Fort Smith Back Injury Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are one of the biggest causes of back injuries. Fort Smith is the third-largest city in Arkansas and has more traffic than many other places, making accidents common. Even a crash that occurs at low speed or causes little damage to the vehicles involved has the potential to create debilitating pain and disability. Car accident-related back injuries vary in their symptoms and severity, but all of them are potentially life-changing.
If you have been in a car accident that hurt your back, an attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve to cover your expenses and other losses. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. is proud to represent accident victims of Northwest Arkansas in Fort Smith and beyond.
Common Back Injuries From Car Accidents
The spine is comprised of three distinct areas:
• The cervical vertebrae of the neck
• Thoracic vertebrae at the upper back
• Lumbar vertebrae in the lower back
In addition to the spinal cord and vertebrae, the back is also made up of discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, which can all be injured by the force of a car accident.
Some of the most car accident-related back injuries include:
• Whiplash – One of the most common car accident injuries of all is whiplash. The force of a collision causes the neck to make a snapping motion, like a cracking whip, which can strain, tear or bruise soft tissue like muscles and ligaments in the cervical spine.
• Herniated Discs – Discs are spongy cushions between each vertebra. They can slip out of place, break, rupture or bulge.
• Bone Fractures – The bones of the back, called vertebrae, can fracture and break. Types of bone fractures in the back include flexion, extension, rotation and compression fractures.
• Sprains and Strains – Soft tissue in the back, like muscles, tendons and ligaments, can stretch to the point of damage. Painful strains and sprains are common after an accident.
• Spinal Cord Damage – Injuries to the spinal cord are the most serious because they can cause complete or partial paralysis. These injuries also may result in loss of function, loss of feeling and devastating health problems in other body systems.
Treatment for Back Injuries
After a car accident, it is crucial to be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Delayed pain and other symptoms are common with back injuries, so the true extent of the damage might not be known immediately. Early diagnosis is essential for reducing harm, managing pain and healing a back injury.
Not seeking care soon after an accident can hurt your chances of being awarded money for damages, as it appears that the injury was either not related to the accident or not severe. Even if you feel your injuries are not serious, it is best to err on the side of caution.
Treatment for back injuries varies depending on severity, location and type. Some can heal with a short-term treatment plan, while others necessitate care for a lifetime. Potential treatments for back injuries include:
• Physical therapy
• Chiropractic care
• Prescription medications
Many people who had a back injury need to keep up with treatments like chiropractic care for the rest of their lives. Your attorney can include expenses like these in the compensation award, so you are covered in the future.
Damages for Car Accident-Related Back Injuries
Arkansas follows a fault system that allows accident victims to be compensated for damages from the negligent party responsible for the accident. Proving fault in an accident claim is done by showing that the other party owed a duty of care and violated it by acting carelessly.
Economic damages are those with an obvious dollar amount attached. Examples include:
• Medical bills
• Lost income from time off work
• Vehicle repairs
• Ongoing care costs
Noneconomic damages losses are harder to calculate. Examples of noneconomic damages include:
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress
• Loss of consortium
• Permanent disability
Most of the time, the insurance company of the at-fault party pays a settlement for damages. They tend to pay as little as possible and sometimes offer a low settlement. A car accident attorney can help determine the total worth and negotiate with insurance companies or represent you at trial to get as much money as possible.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. for a Free Case Review
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for damages. An experienced personal injury attorney like those at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. can help you get it.
Arkansas grants three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages. Any legal action against the negligent party would need to be filed within this three-year window, or you risk losing the ability to be compensated at all for your back injuries. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. serves all of Northwest Arkansas, including Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers. For a free case review, call (479) 361-3575.