Rainwater, Holt & Sexton | Injury Law Blog

What to Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident

by Richard Atkinson | October 20th, 2016

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of accidents, accounting for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States. Slipping and falling can result in neck and spine injuries, broken bones, traumatic head injuries, lacerations and even death.

Slip and fall accidents can be very serious. Whether you are at a business, at work, at home or somewhere else, here are important steps to take following a slip and fall.

  1. Seek Medical Help

The most important thing to do following any kind of accident is to immediately seek medical help for any injuries. Put your health first before dealing with anything else.

  1. Report the Accident

Depending on where you fell, report the injury to a person of authority. If you fell in a business, report the fall to the manager. If you fell in an apartment building, report the injury to the landlord. If it is anywhere else, report the injury to the owner of the property. Obtain a physical copy of any official reports that they file.

  1. Take Photos

Document the scene where you fell by taking photos and capturing any dangerous conditions that contributed to your accident. These could be helpful later as you prove negligence.

 Get Witness Info

Were there any witnesses when you fell? If so, capture their contact information. You might need these witnesses later to provide a statement that confirms there was negligence that caused you to slip and fall.

  1. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Contact a Little Rock personal injury attorney to review your case. To win your claim, your personal injury attorney will prove that the business or building owner did not meet premises liability, meaning they did not maintain an adequate level of safety for those on premise and that you were injured as a result.

Slip and fall injuries are very common. If you or a loved has been harmed because of slipping and falling, consult the personal injury attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton to see if you are warranted compensation.

Spirit of Arkansas Winner – Parents of Murdered Children

by Richard Atkinson | October 19th, 2016

This month’s Spirit of Arkansas winner helps parents work though the tragedy of losing a child to murder. The Parents of Murdered Children accomplishes their goal by working with families in many ways. The main focus is group therapy and walking through the judicial process with the parents. The victim advocate, Amy Stivers, is also a parent of a murdered child. She reaches out to parents to offer her support and the resources of the organization. The great work that Parents of Murdered Children does with local families is why they are this month’s Spirit of Arkansas winner.

Rainwater, Holt & Sexton is partnered with KATV Channel 7 to present the “Spirit of Arkansas Award.” The award is given to local charities doing exceptional work in the community. To be considered for the Spirit of Arkansas Award, a charity can apply at http://www.katv.com/story/29483184/the-spirit-of-arkansas-nomination-form .

Three Questions to Ask Before Signing with the Insurance Company

by Cary Graham | October 17th, 2016

Every accident victim who is injured in Arkansas naturally has a number of questions about what their next steps should be. Where you go to obtain answers to those questions can have a profound impact on the outcome of your injury claim. As personal injury lawyers that offer free consultations to every Arkansas accident victim, we recommend calling a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. However, we understand that some folks may be hesitant to get a lawyer involved and would rather see how things go with the insurance company first.

We would never advocate that you deal with the insurance company alone, but if you must, don’t sign anything until you’ve asked yourself three important questions:

  • Will the settlement offer from the insurance company be enough money to pay all my current and future medical expenses?
  • Will it fully compensate me for all the paychecks I’ve missed due to my injuries?
  • Does their offer take into account my pain and suffering or the strain put on my family?

If you can’t answer “yes” to all three of these questions, stop speaking with the insurance company immediately and give us a call. We’ll gladly evaluate the insurance company’s offer for free at absolutely no obligation to you. If we feel like it’s a sound offer, we’ll tell you. If not, we’ll be happy to take on your case to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries. Either way, it’s worth a call to find out.

Don’t try to go it alone after a serious accident. Call our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys today for your free consultation.

Determining Liability in Big Rig Accidents

by Richard Atkinson | October 17th, 2016

There are many factors involved in determining liability in semi truck, tractor-trailer or big rig accidents, of which there were over 400,000 in 2014. It can be difficult to determine liability because multiple players are involved – the driver, the truck company, the manufacturer of the truck’s parts and more – and multiple parties can be found at fault at once.

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Big Rig Accident?

When something goes wrong, and a big rig is involved in an accident, there are multiple people who can be at fault.

