Auto Accident

Our Awards Are More Than Trophies

by Cary Graham | May 24th, 2016

Most athletes growing up have a special shelf in their bedrooms reserved for trophies. Whether for little league baseball or high school track & field, these trophies serve as a lasting symbol of the commitment they made to the sports they love and the excellence at which they played them.

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we have a similar shelf reserved for the accolades our firm has earned over the years. Take a look at our homepage when you get a chance. About halfway down, you’ll see little circular icons that represent the national legal organizations that have recognized our firm for its accomplishments. Organizations like the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum—an organization that showcases the less than 1% of firms nationwide that have secured multi-million dollar verdicts for their clients. Or the Best Lawyers in America—the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the nation.

We showcase these accolades for one reason—to give you the confidence of knowing if you call our firm, we’ll do everything within our power to get you the best results in the least amount of time. We’re proud of our accomplishments and the reputation they have afforded us, but we’re not the type of firm to rest on our laurels…not while your case is yet to be won.

If you’ve been injured, give our Arkansas award-winning personal injury attorneys a call today. You deserve to have an experienced law firm on your side, and we’d be honored to represent you.

Bookmark and Share

Why is a medical lien filed against me?

by Sarah Baber | May 11th, 2016

You were injured in a wreck that was not your fault.  You are hurt, scared, mad, and more than a little confused as to why you are getting the bills when you were innocent in all of this?  The bills you can handle, but A LIEN??!!  What is this document you just received and why are you getting it in the first place?

The first thing to do is calm down.  The lien may look scary and sound like you’re going to start being garnished, but that is almost never the case.  What really happened is the the medical facility who provided you care has simply placed themselves in line for payment directly from the at-fault party.  They certainly have a right to be paid for the services they rendered.  This lien is notice to all parties involved (you, your attorney if you have one, and the liability insurance carrier) that a bill exists which needs to be paid.  Your name is on that bill since you received the care, so the lien exists against the potential proceeds you might recover from the at-fault party.

A.C.A § 18-46-105 outlines the requirements of a valid medical, nursing, hospital or ambulance lien.  This statute is very specific and must be followed precisely in order for a lien to be enforceable.  In reality, many of the “liens” we see have not strictly followed the statute and are probably invalid, but it’s still important they are dealt with to ensure peace of mind for our injured clients.  The injury attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton are well-versed in how to read these documents and will counsel you the steps necessary to protect you and your settlement proceeds.

Bookmark and Share

Can I Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Collision?

by Mike Rainwater | May 4th, 2016

When two drivers get into an accident, they typically exchange insurance information so the at-fault party can pay for the damages with the help of his or her liability insurance provider.

But what happens when the at-fault party is a hit-and-run driver who leaves the scene before you can get their name?

First of all, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, so report the incident to the police immediately.

Even if the identity of the hit-and-run driver is not learned, there is still a good chance that you can recover for his or her negligence. That is one purpose of uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage and your personal-injury-protection (PIP) medpay coverage on your own policy.

These types of coverage are often optional. In Arkansas, you can waive the purchase of this important insurance coverage but it must be done by signing in writing. State laws vary on exactly what is included in that coverage. And, your own insurance company has the prerogative to deny your claim by asserting that the hit-and-run driver was not liable to you. This can be done in a variety of ways, including: i) alleging that the collision was partly your fault and ii) alleging that the vehicle that caused the collision never made actual contact with your vehicle.

This is why it’s extremely important to have a detailed police report if you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident and to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to deal with the insurance company. Stay at the scene and call the police to make an on-site report of the collision facts. Call Rainwater Holt & Sexton for help.

While you may be covered by your own insurance policy, there is no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to settlement terms.  If you’ve been injured, Rainwater Holt & Sexton will help you navigate through the insurance claim process, making sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Bookmark and Share

How do I handle property damage after an accident?

by Vincent France | April 27th, 2016

 

The moment an accident is over one of the most common things to do is get out and look at the car. Why? Because everyone is worried about their property damage. Fixing a car that has been in an accident can be expensive and take a long time. There are several important things to remember when handling your property damage after an accident.

First, it is important to get the name and insurance information of the other driver, especially if the accident is their fault. If the accident is their fault it will be their insurance company that will be paying for repairs. Along with that it is important to take pictures of the damage at the scene of the accident. The photographs will be helpful in resolving your property damage, and often the photographs can be used to help illustrate how the accident occurred.

