AFTER A SEMI-TRUCK CRASH – NO TIME TO WASTE! – Hire an Arkansas truck accident lawyer and get your own boots on the ground!

The first call an 18 wheeler driver makes following a crash is often NOT to 911 but rather to dispatch. Trucking companies (and their insurance companies) have defense crash teams that quickly descend on crash sites where there are serious injuries or deaths. Why do you think they do this? 640610954

 Well it’s NOT to obtain and secure evidence that might be helpful to the victims or their families. That is why it is so important that the victims of big truck accidents quickly hire a lawyer who knows what evidence is important and how to get it.  01 reloj arena bronce patinado hg007

An experienced truck accident attorney knows the importance of getting crash scene and vehicle videos and photographs as fast as possible. Witnesses must be located and interviewed while their memories are fresh. The sooner an engineer/accident reconstruction expert and a trucking expert are working the case the better. Data regarding the trucks communications, movements and systems must be secured. The truck driver’s hours of service and cell phone records must be maintained. The trucking company must to be put on notice immediately that it is expected to protect critical records and will be held accountable for missing, recorded over or “lost” records. It is vitally important that physical evidence be secured because, believe it or not, sometimes trucking companies (or their insurance companies) tell a different story.

 Bruce L. Mulkey is a member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.

Please click HERE to learn more.

 

AFTER SEMI CRASH – DRIVER AND HIS LOGBOOKS DISAPPEAR


Many years ago, a young woman left work in Bentonville and was driving north to her home in Pineville, Missouri.  At the same time, a young man from New Zealand was south bound behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler headed back to central Arkansas.  Traffic suddenly slowed in the south bound lane and the young truck driver hit his breaks. Failing to stop, he pulled the massive truck to the left instead of the right and crossed the center line.

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The semi slammed head-on into my client’s car.  She miraculously survived but was seriously injured.

What I learned was that the driver’s employer, an Arkansas trucking company, was hiring very young men through an agency that recruited them from New Zealand to spend a year or two in America driving these massive trucks.  And, not so coincidentally, one week after the wreck, the truck driver left the company’s employment and returned to New Zealand.  Despite my pre-suit demand that the trucking company maintain the truck driver’s hours of service logs, and initially telling me in discovery that the logs existed, the company later could not, or would not, produce them and swore under oath that they were lost or destroyed.

Several months later, my client’s husband found a small notebook in a box of items that had been picked up at the crash scene and placed into the trunk of his wife’s demolished  car.  It was obvious that the notebook was the young truck driver’s journal in which he made rather intimate notes of this thoughts and activities. Fortunately, he had also recorded the time of his diary entries as well as his location. I provided the information to my trucking expert and it became clear that the driver could not be in the locations on the date and times he had recorded without running well over the hours of service he was allowed to be on the road.

I also immediately contacted my opposing counsel and provided them with a copy of the journal. I remember getting a call from the lead attorney for the defendant trucking company and his telling me, “that journal will never see the light of day.”  He knew of course that it’s contents contained objectionable hearsay, and that in order for me to offer it into evidence, it had to first be authenticated under oath.  He also knew that the only person who could do that was the truck driver on the other side of the world.

Not to be deterred, I began to research how I might depose the driver. I found an article by a New York lawyer who had taken a deposition in New Zealand in a civil case and contacted the attorney.  He explained to me that because there was no formal treaty between our two countries, I would have to petition the U.S. District Court in which my case was pending for a Letter of Request to the High Court of Auckland, New Zealand, for the issuance of a subpoena requiring the driver to attend a deposition. I also learned that, if both courts agreed, the deposition would have to take place in the High Court of Auckland.

To make a long blog post shorter, both courts agreed, and I’ll never forget the lead counsel for the defendant trucking company as he walked into the lobby of the Stamford Hotel in Auckland, shake his head (and my hand) and say, “I do admire your bull-doggedness.”

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The High Court of Auckland, New Zealand. 

-bruce

 Bruce L. Mulkey is a member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Please click HERE to learn more about Bruce.

DARIN MOELLER KILLED IN SEMI-TRUCK COLLISION – Bobby Bonds reportedly injured

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The Arkansas State Police is reporting that one man was killed and the other injured when two tractor-trailer trucks collided  in Logan County on Monday, February 27, 2017.  A Preliminary Fatal Crash Summary indicates that Darin Moeller (age 45) of Sarcoxie, Mo,  was northbound on Highway 23 driving a Freightliner, and Bobby Bonds (age 48 ) of Charleston, AR, was westbound on Highway 22 driving a Peterbuilt.

According to the report, the two 18 wheelers collided in the intersection where the two highways meet when one pulled onto Highway 23 and the trailer of one flipped and crushed the tractor of the other. The report indicates that Moeller was killed and Bonds was injured.

