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Negligence Law Arkansas

Negligence Law Definition

Negligence is a violation of a duty which is owed to another individual. Negligence is a situation where you do something a reasonable person wouldn’t or when you don’t do something a reasonable person would. Examples of this include drunk driving or a failure to ensure the safety of a consumer product.

A party who is guilty of negligence is liable to pay for injuries as well as compensate the other person.

Negligence Law Arkansas

Arkansas awards damages in proportion to the plaintiff’s contributions to his or her own injuries. It is possible for the plaintiff to not recover any damages in situations where the plaintiff is as responsible as the defendant for injuries. This is known as contributory negligence.

Arkansas follows the modified comparative fault rule. It applies when the injured person is found to be less than 50% at fault for an accident. However, when the injured person is found to be more than 50% at fault, the state follows similar rules to the traditional legal concept of contributory negligence. In these situations, the court will not allow you to collect damages from any of the involved parties even if these parties are judged to be at fault.

Arkansas’s system is considered modified because it’s different from comparative negligence and pure comparative negligence. In the past, contributory negligence was used to stop plaintiffs from recovering damages or to reduce the amount of the damages.

Many states have replaced contributory with comparative negligence rules to increase fairness to plaintiffs. 

Negligence Law Arkansas

What are the Elements of a Negligence Case?

The plaintiff needs to prove the following when establishing that the person who caused their injuries was negligent.

  • Duty – Duty of care to the plaintiff needs to be proved by the plaintiff. The law recognizes that a relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant requires the defendant to offer a standard of care so that the plaintiff isn’t harmed. An example of this is the law requiring all drivers to exercise “reasonable care” when operating a motor vehicle so that they do not harm other people on the road.
  • Breach – The plaintiff has to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. A breach is said to have occurred if there is a failure by the defendant to meet the standard of care required. An example of a breach of duty of care is when a driver runs a red light.
  • Causation – The plaintiff has to prove that the defendant’s breach caused the injury
  • Damages – The plaintiff has to prove that they’ve suffered an injury. It can be an injury to property or a physical injury.

Arkansas Negligence Law

Punishment for Negligence in Arkansas

Negligent homicide is considered a class A misdemeanor in Arkansas. Motorists who are convicted face up to $2,500 in fines as well as up to a year in prison.

Negligent homicide becomes a class B misdemeanor in Arkansas if the offender was intoxicated on drugs or alcohol, having a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more, unlawfully passing a school bus or fatigued.

Intoxicated refers to a situation where the motorist’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered in such a way that the operator poses a clear as well as a substantial risk of physical injury or death to himself/herself or to other people. Fatigued is defined as being without sleep for at least 24 hours.

If you’re charged with a case of negligence, the best course of action would be to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. Professional advice will inform you of the best route to take to defend yourself.

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