Fort Smith Neck Injury Car Accident Lawyer
Neck injuries resulting from car accidents are often serious. The neck contains the cervical spine and comprises many other small parts that work together to move and support the head. The neck is physically complex and vulnerable to injury, especially in car accidents.
If you have been in a car accident that injured your neck, an attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. is proud to represent accident victims of Northwest Arkansas in Fort Smith and beyond.
Common Neck Injuries From Car Accidents
The neck is especially vulnerable to being hurt in a car accident. It comprises many small bones, soft tissues and cushiony discs, any of which can be injured, and has little protection. Even at low speeds, the force from a car accident is sudden and can be violent enough to cause the neck to make a snapping motion. The seatbelt holds the body in place while the head is free to move, leading to neck injuries.
A few of the most common neck injuries from car accidents include:
• Whiplash – One of the most common injuries from car accidents is whiplash. This occurs when the neck snaps backward and forward suddenly after an impact, and the muscles and ligaments in the cervical spine become bruised and damaged.
• Spondylolisthesis – Traumatic spondylolisthesis of the cervical spine is when one of the first seven vertebrae slips out of place after an injury.
• Herniated discs – Discs are spongy cushions between each vertebra, and they can slip out of place, break, rupture or bulge. Herniated discs cause intense jolts of pain, radiating pain and weakness.
• Muscle spasms – Neck muscles that are hurt during an accident can spasm as they heal. This is very painful and might not start happening until days, weeks or months after the accident itself.
• Bone Fractures – A break in any of the neck vertebra can cause pain, paralysis or death.
• Facet Joint Injury – Facet joints allow the neck to move and support the head. Injuring one affects mobility and causes pain.
• Pinched Nerves – Nerves in the neck can be painfully pressed or rubbed by injured structures nearby.
• Sprains and Strains – Muscles, tendons and ligaments can stretch, tear and be damaged, causing pain and difficulty moving.
• Lacerations – The neck houses major blood vessels; a cut to the area can quickly cause life-threatening bleeding.
Treatment of Neck Injuries
Injuries to the neck are excruciating and cause stiffness, weakness, limited mobility, headaches and more. These injuries can be difficult to recover from because the neck is central to head movement. Moreover, neck injuries will often not be fully known for some time after a car accident.
Neck injuries can develop and worsen over time as inflammation and damage increase. For this reason, it is vital to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you do not think your injuries are bad. Pain and other symptoms can be delayed for weeks.
Treatment varies depending on the type, location and severity of the injury. Doctors use diagnostic tests like CT scans, MRIs and x-rays to check for damage. Treatments for neck injuries include:
• Pain medication
• Braces or collars
• Steroid injections
• Physical therapy
• Chiropractic care
• Facet and medial branch blocks
• Radiofrequency ablation (FRA)
• Stem cell therapy
• Spinal cord stimulator
Damages for Car Accident-Related Neck Injuries
Arkansas allows accident victims to pursue compensation for damages from the at-fault driver. When you can show that another party’s negligence caused your accident, they should pay for the economic and noneconomic damages it has caused you through their insurance.
Economic damages are those with an obvious dollar amount attached. Things like medical bills, lost income from time off work and repairs for your car can all be recouped in a lawsuit when applicable. Sometimes insurance companies will offer a settlement that only covers economic damages, but that does not represent all losses and damages.
Noneconomic damages are losses that do not necessarily cost money. Examples include pain and suffering and emotional distress. A car accident attorney can help determine the total worth of your case and negotiate with insurance companies or represent you at trial to get you the compensation you deserve.
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 gives 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 that three-year window, or you risk losing the ability to be compensated at all.