Little Rock Auto Accident Attorneys
It is unfortunate that auto accidents are common in Arkansas. When accidents happen, the Law Office of Thomas Buchanan is here to help. Our job is to hold the wrong doers accountable in the event of serious injury auto accidents. Our goal is to maximize your recovery amount so you can be as close as possible to the condition you were in before the accident.
Automobile accidents involving cars at nearly any speed have the potential to impart serious personal injury to the victims involved. These accidents can occur at any place, at any time — in nearly all cases they take the victim by complete surprise. When the negligent conduct of another driver is the causation of the accident, then coping with what happened can be all the more difficult. Oftentimes people don’t know where to turn or who to contact for help. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident, the Little Rock, AR personal injury lawyers here at the Law Office of Thomas G. Buchanan can help. Our professional accident attorneys have an extensive track record of successful recoveries in these types of accidents due to their aggressive, no-nonsense approach to litigation.
Statistics and Injuries
Statewide in 2008, the Arkansas state police reported 62,808 automobile accidents on all public roads. While this number was down slightly (0.5%) from the previous year, it still amounted to 7 accidents every hour. Of these accidents, 529 were fatal with 256 fatal accidents stemming from alcohol and drug use.
Automobile accidents in Arkansas are a serious problem that can leave victims with injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Our elite Little Rock automobile accident attorneys have sought successful recoveries for victims who incurred some of the following injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Traumatic Amputations
- Wrongful Death
Of all the possible causes for auto accidents, distracted driving remains one of the top contributors according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Simply stated, if a driver is focusing on another task they lose the ability to track what is going on in their surroundings — the end result of which is a car accident imparting serious personal injury to those they share the road with. Other forms of negligent driving that lead to Little Rock auto accidents are:
- Excessive Speed
- Ignoring Signs / Signals
- Drunk Driving
- Tired Driving
Arkansas Injury and Accident Statistics/Data (Graphics)
On all public roads in Arkansas during 2012 there were:
- 58,591 total crashes reported
- 0.8% decrease from 2011 504 fatal crashes reported
- 1.0% decrease from 2011 560 fatalities reported
- 1.6% increase from 2011 252 alcohol/drug related fatalities
- 9% increase from 2011 33.5 billion vehicle miles traveled
- 1.8% increase from 2011
Graphics and Visualizations Illustrating Arkansas Fatal Crashes and Rates
This graph provides an easy to understand visualization of all the Arkansas state-wide automobile accidents that resulted in fatalities, and the exact number of these fatal auto accidents that caused a fatality in Arkansas for each specific year ranging from 2003 to 2012.
Here is the cooresponding graphic that illustrates the state of Arkansas fatality rate compared to the United States fatality rate, were fatalty rate is (Fatalities Per 100 MVM*)
* Million vehicle miles
Auto Accident Causes
Automobile accidents cause thousands of families in Arkansas and other states untold misery and financial losses every few minutes. In Little Rock, attorney Thomas Buchanan has served clients aggressively and with care to see that they obtain their fair compensation for personal injuries and property damage from automobile accidents. Vehicle crashes that happen in urban areas usually involve property damage and lesser injuries than those that occur at high speeds on rural highways, but each accident is costly in many ways.
In most automobile accidents around the country, the common causes of vehicle crashes are similar. These same few factors appear at the top of the list:
- Driver distractions
- Defective equipment
There are many more causes of automobile accidents, but these few are the most common. When several factors are combined, such as youth, inexperience, alcohol and speed, the combination can be deadly. More fatal auto accidents happen on straight, dry highways at high speeds during daylight hours and involve rollover crashes.
What to Do After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a frightening experience. You suffer property damage, personal injury, and perhaps even harm someone else. Knowing what to do after a car accident ahead of time can help you feel more confident and prepared if tragedy strikes.
Check for Injuries
First, take a deep breath and remain calm. You aren’t the first person who’s been involved in a car accident, and you won’t be the last. Check yourself for injuries. If you feel pain in your neck or back, do not move. Wait for an ambulance and health care professionals unless you are in immediate danger by staying in your vehicle. Moving a spinal cord injury can exacerbate the damages. If you aren’t injured, get out of your car and ask if anyone else involved in the accident is hurt. Call an ambulance if someone is injured.
