In the modern era of mass marketing, we have all become familiar with the clever and humorous mascots for insurance companies. The Aflac duck, the Geico gecko, the deep-voiced gentleman from Allstate – these characters are as familiar as Mickey Mouse and Superman to American television viewers. They present an image of insurance companies as caring, friendly entities that want nothing more than to help you in your time of need. But if you have been in a car accident in Arkansas, you know that nothing could be further from the truth.
The first thing you need to know if you have been in a car accident in Arkansas is that the other party’s insurance company is going to view you, and treat you, as an enemy. They are not there to help you. They are there to save as much money as possible. Therefore our advice is usually to refuse to give insurance companies recorded statements or to describe your injuries for them before speaking to an attorney. Their intention is often to encourage you to say things like “I wasn’t really hurt” so that they can use those statements against you. You are not obligated to answer their questions when they call.
The second thing you need to know if you have been in a car accident in Arkansas is that you have three years to make a claim, so there is no rush (Ark. Stat. Sec. 16-56-104). Insurance companies generally want you to sign a release agreeing not to sue them as soon as possible. They will often contact you immediately after the accident with offers of fast cash in exchange for your signature, and suggest that their offer will be taken off the table soon if you don’t agree. You should call their bluff. You have three long years from the date of the accident to make them pay, and therefore you should feel free to seek medical attention for your injuries without worrying about the insurance company losing patience.
Unfortunately personal injury is a complicated field of the law with different rules in each state. Insurance companies are armed with intimate knowledge of these laws and are prepared to take advantage of that knowledge to limit the amount that they pay injured people to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, if you are injured in a car wreck or in any other type of accident, your best course of action is almost always to hire a personal injury attorney with the skill and knowledge necessary to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you and to secure for you the full settlement that you deserve. Even after your attorney’s fee is paid, the difference between what an insurance company will offer you up front and what an attorney can get for you is often extreme.
Watson & Watson, Attorneys at Law, have been practicing for 45 years and have some of the best rates anywhere in the state. The typical attorney’s fee in the state of Arkansas is 33% of the total settlement for negotiated settlements, and 40% for cases that go into litigation. Watson & Watson is a family firm with low overhead, and therefore offers fees of 25% for negotiated settlements, and 33% for cases that go into litigation. What this means is that you will receive the same total settlement from Watson & Watson that you would receive from any skilled personal injury firm in the state, but you will get a larger share of it for yourself. Therefore, if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, call Watson & Watson today for a free consultation.