Sr. Cpl. Ricky Denton is identified as the investigating officer and the report states that it was cloudy  and the road was dry at the time of the collision.

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 Bruce Mulkey is a member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Please click HERE to learn more about Bruce.

Note: Information obtained from an Arkansas State Police fatal crash summary represents only the initial findings by an investigating law enforcement officer. The summaries are not considered official reports of a highway crash investigation, but merely a summary of preliminary information presented to an investigating officer. The information contained in a summary may not represent the facts eventually placed on file in the official final report.

EDWARD ROBINSON RISKED HIS LIFE FOR US OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN …ONLY TO BE FORGOTTEN IN THE HOSPITAL

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  A Hero.

On June 6, 2010, Edward “Rob” Robinson of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was retired from the U.S. Army and National Guard. He served in Vietnam, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

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He was also retired from Rheem in Fort Smith after thirty-six years and six months where he received several honors for his many years of service as a welder. He and his wife, Carolyn, had been married for 40 years, 4 months and 25 days, and raised two children, Golda and Edward Lee.

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When called to active duty for Operation Desert Storm, due to his age, the Sargent was told that he could decline to be sent to war, however Rob told his family that he would go …so that “maybe some young person wouldn’t have to.” Rob was a husband, a father, a gentleman and a citizen soldier who repeatedly risked his life for all of us. He was a hero in many respects and deserved to be treated as one.

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Forgotten.

On June 5, 2010, Rob was taken to the emergency department at a large hospital in Fort Smith by Carolyn and their daughter, Golda, after several days of being very sick. He had prostate cancer, yet he still had two to three years to live. His INR was very high, literally “off the chart.” INR measures the body’s ability to stop bleeding through coagulation. A high INR is extremely dangerous because if the patient has any bleeding at all, it will not stop, and the patient will bleed to death. The admitting doctor ordered “STAT” Vitamin K and “STAT” FFP (fresh frozen plasma) to lower his INR. Vitamin K helps the body develop blood coagulation ability and FFP gives the blood immediate coagulation ability. Put differently, FFP is a quick but temporary remedy, while Vitamin K is a slower acting long term solution. (Most medical professionals will tell you that “STAT” means “sooner than now.”)

Rob was admitted to the hospital and seven hours later he received the Vitamin K but he never received the FFP. The following morning, just after a doctor had been summoned to his room and told that the STAT orders had not been carried out, Rob Robinson coded and died.

A completely preventable tragedy.

According to our causation expert from the Cleveland Clinic, Rob began to hemorrhage at approximately 8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 6, 2010, and bled to death. The autopsy confirmed that he died from a massive hemorrhage. Seventeen hours after STAT life-saving FFP had been ordered …he literally bled to death in about an hour. This would not have happened if the doctor’s order had been carried out.

Why?

We contended, and provided expert testimony to establish, that the hospital nursing staff was negligent, plain and simple. In fact, it was never disputed that the day shift and night shift nurses all knew of the “STAT” FFP order, but unbelievably, seventeen hours passed with no one carrying out the order.

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Justice.

We were extremely proud to represent Carolyn and her family in fighting for justice for Edward Robinson’s family and estate. No one was more deserving of the best health care our country could offer than Rob.

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After nearly a year of litigation, a confidential settlement was reached with the hospital and the employer of one of Rob’s nurses, just three weeks before a jury would have decided the case. Carolyn and Golda Robinson and their family will always be near and dear to our hearts!

 

 

-bruce

 

 

SEMI KILLS TWO ON U.S. 67 – Christopher Bryant and Brenda Christopher

The Arkansas State Police is reporting that two people were killed on the evening of December 21, 2016, in a head-on collision in Northeast Arkansas.  A Preliminary Fatal Crash Summary indicates that 66-year old Brenda Christopher of Russellville and 43-year old Christopher Bryant of Carlisle died in the accident, on U.S. 67 near the Clay and Randolph county line. Shirley Bumpas, age 65, of Beebe is identified as a passenger in the vehicle driven by Bryant and was reportedly injured in the collision.

According to the report a southbound 2017 Volvo crossed the center line, into the path of a Ford, driven by Bryant. The report does not identify the driver of the semi.

Trooper Jarrod Lylery is identified as the investigating officer and the report states that it was clear  and the road was dry at the time of the collision.

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Bruce Mulkey is a member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Please click HERE to learn more about Bruce.  Please click HERE to learn more about Bruce.

Note: Information obtained from an Arkansas State Police fatal crash summary represents only the initial findings by an investigating law enforcement officer. The summaries are not considered official reports of a highway crash investigation, but merely a summary of preliminary information presented to an investigating officer. The information contained in a summary may not represent the facts eventually placed on file in the official final report.

 

FIND THE TOP INJURY LAWYERS IN ARKANSAS – by looking to the ratings and reviews.

