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Your rights when misconduct or neglect at the wheel cost a life

Driving is such an ingrained part of modern American life that people don't always treat the task with the respect it deserves. Given that many Americans spend an hour or more at the wheel on any particular day, people tend to tune out the risk involved.

That decision to treat driving as a casual act can lead to complacency and people making very questionable decisions about what safety precautions they take on the road. Unfortunately, overconfident drivers who don't stop to think about the risks involved could decide to send a text message to a friend or get behind the wheel after a few drinks.

Many people presume when they make these bad decisions that there won't be any real consequences, but sometimes, bad driving choices can result in tragic collisions. Bad driving behaviors are one of many reasons why accidents are in the top five causes of deaths across the state. How does Arkansas law protect those who lose a loved one to someone's bad driving?

There are 2 forms of justice available to surviving family members

Under Arkansas law, surviving family members who lose a loved one in a crash caused by someone else have two different means of seeking justice and holding the other driver accountable for their decisions.

The first is to demand that the state press charges, which could happen if intoxication or very dangerous driving behaviors, like racing, played a part in the fatal collision. If the state doesn't prosecute or even if they do, the family also has the option of pursuing financial justice. A wrongful death lawsuit can help surviving family members reduce the lasting impact of a crash on their household.

When is a wrongful death lawsuit an option?

Surviving family members including children, spouses and parents can seek wrongful death compensation via a lawsuit after a fatal crash. In order to have a claim, the family must be able to demonstrate that either negligence or driver misconduct directly contributed to the crash and tragic loss of life they suffered.

The family can seek compensation for pain and suffering their loved one experienced prior to death, as well as their own losses, such as the lost income and support the deceased person provided the family. People should file wrongful death claims within three years of the date of death to avoid losing their rights due to the statute of limitations for these claims.

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