Move Disabled Vehicles
If possible, move the disabled vehicles to the side of the road, out of traffic. Leaving disabled vehicles in the roadway can cause further accidents. Turn on your car’s hazard lights to warn other drivers of your presence on the road. Use flares, warning triangles, or traffic cones for safety if you have them.
Call the Police
Even if the accident is minor with seemingly no injuries, call the police and report the accident. Stay on the scene until authorities arrive. Do not admit fault. The police will investigate the crash and write up an accident report detailing what happened. They may interview eyewitnesses, and they will record your information and the other driver’s. The police will call the proper services to pick up the disabled vehicles. Obtain a copy of the police report so you have it for future reference.
Gather important facts and information so you can provide the insurance companies with a detailed account of your accident. This also serves as proof if you file a personal injury lawsuit. Write down the other driver’s information, such as his or her full name, phone number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. Take photos of the accident if possible. Write down the name of the police officer who wrote the report as well as the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses on the scene.
Call Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the crash, and tell the agent the pertinent details. If the other driver was at fault, his or her insurance company may call you a few days after the accident and try to work out a settlement. Speak with an attorney before accepting any settlements from an insurance agent.
Visit the Hospital
Visit a doctor. Many car accident injuries do not surface until later, such as slipped discs in the spinal cord. Get a full examination by a health care professional, and notify the doctor that you were in a car accident. If you feel any aches and pains that were not there before, inform your doctor. Keep copies of your examination records and any other important medical records, including the doctor’s treatment plan for you (if applicable).
Contact an Attorney
If driver inattention, poor roadway conditions, a malfunctioning traffic light, or a defective vehicle part caused your accident, contact an attorney right away. A personal injury attorney will investigate the accident, identify who was at fault—be it the other driver, the city maintenance crew, or a vehicle manufacturer—and file a claim on your behalf. An attorney will also take over communications with your insurance company. When you let an experienced lawyer take over your case, you can relax and focus on recovering.
What NOT to Do After a Car Accident
Knowing what not to do after a car accident is equally as important as knowing what to do. Many drivers involved in automobile accidents make common mistakes that can worsen injuries, hurt their chances of pursuing compensation, and even break the law.
Flee the Scene
You were in an accident, and you know you are at fault. You damaged someone else’s property and perhaps even caused an injury. It is understandable to be fearful of the repercussions of an at-fault accident, but fleeing the scene only makes matters worse. The police can most likely track down your vehicle and charge you with a hit-and-run, which is a misdemeanor or felony. The punishment for a hit-and-run is much worse than the consequences of causing an accident.
It may be tempting to apologize to the other person and say, “It was all my fault.” However, this immediately harms your chances of pursuing compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. It can also leave you with unjust liabilities and charges. You may think an accident was your fault—say you were texting and driving—but the other driver may be equally at fault. The other driver might have made an illegal left-hand turn in front of your vehicle. A third variable may be to blame, such as a faulty part in your vehicle or an icy parking lot. Be polite, but do not admit fault.
Fail to Help the Injured
You may have been told not to help anyone injured in an accident—you might exacerbate the person’s injuries, and you can be sued as a result. While this is true to an extent, do not let your fear of getting sued stop you from providing reasonable care to someone injured in an accident. If the other people involved in the accident are out of harm’s way and can wait for an ambulance, let them wait. However, if they are in immediate danger, such as their car is at risk of catching fire, do what you can to provide emergency assistance. Arkansas and many other states have a Good Samaritan Law that protects you in these situations.
Decide Not to Call the Police
In a minor accident, it can be easy to think you do not have to notify the police. No one sustained injuries, and you may have worked out an agreement with the other driver without involving the authorities. Or you may simply want to avoid getting a ticket. Regardless of the reason, failure to call the police after any accident can be a costly mistake. The police will file an official report of the accident, detailing what happened and other important information. Without an official report, you have no evidence of the facts of the case. The other driver might even try to sue you.
Forget to Document the Crash
Proper documentation of the crash is key to protecting yourself in the future. If you do not record what happened with photographs and vital information, the facts could get blurred over time. Take photos of any property damage and injuries, if possible. Record the other driver’s information, including license plate and insurance numbers. Obtain a copy of the police report. Take down the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses.
