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Votaw is Your Car Wreck Lawyer in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Arkansas fatal auto wrecks increased in 2020, impacting lives beyond measure. Whether a family member was involved in a fatal crash, a wrongful death crash, a serious injury crash, or a minor wreck, you need to call an attorney with years of experience dealing with car wrecks. Phil Votaw and everyone at Votaw Law want to be your car wreck lawyer and surrounding communities.

What Should You Do After a Car Wreck?

If you find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, your first order of business is to see if any of the accident victims have suffered bodily injuries and call 9-1-1.

What if You Didn’t Suffer Any Injuries?

Many people hurt in a car wreck don’t even realize it at the time. This is very common. During a crisis, our bodies often mask pain through adrenaline, but that does not mean you did not suffer a personal injury! A large percentage of my clients who don’t go to the Emergency Room immediately after a car wreck often find themselves in that same emergency room later that night or the next day, after the adrenaline has worn off. The best way to be sure injuries are both treat AND documented is to go directly to the emergency room.

Document as Much as Possible at the Crash Scene

After a car wreck, if you can do so safely, use your phone and take as many photos of the accident scene, capturing the license plates of other vehicles. Remember to get as many angles as possible, you never know which picture will turn out to be the most important of all. Also, be very careful and look around on the inside of your car before taking photographs. Remove as much trash as possible, and be sure to remove anything that might reflect negatively.

Don’t let anyone convince you not to call 9-1-1 after a car wreck. It is incredibly important to get the police to the scene and let them do their jobs. Remember, that police officer may turn out to be the single most important witness at a car wreck trial, so be polite and friendly.

When do You Need to Report a Car Wreck in Arkansas?

The Arkansas Code requires drivers to report an automobile accident in which there is more than $1,000 in property damages, or in car wrecks that result in personal injury or wrongful death.

Be sure to get a police report Incident Number from the officer, your car wreck lawyer can then download the police report from the internet to get a claim for both property damage and personal injury to the “at fault” driver’s insurance company.

Never underestimate the importance of independent eyewitnesses!! The police report may contain details about who caused the collision, what happened during the incident, and whether there were witnesses. It also includes statements from both parties regarding their version of events. But, please don’t assume the police officer will get the name and number of eyewitnesses. If you know of a witness who is favorable to you, make sure you get their contact information.

How do You Cooperate with Law Enforcement

It is very important for you to be cooperative with law enforcement as they gather information to produce an accident report. However, do not admit liability, guilt, or fault for the crash. You will not have all the facts involved with the wreck, so let the police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or state trooper conduct the investigation, and they will help you document important aspects of your car wreck, including personal injuries.

DO NOT admit fault!! If you are not sure who was at fault, tell the officer the facts, then stop talking. If you admit fault, you will lose, and your insurance company will possibly cancel your insurance after paying out money for a car wreck that possibly was not really your fault.

DO NOT say “I’m sorry.” DO NOT say you should have been “more careful”. It won’t do any good to argue with the other driver, and might only serve to make you look bad in front of a jury someday. Be kind and respectful, but try to limit your comments and only answer questions asked.

Arkansas Crash Statistics

The Arkansas Crash Analytics Tool of the Arkansas Department of Transportation reports there have been a total of 13,417 fatal and suspected serious injury crashes between Jan. 1, 2015-Dec. 31, 2019. Of the total, there were 2,449 fatal collisions.

Other crash numbers include:

  • 14,827 crashes involving impaired drivers

  • 10,821 crashes involving roadway departures

  • 3,700 intersection-related crashes

  • 83 crashes involving bicycles and pedestrians

With thousands of crashes every year in Arkansas, drivers need to be careful on the roads. And when a wreck occurs involving you or a family member, you want experienced accident lawyers working for you.

When Should You Consult With a Car Accident Attorney in Fort Smith or Northwest Arkansas?

Phil Votaw and his associates make up the Car Wreck law firm with decades of combined experience in personal injury law, and we would be proud to answer any questions you have:

  • Who is responsible for the crash?

  • My car suffered property damage, who will fix it?

  • I have medical bills as a result of the wreck, who will pay them?

  • Because of my injuries, I have not been able to work. How do I get compensated for lost wages, past and future?

You might think that you have insurance coverage for your vehicle, so if you get in an accident your insurance agent will help you file a claim and get paid for the damages you suffered. This would be nice, but it’s not always the case.

Car insurance companies are great at taking your premium dollars, but they get tough when it comes to paying out when their insured hurts you. The car wreck lawyers and the entire staff of my firm have dealt with this before. The best way to make that insurance company pay is when you team up with an experienced auto accident attorney. Let Phil Votaw and Associates be part of your team!

Why Work with Phil Votaw and Associates

You want someone who does this kind of work every day, like me and the experienced attorneys who work with me. You need someone in your corner fighting for you and protecting your rights. We are not going to let insurance companies walk all over you. We will make sure you get compensated if you have been wronged in a car wreck.

Our law firm works with regular folks every day who live paycheck-to-paycheck. They are not the powerbrokers of the community, but they are the heart and soul of it, and I will make sure the power of the law is on their side. We will fight to make sure you receive the damages you are entitled to.

So, don’t rely solely on your insurance company to handle this for you. Contact the team at Phil Votaw and Associates. We serve the people of Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas.

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