If your vehicle is damaged badly enough that it needs to be towed, time can become a factor. Unless you specify a repair shop, often times the wrecker service will tow your vehicle to storage facility that charges fees for each day your vehicle is there. If your vehicle is towed and is at a storage facility, it is important to determine as quickly as possible whether your vehicle is a “total loss” or is “repairable.” The insurance company will make that determination.

If your vehicle is repairable find a repair shop that is willing to repair vehicles that have been in an accident. You will need tell the repair shop where your vehicle is being stored and ask the repair shop to have it towed to their shop. The bills for towing are usually paid by the repair shop and included in the repair shop bill. The sooner your vehicle is out of storage the sooner it will get fixed and you will not have to worry about extra storage fees.

If your vehicle is a “total loss,” you are entitled to the fair market value of the vehicle immediately prior to the accident. Once the insurance company has made you a reasonable fair market value offer, you have a reasonable time (on average less than a week) to accept the offer. After such time, you could be responsible for excess storage fees.

Lastly, you may find that the liability insurance company is not responding or not treating you right. If you find yourself in this situation, consider contacting your own insurance company. Often they are more willing to assist you since you are their customer.

Bookmark and Share

Special rules for pedestrians and motorcycles in Arkansas

by Sarah Baber | April 20th, 2016

Arkansas is The Natural State, known for having some of the best outdoor attractions in the country.  People come from around the world to enjoy our breathtaking sights, and some of the best ways to enjoy all we have to offer is by hopping out of the car and exploring.  Whether you are riding along The Pig Trail with the wind in your hair, or hiking and biking in one of our 52 state parks, we want to make sure you are protected in our state.  That’s why Arkansas passed legislation which specifically provides extra protections for pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and yes…even people riding in a horse drawn carriage or on an animal.

A.C.A § 23-89-202 Required First Party Coverage states “Every automobile liability insurance policy covering any private passenger motor vehicle…shall provide minimum medical and hospital benefits [up to $5,000 and incurred within 24 months], income disability [70% of the loss of income starting 8 days after the wreck, but subject to a maximum of $140 per week], and accidental death benefits [up to $5,000}…to the named insured and members of his or her family residing in the same household injured in a motor vehicle accident, to passengers injured while occupying the insured motor vehicle, and to persons other than those occupying another vehicle struck by the insured motor vehicle, without regard to fault…”.  A.C.A § 23-89-204 specifically addresses Coverage for Passengers and Persons Struck by Insured Vehicle, stating “The coverages provided in 23-89-202 shall apply only occupants of the insured vehicle and to persons struck by the insured vehicle, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, persons in a horse-drawn wagon or cart, and persons riding on an animal, and to none other.”

What does this mean for you?  In practical terms it means that as a pedestrian or motorcyclist, if you are hit by a motor vehicle you may be entitled to additional recovery from the at-fault party.  For example:  Say you are riding your motorcycle and a car turns in front of you and you collide.  If that car carries liability insurance you are entitled to recover from the liability policy for damages which include (among other things) bodily injury, medical charges, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.  Additionally, under § 23-89-204 you may also be entitled to recover from their first party medical payments coverage or personal injury protection policy.  That means you may actually have two open claims against the at-fault driver’s policy.

These laws recognize that people on foot, bike, motorcycle or carriage are more vulnerable to injury than people protected in a car, and therefore deserve added protections to ensure they have a chance at a fair outcome.   Of course there are some caveats to these laws, which is why it’s important you hire the right firm who will know to look for all of these possibilities.  The injury attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton will investigate ALL coverages you may be entitled to and ensure that you are properly and zealously represented.

Bookmark and Share

Can I Change Law Firms?

by Cary Graham | April 11th, 2016

Hiring a lawyer after a serious accident is one of the best decisions you can make. However, choosing the right lawyer for your situation can be difficult. There are a lot of personal injury firms in Arkansas. Determining which one can be overwhelming, especially while recovering from serious injuries. What if you choose a law firm and aren’t happy with how they are handling your case? Can you switch law firms in the middle of your case?

The answer is yes.

Over the years, several clients have come to us from other law firms. In those situations, we work with the original firm to make the transition as seamless as possible, often collaborating to an extent with that firm to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Most firms know how important it is for you to feel comfortable with the legal team handling your case and will accommodate a change if you feel it necessary.

