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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.

Arkansas Negligence Law at a Glance

Under Arkansas statute, damages are awarded in proportion to the plaintiff's contributions to his or her own injuries. But if the plaintiff is at least as responsible for the injuries as the defendant, he or she may not recover any damages. This is typically referred to as "contributory" negligence.

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

Code Section 16-64-122
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
Comparative Negligence -
Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery If Plaintiff's fault is of less degree than defendant's, he may recover amount diminished in proportion to degree of his own fault; if plaintiff's fault is equal to or greater than defendant, he may not recover at all (§16-64-122)
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 (the defendant should have known that this action could have caused injuries)
  5. Plaintiff suffered actual damages (i.e., lost wages, hospital bills, suffering, etc.)

Research the Law

Arkansas Negligence Law: Related Resources

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' contributory 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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