Neglect to Call an Attorney
After you receive medical attention for any injuries, your next stop should be your local attorney’s office. Most law offices offer free consultations to discuss your case, so you have nothing to lose. An attorney can investigate the accident and tell you if you have a case against another party.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
The aftermath of a car accident extends well beyond getting your vehicle fixed. Some common types of personal injury lawsuits involve legal issues stemming from motor vehicle accidents. When a car collides with another vehicle, an object, or a pedestrian, local and state laws come into play. You need to partner with an Arkansas car accident attorney to navigate these complex regulations.
Contesting Fault for the Accident
If you believe there will be a disagreement between you and the other driver about who is at fault, call an attorney. You must prove the other driver was at fault for the car accident. Otherwise, you cannot recover anything for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, or medical bills. Do not try to prove fault on your own—there is too much at stake. You need the help of an attorney who can hire a team of investigators to look into the accident. They can gain access to security and highway footage, interview witnesses, and employ necessary specialists to prove you were not at fault.
Arkansas abides by “comparative fault” rules in an accident, which means the jury can assign portions of blame to both parties. For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney and see your chances of obtaining compensation, even if you believe you were somewhat at fault for the accident. If the jury finds you less than 50% responsible for the accident, you will receive some kind of recovery for your damages. For example, if the total award is $10,000 but the jury finds you 20% at fault, you still receive $8,000.
Regardless of who you think was at fault, contact an attorney to find out for sure. Most personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations.
Recovering the Compensation You Deserve
If your property damages exceed an amount you feel comfortable settling on your own, such as $10,000, give the responsibility to a lawyer. The other driver’s insurance company will offer you a settlement, but this amount is typically less than what you can win in a personal injury claim. It is the insurance agent’s job to get you to settle for the least amount of money possible. An attorney works for you and you alone and has your best interest in mind.
Serious injuries also deserve the attention of an experienced lawyer. If you suffered a broken bone, neck or back injury, or a permanent injury that will affect you for the rest of your life, you should pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Your future is at stake, and the other party will likely resist the claim.
Filing a claim is your only chance to receive full compensation for your injuries. This includes your past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the costs of any special medical equipment or provisions you need due to a disability. It also reimburses lost wages due to missed work and lost earning capacity if you cannot return to your job.
Enjoying Peace of Mind
One of the most compelling reasons to call a personal injury attorney has nothing to do with obtaining compensation—it has to do with peace of mind. A car accident is incredibly stressful. Add a traumatic injury on top of that, and it can be overwhelming. When you put your case in the hands of an expert attorney, you can rest assured that your best interests will be served. Your attorney will handle complicated matters on your behalf so you can focus on healing.
Know When to Talk
After your accident, you will likely be contacted by the other party’s insurance company. It is imperative that you respectfully decline to speak to them without an experienced auto accident attorney present. Disclosing any information to the other insurance company about your accident may end up costing you the compensation you are entitled to. These insurance representatives or agents will call or write to you under the guise of either wanting additional information or wanting to hear your side of the story. This is a ruse to get you to incriminate yourself so that they can undermine your case in court. Our seasoned personal injury attorneys know all the tricks they will employ and will relentlessly pursue the compensation you are entitled to. Talk to us before you talk to them.
Courageous Litigation for Maximized Recoveries
Over the past decade ourtop law firmhas helped victims seek recoveries for burn injury accidents. Our law firm regularly accepts tough, challenging, and high-stakes cases that others simply turn down or shy away from. In our time serving the greater Arkansas area, the experienced Little Rock burn injury attorneys at the Law Office of Thomas G. Buchanan have consistently averaged a recovery figure of over half a million dollars. This fact alone helps illustrate the tenacity and integrity that our burn injury attorneys carry with them into the courtroom — for every client, every day.
Serious car injuries demand serious litigation. The pain and suffering after one of these injuries can last a lifetime; victims will need a total compensation figure that will continue to provide for them, long after their accident took place. Contact the experienced Little Rock car accident attorneys at our law firm today. With our unparalleled legal expertise we can help you towards a maximum recovery for your injury or loss. Our law office can be reached at 501.296.9820. Alternatively, you can contact us via e-mail and we will respond in a timely manner.
Don’t let this injury dictate how you live your life; our courageous, caring, and committed attorneys are here for you during this difficult time. Please call or contact us today.