If you’ve been injured and need legal representation, give us a call for a free consultation. We have years of experience helping Arkansas injury victims get the compensation they deserve, and we’d love to help you as well. If you’ve already hired a law firm and are looking to make a change, give us a call as well. We’ll review the details of your case to determine how best we can help.

Bookmark and Share

Free Consultations Provide Peace of Mind

by Cary Graham | April 4th, 2016

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we offer free consultations to every person who comes through our doors. That might seem like a simple or obvious gesture to some, but to accident victims seeking answers to questions that could potentially impact the rest of their lives, free initial access to an attorney can make all the difference. They’re injured, scared, and unsure of what to do next. Having an experienced attorney listen to their story and advise them on next steps provides much needed peace of mind.

So what does a free consultation consist of? First, we just listen. Even though we’ve helped thousands of injured people in Arkansas over the years, every case is different. Before we can help, we need to hear your story. Then and only then can we advise you as to what you should do. If we feel like our firm can help by representing you in an injury claim, we’ll say so. If we can’t help, we’ll gladly direct you to someone who can.

If you’ve been injured in a serious accident, give our Arkansas personal injury attorneys a call today for your free consultation. There’s no cost or obligation; there’s only help. Don’t wait to get answers. Call today.

Bookmark and Share

Severe Weather Driving Tips

by Richard Atkinson | April 1st, 2016

 

Springtime in Arkansas, it can be beautiful. We know it brings great temperatures and great times to be had outside, but we also know it can bring severe weather. In Arkansas that means thunderstorms or worse, a tornado. Many times we are caught out on the roads when these storms occur, it has probably happened to all of us. The weather can go from sunny and fine one minute, to a driving rain the next. Severe storms can be scary and even deadly when driving if some of the right precautions have not been taken.

Here are a few tips to make sure you drive safe in the severe weather:

  1. Turn on your wipers! – Sounds obvious right? It is, but once they are turned on they need to be functional as well. To make sure you are getting the best performance from your wipers make sure they are changed every 6 – 12 months.
  2. Use headlights – Just because you can see does not mean other cars can see you.
  3. Use the Defrost – Fogged up windows can hamper an already tough rainy driving day.
  4. Be patient – Roads are often slick, so take it a bit slower than normal. Slick roads and high speeds don’t mix.
  5. NEVER cross a flooded roadway – It’s tough to tell how deep the water is or how fast it may be moving.
  6. Turn on the radio – Often times you can get local weather and traffic updates

If you are caught in a tornado situation it is important to remain calm and follow these tips:

  1. NEVER try to outrun a tornado – The best thing you can do is exit the car and look for shelter. If there is no shelter try to get as far from the car as possible. It is best to find a ditch and lie down in it. Make sure you are face down and cover the back of your head and neck with your hands.
  2. Stay AWAY from highway overpasses – They seem safe, but they are not for a number of reasons (flying debris, wind channeling, above ‘true ground’, etc.)
Bookmark and Share

You Are More Than A Number

by Cary Graham | March 28th, 2016

35,000. That’s how many claims an insurance company can process in one day. That’s at least 35,000 people seeking help after an accident. It makes you wonder, where does your claim fall within that workday? Do they even know your name or are you just a number to them?

That’s where we come in.

After an accident, one thing you need more than anything is an advocate on your side. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we’ve been standing up for the injured people of Arkansas for decades. We know how to deal with the insurance company, and we’ll fight tooth and nail to get you fair compensation for your injuries. You’re more than a number. We’ll make sure the insurance company treats you that way.

If you’ve been injured, call our Arkansas car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. Don’t try to take on the insurance company alone. Put our experience to work for you.

Bookmark and Share

I was in a minor accident, will an attorney handle my case?

by Vincent France | March 23rd, 2016

 

Not all accidents cause totaled cars, serious injuries, or have life changing effects. There are small accidents that can still cause minor injuries, and sometimes these injuries still require medical treatment. In these cases, yes, an attorney at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton will handle your case.

Individuals often ask us how they will get money for pain and suffering in a small accident. It is important to remember that the amount of money you receive for the liability insurance company is often only one piece of the puzzle. We must explore every avenue to get your medical bills paid to maximize how much money you receive. We are very successful in obtaining excellent results even in small cases. If you were injured we want to help you regardless of the size of your case. Here at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton we recognize that every client is important, regardless of the size of your case.

Bookmark and Share

Click on the icons to learn more about the recognition we’ve received for our high-quality legal service.