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Is Arkansas a Comparative Fault State?

When you get into a Bentonville car accident, it’s only natural to think the other driver is at fault. The ironic thing is that both drivers feel the same way. This means that someone has to be wrong. But, immediately following a car accident, nobody will know for sure who caused the crash.

This is why it’s so important that you call the police after your accident. They’ll come out and do a thorough investigation of the accident scene. They’ll take pictures of the road conditions and the accident scene. And, thankfully, they’ll prepare a police report that your Bentonville car accident lawyer can use later on.

One of the first things you’ll have to do is file an insurance claim. When you do that, there’s always the chance that your claim may be denied. If this happens, you’re going to need a skilled attorney to negotiate on your behalf.

If the insurance company believes you’re at fault, your claim will probably be denied. This also means that you may have to worry about something called comparative fault. When this happens, you’ll definitely want an experienced car accident lawyer by your side.

Why Would Insurance Deny Your Bentonville Car Accident Claim?

One of the most frustrating things is having your insurance claim denied. Instead of getting a check for your damages, you get a letter stating that you’re getting nothing. You can always call the insurance adjuster and find out why they denied your claim. Just keep in mind, it could take quite some time to get them to return your call.

If you have a Bentonville car accident lawyer, the insurance adjuster will take you more seriously. Your lawyer can find out why your claim was denied. Some of these reasons may include:

  • They believe the accident was your fault
  • The policy had lapsed for non-payment
  • The policy wasn’t valid
  • The vehicle or driver wasn’t listed on the policy
  • The adjuster doesn’t believe you were injured
  • You have a history of filing false insurance claims

If your claim is denied because they think you’re at fault, you could have a problem. Your attorney already has to prove that the other driver was at fault. Now, they have to prove that you weren’t at fault as well.

What if You Really Were Partially at Fault?

In the real world, rarely is one driver completely at fault. Most car accidents in Arkansas are caused by negligence. This means someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do.

In order to prove negligence, your Bentonville accident attorney has to show the following:

  • The other driver had a duty of care – This is not difficult to prove. All drivers owe other motorists a certain duty of care. At a minimum, they have to use common sense and follow all traffic laws.
  • They breached this duty – This is the hardest part of any car accident lawsuit. You have to show that the other driver did something out of the ordinary. Sometimes it’s easy. For example, if someone is drunk driving, they will almost always be considered at fault.
  • You were injured – Obviously, if you expect damages, you have to prove that you were injured. Being in an accident is not enough to warrant money damages.
  • Your injuries were caused by their breach – If the defendant can show that you would’ve been injured even if they hadn’t breached their duty, you could be in trouble. This is why it’s always a good idea to have a skilled injury lawyer handle your case in Bentonville.

The Defendant Will Argue You Were at Fault

One of the most common arguments by the defendant is that you were at fault. They may not be saying that you caused the accident. However, they may say that you were partially at fault.

In Arkansas, if a driver is partially at fault, they can still collect damages. However, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. So, if you’re 20% at fault, your judgment will be reduced by 20%. This is why it’s important that your Bentonville accident lawyer be able to prove that the other driver was mostly at fault.

Under this comparative negligence rule, if the court finds that the drivers were equally at fault, nobody gets a dime.

Call an Experienced Bentonville Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, call and speak with a skilled car accident lawyer in Bentonville. Your attorney can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They can also answer any questions you may have.

Call the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. today and schedule your free initial consultation.

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