What Are the Car Accident Laws in Arkansas?

If you have been injured in an auto wreck in Rogers, it is important to know about the car accident laws in Arkansas. It is also important to know about the laws that can restrict your ability to recover just compensation. While you don’t need to become a legal expert, learning the basics will help you make informed decisions throughout the recovery process.

With this in mind, here is an overview of the car accident laws in Arkansas: 

Auto Insurance Requirements 

In most cases, recovering just compensation after a car accident involves filing an auto insurance claim. Fortunately, Arkansas law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance. This is the type of insurance that covers victims’ losses when the insured driver is at fault in a collision. Under Arkansas law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum of:

  • $25,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance
  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance per accident 

Along with PDL and BIL insurance, Arkansas also requires uninsured/underinsured (UIM) and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. These are policies that protect the policyholder (and the policyholder’s family members) in the event of a crash.

The Law of Negligence 

Most car accident cases in Arkansas are governed by the law of negligence. In most cases, to file a successful claim after a car accident, you must be able to prove that someone else’s negligence was responsible for the collision.

Negligence can take many different forms. Under Arkansas law, all drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care. If a driver causes an accident as a result of failing to exercise reasonable care, the driver can—and should—be held accountable. Some common examples of driver negligence include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving 
  • Impaired driving (drugs or alcohol)
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating 

While most car accident claims are governed by the law of negligence, some are governed by the law of strict liability. Arkansas law holds vehicle manufacturers and other companies strictly liable for selling dangerous vehicles (and vehicle components). When strict liability applies, proof of negligence is not required.

Modified Comparative Fault (or Modified Comparative Negligence)

When two or more drivers share responsibility for causing a car accident, Arkansas’s law of modified comparative fault comes into play (see Ark. Code § 16-64-122). Under this law, car accident victims can recover just compensation as long as they are less than 50% responsible for causing their own injuries.

If a car accident victim is less than 50% at fault (but more than 0% at fault), then the amount he or she can recover is reduced in proportion to his or her percentage of liability. For example, if a car accident victim’s losses are $100,000 and the victim is deemed 20% at fault, then he or she would be entitled to recover 80%, or $80,000.

Statute of Limitations 

The statute of limitations places a deadline on filing a lawsuit after a car accident in Arkansas. If you miss this deadline—even by a day—you won’t be able to recover just compensation. As a result, making sure you file before the statute of limitations expires is extremely important. 

In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years (See Arkansas Code § 16-56-105). In nearly all cases, this “limitations period” runs from the date of the accident. So, for example, if you were injured in a car accident on January 1, 2024, you would need to file your claim by December 31, 2026.

Importantly, the statute of limitations applies to filing a lawsuit—not filing an insurance claim. In other words, filing an insurance claim does not preserve your legal rights. So, if you are dealing with the insurance companies and you don’t file a lawsuit in court before the statute of limitations expires, the insurance companies may be justified in denying payment of just compensation.

Rideshare Laws in Arkansas

Arkansas’s rideshare laws are increasingly playing an important role in car accident cases. As we continue to see more Uber and Lyft drivers on our roads, rideshare accidents are becoming increasingly common.

Under Arkansas law, rideshares are subject to enhanced insurance requirements. When Uber and Lyft drivers are providing “prearranged rides,” they must carry $1 million in BIL and PDL coverage. If an Uber or Lyft driver doesn’t have this insurance, then the rideshare company must provide this same amount of coverage.

Call an Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer for FREE 

Oliver Law Firm represents car accident victims and their families statewide. We know the hardships faced by accident victims and we fight diligently to help our clients recover the maximum compensation to which they may be entitled under the law. If you were hurt because of someone else’s reckless or careless behavior, call us now.

Contact Oliver Law Firm today online or at 479-202-5200 for a FREE case review. We welcome clients from across Arkansas and all of the United States from our office in Rogers, AR.