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

 

When It’s Hot Outside – Slow Down and Save a Child’s Life

Sadly, just last week in Arkansas another child died as a result of being left in a hot car. These unspeakable tragedies are becoming all too common in this fast-paced age of smart phones and seemingly endless instant information.  We hope that everyone will take just a moment to review and share the safety tips below so that perhaps a child’s life can be saved.

Safety Tips from KidsAndCars.org

  • Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  • Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floorboard in the back seat underneath the child’s car seat.
  • Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind. This will soon become a habit.  We call this the “Look Before You Lock” campaign.
  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed animal is up front you know the child is in the back seat in a child safety seat.
  • Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled.
  • Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway.
  • Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
  • When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved.  If they are hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
  • Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.
  • Use drive-thru services when available. (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.)
  • Use your debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.

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. 

-bruce

 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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IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN IN SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY …LIKE MY GREAT UNCLE WOODROW.

This Memorial Day I will honor a man I never new.  My great-uncle, Woodrow Rainey.  He was the spitting image of his older sister, my beloved grandmother, and is my younger bother, Woody’s, namesake.  He was killed by a Kamikaze on March 26, 1945, at age 29, and was buried at sea.

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KIMBERLY
Monday, March 26, 1945
Kamikaze Attack near Kerama Retto
Departing San Pedro Bay March 21, for radar picket duty off the Ryukyus, Kimberly was attacked March 26 by two Vals. … Despite accurate antiaircraft fire and numerous hits, one enemy plane, trailing fire and smoke, crashed into the aft gun mounts killing 4 men and wounding 57. … Kimberly cleared the area April 1 for repairs at Mare Island.

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If he was anything like his father (my great-grandfather), whom we called “Dad Rainey”, the world lost a fine young man on March 26, 1945.

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Thank you great-uncle, Woodrow. Rest in peace!

-bruce

Mulkey Law Firm salutes all those who have fallen in service to our country.  

WHEN INSURANCE COMPANIES DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE – An Expert Witness Struggles to Help a Fellow Doctor

My client’s husband suffered immense pain for four days lying in a local hospital with a very swollen abdomen. Ordinarily a slender healthy man that walked three miles a day, later testimony of a friend that visited him on day four described him as looking nine months pregnant.

A radiologist reading a CT scan of his abdomen done upon his admission had measured his cecum (where the small intestine connects to the colon) at seventeen centimeters.  One of the slides in that CT scan revealed a  sign (said to resemble a bird’s beak) which was a classic indication that my client’s husband’s colon had twisted on itself (a sigmoid volvulus).

On day five in the hospital, my client’s husband’s internal organs shut down as his colon had been starved of its blood supply until it had died. He underwent emergency surgery, but it was too late. While he did survive the surgery, he spent his remaining days in a rehab facility, in what can only be described as horrific condition, never fully recovering. He went on to incur $1,800,000.00 in medical bills before he died six months later.

I was proud to file an Arkansas medical malpractice action on behalf of his wonderful wife and family. The primary defendants in the lawsuit were the radiologist, who we contended misread the initial CT,  and the internal medicine doctor, who we contended allowed his deterioration instead of involving a surgeon.  Although we provided detailed affidavits of numerous very good physicians, who found the radiologist and the attending physician to have acted beneath the standard of care resulting in this tragedy, we were fought every step of the way. Even after the defense attorneys deposed our experts, the insurance companies on the other side kept dumping money into defending the suit instead of accepting responsibility.

I tell this story as a preface to showing the following video clips. When defense attorneys are forced to hire expert witnesses to defend the indefensible, the results are often rather sad. (btw: The radiologist we sued testified that he considered the massive 17 cm cecum to be a “chronic” condition, although he never reported this, and thus, he did not call the ordering physician and alert him of the danger.) I asked his expert about this:

So how can you say he acted within the standard of care?

Mulkey Law Firm stands ready to help individuals and families whose lives are forever changed due to medical negligence. We look forward to showing big wealthy insurance companies the light!.

JAIME RAMIREZ SANTIAGO KILLED AND EIGHT INJURED IN COLLISION ON HIGHWAY 70 EAST OF HOT SPRINGS

According to an Arkansas State Police preliminary report a westbound 2007 Dodge Durango driven by Guillermo R. Bahea, age 22, of Hot Springs, lost control and crossed the center line and was struck on the right side by an eastbound a 1998 Toyota Tacoma on Highway 70 east of Hot Springs in Garland County. The accident occurred at midnight on May 9, 2015.

A passenger in the Dodge Durango, Jaime Ramirez Santiago, age 22, of Hot Springs is reported to have died at that scene and Mr. Bahea was reportedly injured. Other occupants of the Durango, also identified as injured, are Inez Rimarez, age 22, of Hot Springs and two juveniles, who are unidentified.

Occupants of the Toyota Tacoma, who were all reportedly injured, include,the driver, Francisco Matinez Ramos, age 32, of Alexander, and passengers, Juan Garcia Rodriguez, age 29, of Little Rock, Marella Rosalez Martinez, age 21 of Little Rock , and an unidentified juvenile.

The report indicates that it was raining and that the road was wet.

Mulkey Law Firm extends sincere condolences to the family of Jaime Ramirez Santiago and hopes for the full and fast recovery of all of those injured in this tragic accident.

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. 

ONE KILLED TWO INJURED IN HEAD-ON COLLISION ON HIGHWAY 64 NEAR WYNNE

The Arkansas State Police has issued a preliminary report of a head-on collision on Highway 64 east of Wynne at approximately 6:51 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

According to the report, Keene Sykes, age 24, from West Memphis, was killed when the eastbound 2006 Lexus ES he was driving lost control in a curve and went into the westbound lane where it was struck by a 2012 Chevy driven by Kay Bennett, age 20, of Batesville. Ms. Bennett and her passenger, Ken Fryman, age 41, also of Batesville, were both reported as injured.

The report indicated that it was cloudy and that the road was wet at the time of the accident.

Mulkey Law Firm extends condolences to the family of Keene Sykes and hopes for a full and fast recovery for Kay Bennett and Ken Fryman.