The best logging truck crash attorneys understand the industry.

It is imperative for our timber industry that logs are transported from the forest to lumber mills. However, nearly every year Arkansas lives are lost (or destroyed) in logging truck crashes.

Between 2007 and 2015 there were 576 fatal log truck crashes in the United States (FARS database) and between 2007 and 2016 there were 11,014 log truck crashes resulting in injury or property damage (MCMIS database).

The timber industry relies on contractors for cutting and hauling the timber. These “independent” contractors are often small and, sometimes, rather fly-by-night. However, they are also commercial trucking companies, whether they know it or not, and as such are bound by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations …whether they know it or not.

When a logging truck crashes, often the results are horrifically tragic and the limits of liability insurance carried by the contractor will be insufficient to remedy the harm.  Thus, an experienced lawyer in these types of cases will carefully analyze the relationship between the contractor employing the driver and the timber company that hired the contractor. What the timber company knew when it hired the contractor, and the contractor’s history while under contract, are important considerations in determining if there was negligent hiring and retention on the part of the timber company that contributed to the tragedy.

Moreover, the extent to which the timber company controlled the contractor, through its contract and/or conduct, must be analyzed. This is important because in Arkansas one who has the ability to control the actions of another, whether or not they use that control, may be held responsible for the conduct.

When a logging truck crash occurs, understanding the industry can make a big difference in investigating the collision and, ultimately, the success  of a case against the driver, logging contractor and/or timber company or shipper involved in the tragedy.

Mulkey Law Firm was proud to help victims of a logging truck crash recover jury verdicts of $1,980,000.00, $500,000.00 and $175,000.00 in 2018.

stacks-image-2e1d5c7-230x230

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

Please click HERE to learn more.

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.

IMG_3427 IMG_3428

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.”

images

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.

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.

 

TOP ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN BENTON COUNTY ARKANSAS – Are those who dig deep!

1_-Dig-hole

For twenty-five years I have been working for families that have been harmed in some way by the carelessness or negligence of another. Despite what television may depict, attorneys do not do all of their fighting in court. In fact, most of the battles take place well before a case ends up in court and, frankly, the better the lawyer, the less likely it is that there will ever be a court battle.

When it comes to car and truck accidents, the best lawyer a family can hire is one who recognizes that hard work on the front end of a case can pay off in spades for his or her clients; both in terms of saving them time in reaching a fair resolution and, more importantly, genuinely balancing the books in terms of receiving fair compensation for their clients’ harms and losses.

In most cases where liability is clear and the harm is not seriously questioned, the lawyer’s job is to stay engaged with all concerned and shepherd the client through the process; run interference between the client and the big insurance company, collect the medical and billing records, collect lost wage or income information, prepare a demand brochure and, hopefully, settle the case.  However, when the negligent party’s insurance company denies liability or refuses to recognize that your client was genuinely harmed, the lawyers job suddenly becomes difficult.

In my mind, this is really where the rubber meets the road in terms of lawyering.  What does the attorney do when the insurance company tells him to “go away?”  Some lawyers, for whatever reason, hang it up and hand the case back to the client. (Every injury lawyer knows this happens because we have all been called by someone who had a case handed back to them.) Others file suit no matter how bad the facts are; convincing themselves that the insurance company will fold at some point. (Don Quixote!!)

In my opinion, the top personal injury attorneys are those who go to work and dig deeper when the insurance company denies liability. There can be game changing evidence beyond what is found in the police report, but it won’t find itself.

For example, I was recently hired to represent two young women who were traveling through Arkansas when a dark colored car driven by an older woman veered into their lane and forced them off the interstate. Their car spun through the wet median and slammed into the retention cable on the opposite side. The cable then threw their car back into the center of the median like a giant slingshot.

According to the accident report, an elderly woman was pulled over by a State Trooper further down the interstate and identified (at least in the report) as the driver of the vehicle which had run my clients off the road. However, after the insurance company completed its investigation, I received a letter advising me that it would not be accepting responsibility.

I telephoned the adjuster and learned that, based upon his interviews of the State Troopers involved, there was simply no evidence that the woman identified in the report had been driving the vehicle that forced my clients’ car off the road.  She was just randomly pulled over several miles down the interstate because she was driving a black car. There was no evidence linking her to the wreck. End of story. Go away.

I contacted the trooper who investigated the accident, as well as the second trooper who pulled the woman over down the road, and confirmed that neither really knew the reason that particular woman had been pulled over or just how it was that her information had made it into the police report. To me something was missing. There had to be an explanation.

To try and get to the bottom of it, I sent Freedom of Information Act requests to the Arkansas State Police for all audio and video from the car and/or body camera for the trooper who pulled the woman over. When a disk finally arrived, I was able to watch the State Trooper pulling over a lady in a dark car, and I could see and hear him speaking to the woman and explaining to her that she had apparently run a car off the road. She was seemingly ignorant of this and he sent her on her way. It still made no sense. Why had he pulled HER over?

