas:
Responsibility is a hotly-debated topic when it comes to lawsuits, with many states having different ideas on how the fault of the plaintiff should be treated. Some states believe that the plaintiff shouldn't get any money at all if they were partially to blame, whereas other states believe that such a restriction should only come into play when the plaintiff bore more than half the blame for the accident.
Arkansas falls into the latter category, with a strict cutoff at 50%. If the defense has evidence that proves that you were more than 50% to blame for your injuries, then you will not get any money at all. As long as your level of blame is below 50%, your compensation will simply be reduced proportionally. If you were 10% responsible, you would only get 90%, if you were 20% responsible, you would only get 80%, and so on.
At-Fault Insurance Policies
Like many other states, Arkansas is an at-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. This has some benefits and some drawbacks, but when it comes to lawsuits, it is definitely beneficial to you.
At-fault states allow individuals to file lawsuits for any car accident, no matter how small or trivial the damage was. Even if you only got a minor scrape, you could theoretically sue (although your chances of actually winning are another matter entirely).
You have the choice of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, with lawsuits generally being a little riskier, but also able to result in much higher payouts.
No-fault states force you to file an insurance claim instead of a lawsuit, with lawsuits being reserved for accidents that resulted in injuries where you were severely injured. If your injuries were not severe enough, then you simply cannot file a lawsuit.
That being said, no-fault states aren't entirely bad, since they do tend to accelerate the insurance claim process quite a bit. However, from a lawsuit perspective, you will definitely be at a disadvantage in no-fault states.
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