Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Rogers and All of Arkansas
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Oliver Law Firm in Rogers have built a reputation of excellence throughout Arkansas for helping injured motorcyclists recover the compensation they deserve after a crash.
Insurance companies are concerned about their bottom lines, not the recovery of injured motorcycle riders. Our seasoned legal team knows the tactics used by insurance companies to diminish claims and we know how to fight for every penny you deserve under the law.
If you were injured in a wreck because of someone else’s careless or reckless actions, contact Oliver Law Firm today online or at 479-202-5200 for a FREE case evaluation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. We proudly serve clients throughout Arkansas from our office in Rogers.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can be beneficial for several reasons. Here are some key reasons why it is advisable to seek legal representation after a motorcycle accident:
Motorcycle accident lawyers specialize in personal injury law and have a deep understanding of the legal framework surrounding motorcycle accidents in Arkansas. They are familiar with the applicable laws, regulations, and statutes that may affect your case. Their expertise allows them to navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected.
A skilled lawyer will evaluate the specific details of your case, including the cause of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the potential liability of the parties involved. This evaluation helps determine the strength of your case and the potential compensation to which you may be entitled. It provides a realistic understanding of your legal options and the potential outcomes.
Building a strong case requires thorough investigation and gathering of evidence. A motorcycle accident lawyer can gather crucial evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and other supporting documentation. They have the resources and knowledge to ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained and preserved, even if it requires consulting accident reconstruction experts or conducting an independent investigation.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether. Having a lawyer representing you means that you have a professional who understands the tactics insurance companies may use and can negotiate on your behalf. They can handle all communication with the insurance company and work toward securing a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Legal Representation and Advocacy
In the event that your case needs to go to court, a motorcycle accident lawyer will provide skilled representation and advocacy on your behalf. They will prepare your case, present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and use their legal knowledge to present a compelling case to the court. This can be especially valuable if your case becomes complex or if the other party disputes liability.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will work diligently to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. They will assess all the damages you have suffered, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. With their experience, they can accurately calculate the value of your claim and ensure that you are not settling for less than you deserve.
Motorcycle Laws in Arkansas
Motorcyclists must adhere to the rules of the road. In Arkansas, motorcyclists are subject to the following laws:
- Helmet Law: Arkansas requires all motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 21 to wear helmets that meet the standards set by the state’s Department of Health. Riders and passengers over the age of 21 are not required to wear helmets but must wear protective goggles, glasses, or transparent face shields (see Ark. Code § 27-20-104).
- License Requirement: Arkansas offers two types of motorcycle license endorsements: Class MD (for riders aged 14-15, limiting them to motor-driven cycles and bicycles) and Class M (for riders aged 16 and older, allowing them to operate motorcycles on the road). Class M endorsements require a vision test and a written exam followed by an on-bike skills test or completion of a certified motorcycle training course.
- Motorcycle Equipment: Motorcycles in Arkansas must be equipped with certain equipment, including working headlights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals, hand or foot brakes, rearview mirrors, a horn, and a muffler in good working condition.
- Lane Splitting: Lane splitting, the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, is not specifically addressed in Arkansas law. However, it is generally not advisable. California is currently the only state that explicitly permits lane splitting.
- Passenger Restrictions: Motorcycles in Arkansas must be equipped with seats and footrests for passengers if the operator intends to carry passengers. Passengers must be at least 8 years old (see Ark. Code § 27-20-118) and ride behind the operator, straddling the seat with their feet on the footrests. Motorcycle riders under the age of 16 may not carry any passengers (see Ark. Code § 27-20-110).
- Insurance Requirements: All motor vehicles, including motorcycles, must be covered by liability insurance in Arkansas. The minimum liability coverage required for motorcycles is the same as for other vehicles, which is $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage (see Ark. Code § 27-22-104).
Does Wearing a Helmet (Or Not) Affect a Personal Injury Claim?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, it may impact your personal injury claim. The other party involved in the accident – or their insurance company – may argue that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries or exacerbated them. They might claim that your actions were negligent or that you were not taking proper precautions for your own safety.
Arkansas follows a modified comparative fault rule when it comes to personal injury cases (see Ark. Code § 16-64-122). This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. The modified comparative fault rule applies when an accident victim is found to be 49 percent or less at fault for the crash. If your failure to wear a helmet is deemed to be a contributing factor to your injuries, it could potentially affect the amount of compensation you receive.