  • The truck driver
  • The owner of the truck
  • The person or company that leased the truck from the owner
  • The manufacturer of the truck or parts of the truck that were responsible for the accident
  • The company responsible for maintenance of the truck
  • The shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo if improper loading was the cause of the accident

Laws and Regulations Determine Liability

To make things even more complicated, trucking companies often do not own the trucks they use and hire drivers as independent contractors. In the past, this was one way that trucking companies would try to avoid liability in accidents, causing all parties involved to point fingers at one another.

Now, laws and regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declare that any company that owns a trucking permit is responsible for all accidents involving a truck that has its name displayed on the vehicle.

Additional federal and state laws help determine who is actually liable in big rig accidents, including regulations for proper rest for the driver, maximum weight permissions, quality control of trucks and safely transporting hazardous waste.

Because big rig accidents can be quite complicated, it is recommended to consult with an experienced Arkansas truck accident attorney, like the attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, to understand who is at fault in your individual situation.

I Was Injured at Work, What Should My Next Steps Be?

by Richard Atkinson | October 14th, 2016

All employers are required by law to provide a reasonably safe and healthy environment for you to work. When employers fail to maintain a safe environment and you become injured at work, it is important to know what steps to take. Every state, including Arkansas, has workers’ comp law to protect employees who experience injuries on the job.

Report Your Injury

As soon as it is feasible, report your injury to your employer, in writing if possible. Do not wait to report it, as many states have a short window in which you must report to receive workers comp.

Once you report the injury, it is up to your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company by completing a First Report of Injury or Illness. Be sure to follow up with your employer to make sure this report has been submitted.

See a Doctor

 As soon as possible, see a doctor. However, if the injury is severe or life threatening, you need to go straight to the emergency room immediately.

Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company has the right to choose a doctor, but if you’re not happy with their choice, you may ask for them to approve another doctor or formally write a “Change of Physician” request. Before receiving any kind of treatment for your injuries, receive approval from the insurance carrier.

See a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

 Under workers comp law; you are entitled to coverage of necessary medial care, lost wages and possibly more. If your employer is required to have workers comp insurance but failed to do so, you may be able to sue for negligence. If you need help understanding any part of your case, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

If you were injured while at work, an Arkansas workers’ comp lawyer can provide a free consultation and help determine what you are entitled to based on your situation.


Do I Need to Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney?

by Richard Atkinson | October 12th, 2016

In 2015, over 860,000 bankruptcy cases were filed and another 1.2 million were pending in the US Courts. If you are one of the thousands considering filing for bankruptcy this year, you might be wondering – do I need to hire a bankruptcy attorney? While individuals are not legally required to use an attorney to file for bankruptcy, it is almost always recommended to have the support of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Varying Complexity: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

There are two types of bankruptcy cases: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is the simpler of the two, while Chapter 13 can be quite complex because more income and assets are involved.

Individuals file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have little to no disposable income and want to totally wipe out their unsecured debts. In the simplest form of a Chapter 7 filing, it could be feasible to represent yourself without the help of an attorney, but even so, extensive paperwork and documentation are required, so it is always recommended to have the help of an expert. An example of a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy ruling would be if your income is less than the state median, you do not own any assets and there are no priority debts or creditors alleging fraud against you.

Unlike Chapter 7, individuals file for Chapter 13 if their income is great enough that they can pay back their debt. If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is always recommended to hire an attorney because you must propose a repayment plan to pay off the debts. Proceedings for Chapter 13 can be much more complicated than Chapter 7 because there’s more at stake, and it would be very difficult and not recommended for an individual to represent themselves in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

When to Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas, you should contact a Little Rock bankruptcy attorney for a consultation. No matter the type or complexity of your bankruptcy filing, an experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you reach the most favorable outcome for your situation.

When should I hire a wrongful death attorney?

by Richard Atkinson | October 10th, 2016

Losing a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. When the loss of life is due to the negligence or actions of a third party, it’s called a wrongful death. Every year, thousands of deaths are caused unnecessarily due to the recklessness of others. A wrongful death attorney can help your family heal and move on by ensuring that the person or party at fault is found guilty in court and by giving your family a chance of recovering compensation for medical bills, funeral costs and the loss of financial support.

