TOP RATED NORTHWEST ARKANSAS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY – Gives out his cell phone number!

A recent conversation I had with a fellow attorney went something like this:

Fellow attorney:   You give out your personal cell phone number to your clients?

Me:   Yes.

Fellow attorney:   Are you kidding?

Me:   No. It’s the only number on my business card and it’s on my website:

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Fellow attorney:   Why? Don’t you worry your clients will call you …like  in the evening?

Me:   No, not at all. If they need to speak to me, I want them to be able to reach me.

Fellow attorney:  I’ll talk to my client when I’m working.

Me:   Clients work too and sometimes have issues that arise after 5:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m. If I can, I will take the call. If not, I’ll call them back. I want them to know that I’m available when they need me.

The lawyer remained somewhat incredulous, but the fact is, I became a lawyer in order to help people and people do not just need my help on my time. This is especially the case in the immediate aftermath of a car wreck. A personal injury or wrongful death attorney is useless if he or she is “unavailable.”

A family’s life can be turned upside down even in what initially appears to be a minor car accident: someone is hurt; a two-car family just became one; insurance companies are calling; medical bills are stacking up; the car is impounded at the tow company; the family is losing income; slick solicitation letters from lawyers are suddenly piling up in the mailbox ( …not from me!)

New questions come up every hour: What about a rental car? Which insurance company is responsible? Should I fight this ticket? Should I give the insurance company a statement? How do I get my car fixed? Should my health insurance pay this bill? What happens next?

If, God forbid, the accident involves serious injury or death, the whole world crashes to a stop for the affected family. These issues and questions, while magnified ten-fold, take a back seat to worry, exhaustion and grief. The family needs someone they can entrust with these worries so that they can concentrate on each other.

Saying “we love our clients” means being there for them. That is exactly why I give our clients my cell phone number and always will. 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.

AFTER TRACTOR-TRAILER HEAD-ON COLLISION – HOURS OF SERVICE LOGS VANISH

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. 

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

ARKANSAS TRUCK DRIVERS PUT A LOT ON THE LINE!

Unfortunately, truck drivers are the most likely drivers on the road to be involved in an accident where an experienced trucking accident lawyer can make the difference between getting the short end of the stick and a full cup of justice. Moreover, and sadly, it is the family of a truck driver that is the most likely to seek such an attorney to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their loved one’s death in an accident involving a semi-truck.

That is because, statistically, driving a truck for a living remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal transportation incidents accounted for about 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2013.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people die each year in large truck and bus crashes. New rules that go into effect Monday aim to reduce those numbers.

Of the 1,740 transportation-related fatal injuries in 2013, nearly 3 out of every 5 (991 cases) were roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles.

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The Mulkey Law Firm respects safe truck drivers.  We also represent such truck drivers, or their families, when THEY are the victims in a serious trucking accident.  Bruce L. Mulkey is a member of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. Call us for a 100% free, no-obligation, evaluation of your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Available seven days a week …even evenings and weekends. 479-936-4384

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AFTER A SEMI-TRUCK CRASH – NO TIME TO WASTE! HIRE AN ARKANSAS TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER AND GET YOUR OWN EXPERT 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.

 

HELPFUL LINKS FOLLOWING AN ARKANSAS TRUCK ACCIDENT

If you are like us, when something is important and affecting our family, we dig in and research various aspects of whatever it is.  Following a wreck involving a semi-truck, in which someone in your family is a victim, the most important thing you can do is quickly hire an attorney knowledgable in securing and protecting evidence.  Because trucking companies often have defense crash teams on the scene immediately, inaction is really NOT the best option. You need to have your own team gathering evidence.  An experienced truck accident attorney will quickly put expert boots on the ground for you.

Here are a few links that can be helpful in researching issues related to trucking:

State Links:

Arkansas Department of Transportation
Arkansas State Statutes
Arkansas State Highway Patrol

Federal Links:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Rules & Regulations
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Insurance Institute For Highway Safety
American Trucking Associations
SAFER: Safety & Fitness Electronic Records System

Trucking accidents do not just happen Monday through Friday during business hours. Mulkey Law Firm is available seven days a week and evenings.  Call (479) 936-4384 for a free, no obligation, consultation. We are ready to help. 

Common Causes of Tractor-trailer Crashes

The National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) lists the following as some of the most common causes of big rig accidents:

Poor Driver Training
Driver Fatigue
Speeding
Overloaded Trucks
Oversized Trucks
Brake Failure
Poor Driving Conditions
Driver Inexperience
Failure To Yield The Right-Of-Way
Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol Or Drugs
Aggressive, Dangerous Or Reckless Driving
Mechanical Failure (Or Improper Maintenance)
Defective Parts (Such As Defective Steering or Brakes)

When a trucking company sends a giant 80,000 pound vehicle down the highway, it should absolutely ensure that NONE of the above conditions exists. People and families traveling in passenger cars and trucks are literally at the mercy of these companies when it comes to trucking safety.

Mulkey Law Firm moves quickly to secure evidence and establish the true cause of all 18-wheeler accidents that we investigate.

JOE JOHNSON, III, OF COVE KILLED IN 18-WHEELER ACCIDENT IN POLK COUNTY

According to the preliminary accident report of the Arkansas State Police, a southbound tractor-trailer truck driven by Alvin James Lee of Stillwater, Okla., crossed the center line of U.S. 71 near Wickes in Polk County and struck a northbound 1989 Dodge pickup killing Joe M. Johnson, III, 43, of Cove “on impact.” A second northbound 2005 Dodge pickup, driven by Joshua Ryan Field of Texarkana, Texas, was also struck, however neither Mr. Field nor the driver of the 18-wheeler are reported to have been injured. The wreck occurred about 4:15 p.m. on Sunday and the conditions were clear and the road dry at the time.

Mulkey Law Firm extends sincere condolences to the family of Joe M. Johnson, III.

DOROTHY HARRIS OF CABOT KILLED IN 18 WHEELER ACCIDENT

According to an Arkansas State Police preliminary report, Dorothy Harris, age 91, of Cabot died in a collision with a tractor-trailer truck in March 25, 2015 at approximately 12:35 p.m. in Pulaski County on U.S. 67.

The report indicates that Dorothy Harris was a passenger in a 2003 Chevrolet driven by Homer Harris, age 81, also from Cabot. Mr. Harris is listed as “injured.”

According to the police report, a north bound 2005 Freightliner driven by Nicky Fisher of Jonesboro, AR, was entering U.S. 67 from the right shoulder and was struck from behind by the Harris vehicle. The road conditions are to have been as clear and dry.

The Mulkey Law Firm extends condolences to the family of Dorothy Harris and hopes for a fast and full recovery for Homer Harris.