If it’s lonely at the top …then maybe you’re not there!

When it comes to finding the right attorney to go to battle for you or your family, you need to remember that anyone can buy billboard advertising, make a slick website or create a slogan. Did you know that there are law firms in Arkansas that employee full-time public relations directors whose only job is to make sure the law firm is getting attention from any source available?  They are literally paid to draw attention to the law firm and to make it appear strong, important, involved in the community and successful.

This is the sad reality of the practice of law these days. Law firms are promoting themselves on billboards, radio and television, touting themselves and begging for business with silly slogans or really dumb questions like “INJURED?” (As if someone driving down the interstate is going to see that question and think, “Wait …I am injured …I better call that lawyer!”)

So how do you find the best lawyer for the job and ensure that you or your family is not being sucked in by some public relations promotion or being influenced by lawyer advertising? One of the best ways is to carefully research the lawyer or firm by looking to trusted online resources where you can learn what an attorney’s peers think of his or her work or, more importantly, learn of what a lawyer’s former clients have to say about their experience.

Martindale-Hubbel’s Lawyer Ratings is one excellent resource. It is a peer review rating system, so what you are seeing is what other attorneys, who practice in the same geographic area as an attorney, think of his or her work and ethical standards.

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If a lawyer has an “AV Preeminent” rating with Martindale-Hubbel, then that lawyer’s peers have given him or her the highest rating available. This not a law firm touting itself as “good” but other lawyers in your community rating that lawyer as one of the best.

Another excellent resource is Avvo’s online rating service. Avvo hosts the most comprehensive rating service of attorneys on the internet.  What sets it apart, is the fact that you can see not only what other lawyers say in endorsements but, more importantly, what former clients have to say about their own experience with the lawyer or law firm.

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Fortunately, with such resources available online, you really do not have to rely on billboards and slogans to find the best lawyer to help you.  The bottom line is that you should do some research and ultimately trust yourself and your instincts …and look beyond advertisements.

-bruce

Chris%20Conroy%20Photography-0125-2[1]Call me anytime and I will be glad to discuss your case with no obligation.

Here’s my cell: (479) 936-4384

Please click HERE to learn more about our firm.

 

 

TOP FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO AFTER A CAR WRECK – in Northwest Arkansas …or any where else.

When you or a family member has been injured in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, there are a few BIG mistakes I see people make that can often impact the fairness of the resolution of your personal injury claim or claims. Here is my top five list of mistakes that can be game changers in that regard:

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5.  Paying attention to healthcare and other solicitations arriving in the mail. (You will likely be bombarded with solicitations from pain clinics, chiropractors and/or a combination of healthcare providers …and lawyers. Ask yourself, “how did they know I was in a wreck and if they are so good at what they do, why do they need to do this?”)

4. Posting about your accident on Facebook or social media. (That is the first place insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will go to look for anything that will hurt your claim. Do not discuss any aspect of your accident online. Go silent on social media.)

3.  Ignoring initial pain and refusing initial care and treatment and/or settling a claim too soon. (In the immediate wake of a collision, you most likely will be worried, angry, embarrassed, nervous, and tense, with a thousand things going through your head …but you may be really hurt, too.  Get checked out thoroughly and follow the advice of the professionals when it comes to follow-up care. NEVER sign a release until you are sure you are finished treating and know the full extent of your injuries.)

2. Failing to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney right away. (You have no idea how many times in my twenty-five years of doing this I have had to attempt to re-build claims that have been mangled by good people who thought they could go it alone. Don’t go to a gun fight with a butter knife.)

…and the number 1 mistake I see people make after a car wreck is:

1. Talking to the insurance company for the at-fault driver.  (The insurance company for the person who caused the wreck is not “on your side” or “a good neighbor” or “good hands”…that you want to be in. The bodily injury adjuster has one goal in mind and that is to get your name on a piece of paper called a release as quickly as possible for as little money as possible. Just don’t talk to them …period … or at least NOT until you have been fully advised by an experience personal injury attorney.)

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Chris%20Conroy%20Photography-0125-2[1]Call me anytime and I will be glad to discuss your case with no obligation.

Here’s my cell: (479) 936-4384

 

Please click HERE to learn more about our firm.

We proudly represent families all over Arkansas in serious injury and death cases. If you or a family member is involved in a car accident in any of the following locations, we are nearby and ready to help: I-49, Benton County, Washington County, Madison County, Carroll County, Sebastian County, Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Lowell, Springdale, Fayetteville, Van Buren, Fort Smith, Huntsville, Siloam Springs, Harrison, Green Forest, Eureka Springs, West Fork, Garfield, Gentry, Gravette, Centerton, Gravette, Decatur, Mena, Elm Springs, Cave Springs, Alma …and everywhere in between.