Situations of Wrongful Death

Common incidences of wrongful death include motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products and defective drugs, although any situation in which a third party causes someone else’s death is considered a wrongful death. While these are some of the most common wrongful death situations, this list is just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more incidences that cause unjust deaths every year.

  • Motor Vehicle Deaths: In 2014, there were 32,675 motor vehicle deaths in the U.S., and every day 27 people die in drunk driving related accidents.
  • Medical Errors: Deaths from medical errors are the third most common type of death in the US – right behind heart disease and cancer – making up 10 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually. Situations of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, fail to diagnose, surgery errors and treatment errors.
  • Defective products: Defective products are linked to immeasurable deaths in the U.S. every year. Recent controversies include Takata’s deadly airbags, G.M.’s faulty ignition switch and cheap lithium batteries causing hoverboards and other devices to blow up.
  • Defective drugs: Pharmaceutical companies often release drugs before fully understanding long-term side effects or harmful interactions. Wrongful deaths are caused by failing to warn users of deadly side effects or deadly interactions between two types of drugs.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you should hire a wrongful death attorney. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed in civil court between the family of the victim and the person or party responsible for the victim’s death, and a wrongful death attorney will ensure that those at fault are found guilty and your family is compensated. Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to find out more about your legal options.

Farm Equipment Injury Claims in Arkansas

by Cary Graham | October 10th, 2016

Arkansas is known for the incredible produce grown by our farmers. From being the leading producer of rice in the country, to growing staple crops such as cotton, corn, and grain, Arkansas is an important component in our nation’s hard-working farming community. But with that hard work comes risk. Heavy machinery is a must for planting and harvesting, which leads to a large amount of injury every year in our state. Often these accidents could have been avoided, leaving farm workers without an income at no fault of their own.

When that happens, many farm workers and their families turn to Rainwater, Holt & Sexton for help. We have more than 30 years of experience fighting on behalf of injured farm workers in Arkansas, and we’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. That’s compensation your family is going to need for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

If you or someone you love was injured while using a brush clipper, tub grinder, horizontal grinder, or other type of lawn, farm, or construction equipment, give us a call today for a free consultation. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries, but your time to bring a claim may be limited.

UAMS Family Home

by Richard Atkinson | October 5th, 2016

UAMS Family Home

Many families need a place to stay when they are at UAMS for an extended period of time, and that is where the UAMS Family Home can play a big role in their life. The Family Home provides affordable ($10 a night) lodging and a home like setting for cancer patients and parents of premature infants that are being treated at UAMS. As a private, non-profit facility the Family Home operates because of donations from groups and individuals throughout the year. Rainwater, Holt & Sexton is happy to help by donating $1,079.24 as a part of our monthly charity giving.

Our monthly charity giving is one of our favorite things to do. Each month employees nominate and vote on a charity in the community they would like to help. Throughout the month employees “donate” by buying snacks and drinks that the firm subsidizes. All the proceeds from the snacks are then matched by the firm. We are honored to have such great employees that not only pick out wonderful organizations, but also help by donating all month long.

Workers’ Comp Insurance May Not Cover All Your Expenses

by Cary Graham | October 3rd, 2016

Working for a living requires a simple arrangement between a worker and an employer. In exchange for an hour’s worth of work, the employer pays the worker a wage. At the end of the week, the hours of work are added up and a paycheck is cut. This arrangement has been around for millennia. Both parties depend on the other to survive, which is why many folks in Arkansas are loyal to one employer for decades, if not their entire careers. Unfortunately, that loyalty doesn’t always go both ways.

One misconception about workers’ compensation claims in Arkansas is that just because your employer has worker’s comp insurance, you’ll be completely covered in the event of a workplace injury. That’s simply not the case. We speak to injured workers all the time who were surprised to discover that their workers’ compensation claim doesn’t come close to covering the true cost of their accident, which is why they turn to us.

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we have years of experience fighting on behalf of injured workers just trying to make ends meet after an on-the-job accident. They call us because they know we’ll not only go after compensation for medical expenses, but lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you’ve been injured on the job, give our Arkansas workers’ compensation attorneys a call today for a free consultation. Getting your workers’ comp claim right is too important to your family to go it alone. Contact us today.

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