Wherever you live, if you drive a car, it is important to know your state’s driving rules. State insurance and fault rules are of critical importance in this regard.
While it is easy to forget about these rules as you go about your day-to-day life, they become increasingly important if you are in any sort of car accident.
A question you may ask yourself when considering fault rules in Arkansas is, Is Arkansas a no-fault state?
Otherwise, you may wonder, How does Arkansas’s fault system work? Knowing the answers to both of these questions will help you avoid unpleasant surprises if you ever need to file a car accident claim.
Fault Rules Generally
The function of fault rules is to determine who pays for a car accident when one occurs. There are two general types of fault systems: fault and no fault. The system that applies to you depends on your state.
The details of the rules may vary even between states that use the same system. Regardless, however, the general concepts remain the same.
In a no-fault insurance system, you file a claim with your own insurance company regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident. Your insurance company compensates you for your injuries and other damages you suffer.
Many no-fault states legally obligate you to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your insurance package.
Under no-fault insurance rules, you can sue the other driver for damages only if your damages exceed certain thresholds. Different states apply different thresholds that dictate the minimum type or amount of damages you have to suffer to sue for damage recovery.
One more important note to no-fault insurance rules is that these rules generally apply to personal injury damages. If you suffer property damage in an accident in a no-fault state, it is typically the at-fault driver’s insurance that compensates you for property damage. Arkansas is not a no-fault state.
In a fault or “at-fault” insurance system, the critical determining factor when assessing who is responsible to compensate you for any damages after an accident is, Who is at fault for causing the accident?
In such a system, the at-fault individual’s insurance company is liable for damages they cause. If the damages exceed the amount that the at-fault driver’s insurance company covers, you can sue for damages.
However, accidents are not always the fault of a single person. An important aspect of determining fault is comparing the degree of fault attributable to each party. This can be assessed using evidence like police reports and eyewitness statements.
Just as the damage thresholds for lawsuits vary between different no fault states, the way states compare fault differs between states. Some states use a pure comparative fault system, while others use a modified comparative fault system.
Fault Rules in Arkansas
Arkansas uses a modified comparative fault system in its car insurance fault rules. In this type of system, you will be barred from recovering damages if you are 50% or more at fault for the accident.
However, you can recover some damages so long as your share of the fault is less than 50%. In that case, the amount of damages you can recover decreases as your fault level increases. For example, if you are 20% at fault for an accident, you can recover 80% of your total damages from the other driver.
If You Are in an Arkansas Car Accident
If you are in an Arkansas car accident, Harris Law Firm is here to help you in any way you need. At Harris Law Firm, we have been helping Arkansans with their legal needs since 1981.
Our passion is helping our clients protect and enforce their rights in car accidents, personal injury cases, and family law. We have significant experience to draw from in all these legal areas.
With our experience working for you, you can rest easy knowing that you have skilled and passionate attorneys working on your behalf. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out our testimonials and case results pages to see how we help our clients.
If you need help understanding fault rules, filing insurance claims, or initiating a lawsuit after a car accident, call us today at 662-335-4171 for a free consultation or fill out the contact form on our webpage.