Auto Accident

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death After an Auto Accident?

by Mike Rainwater | February 2nd, 2017

In 2015, there were 32,000 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). After a car accident involving a death, a wrongful death claim can be made against the negligent party that caused the person’s death.

Wrongful Death Defined

Wrongful death occurs because of the negligence of others. When someone acts negligently, they fail to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or harm to others. A wrongful death in an auto accident can happen if, for example, a driver fails to stop at a red light and collides with another car or a driver drives the wrong way on a one-way street harming others. In these instances, the driver is not abiding by traffic laws, failing to use reasonable care while operating their vehicle.

Who Has the Right to File a Claim?

Not just any grieving party can file a wrongful death claim when a loved one dies – they must have a specific relationship to the deceased. Generally, those who can file a wrongful death claim in Arkansas include:

  • The survivng spouse,
  • The surviving children,
  • The surviving parents or siblings.

Be prepared to prove your relationship to the deceased with a wedding license, birth certificate or copy of the will, depending on your relationship.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

In an Arkansas wrongful death claim, the grieving family can seek compensation for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages and income
  • Emotional duress
  • Lost financial contributions
  • Loss of companionship

If you’ve lost a loved one in an auto accident due to the negligence of someone else, contact the Arkansas auto accident lawyers at Rainwater, Holt and Sexton for a free consultation.

The Tactical Reason to Call an Attorney

by Mike Rainwater | January 27th, 2017

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we know why it is vital for an accident victim to call an attorney after a serious car accident. First of all, there is a financial reason. According to available statistical data analyzed for insurance companies, on average, car accident victims get more money with an attorney than without. A practical reason is that the personal injury attorney takes care of the heavy lifting so that you can focus on how to get better. And, there’s also a tactical reason, which most accident victims aren’t aware of—the other party likely may already have a lawyer on their side.

Automobile insurance companies provide an attorney to represent their policyholder (and to protect the company’s profits) in the event of a personal injury lawsuit. That attorney is provided automatically, and done without additional charge to the at-fault driver. But, when you are the accident victim, don’t expect your insurance company to do the same. The insurance company for the accident victim has no skin in the game. Thus, your insurance company won’t be paying for an attorney to represent you—to protect your best interests. You’re on your own.

Make no bones about it—a personal injury claim is a fight, and most often, that fight will come down to who you have on your side. The driver who hit you may already have a legal team on their side. Why wouldn’t you do the same?

If you’ve been injured, call our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. Don’t go into the fight without help. Contact us today and get the full weight of our experience fighting for you.

Options for Recovering Lost Wages if you’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

by Mike Rainwater | January 27th, 2017

An injury from an auto accident can leave a victim unable to work, thus making it difficult to pay bills and support a family. If you were the victim of an accident at the fault of someone else, you have a right to be reimbursed for the income you lost while recovering. There are several options for recovering lost wages, but determining the right course of action is best done with the guidance of an auto accident lawyer.

Car Insurance May Cover Lost Wages

 Car insurance may be one viable option for recovering your lost wages. There are several types of coverage that can be used to collect lost wages.

  • If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, you could submit a lost wages claim through the at-fault driver’s liability bodily injury coverage.
  • If an uninsured driver injured you, you may be able to collect lost wages through your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage – if this is part of your insurance plan.
  • In Arkansas, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is optional, but if it is part of your plan, it will pay for your injuries and lost wages up to your policy’s limits.

Personal Injury Claim to Recover Lost Wages

If you find that your insurance policy or the driver’s car insurance policy are not adequate to recover your lost wages, you can consider filing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. Traditionally courts rule that victims are entitled to reimbursement for all the income they lost while treating and recovering.

Beyond lost wages, victims are also entitled to any compensation over and above lost income like compensation for sick and vacation days, bonuses and other perks of employment.

If you have been left with no way to recover lost wages due to an accident, consult the Arkansas auto accident lawyers at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton.

Options for Recovering Lost Wages if you’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

by Mike Rainwater | January 12th, 2017

An injury from an auto accident can leave a victim unable to work, thus making it difficult to pay bills and support a family. If you were the victim of an accident at the fault of someone else, you have a right to be reimbursed for the income you lost while recovering. There are several options for recovering lost wages, but determining the right course of action is best done with the guidance of an auto accident lawyer.