Due to the unique nature of every motorcycle crash, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Arkansas. An attorney can investigate the facts in your case and develop a customized legal strategy to protect your rights and best interests.
How Long Do I Have to Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including those related to motorcycle accidents, is generally three years (see Ark. Code § 16-56-105). The statute of limitations for wrongful death is also typically three years (see Ark. Code § 16-62-102). This means that you typically have three years from the date of the accident to initiate legal proceedings by filing a lawsuit.
Failing to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations may result in your case being dismissed by the court, barring you from seeking compensation through a legal claim. Therefore, it’s crucial to discuss your case with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer promptly if you intend to pursue compensation for a crash.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are several common causes of motorcycle accidents that can result in injuries or fatalities. Some of these causes include:
- Distracted driving: Motorists who are distracted by their phones, passengers, or other activities may fail to notice motorcycles on the road, leading to accidents.
- Lane splitting: Lane splitting refers to when motorcycles ride between lanes of slow or stopped traffic. This maneuver can be dangerous if not done safely, as it increases the risk of collisions with other vehicles.
- Failure to yield: When drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcycles at intersections, while changing lanes, or when merging, it can result in accidents.
- Impaired driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment, reaction time, and coordination, increasing the likelihood of accidents involving motorcycles.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions, making it more difficult to avoid collisions with motorcycles.
- Unsafe lane changes: When drivers fail to check their blind spots or use their turn signals properly, they may collide with motorcycles while changing lanes.
- Road hazards: Motorcycles are more vulnerable to road hazards such as potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, or slippery conditions. These hazards can lead to loss of control and accidents.
- Inexperienced riders: Lack of experience or inadequate motorcycle training can contribute to accidents, as riders may not have the necessary skills to handle certain situations on the road.
- Vehicle defects: Mechanical failures or defects in motorcycles, such as faulty brakes, tires, or lights, can lead to accidents.
- Driver negligence: Negligent actions by drivers, such as aggressive driving, tailgating, or disregarding traffic laws, can pose significant risks to motorcyclists.
These are just a few examples of common causes of motorcycle accidents. It’s important for both motorists and motorcyclists to exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings, and follow traffic laws to help prevent accidents and ensure road safety.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, it’s important to prioritize your safety and take the following steps:
Seek Medical Attention
If you or anyone involved in the accident has sustained injuries, immediately call for medical help or go to the nearest hospital. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s still important to get a medical evaluation, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
Report the accident to the appropriate law enforcement agency, such as the local police or Arkansas State Police. They will create an official report documenting the details of the accident.
Document the Scene
If it is safe to do so, gather evidence from the accident scene. Take photos or videos of the vehicles involved, the damage sustained, skid marks, road conditions, and any other relevant details. This documentation can be valuable when filing an insurance claim or pursuing a legal case.
Obtain contact, insurance, and driver’s license information from all parties involved in the accident. This includes names, phone numbers, addresses, and license plate numbers. Gather contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
Notify your Insurance Company
Promptly report the accident to your insurance company, providing them with accurate details of the incident. Cooperate fully with their investigation and provide them with any documentation they may require.
Call the Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Oliver Law Firm
It is in your best interest to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents. They can provide legal guidance, evaluate your case, and help protect your rights. An attorney can assist with gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and pursuing a legal claim if necessary.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Arkansas
There has been a 23% increase in the number of motorcycle riders who lost their lives in accidents over the past years, with a significant 51% surge between 2019 and 2021 alone.
Based on information provided by Arkansas State Police and the Department of Public Safety, 85 individuals lost their lives in motorcycle crashes in Arkansas last year. This figure represents an increase from the previous year’s toll of 79 deaths, which itself was higher than the 56 fatalities recorded in 2019.
The rise in fatalities can be attributed to a broader increase in speeding and reckless driving on Arkansas’ roads since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the trend of motorcyclists riding at higher speeds predates the pandemic. Unfortunately, motorcyclists, who have less protection compared to car occupants, bear the brunt of the rise in reckless driving incidents, even if they are adhering to traffic laws. In the event of a collision, riders are simply less likely to survive than someone in a car.
