Fayetteville, AR – Two residents of the Fayetteville area died during a motor vehicle incident with another driver [1].

Two local residents die in motor vehicle collision

A tragic two-vehicle crash in Fayetteville, Arkansas has claimed the lives of two local residents, as reported in a news article by KTLO. The incident occurred on July 6, 2023, leaving the community devastated by the loss of these individuals.

According to the article, the collision involved two vehicles, although specific details about the circumstances leading up to the crash remain limited. The identities of the victims have not been disclosed, pending notification of their families. The local authorities, including the Cotter Police Department, are conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

The accident has sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community of Cotter, where the victims were known and cherished by many. The loss of two residents has left a void in the hearts of their friends, families, and neighbors.

Local law enforcement officials have urged residents to exercise caution while driving and to adhere to traffic regulations in an effort to prevent further tragedies. The incident serves as a somber reminder of the importance of responsible driving and the potential consequences of even a momentary lapse in attention.

As the investigation progresses, more information may become available regarding the circumstances surrounding the crash. The community will come together to mourn the loss of their fellow residents and offer support to the grieving families during this difficult time.

Civil Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents and Wrongful Death Lawsuits under Arkansas Law

Motor vehicle accidents in Arkansas can result in devastating consequences, including serious injuries and loss of life. In Arkansas, like in many other states, individuals who suffer harm due to the negligent or reckless actions of another driver may pursue civil liability claims to seek compensation for their damages. Additionally, when a motor vehicle accident results in a wrongful death, Arkansas law provides a legal avenue for surviving family members to file wrongful death lawsuits. This article will explore the civil liability framework for motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death lawsuits under Arkansas law.

  • Negligence and Fault:

Under Arkansas law, motor vehicle accident cases are typically governed by the principles of negligence. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person. To establish a claim based on negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements:

  1. a) Duty of Care: The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In motor vehicle accidents, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and follow traffic laws.
  2. b) Breach of Duty: The defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently or failing to act when they had a duty to do so. This could include actions such as speeding, distracted driving, or running a red light.
  3. c) Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries or damages. It must be shown that the accident would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s negligence.
  4. d) Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual damages as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Comparative Fault:

Arkansas follows a modified comparative fault rule in motor vehicle accident cases. This means that if the plaintiff is found partially at fault for the accident, their recovery may be reduced proportionately to their degree of fault. However, if the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault, they may be barred from recovering any damages.

For example, if the court determines that the plaintiff’s damages amount to $100,000 and the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault, their recovery will be reduced by 20% to $80,000.

  • Wrongful Death Lawsuits:

When a motor vehicle accident results in the death of an individual, Arkansas law allows surviving family members to file wrongful death lawsuits against the party at fault. Wrongful death claims aim to provide compensation for the losses suffered by the surviving family members as a result of their loved one’s death.

Under Arkansas Code section 16-62-102, the following individuals may file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  1. a) Spouse: The deceased person’s spouse has the primary right to file a wrongful death claim.
  2. b) Children: If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased person’s children may file a claim.
  3. c) Parents: If there are no surviving spouse or children, the deceased person’s parents may file a claim.
  4. d) Representative of the Estate: If there are no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Damages in Wrongful Death Cases:

In wrongful death cases, damages may be awarded to compensate for various losses, including:

  1. a) Economic Damages: These may include funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses related to the deceased person’s final injury or illness, loss of income and financial support the deceased person would have provided to their family, and the value of household services the deceased person would have performed.
  2. b) Non-economic Damages: These encompass intangible losses, such as the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person before their death, the loss of companionship, guidance, and emotional support for the surviving family members.
  • Statute of Limitations:

It is crucial to note that there are time limits, known as statutes of limitations, within which motor vehicle accident and wrongful death lawsuits must be filed in Arkansas. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle accidents is three years from the date of the accident. For wrongful death lawsuits, the statute of limitations is also three years but starts from the date of the individual’s death.

Conclusion:

Under Arkansas law, individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents have the right to pursue civil liability claims against the at-fault party. Additionally, surviving family members may file wrongful death lawsuits when a motor vehicle accident results in a loved one’s death. Understanding the principles of negligence, comparative fault, and the damages available is essential for anyone navigating the legal process in Arkansas. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and increase the chances of obtaining fair compensation for the damages suffered.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.ktlo.com/2023/07/06/2-cotter-residents-killed-in-2-vehicle-crash/