Car Insurance May Cover Lost Wages

 Car insurance may be one viable option for recovering your lost wages. There are several types of coverage that can be used to collect lost wages.

  • If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, you could submit a lost wages claim through the at-fault driver’s liability bodily injury coverage.
  • If an uninsured driver injured you, you may be able to collect lost wages through your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage – if this is part of your insurance plan.
  • In Arkansas, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is optional, but if it is part of your plan, it will pay for your injuries and lost wages up to your policy’s limits.

Personal Injury Claim to Recover Lost Wages

If you find that your insurance policy or the driver’s car insurance policy are not adequate to recover your lost wages, you can consider filing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. Traditionally courts rule that victims are entitled to reimbursement for all the income they lost while treating and recovering.

Beyond lost wages, victims are also entitled to any compensation over and above lost income like compensation for sick and vacation days, bonuses and other perks of employment.

If you have been left with no way to recover lost wages due to an accident, consult the Arkansas auto accident lawyers at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton.

The Dangers of Driving Fatigued

by Mike Rainwater | January 6th, 2017

Driving distracted or under the influence is one of the worst decisions you can ever make. You’re not only putting your own life at risk, you’re endangering the lives of everyone else in your car, as well as the other drivers on the road. Thousands of fatalities on our highways each year begin with someone fishing for their keys after a few drinks or sending a text when they should have their eyes on the road.

But driving intoxicated or distracted aren’t the only decisions that could end badly. According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, driving fatigued is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Their study found that getting behind the wheel sleep-deprived is the equivalent of driving after consuming 3-4 alcoholic beverages. What makes that statistic even scarier is the fact that more than 1/3 of all Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep every night, which means millions of us every day are driving impaired.

Thankfully, there’s an antidote. Get more sleep. And if you can’t, get another ride. Although at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our car accident attorneys are always ready to step in and help accident victims in Arkansas, we’d much rather you arrive safe to your destination. Don’t put your life and the lives of others at risk. If you shouldn’t be driving…don’t.

Debunking Five Common Car Accident Myths

by Richard Atkinson | December 26th, 2016

Car accidents are one of the most common types of accidents, costing the U.S. over $240 billion a year. Nearly 60,000 people in Arkansas alone were involved in automobile accidents in 2012, according to the Arkansas State Police and Highway Safety Office. In the event that you become involved in a car accident, make sure you know the truth behind five common myths.

  1. I don’t need to exchange information with other drivers

You always need to exchange information with other drivers. In Arkansas, you are required to provide the following information to other parties involved in the accident:

  • Name, address, contact details
  • Drivers license number
  • License plate number
  • Auto insurance information

In the case that you hit an unattended vehicle, you must make an effort to find the owner or driver. If you are unable to find them, you are required to leave a note on the car with contact information.

  1. I don’t need to file a police report

Not filing a police report could actually get you in hot water legally. In Arkansas, you must report a car accident if a vehicle involved incurred damage in excess of $1,000, or a driver, passenger or pedestrian suffered bodily injury or death. Reports must be made within 30 days of the incident.

  1. I don’t need to see a doctor

It is recommended to see a doctor whether you have no pain, mild pain or severe pain. It may take a few days to fully realize the injuries you’ve experienced from a car accident because adrenaline skyrockets following a traumatic event. It is advised that you seek medical attention as soon as possible and an official medical report. A medical report can be crucial later in determining compensation of which you may be entitled.

  1. I can rely on my insurer to take care of claim

 Insurance companies are businesses, too, and you should not think of them as necessarily being on your side. They are in the business of making money, so their interests are conflicted if an outcome might serve them better than it will serve you. You should be fully aware of what steps your insurance company is taking, have regular conversations with them and involve a lawyer if you feel you are not receiving a fair outcome.

