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Who Is Responsible for Truck Accidents in Arkansas?

NST Law and its personal injury attorneys hold independent contractors and trucking companies liable for the truck accidents they are responsible for in Arkansas. Fault in a truck crash does not only turn on the evidence from the accident scene. It also depends on contracts among the driver, relevant trucking agencies, and their corporate clients. Contact NST Law to get legal support for truck accidents in Arkansas that have caused you harm.

Truck accidents in Arkansas put private motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and related parties at risk on Arkansas’s most dangerous highways. If a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, becomes distracted, or violates the laws of the road, the resulting accident can leave you with severe losses. Dealing with medical bills, property repairs, and lost wages can make you uncomfortable financially, especially if you’re still dealing with severe injuries.

At NST Law, we are known as “Champions For The Injured” and are here to help you after a crash. Contact our Little Rock truck accident attorneys, who can advocate for your right to accident compensation in civil court. Together, we can investigate trucking company liability, collect evidence of roadway negligence, and ensure you get the financial support to restore your pre-accident quality of life.

Who is responsible for truck accidents in Arkansas?

Determining liability after a truck accident can prove challenging. That’s because there’s often a lack of evidence, and truck drivers’ contracts assigning responsibility for accidents are usually complicated. Fortunately, experienced attorneys can help you navigate the legal complications and determine who to seek compensation from to cover your post-accident recovery.

Truck drivers have all sorts of contractual arrangements for transporting cargo. Sometimes, the truck driver is an “owner-operator,” an independent contractor solely responsible for the truck’s insurance coverage. Other times, the driver is a trucking company employee who transports goods on behalf of the employer. In other instances, truckers lease trucks from trucking companies independently and then contract with a carrier to transport cargo. There are numerous other scenarios, too.

If the evidence at the accident scene indicates a truck driver bears the responsibility for your losses, you need to determine the contractual status of the truck driver. Sorting through a driver’s contracts may be the only way to determine who was responsible for insuring the vehicle and covering any accidents. 

Can you hold a trucking company liable for roadway losses?

You can hold a trucking company liable for your losses after a commercial vehicle accident in Arkansas. You must establish a contractual or employment relationship between that company and its driver to do so. 

Drivers who operate as employees benefit from their employer’s legal protection and insurance coverage. If a corporation classifies its truck drivers as employees, you can seek to hold that corporation responsible for your accident. If you’re in an accident with an on-duty employee, evidence of the employment contract can be key in getting compensation from the truck company for your recovery.

However, liability for Arkansas truck accidents often falls on drivers operating as independent contractors. Truck drivers who operate on 1099s, IRS forms used to report non-employment income, are classified as independent contractors under Arkansas law. Truck drivers operating as independent contractors do not benefit from a business’s legal protection or insurance coverage. These drivers are responsible for their own insurance and legal representation in the face of a civil lawsuit. Thus, you must pursue a claim against the individual driver to recover your losses.

You may also have the right to hold other motorists, construction crews, or even government agencies partially liable for your losses. Your right to do so hinges on what evidence of fault from the accident scene. 

When it comes time to determine who is responsible for truck accidents in Arkansas, you need a team that can distinguish between independent contractors and in-house employees. An NST Law attorney in cities across Arkansas, including Jonesboro, can sort through the relevant contracts and ensure you pursue the right party responsible for your losses.

How do you legally determine fault for truck accidents in Arkansas?

We determine liability for truck accidents in Arkansas by examining the available evidence. That evidence can include:

  • Accident debris, including skid marks and damaged property
  • Statements from witnesses who observed your accident
  • Social media statements describing the nature of your accident
  • Opinions from expert witnesses
  • Police and first responders’ reports

After looking at the evidence from the scene of your accident, one of our skilled attorneys will consider what roles the trucking contracts may play in your pursuit of compensation. Independent contractors and in-house employees have different relationships with trucking agencies and corporate entities. We must establish those relationships’ nature before determining the party liable for your losses.

What are Arkansas's specific trucking laws?

Arkansas’s trucking laws require that truck drivers shall:

  • Obey the speed limit and alter their speed based on roadway conditions
  • Make a reasonable effort to avoid collisions
  • Drive with reasonable care at intersections and railway crossings
  • Yield and stop as indicated by roadway signs and lights
  • Signal their intentions and seek mechanical repairs if their signals fail
  • Yield to emergency vehicles, school buses, church buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians

Arkansas has also enacted Paul’s Law, which prohibits using handheld wireless communication devices such as cell phones and pagers while driving. The law imposes criminal penalties for violations. 

Do you need to work with a truck accident attorney?

You are not obligated to work with a truck accident attorney to hold someone accountable for your semi-truck accident. However, truck collisions can leave you with long-term injuries that limit your ability to handle your daily activities. 

If you are contending with injuries and want to pursue legal action, it can be easier to do so with an attorney on your side. Truck accident attorneys can investigate the scene of your accident to determine who to hold liable for your losses. They can also sift through the relevant contracts to determine who is liable for your accident. 

If you are unsure whether to pursue a claim, schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with our Arkansas truck accident lawyers. Case consultations can give you more insight into how our attorneys may help.

What is the deadline to file a truck accident lawsuit?

The sooner you file a claim for your truck accident losses, the better. Arkansas has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which is the deadline to file a lawsuit. The state’s deadline is three years from the accident date.

If you don’t file your complaint in time, an Arkansas civil court can dismiss your suit, preventing you from seeking compensation for your losses. It will not matter what evidence of liability you have. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to untangle truck drivers’ contracts alone. A truck accident attorney in Arkansas can investigate your case and ensure you hold the right party accountable for your losses.

Call Us for Representation Today

When it comes time to seek justice for an Arkansas truck accident, ensure you have an expert at your side. NST Law can investigate your losses, calculate the value of your case, and represent you if your case goes to court. We can also pursue out-of-court negotiations for the truck accident settlement you deserve.

If you have questions about Arkansas truck accident laws or want to learn more about the information you need to pursue a personal injury claim, call us. You can schedule your free consultation today using NST Law’s online form or call our office at 800-529-4004.