REALLY GOOD LAWYERS IN ARKANSAS – don’t tolerate even “small” lies.

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This will probably come as a surprise to no one, but there are lawyers that are untruthful. They will skirt the rules of ethics when dealing with opposing counsel and lie to their co-workers, employees, partners, and even clients, for financial gain and/or to feed their egos. I believe this is a conditioned behavior. Such lawyers simply do not recognize that integrity is like a boat, and with each act of dishonesty a small hole is punched into the hull.  At first the boat sails on, as it is watertight for the most part, but over time no amount of bailing will keep it afloat.  Such lawyers are destined to eventually fail in one aspect or another of their lives.  A good friend of mine recently sent me this article …which is right on point:

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An attorney’s integrity and reputation for honest dealings is far more important than money. Self-serving lying lawyers gradually burn bridges with those around them until there is no where to go ….because there is no bridge left. They end up on an island with those who still pretend to respect them – convinced that they are still respected …because they cannot even be honest with themselves.

-bruce

Mulkey Law Firm takes great pride in the lawyering we do inside and outside the courtroom. You can talk to Bruce about your case any time with no obligation. Just call his cell: (479) 936-4384.  Click HERE to learn more and see his client ratings.

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THE BEST WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS IN ARKANSAS – understand that all lives have value.

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The nursing home industry in Arkansas recently attempted to put an issue on the ballot which, if passed, would have changed the Arkansas Constitution and allowed the legislature to set the value of non-economic damages in medical cases at no less than $250,000.00. (Fortunately, our Supreme Court found the initiative, particularly the phrase “non-economic damages” inadequately defined and struck it from the ballot.) Had this actually become law, and had our legislature actually set “non-economic damages” at $250,000.00, then whether it knew it or not, it would have been limiting a jury’s right to set the value of life itself at no more than $250,000.00.

Right now in Arkansas, if someone in your family is taken out of this world through negligent, careless or intentional conduct of another, a jury is given the power to compensate certain family members for grief and loss of financial support, but also, the estate of the decedent is entitled to recover certain things. One of these elements of “damages” is “loss of life.”

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Our Supreme Court has explained in case law that a jury must use the evidence presented at trial to determine the value your deceased loved one would have placed on his or her own life. (Think about that for a moment. If you were killed as a result of “wrongful” conduct tomorrow, a jury might be asked to determine the value you placed on your life.)

The best trial lawyers in Arkansas understand that building a wrongful death case for trial, entails learning everything there is to know about the life that was lost — from every available resource. The best case preparation involves spending a great deal of time with family members and close friends of the decedent; going to his or her church; visiting his school or place of work; studying family videos and photographs, and really listening to every story that can be told about the person whose life will be the focus of the trial. (Sort of brings to mind what Atticus Finch told his young daughter in Harper Lee’s amazing book, To Kill a Mockingbird.)

“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

It is only after such intense, serious and focused personal study, that a good trial lawyer begins to truly understand what evidence best illustrates the value that your love one placed on his or her life.  With this knowledge, a trial strategy can be developed that presents real and substantial evidence so that a jury can be provided genuine facts to look to in making such an important determination.

Fortunately, in Arkansas, juries will retain the power that our Founding Fathers intended and the nursing home industry will not use our constitution (and then its powerful lobby) to convince the legislature to set a very low arbitrary limit on the value of life …at least for now. (Probably a very good thing for everyone who is now, or ever will be, in a nursing home.) It’s also a good thing for every family who has lost a child …born or unborn.

-bruce

Mulkey Law Firm has proudly represented families who have lost loved ones for over twenty-five years. We respect life and believe that all lives have tremendous value. Please click HERE to read our latest client ratings and reviews.

 

 

CHILD DIES IN BRINKLEY IN COLLISION WITH SEMI – Tractor-trailer reportedly pulls into path of car

According to an Arkansas State Police Preliminary Fatal Crash Report, a female child from Brinkley was killed and two other minors were injured when the Nissan Altima they were in collided with an 18 wheeler on September 13, 2016, on Highway 238 in Monroe County. The crash occurred at 7:45 a.m. The names of the three minors were not released, nor was the name of the tractor-trailer driver included in the report.

Reportedly the child was a passenger in a car that collided with the semi when the truck pulled from a private drive into the path of the car. Two other juvenile girls in the car — the driver and a passenger — were taken to a hospital, but their conditions were not reported. The report says the weather was clear and the road was dry at the time of the collision.

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Bruce Mulkey is a member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Please click HERE to learn more about Bruce. Please click HERE to learn more about Bruce.

Note: Information obtained from an Arkansas State Police fatal crash summary represents only the initial findings by an investigating law enforcement officer. The summaries are not considered official reports of a highway crash investigation, but merely a summary of preliminary information presented to an investigating officer. The information contained in a summary may not represent the facts eventually placed on file in the official final report.