Nationally, states with warmer climates like Arkansas, Texas, and Mississippi consistently rank high in terms of rider fatalities. In 2020, the nationwide fatality rate was 6.7 deaths per 10,000 motorcycles, whereas Arkansas recorded a rate of 11 deaths per 10,000 motorcycles, placing it close to Texas and Mississippi, which had 12 deaths per 10,000 motorcycles.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Determining potential compensation for a motorcycle crash in Arkansas can be complex and depends on various factors such as the extent of injuries, financial losses, and the circumstances of the accident. Compensation in personal injury cases typically aims to cover both economic and non-economic damages. Here are some potential components of compensation that may apply:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation may cover medical bills, hospitalization costs, rehabilitation expenses, prescription medications, and future medical treatment related to the accident.
- Lost Wages: If the accident results in the victim’s inability to work, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes both current and future income that could be affected by the injuries.
- Property Damage: If the motorcycle is damaged or destroyed in the accident, compensation may be provided for repair or replacement costs.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life may be considered when calculating compensation.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases where the accident causes the victim to lose the ability to have a normal marital relationship, the spouse may be entitled to compensation for the loss of consortium.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases involving particularly egregious behavior or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded as a way to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future (see Ark. Code § 16-55-206).
- Law Firm You Hire: If you hire a law firm with the ability to take your case to trial and seek a verdict, then your case is worth substantially more, an unbelievable amount more. If you hire a law firm that does not have this trial skill set or reputation then your case is worth substantially less.
It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the potential compensation can vary significantly. It is generally in your best interest to speak with an Arkansas motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can evaluate the specific details of the case, consider applicable laws, and provide a more accurate assessment of potential compensation.
Contact an Arkansas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one motorcycle crash, the Arkansas motorcycle accident lawyers at Oliver Law Firm can help. We have extensive experience helping the wrongfully injured in Arkansas pursue the full and fair compensation to which they are entitled under the law. Contact Oliver Law Firm today online or at 479-202-5200 for FREE case evaluation. Conveniently located in Rogers, we proudly serve all communities in Arkansas.
How To Report a Motorcycle Accident in Arkansas
In Arkansas, the law requires drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident to report the crash to law enforcement if it results in:
- Injury: If anyone involved in the accident sustains injuries, the accident must be reported to the local police or law enforcement agency. This includes injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists.
- Death: If the accident leads to a fatality, it must be reported to the appropriate authorities.
- Property Damage: If the accident causes property damage that is estimated to be more than $1,000, it needs to be reported.
When reporting an accident in Arkansas, you should:
- Immediately notify the local law enforcement agency or the nearest Arkansas State Police office.
- Provide accurate and complete information about the accident, including the location, the vehicles involved, the names of drivers, any injuries, and the extent of property damage.
- Remain at the scene of the accident until you are cleared to leave by the responding law enforcement officer.
How To Protect Your Rights & Best Interests After a Motorcycle Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle crash, the steps you take at the accident scene can have a significant impact on your future. Here are some steps to consider:
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health is a top priority. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, it’s crucial to get medical attention as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Notify Authorities: Report the accident to the police. This creates an official record of the incident, which could be valuable later.
- Gather Information: Collect relevant information from all parties involved, including names, contact details, license plate numbers, insurance information, and any witnesses. If possible, take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company, but be cautious about providing too much information. Stick to the facts and avoid discussing fault until you’ve consulted with an attorney.
- Preserve Evidence: If you have any physical evidence such as damaged clothing, the motorcycle itself, or any other items related to the accident, make sure to preserve them as they might be important later.
- Document Your Injuries: Keep a record of your injuries, medical treatments, and related expenses. This documentation can be helpful when seeking compensation.
- Avoid Quick Settlements: Don’t rush into accepting a settlement offer from the other party’s insurance company. These offers may not adequately cover your medical expenses and other damages.
- Consult an Attorney: It’s generally a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents. They can guide you through the legal process, help assess the value of your claim, and advocate on your behalf.
How To Choose a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Choosing the right motorcycle accident lawyer is crucial to effectively handle your case and protect your interests. Here are some steps to help you choose a qualified and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer:
- Research attorneys in your area who specialize in motorcycle accident law.
