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Arkansas Negligence Laws

Negligence, the legal theory behind most injury lawsuits, is the violation of a duty owed to another individual. In other words, to do something (or not do something) a "reasonable person" wouldn't (or would) do -- such as driving drunk or failing to ensure the safety of a consumer product -- is an act of negligence.

When an act of negligence causes injury to another person, then the negligent party is liable for those injuries and must pay damages to compensate the other person. For example, someone who drives drunk, crashes into another motorist, and causes injuries (including damage to the vehicle) would be considered negligent and liable for damages. The driver in this example was not acting like a reasonable person by driving under the influence.

Below is a general overview of Arkansas negligence laws.

Arkansas Negligence Law at a Glance

Under Arkansas statute, damages are awarded in proportion to the plaintiff's contributions to their own injuries. But if the plaintiff is at least as responsible for the injuries as the defendant, they may not recover any damages.

Additional details about how Arkansas handles negligence claims are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Negligence section for more articles.

Code Section


Statutory Definition of "Fault"

Any act, omission, conduct, risk assumed, breach of warranty, or breach of any legal duty which is a proximate cause of any damages sustained by any party

Modified Comparative Negligence

If Plaintiff's fault is less than the defendant's, they may recover damages in an amount reduced in proportion to the degree of their own fault; if plaintiff's fault is equal to or greater than the defendant, they may not recover at all (§16-64-122)

Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

Yes; §§16-61-201 to 212

Uniform Act

Yes; §§16-61-201 to 212

Elements of a Negligence Case

A plaintiff must be able to prove the following five elements in order to collect damages for injuries resulting from the defendant's negligence:

  1. Defendant owed a duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act
  2. Defendant breached this duty
  3. This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Defendant's actions (or inactions) were the proximate cause of the injury (when a negligent act leads to damages in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause)
  5. Plaintiff suffered actual damages (i.e., lost wages, hospital bills, suffering, etc.)

Research the Law

Need Help Understanding Arkansas Negligence Laws? Talk to an Injury Attorney

Arkansas has a variety of different negligence and consumer tort laws that apply to a wide range of injuries. Finding the right Arkansas attorney who is well-versed in Arkansas' modified comparative negligence regulations can make all the difference in getting you the maximum award you're entitled to.

If you have a personal injury matter or a legal dispute, it's in your best interests to contact an Arkansas injury attorney near you.

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