The answer came when I dug a little deeper. Again using the Freedom of Information Act, I ordered the 911 calls for the accident. When the disk arrived, I put it into my computer and started listening to one 911 call after another. Caller after caller alerted the State Police to a white car crashing in the median and, time and again, the callers were advised that the dispatcher was aware of the accident and thanked. After listening to ten or eleven such calls, I was beginning to think I had struck out, when a caller suddenly said something different.

A gentleman told dispatch that he had just witnessed a dark car run a white car off the interstate. He provided the cars license tag number and said that the vehicle was then directly behind his and that he had maintained sight of the vehicle since the accident and finally, thankfully, he provided his name and telephone number.

I pulled up the video of the State Trooper pulling over the older woman and the license tag number matched. I called the witness, who lives in another state, and learned even more regarding the erratic driving of the woman who forced my clients off of the interstate.

Needless to say, once I provided copies of the disks I had obtained from the State Police to the adjuster who had basically told me to “go away,” his company decided to accept responsibility for the accident. There was no more mystery as to why the police pulled over the elderly woman. Hard work pays off!

Most good lawyering occurs outside of the courtroom. Digging for facts takes time and can be hard work but it can make all the difference in the world to individuals or families who place trust in an attorney to build a case. When hiring an attorney, make sure he or she is not afraid to work hard, dig and get a little dirty!

Chris%20Conroy%20Photography-0125-2[1]

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.

Stacks Image 1016Stacks Image 1010Stacks Image 157

 

 

 

 

THE TOP PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN ARKANSAS – as selected by Timothy J. Ryan and Associates

10-out-of-10[1]

Wow! I am so humbled and honored to have been singled out and recognized as the top personal injury attorney in Arkansas by Timothy J. Ryan and Associates. Here is what that firm announced regarding this:

Outstanding personal injury lawyers can be found in every state. Asking friends for a referral to a personal injury lawyer is the traditional way to find one, but your research should not stop there. The internet offers new tools to help you learn about personal injury attorneys who are licensed to practice in your state.

Reading the reviews that clients have given to the lawyers who represented them can help you decide which attorney is right for you. The Avvo website rates lawyers on a scale of one to ten. The rating is based on their accomplishments, experience, and recognition in the legal community. Avvo also allows clients to post reviews of their attorneys and gives attorneys an opportunity to endorse other lawyers.

 Arkansas

Bruce Mulkey handles medical malpractice cases as well as personal injuries and deaths caused by all other forms of negligence, including trucking and motorcycle accidents. Clients who posted reviews to Avvo admire the integrity of this Arkansas native. They also appreciate his willingness to return telephone calls promptly and to keep them informed of the progress of their cases.

Mulkey studied law at the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1990. The National Trial Lawyers organization named him one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers while an Arkansas newspaper placed him in the Best of the Best attorneys in Northwest Arkansas. Mulkey belongs to the Arkansas Trial Lawyer Association and the American Association for Justice.

Mulkey’s practice is based in Rogers (479-936-4384). His Avvo rating is 10.0.

The lawyers featured in this article — one from each state — were selected because they have a “superb” rating on Avvo and because they devote their practices primarily or exclusively to the representation of personal injury victims. Most importantly, they were chosen because their clients have given them stellar reviews. This article is not an endorsement by Timothy J. Ryan & Associates or by Timothy J. Ryan himself.

Mulkey Law Firm is not affiliated with, nor do we even know,  Timothy J. Ryan & Associates or Timothy J. Ryan, but we are honored to have made the list!

FIND A TOP-RATED INJURY LAWYER IN ARKANSAS – that will actually talk to you!

When Elaine and I are unable to be at our office, for whatever reason, we transfer incoming calls directly to my cell. We do this because we know that in the immediate aftermath of an accident, no matter how minor or serious, people often need answers and/or guidance …not tomorrow but right now.

Despite my publicizing this fact and making my cell phone available on our website, callers always seem surprised when I actually answer my phone. I suppose that is because in our culture we often equate professional success with how many layers of insulation (secretaries, clerks, assistants, receptionists, paralegals…etc.) the “professionals” put between themselves and the clients. Try to call your doctor lately?

I really think that the attitude is more often in the minds of the “professionals” than the public. I’ve seen young lawyers who coattail into early success build practices in which they  rarely are available to actually talk to their clients, relegating that “unpleasant” aspect of their job to underlings and staff.

This same attitude on the part of some lawyers, results in accident victims, or their families, hiring a “big name” firm after meeting with one of the “big name” partners (who stops by and makes a brief appearance at the initial consultation) only to have their case handed to a young and inexperienced attorney.  Unfortunately, once that contract is signed with the “big name” firm… the accident victim can end up with a “no-name” lawyer.

