Car Accident Attorneys in Little Rock
Like many people, you probably never expected a car accident to happen to you. One minute you’re driving through Little Rock on your way to work and the next, someone crashes into you and causes serious injuries. Because Arkansas follows a traditional fault method in auto accidents, it’s important to gather as much information at the scene as possible to prove that the other party caused the accident and not you. However, that can be difficult to do when you’re dealing with significant injuries.
The recovery process from a car accident in Arkansas can seem positively overwhelming. Not only are you physically and possibly emotionally injured, you’re dealing with very high medical expenses at a time when you may not be able to work. At a difficult time like this, you need the experienced car accident and personal injury attorneys at the Paul Byrd Law Firm on your side.
Most Common Types of Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents
Whiplash, which occurs when a person’s neck and head snap back and forth several times in a violent motion, is a well-known outcome of a car accident. This typically occurs when the driver of another vehicle strikes the victim’s car from behind. The extent of whiplash injuries can vary significantly from one injured person to the next. However, some of the most commonly reported whiplash symptoms include neck pain, damaged ligaments, facial swelling, and temporary vocal cord paralysis. Some of the other most common types of injuries from car accidents include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries: An injury to the spinal cord can render a person a quadriplegic or paraplegic immediately. Even when these seriously debilitating injuries don’t occur, the accident victim may suffer from permanent nerve damage that causes ongoing numbness in the legs, feet, hands, or arms. A herniated disc in the back is another common injury. This can also cause lasting weakness, tingling, and pain.
- Chest injuries: A car crash is a blunt force injury that can cause broken ribs, damage to internal organs, a collapsed lung, and internal bleeding. It can also cause a person who already has heart issues to go into immediate cardiac arrest.
- Head injuries: The driver and passengers of a vehicle struck at high speed by another vehicle have a high risk of sustaining a head or brain injury. This can range from a concussion that produces lingering effects such as vision and learning problems to a traumatic brain injury that causes permanent personality changes, paralysis, hearing or speech loss, or a fractured skull.
- Other parts of the body: It’s common for people to injure other body parts in a car accident, including the feet, legs, hands, and arms. Broken bones, burns, and road rash are especially common. Amputation may be necessary in the case of severe injury to a limb.
- Emotional distress: Sustaining serious injuries because another driver struck you is a traumatic event. You could experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or another mental health issue for months or years after the accident. Unlike physical injuries that are obvious to see, it isn’t always easy to prove how a car accident affected you emotionally. Fortunately, personal injury attorney Paul Byrd has many years of experience proving injuries and holding responsible drivers accountable for their negligent actions.
You also need to understand two things about car accidents in Arkansas. The first is that the state imposes a three-year statute of limitations for you to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your injuries. This is normally from the date of the injury although Arkansas allows the discovery rule as well. The date of discovery is when you made the connection between the car accident and your injuries if it didn’t occur right away.
Additionally, Arkansas enforces comparative negligence in personal injury cases. That means you can’t collect any damages if a jury finds you more than 50 percent responsible for contributing to your own injuries. You also receive less for any percentage of blame that you share that’s under 50 percent. For example, the jury would reduce your award by 25 percent if it found the other party 75 percent to blame and you, 25 percent to blame.
Types of Compensation You May Receive After a Car Accident
Personal injury lawsuits allow two categories of compensation. The first type pays you for what you lost dollar for dollar. This could include such things as your medical bills, time away from work, durable medical equipment, damage to your vehicle and anything inside of it, and accommodations to your home or new vehicle due to your injuries. In cases of severe injury when you can’t return to work or can no longer earn at the same capacity, the payout from your lawsuit would reflect that.
You could also receive payment for intangible losses due to the car accident that don’t have a specific dollar value attached. For example, you may have traveled frequently before the accident but now your limitations prevent you from doing so. This would fall under the category of loss of enjoyment of life. Physical pain and suffering and emotional distress often fall under the category of non-monetary compensation as well. When the defendant acted in as especially reckless manner with complete disregard for your safety, the jury may award punitive damages on top of the others.
Don’t Be a Victim Twice
Perhaps you have filed a claim with the other party’s insurance company or your own insurance company and received an offer that you feel is insufficient and unfair. It’s a common insurance company tactic to make lowball offers hoping the injured person is desperate enough to take it and just go away. If you’re not satisfied, the fault laws in Arkansas allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit to attempt to receive additional compensation.
We at Paul Byrd Law Firm are happy to help you pursue this. Please contact us in the Little Rock area at 501-420-3050 to request your free legal consultation.