- Check credentials and experience.
- Read reviews and testimonials.
- Arrange consultations with potential lawyers.
- Ask about previous cases.
- Pay attention to how well the attorney communicates and whether they listen to your concerns.
- Discuss the lawyer’s fees and payment structure during the consultation.
- Trust your instincts. Choose an attorney you feel comfortable with and who you believe will advocate for your best interests.
- Research the lawyer’s disciplinary history through Arkansas’ Office of the Committee on Professional Conduct
- Compare multiple options
How To Determine Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Negligence in a motorcycle accident case is determined through a legal process that involves assessing the actions and responsibilities of the parties involved in the accident. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would in similar circumstances, resulting in harm or damage to another person. To establish negligence in a motorcycle accident case, the following elements generally need to be proven:
- Duty of Care: You must first establish that the other driver owed you a duty of care. This duty typically involves following traffic laws, adhering to safety regulations, and driving in a safe manner.
- Breach of Duty: It must be demonstrated that the other driver breached their duty of care. This means they failed to act as a reasonable and prudent person would have in similar circumstances.
- Causation: You must then prove that the other driver’s breach of duty directly caused or contributed to the accident.
- Proximate Cause: This element establishes that the harm or damages you suffered sustained were a consequence of the other driver’s negligence.
- Damages: Finally, you must demonstrate that you suffered actual harm or damages as a result of the accident.
How To Respond if You Are Blamed for the Motorcycle Accident
If you’re being blamed for a motorcycle accident, it’s important to handle the situation carefully to protect your rights and ensure a fair outcome. Here’s what you can consider doing:
- Stay Calm and Cooperative: Remain composed and polite at the accident scene. Avoid getting into arguments or admitting fault, even if you’re feeling pressured. Stick to the facts when speaking with the other parties involved and any authorities present.
- Don’t Admit Fault: Avoid making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault. Even a simple apology could be used against you later. Instead, focus on obtaining and sharing accurate information about the accident.
- Contact an Attorney: If you’re being blamed for the accident, it’s wise to consult with a personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents. They can provide legal advice tailored to your situation and help protect your rights.
- Avoid Discussing the Accident Publicly: Refrain from discussing the accident on social media or with anyone other than your attorney and immediate family. Anything you say could be used against you.
- Stay Informed about Your Rights: Learn about your rights and responsibilities in your jurisdiction. Laws can vary, so understanding the legal framework can help you make informed decisions.
- Prepare for Legal Proceedings: If the situation escalates and legal action is taken against you, your attorney will guide you through the process, including gathering evidence, building a defense, and representing your interests.
What To Do if You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet at the Time of the Motorcycle Accident
If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident, it is crucial to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case and determine your legal options.
In Arkansas, motorcycle riders and their passengers who are over the age of 21 are not legally required to wear helmets; however, if you were not wearing a helmet and were involved in a motorcycle accident, it could potentially impact your personal injury claim.
The party responsible for the accident or their insurance provider might assert that your decision to not wear a helmet contributed to the extent of your injuries. As a result, they could seek to lessen or reject the compensation you are entitled to. In Arkansas, a modified comparative negligence system is followed. This implies that even if you hold some responsibility for the accident, you can still recover damages, as long as your accountability does not exceed 49%.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Motorcycle Accident?
There is no fixed timetable for healing from injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents. For example, road rash, a frequent motorcycle accident injury, usually improves within a few weeks. On the other hand, recuperation from a fractured bone can range from 6 weeks to 5 months, influenced by factors such as fracture location, break severity, and applied stress.
Numerous factors play a role in determining the duration and feasibility of recovery:
- The nature of your injuries
- The severity of your injuries
- The promptness of medical attention you receive
- The effectiveness of the chosen treatment methods
- Your health and lifestyle before the accident
- Your commitment to adhering to medical advice and rehabilitation routines
Unfortunately, certain common injuries stemming from motorcycle accidents, like brain or spinal cord damage, might result in permanent impairment.
When Oliver Law Firm goes to work for you, we apply every resource and every team member to your case. We form relationships with our clients and often become extended members of the family. Our passion is helping people, to be a voice for the voiceless, a champion for justice, and a protector of your rights. We are not afraid to get our hands and our feet dirty in order to win a desirable outcome.