  1. I don’t need a lawyer

You could potentially lose out on compensation you deserve by not discussing your accident with an attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer will be your greatest ally. Rainwater, Holt & Sexton are your Conway car accident attorneys. Always providing a free consultation, you won’t lose anything by discussing your situation with a Conway car accident attorney, but you could have everything to gain.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Call

by Richard Atkinson | December 16th, 2016

It’s easy to put things off, especially when you have the time to do so. Whether it’s getting your car tags renewed or fixing that dripping faucet in the bathroom, sometimes it’s tempting to place dreaded tasks on the back burner. However, there’s one task you should never put off: calling a lawyer after a serious accident.

The moment your accident occurred, a clock started ticking. It’s a countdown to the first financial hit coming your way as a result of your injuries. For most folks, that first hit is a missed paycheck. Then the first medical bill comes in, and there won’t be just one. Pretty soon, you find yourself in a financial quagmire that you can’t see a way out of.

That’s why it’s important that you call one of our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys as soon as possible following your accident. Calling quickly ensures our investigative team can collect important evidence and witness accounts that could be lost over time.  It also enables our legal team to go to work quickly to build a strong case for you. And most important, the sooner you call, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve for your accident.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Call our Arkansas car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We’re ready to help you get maximum compensation for your injury claim, so contact us immediately.

The Necessities for Accident Victims Haven’t Changed

by Cary Graham | November 28th, 2016

We talk a lot about getting our clients what they deserve from the insurance company. But what does that mean? The short answer: it’s always changing while staying the same. Confusing? Well, let’s clear it up.

We’ve been in this business for more than 30 years. During that time, the price of a loaf of bread has gone from $0.50 to more than $2.00. A pound of hamburger was $0.99 and is now well over $4.50. Just because the cost of these essentials has gone up doesn’t mean we no longer need them.

The same is true for accident victims. Every car accident victim in Alabama deserves medical treatment, reimbursement for lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. That hasn’t changed over the years. What has changed is the cost of each of those essentials. Whereas an accident victim may have deserved $50,000 for their injury claim 30 years ago, now they may deserve well over $1,000,000.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you deserve the same essentials the first accident victims we helped 30 years ago deserved, and we’ll fight to get you maximum compensation for each of those essentials. Contact our experienced car accident attorneys today for a free consultation, and we’ll start working on your behalf immediately.

Defective Takata Airbags Lead to Another Death

by Cary Graham | November 14th, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a government agency that works to keep Americans safe on our roads. More than a year ago, the NHTSA first warned consumers that their vehicles may contain defective Takata airbags that could explode upon inflation, seriously injuring passengers. It was estimated that more than 70 million vehicles may have had defective Takata airbags, 300,000 of which have yet to be repaired and/or accounted for.

Recently, the NHTSA confirmed the eleventh death linked to one of these defective airbags, reissuing their warning that any consumer with a vehicle on the following list should contact their dealership immediately for a no-cost repair and replacement.

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we join the NHTSA in encouraging you to have this repair done as soon as possible. We don’t want to hear of another death caused by defective Takata airbags.

And as always, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us for a free consultation. If we can help in your case, you won’t owe us anything unless we get money for you. That’s the No Fee Guarantee®.

Three Questions to Ask Before Signing with the Insurance Company

by Cary Graham | October 17th, 2016

Every accident victim who is injured in Arkansas naturally has a number of questions about what their next steps should be. Where you go to obtain answers to those questions can have a profound impact on the outcome of your injury claim. As personal injury lawyers that offer free consultations to every Arkansas accident victim, we recommend calling a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. However, we understand that some folks may be hesitant to get a lawyer involved and would rather see how things go with the insurance company first.

We would never advocate that you deal with the insurance company alone, but if you must, don’t sign anything until you’ve asked yourself three important questions:

  • Will the settlement offer from the insurance company be enough money to pay all my current and future medical expenses?
  • Will it fully compensate me for all the paychecks I’ve missed due to my injuries?
  • Does their offer take into account my pain and suffering or the strain put on my family?

If you can’t answer “yes” to all three of these questions, stop speaking with the insurance company immediately and give us a call. We’ll gladly evaluate the insurance company’s offer for free at absolutely no obligation to you. If we feel like it’s a sound offer, we’ll tell you. If not, we’ll be happy to take on your case to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries. Either way, it’s worth a call to find out.

Don’t try to go it alone after a serious accident. Call our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys today for your free consultation.

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