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

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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!

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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 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!

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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.

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.

WHEN AN INTOXICATED DRIVER CAUSES INJURY OR DEATH – Our firm led the fight!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention every single  day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.  The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $59 billion.

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Clearly drivers that are intoxicated endanger not only themselves but every man, woman and child on the road. When such a driver causes injury or death in Arkansas, our state law allows the victims to seek, not only compensation for their losses, but punitive damages in order to punish the wrongdoer and, more importantly, send a message to the entire community that Arkansans will not tolerate drunk drivers killing and injuring our families.

Recognizing the danger to our communities posed by drunk drivers, in 1994 the Arkansas Supreme Court first decided to allow lawsuits against liquor stores and bars that illegally sell alcohol to minors, who then cause harm to themselves or others when intoxicated.  Our firm was proud to have represented the parents of sixteen year old Charles Shannon who tragically died after such an illegal sale. After the Shannon case was dismissed for failing to state a cause of action, we challenged the dismissal in our Supreme Court and successfully convinced the Court to change the law so that they were able to hold the liquor store accountable.

Eventually, based in part on the Shannon case, our state legislature set down specific statutes whereby victims of drunk driving can sue not only the drunk driver but, under certain circumstances, the seller of the alcohol.  Victims can now sue the liquor store or bar if intoxication resulted in injury and death under two circumstances:

(1) When the alcohol is sold to a minor, and the intoxicated minor injures or kills themselves or someone else as a result.

(2) When the alcohol is sold to an adult (a person of legal age to purchase the alcohol) after that person is visibly intoxicated, and that person thereafter injures, kills or causes property damage to another due to the intoxication.  An important distinction here is that a sale to a person that can legally purchase the alcohol does not give rise to a cause of action when they injure or kill themselves due to their own intoxication…unlike in the instance of a minor to whom the sale was illegally made.

Evidence of such sales sometimes does not last long.  Security camera video at liquor stores and bars will often record over itself after a few days.  Was there a sales receipt in the drunk driver’s vehicle?  Tragically, drunk drivers sometimes do not live to tell us where and under what circumstances they got the alcohol.  This is why it is always important to move quickly to gather evidence of the sale. You can’t fight back and send a message, unless you know who to fight!

Mulkey Law Firm will proudly continue to fight for families whose lives have been changed forever due to drunk driving.

 

ENOUGH ALREADY! The trucks are big enough!

ACTION NEEDED TO PREVENT HEAVIER TRUCKS ON OUR ROADS
September 19, 2015

BACKGROUND:
Representative Reid Ribble (R-WI) introduced a bill to increase the federal weight limit for large trucks from 80,000-lbs. to 91,000-lbs. Based on a letter he sent to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Foxx detailing his eagerness to see the results of the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study (Study), it is surprising that Rep. Ribble ignored the results. The DOT concluded that there should be no increase to truck size and weight due to a lack of data.

There was so little national data regarding six-axle 91,000-lbs. trucks that the DOT could only use one state, Washington, to study this configuration. In that state, these heavier trucks experienced a 47 percent increase in crash rate. Moreover, the Technical Report of the Study found that truck configurations operating over 80,000-lbs. had 18 percent more brake violations and a higher number of brake violations per inspection.

TAKE ACTION NOW:
Please take the time to contact your Member of Congress either by phone or email, and urge him/her to oppose H.R. 3488.
To Contact Your Representative Click the Link Below:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

HERE’S WHY:
– Every year on average 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes in the U.S. and another 100,000 are injured.
– According to 2013 U.S. DOT data, fatality figures have increased for the fourth year in a row – a 17 percent increase in truck crash deaths since 2009.
– Public opinion polls are clear and consistent – Americans strongly oppose bigger trucks.
– In addition to a wide coalition of safety advocates, leading trucking groups, including the Truckload Carriers Association and the Trucking Alliance, oppose this measure.
– The annual cost to society from crashes involving Commercial Motor Vehicles is estimated to be over $99 billion
– Big rigs carrying loads close to the current Federal Limit (65,000 to 80,000 lbs.) are already twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as trucks carrying less than 50,000 lbs.
– Overweight trucks disproportionately damage the already deteriorated roads and bridges. An 18,000 lb. truck axle creates over 3,000 times more damage to pavement than a passenger vehicle axle.

Congress Must Do All It Can To Improve Truck Safety And Keep Our Roads Safe…
Increasing Truck Weights Will Not Do That!

Thanks,

MULKEY LAW FIRM

CYCLIST HITS AND KILLS PEDESTRIAN ON NWA TRAIL – Hopefully We’ll Never See This Headline!

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One does not have to Google deep to read of tragedies on mixed use trails where cyclist have hit pedestrians, killing or seriously injuring the pedestrian, or themselves …or both. Please take a look at: http://nypost.com/2014/09/18/cyclist-slams-into-pedestrian-in-central-park/

As our local Regional Greenway trail system becomes more popular, unfortunately it is not a question of IF this will occur, but WHEN.

As avid runners, we are amazed at how many cyclist pass us and other runners and walkers on the trail without any warning whatsoever.  We have taken to shouting “thank you” to any cyclist who announces his or her intention to pass; both to show our gratitude and educate others as to this safety etiquette.

Bicycles have no engine and are silent, while runners and walkers are usually not equipped with rear-view mirrors. The fact is that passing without announcing is simply dangerous for both pedestrian and rider.

In an article I read recently, a “Bicycle Ambassador” from a large metropolitan area cycling association is quoted as saying,

Pedestrians are unpredictable and vulnerable, which is a bad combination (and doesn’t even get into things like pets and children and the mobility-impaired), and bicyclists should be prepared to slow down to whatever speed is necessary to ensure that they can react safely to whatever a pedestrian does.

It has long been the accepted practice on ski slopes to warn down hill skiers when passing by announcing “on your left” (or “on your right” ) and it makes imminent sense from the standpoint of the safety of BOTH skiers. It makes no less sense for an approaching cyclist on a trail to announce his or her intention. It could save both pedestrian and cyclist from serious injury or death.

Moreover, the warning is of no use if it is given too late. Occasionally, I hear “on your left” as the bike appears in my peripheral vision. The problem with this is that often startled runners and walkers turn toward sound, which can be disastrous if the pedestrian takes a step in the wrong direction while doing so. There are also elderly people walking (and sometimes running) on the trail that do not have the fastest reaction time. And finally, there are hearing impaired runners (like yours truly) that have both a difficult time hearing and, an even more difficult time, telling the direction of sound. For that reason, the safest practice is for the cyclist to slow down and somehow announce his or her presence well in advance of passing to allow for whatever pedestrian reaction is encountered.

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Be it by bell or a shout, we urge all cyclist to warn pedestrians of their intention to pass …every time. Be safe everyone!

-bruce