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.

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

 

 

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.

 

 

AVVO 2016 CLIENTS’ CHOICE AWARD – THANK YOU CLIENTS!!!!

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Mulkey Law Firm is proud to announce that Bruce has received Avvo’s Client Choice Award for 2016. We are dedicated to providing each client with personal attention and service and to obtaining the best possible results for each case.

Avvo is an online legal service marketplace that offers legal advice and showcases ratings of legal professionals. About 97% of U.S. lawyers are rated by Avvo, which allows prospective clients to research attorneys based on their reviews and ratings.

In addition to his most recent achievement, Bruce also maintains a “Superb” Avvo rating of 10 – Avvo’s highest rating.  Ratings on Avvo are calculated by using information from state bar associations, along with the attorney’s honors, experience, and qualifications.

Please click HERE to read Bruce’s full Avvo profile and read his latest client ratings and reviews.

 

 

BENTON COUNTY’S BEST INJURY LAWYERS …stand up to insurance companies that play games!

The best auto and truck accident lawyers in this, or any other, county are those that work the hardest to obtain evidence before going to battle with liability insurance companies. Moreover, when a company ignores powerful evidence that is contrary to its position, the best trial lawyers know it’s time to fight.

Not long ago my firm had the pleasure of representing a gentleman who, remarkably, only suffered minor injuries after his car was totaled.  A driver turned directly into his path as he was driving down Walton Blvd. in Bentonville one afternoon. The negligent driver’s insurance company, for whatever reason, decided it was  going to declare our client 20% at fault and pay only 80% of his property damage and personal injury claim.

What made this liability game so unbelievable was the fact that the company took this position despite the fact that we were able to obtain and provide it with a video of the accident from every angle!  Using the Freedom of Information Act, we procured video captured on traffic cameras operational at the intersection of Walton and Central (a major intersection in Northwest Arkansas) recording the entire unfortunate episode from start to finish. Viewers can even see the color of the traffic lights as the maroon truck turns (without a green arrow) across Walton Blvd. as our client enters the intersection under a green light. Liability could not be any clearer.

Amazingly, the insurance company, stood its ground and maintained its ridiculous stance. However, once we filed suit and served its insured, wiser adjuster heads prevailed and the company quickly forked over payment of 100% of our client’s property damages and bodily injury claim. Not only that, we extracted additional expenses our client incurred due to the delay and those associated with filing the lawsuit.

The moral of the story is: if you really have the evidence …call their bluff!

-bruce

Please click HERE to learn more about my practice.

 

THE BEST NWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – (in his own mind)…. that you may NOT want to hire!

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The other day I was reading an article I found online by Ann Bittinger entitled Disarming the Narcissistic Attorney.  It is an insightful essay on how attorneys should deal with other attorneys afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder.  However, it really  made me think about how sad it is when people facing very real and very serious problems entrust their cases to such attorneys. That is because, as Ms. Bittinger points out, attorneys are supposed to advocate for their clients.

True advocates put the interest of the person for whom they advocate ahead of their own. Thus, when we take a case, the client’s interest comes first. While a self-absorbed attorney often has trouble with this very simple concept, a narcissist finds it impossible. That is because the client and the client’s case are merely vehicles by which the narcissistic lawyer feeds his or her constant need for admiration.

Ms. Bittenger writes, “[t]he narcissistic attorney is the direct opposite of the attorney advocate. We are all familiar with the stereotypical narcissistic attorney: puffing his chest, bragging about his cases, his achievements and at the same time insulting and deflating those around him, including partners, associates and even the client. The narcissistic attorney must keep inflating his ego and perceived persona, like a balloon, while behaving in a way that deflates the behaviors of those around him.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, a narcissistic personality disorder can include these features:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Do any of the foregoing describe someone you initially admired, or wanted to admire you, only to later despise as their true narcissism became evident?  We have all encountered a narcissist and many of us are forced to encounter them everyday for the sake of a paycheck!

When you are trying to select the right attorney, who will truly put your needs ahead of their own, then you should at least make a mental check list to take into the initial conference with the lawyer.

  • Does the attorney whom you actually wanted to see, pop into the meeting to be introduced but then leaves you in the hands of other “staff” in the firm to get the details?
  • Does the attorney make statements such as, “oh we’ve handled cases just like yours half-a-dozen times successfully” (often asking a member of his or her staff to confirm his or her boast)?
  • Does the attorney casually tell you of some “really important” thing (or things) he or she has recently done?

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Keeping in mind that a narcissist usually makes an impressive first impression and surrounds himself with only admirers, if everything you see and/or hear is a little over the top with respect to “how great we are” or “how great he or she is,” – you might want to visit a few other attorneys before signing a contract.

Trust is extremely important when it comes to finding the right lawyer. If you genuinely trust the attorney, then others will, too. (That can be really important when it comes to a jury trial.)  If you have reservations regarding this …then others will, too.  Find a true advocate by trusting your instincts.

-bruce

Please click HERE to learn more about my practice.