When your family has suffered and injury or loss as a result of another’s carelessness or intentional conduct, you need to find and speak with a top rated attorney right away. I’m not suggesting hiring an attorney over the phone, but, if nothing else, get some guidance before dealing with insurance adjusters.  And, when you first meet with a lawyer, if you are not 100% comfortable with what you are hearing, seeing and feeling about the lawyer, do not sign a contract in the first meeting. Give it some thought.  Ask what attorney will be handling your case?  If the answer is, “we take a team approach,” ask for the “big name” lawyer’s cell phone number and tell him or her you’ll think about it.

For twenty-five years we have taken great pride in being available and responsive to our clients. We consider that as important as any other aspect of what we do. Don’t believe me?

1497122-1447086500-s[1]

MY CELL NUMBER IS: 479-936-4384

Please click HERE to see all of my Avvo client reviews.

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, Centerton, Gravette, Decatur, Mena, Elm Springs, Cave Springs, Alma …and everywhere in between.

Stacks Image 1016Stacks Image 1010Stacks Image 157

 

 

 

NWA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY – We win when our clients are satisfied!

play-the-numbers-game-300x225

A young lawyer once told me that practicing law is a “numbers game”. He meant, of course, that the more cases a firm takes the more likely it is that one will pay off. That may be how some firms do it; put up billboards and sign up as many cases as possible and maybe some will pay off! Some do, but are all of the cases getting the attention each deserves?

That is NOT how Elaine and I do it, nor will it ever be. This year will be our twenty-fifth year of serving individuals and families who have suffered some loss or injury as a result of the negligence of others. If our case load will not allow us to give a new case the attention it deserves, we will decline the case. Always have, always will.

25_Years-300x232[1]The reason is simple. We measure success by how much we are able to help our clients not by how much money we make. When client satisfaction is our number one priority, we will not allow ourselves to take on more cases than we can handle.

Experience is invaluable in the practice of law. We know from experience what resources a particular type of case will require in terms of our time. Wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases often demand far more of our attention than accidents with minor injuries.

Whatever the type of case, we want each family or individual who we serve, to feel confident that we are devoting the attention to their case that it deserves. Most of our clients are referred to us by former clients and whenever that happens we know that we are practicing law the right way.

Stacks Image 1016Stacks Image 1010Stacks Image 157

 

18 WHEELERS CRASH ON I-55 KILLING TRACY WALLACE AND INJURING DANIAL K. WATSON

According to a preliminary report issued by the Arkansas State Police, two tractor trailers collided on I-55 in Mississippi County at approximately 7:31 p.m. on January 15, 2016, at mile marker 56.

The report indicates that the two trucks were southbound when Daniel K. Watson, age 43 of Dyersberg, Tennessee, slowed his 2013 Freighterliner. The second truck (which is not identified in the report), driven by Tracy Wallace, age 40 of Jonesboro, struck the rear end of Watson’s truck and both trucks reportedly then ran off the roadway.

Mr. Wallace reportedly died at the scene and Mr. Watson is listed as injured. Trooper Patrick Salmon investigated and noted the weather clear and the road dry.

ATAA

 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.

 

THE BEST PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN ROGERS, SPRINGDALE OR FAYETTEVILLE – may be in Bentonville!

Ari art

When looking for the right attorney, sometimes I think folks are too quick to just look at the lawyers in the town in which they live. The fact is, most personal injury or wrongful death claims that arise from an auto accident or truck accident, should the claim not be settled out of court, are going to be litigated in Arkansas and any attorney licensed in this state can practice in any State court in this state. (Most can also practice in U. S. District Court, if the case involves parties from different states.)

Finding the right law firm can be the single most important decision a family can make following a wreck.  Inexperience and/or disorganization can spell disaster for a claim. If important matters are relegated to new attorneys, law clerks, paralegals or secretaries, without proper oversight by an experienced personal injury attorney, the settlement value of the injury claim can be seriously compromised. Moreover, from the initial letter of representation, the insurance company on the other side of the case begins to set its reserves (or determine its valuation) on the claim and, make no mistake, the insurance company knows if the case is actually being handled by the “staff” or by the lawyer.  Thus, bigger may not equate to better, when it comes to the right law firm for a case.

The communities of Northwest Arkansas have expanded along the I-49 corridor such that, in many respects, it is now a single metropolitan area. Aside from the initial attorney-client conference, which in the case of our firm can occur wherever the clients would prefer to meet, rarely are families required to actually travel to the location of the law firm. As most routine matters can now be handled by email, these days choosing a law firm simply because it is located down the street, makes much less sense than it did in years past.

The bottom line is that when an accident occurs, and certainly if there is a serious injury or death involved, a family should take the time to really look around, even beyond their immediate community, and choose an attorney who they believe has the experience to handle the case, is genuinely respected in the community, hard-working, honest and fair. The home team may not always be the best team for the job.

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.

Original graphic artwork by Ari Mulkey.