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An overturned motorcycle and helmet lay in the road after a hit-and-run motorcycle accident.

Experiencing a motorcycle accident can be traumatic, especially if it involves a hit-and-run. In Arkansas, motorcyclists are common, and the sudden shock of an accident can leave even the most experienced riders feeling vulnerable and confused. Taking the right steps after an accident can help safeguard your legal rights and significantly affect your ability to receive fair compensation for any damages and injuries sustained. This article provides a comprehensive guide on navigating the aftermath of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in Arkansas. 

What Is a Motorcycle Accident Hit-and-Run?

A motorcycle accident hit-and-run in Arkansas occurs when one or more involved parties flee the scene of the accident without providing contact information or rendering aid to the injured. In many cases, if another motorist is driving recklessly and you have to lay your bike down or swerve into an object to avoid them, that is also considered a hit-and-run. 

According to Arkansas Code § 27-53-101, leaving the scene of an accident that results in injury or death is illegal. This law emphasizes the responsibility of all drivers, including motorcyclists, to remain at the accident scene, offer necessary assistance, and exchange information.

Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Hit-and-Run Accident

After an accident where another party flees the scene, it’s important to stay until the police arrive and can offer assistance. The steps you take after the accident can heavily influence the outcome of your injury claim. Here’s what you should do to give yourself the best chances of securing compensation for your injuries:

  1. Assess Injuries and Seek Medical Care: Move to a safe location if possible and assess any injuries. Even if no injuries are apparent, immediate medical treatment will allow any underlying injuries to be documented.
  2. Call the Police: Dial 9-1-1 and give a statement of the accident to the police when they arrive. Reporting the accident is legally required, especially if there are injuries or significant property damage.
  3. Gather Evidence: If you can, collect as much information as possible about the fleeing vehicle, such as its make, model, color, and any part of the license plate number. Look for witnesses who might have seen the accident and ask for their contact details.
  4. Document the Scene: Take photos of your motorcycle, the location, road conditions, and any injuries you sustained.
  5. Contact a Lawyer: A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and determine whether you are eligible to seek compensation, then help you build a solid case.

Even though the other vehicle fled the scene, they can still be prosecuted if they are responsible, or partially responsible, for the accident. That’s why it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a motorcycle hit-and-run accident; the sooner a lawyer begins working on your case, the sooner they can investigate the accident and gather evidence before it disappears.

What Is Needed to Get Compensation After an Arkansas Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident?

To pursue compensation after a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in Arkansas, you will need to establish evidence and possibly identify the at-fault motorist. This involves:

  • Police Report: A detailed police report can be crucial for insurance claims and potential legal action.
  • Evidence of Damages: Medical records, repair bills for your motorcycle, and documentation of any other related expenses are necessary to show the extent of the damages you suffered from the accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This is typically part of your motorcycle insurance policy and can cover damages if the at-fault driver is not identified.

Arkansas abides by a comparative fault law, which indicates that if more than one motorist is at fault, the plaintiff’s degree of fault must be less than the defendant’s in order to receive compensation. 

How Much Will My Settlement Be?

The amount of a settlement in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident will depend on several factors, including:

  • Extent of Injuries: More severe injuries generally result in higher medical bills, which will likely be covered by the compensation you receive.
  • Damage to Your Motorcycle and Other Property: The cost to repair or replace your motorcycle and any other damaged belongings.
  • Coverage Limits: The limits of your uninsured motorist policy and any other applicable insurance coverage.
  • Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: Compensation may include lost wages if you are temporarily or permanently unable to work because of your injuries.

In a case where both the plaintiff and defendant are at fault, the percentage of fault shared by the defendant will be subtracted from their total damages, and that new number will typically be their settlement amount.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

A lawyer can be instrumental after a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in Arkansas by:

  • Investigating the Accident: Lawyers often work with investigators to find more information about the hit-and-run driver and compile evidence.
  • Navigating Legal and Insurance Processes: They can handle claim filings and negotiations with insurance companies.
  • Maximizing Your Compensation: An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will advocate for your best interests, refusing to accept lowball settlements from insurance companies and aiming to secure compensation that covers all your losses.

Following the steps outlined in this article can significantly influence the outcome of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident case in Arkansas. Legal counsel is highly recommended to ensure all avenues of potential compensation are explored. Contact Niblock Law Firm to get a free case review today.

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