Special rules for pedestrians and motorcycles in Arkansas
Arkansas is The Natural State, known for having some of the best outdoor attractions in the country. People come from around the world to enjoy our breathtaking sights, and some of the best ways to enjoy all we have to offer is by hopping out of the car and exploring. Whether you are riding along The Pig Trail with the wind in your hair, or hiking and biking in one of our 52 state parks, we want to make sure you are protected in our state. That’s why Arkansas passed legislation which specifically provides extra protections for pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and yes…even people riding in a horse drawn carriage or on an animal.
A.C.A § 23-89-202 Required First Party Coverage states “Every automobile liability insurance policy covering any private passenger motor vehicle…shall provide minimum medical and hospital benefits [up to $5,000 and incurred within 24 months], income disability [70% of the loss of income starting 8 days after the wreck, but subject to a maximum of $140 per week], and accidental death benefits [up to $5,000}…to the named insured and members of his or her family residing in the same household injured in a motor vehicle accident, to passengers injured while occupying the insured motor vehicle, and to persons other than those occupying another vehicle struck by the insured motor vehicle, without regard to fault…”. A.C.A § 23-89-204 specifically addresses Coverage for Passengers and Persons Struck by Insured Vehicle, stating “The coverages provided in 23-89-202 shall apply only occupants of the insured vehicle and to persons struck by the insured vehicle, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, persons in a horse-drawn wagon or cart, and persons riding on an animal, and to none other.”
What does this mean for you? In practical terms it means that as a pedestrian or motorcyclist, if you are hit by a motor vehicle you may be entitled to additional recovery from the at-fault party. For example: Say you are riding your motorcycle and a car turns in front of you and you collide. If that car carries liability insurance you are entitled to recover from the liability policy for damages which include (among other things) bodily injury, medical charges, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering. Additionally, under § 23-89-204 you may also be entitled to recover from their first party medical payments coverage or personal injury protection policy. That means you may actually have two open claims against the at-fault driver’s policy.
These laws recognize that people on foot, bike, motorcycle or carriage are more vulnerable to injury than people protected in a car, and therefore deserve added protections to ensure they have a chance at a fair outcome. Of course there are some caveats to these laws, which is why it’s important you hire the right firm who will know to look for all of these possibilities. The injury attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton will investigate ALL coverages you may be entitled to and ensure that you are properly and zealously represented.