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What a Fort Smith Car Accident Attorney Can Do to Help

What a Fort Smith Car Accident Attorney Can Do to Help

If you have been involved in a car accident in Fort Smith, there is a lot to deal with in the aftermath. You may be worried about mounting medical bills, having to take time off work and communicating with insurance companies, all while trying to recover from painful injuries.

You have the right to obtain compensation for your crash-related losses. Bringing a car accident claim is a rigorous, multi-stage process that can quickly get complicated depending on the details of the crash. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it alone. A Fort Smith car accident attorney can handle your entire case for you, from investigating the crash to negotiating a settlement.

If you suffered injuries in a Fort Smith car accident, the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. is here to provide you with experienced legal representation in your car accident claim. Our risk-free consultations allow prospective clients to get answers to their questions from a knowledgeable lawyer.

Types of Car Accident Injuries You May Obtain

Even with safety features like seat belts and airbags to protect vehicle occupants, the impact of a collision has the power to cause a variety of injuries. No two crashes are the same, and the injuries from a car accident can be as minor as a few scratches or as severe as paralysis or brain damage.

In 2021, Fort Smith had 3,255 motor vehicle accidents. Around 733 of those resulted in some form of injury, ranging from minor to severe. Here are some of the injuries that may be reported in a Fort Smith car accident:

If your wounds are serious, you will most likely receive emergency medical treatment and be taken to a hospital. Even if you feel fine, however, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident.

Some injuries do not become apparent until the shock from the crash has worn off. Additionally, internal injuries may be hard to detect without a thorough examination from a medical professional.

Failing to get medical attention can harm your car accident lawsuit if you decide to take legal action in the future. Seeing a doctor helps create medical records and documentation that can show the severity and nature of your injuries. A Fort Smith car accident attorney can use the information to help you recover compensation from the negligent party.

What Kinds of Compensation is Available for My Car Accident?

Filing a Fort Smith car accident claim allows you to recover compensation for all your medical bills, as well as the many other associated costs that arise after a crash. Any settlement you receive should account for the full extent of your losses, including the emotional impact of the car accident and future rehabilitation expenses.

Damages available in Fort Smith car accident cases include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress

The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. can hold the driver who was responsible for your car accident accountable for their negligence. Crashes occur due to many different reasons, whether it is distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or carelessness in following the rules of the road. In 2021, Fort Smith had 84 speed-related collisions, while 118 crashes involved impaired driving.

The Role of a Fort Smith Car Accident Attorney

Dealing with a car accident can be very stressful. What should be a straightforward matter of recovering the money you deserve is often filled with obstacles. A dedicated and experienced Fort Smith car accident attorney can make things significantly easier by representing you during every step of the legal process.

Entrusting your car accident claim to a lawyer can reduce much of the anxiety that comes with seeking compensation for your injuries and other losses. The attorney will handle all the paperwork, investigations, negotiations and advocacy while you try to get your life back on track.

A Fort Smith car accident attorney can:

  • Help you understand the legal process
    There are many elements involved with filing a car accident claim. Your lawyer will keep you updated on developments, along with providing you with a realistic timeline of when your case may be resolved. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. will ensure you have all the information and advice you need to make the best possible decisions in your case, such as whether to accept a settlement offer or go to trial.
  • Collect evidence to support your claim
    Having a successful car accident claim means establishing the extent of your injuries before an insurance adjuster or in court. Your lawyer will gather medical documents, police reports, phone records, insurance information, photos from the scene of the accident, and video footage from surrounding areas to prove your claim. Eyewitness testimony, accident reconstruction experts, and other specialists can also provide valuable evidence when building your car accident lawsuit.
  • Calculate the value of your claim
    While determining the exact amount of compensation you will receive is not possible, a Fort Smith car accident attorney can provide you with an estimate after assessing the details of your crash. By consulting medical experts and other professionals, we can give you an idea of how much your case is worth.
  • Stand up to insurance companies
    It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to pay car accident victims as little as possible, such as by challenging the extent of their injuries or insisting that they are unrelated to the crash. A Fort Smith car accident attorney can fight back against tactics that are commonly used to devalue claims. With a reputable lawyer representing you, you have better chances of being taken seriously and obtaining full and fair compensation.
  • Represent you in negotiations and court
    Not all car accident claims go to trial. Many are resolved with settlement agreements. Your Fort Smith car accident attorney will negotiate to obtain the settlement you deserve. If, however, the other party does not offer a full and fair settlement, it may be necessary to go to trial. Your lawyer will never accept a settlement unless you are satisfied with it. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. is skilled in handling negotiations as well as fighting cases in courtrooms.

What is the Process of Filing a Fort Smith Car Accident Claim?

Before deciding to pursue a car accident claim, it is important to understand what to expect. At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A., we believe in preparing our clients for the legal process and ensuring there are no surprises.

After being involved in a car accident, you will want to file an insurance claim. In an ideal scenario, the insurer will process your claim and promptly give you your money. Unfortunately, this is rarely how things play out, which is why it is essential to speak to a reputable Fort Smith car accident attorney as soon as possible.

The lawyer will evaluate the facts of your crash and determine whether you have a case. If the insurance company denies your claim, your attorney will file a car accident lawsuit on your behalf.

Gathering evidence is vital to building a strong case. A lot of evidence begins to fade away in the days after a car accident. For example, accident sites are cleaned up, vehicles are taken to junkyards, and eyewitness accounts can become less reliable. Quick action is needed to preserve as much of the evidence as possible. Contacting a Fort Smith car accident attorney right away ensures they can start investigating your car accident as soon as possible.

Another essential part of the claims process is determining fault for a crash. The insurance adjuster will evaluate your claim and assign fault for the car accident. In some situations, one driver may be completely responsible, while in other cases, multiple parties may be partially at fault. In 2020, 43 percent of crashes in Arkansas involved multiple vehicles.

Under Arkansas law, the amount of damages you are awarded is based on your percentage of fault for the car accident. With a lawyer representing your interests, you can counter any efforts to unfairly shift responsibility for the crash onto you. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. will protect your rights and help you prove the other party’s negligence.

Your attorney will strive to negotiate a favorable settlement for you. If an out-of-court settlement is not possible or does not cover the full extent of your losses, we will move forward with filing a lawsuit in court. No matter how your case progresses, we will never stop fighting for maximum compensation for you.

Time Limit for Filing a Fort Smith Car Accident Claim

In Arkansas, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of a crash. This means you have three years from when your car accident occurred in which to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Once the statute of limitations expires, you will no longer be able to recover compensation.

Although three years may seem like a long time, the legal process can be lengthy. As a result, it is a good idea to contact a Fort Smith car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash to ensure the clock does not run out.

Discuss Your Case with a Fort Smith Car Accident Attorney Today

If you have been hurt in a car accident, the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. will aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. Our Fort Smith car accident attorneys have a deep understanding of Arkansas personal injury laws. With over two decades of experience advocating for clients in all types of car accident claims, attorney Jason M. Hatfield knows how such cases play out and is positioned to provide you with sound legal advice.

Quality legal representation is just a phone call away. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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