Helping All Auto Accident Victims
In 2018, over 36,500 deaths occurred in fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Unfortunately, Arkansas had one of the highest fatality rates in the country — 17.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
There are a number of reasons why car accidents occur in Arkansas and nationwide. Knowing the risks and common causes can help you avoid accidents and be a safer driver.
And should an auto accident occur, it’s important to know what to do immediately after to protect yourself.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, call (501) 794-0001 to set up a free consultation with the Little Rock car accident attorneys at Minton Law Firm.
Our team of knowledgeable, compassionate car accident lawyers will work hard to win your case and get you the compensation you need to move forward.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
The most common type of crash in Arkansas in 2018 was a single-vehicle crash at 55 percent, compared to multiple-vehicle crashes at 45 percent. A single-vehicle crash might mean running off the road, hitting another object, speeding, driving recklessly, or other behaviors that don’t involve other vehicles in the accident.
Reasons car accidents occur may vary due to location, but there are certain factors that commonly lead to auto accidents across the country.
Speeding was at the top of the list of related factors for drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2018, accounting for 16.7 percent of drivers.
Rising speed limits over the past 25 years have cost nearly 37,000 lives. Maximum speed limits are set by the state. In 1993, the maximum speed limit in Arkansas was 65 mph. In 2017, it was 75 mph.
Driving under the influence
The second most reported factor for drivers involved in fatal crashes was driving under the influence. That includes driving under the influence of alcohol — driving with a 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) level or greater — or driving while impaired by drugs or prescription medication.
In Arkansas, 72 percent of drivers with known BACs at 0.08 or greater died in 2018. The percentage was lower in other states, such as Indiana at 26 percent, and higher in others, such as Massachusetts at 91 percent.
Distracted driving puts everyone on the road at risk, not just the driver themselves. Nationwide, the number of people killed by distracted driving in 2018 was nearly 3,000.
Talking, texting, or looking at your phone, eating and drinking, using the stereo or navigation system, even talking to others in your vehicle — all of these behaviors can take your attention off the road and lead to an accident in an instant.
Dangerous rural roads
With some of the most dangerous roads in the country, Arkansas saw 16.23 motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 in 2018. Poor road design, weather, and driver error can lead to more accidents in rural areas.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
After an auto accident, you should take the following steps to protect your health and safety, as well as your legal rights.
Move to a safe location
Get out of the way of traffic and move to a safe spot on the shoulder or on a side street.
Call law enforcement
Call the police and ask for an ambulance, even if injuries aren’t apparent. Concussions and other serious head injuries may not be easily noticeable, but they’re serious, even deadly.
When the police arrive to make a report, stick to the facts. Be honest and accurate, and don’t say more than what’s needed.
Gather contact information
If you can, gather contact information while waiting for the police and ambulance. Take down names, phone numbers, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and car information from other people involved in the accident. Take down names and contact information from any witnesses present.
Otherwise, do not say anything else to others at the accident scene. Don’t place blame, apologize, or discuss what happened.
Document the accident
Take photos of the accident scene, including the location, vehicle damage, any objects involved or road conditions, your injuries, and anything else that may be significant.
Contact your insurer
Call your insurance provider and let them know what has happened so they can begin the claims process. Similar to how you spoke to the police, stick with the facts.
Filing an Auto Accident Claim
If you want to file a lawsuit following your auto accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file. This statute of limitations is almost never extended, so it’s important to file a lawsuit before the deadline has passed.
What if you share some of the responsibility for the accident? The modified comparative fault law in Arkansas comes into play if more than one driver is responsible, or liable, for an auto accident.
Under this law, percentages of liability are assigned to drivers who contribute to an accident. Depending on your percentage of liability, the amount of compensation you collect may be decreased.
Furthermore, if you’re found at least 50 percent liable for the accident, you cannot seek compensation, or damages, from the others involved.
Accidents happen very quickly. If you’re unsure who was at fault or much you may be liable in an auto accident, it can make filing a lawsuit even more complicated. The good news is, an experienced car accident attorney can help you file your claim.
How a Little Rock Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Being involved in an auto accident is stressful and frightening. Dealing with the aftermath, especially if you have injuries, can completely upend your life.
Understandably, you may want compensation for any pain and suffering as well as medical bills and cost of care. If you’ve never filed a lawsuit before, you want an experienced attorney on your side.
Injury attorney Justin Minton also has experience as an insurance adjuster, and he understands the tactics insurance providers employ to try to limit what they pay to injury victims.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, call the Minton Law Firm at (501) 794-0001 or fill out an online form to set up a free consultation. You can also like and follow the Minton Law Facebook page for more updates.