Rainwater, Holt & Sexton | Injury Law Blog

Victory Over Violence Difference Maker – PATH

by Richard Atkinson | May 19th, 2017

Partners Against Trafficking Humans (PATH) is an organization that helps victims of human trafficking. Many people fail to realize that human trafficking is a ubiquitous issue not only overseas but here in Arkansas as well. Estimates show that between 100,000-300,000 children are trafficked in the US alone. PATH advocates in helping the victims by rescuing them, providing temporary housing, and assisting in recovery. With such a widespread issue PATH is a perfect choice for this month’s Difference Maker award.

The Difference Maker award is in conjunction with the Victory Over Violence campaign launched by KARK Channel 4 and Fox 16. Once a month, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton presents a $1,000 donation to an organization that is fighting violence in the community and has established themselves as a true Difference Maker. The partnership goal is to create a safer Central Arkansas by uniting community groups that are promoting change through improvements in education, jobs, mentoring, and hunger.

Spirit of Arkansas Winner – One Heart Playground

by Richard Atkinson | May 18th, 2017

The One Heart Playground in Burns Park is a fully inclusive playground designed for kids born with physical impairments. The project was inspired by Emma Wasson who was born with a congenital heart defect as well as Turner Syndrome. As her parents realized the need for a playground where Emma can play with other kids, they realized there was nowhere to go. They set out on a journey with the North Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department to raise the funds needed to build the playground. The community has rallied around the project, and construction on the project is in the progress. The playground should be ready for use soon, and donations will still be accepted for future expansion. The One Heart Playground is this month’s Spirit of Arkansas award winner for brightening the life of all the kids who will be able to play on it.

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 here.

Who is to Blame in a Single-Car Crash?

by Mike Rainwater | May 16th, 2017

We usually think of car accidents involving at least two vehicles, but single-car crashes are actually very common. According to a 2015 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 55 percent of automobile deaths involve single-vehicle accidents.

When only one car is involved, who is held liable for the accident? This is an important question to ask because it is the person at fault in an accident who is the one who has to compensate the other party for medical bills, damages and other expenses. We normally think there must be another driver being at fault in order to recover money for injuries but a corporation is a “person” in the eyes of the law and an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney will look for any and all persons who might be at fault for a collision.

In a single vehicle accident, the person at fault might be the person (the corporation) who manufactured the vehicle or a component thereof or it might be the person (the corporation) who constructed the roadway on which the accident occurred. There are laws that place fault on any person who placed into the stream of commerce a product that is defective and unreasonably dangerous.

Vehicle Manufacturers or Sellers

If the accident occurred because of a malfunction with the vehicle – like faulty tires, an exploding airbag, or some other issue out of the driver’s control – the car manufacturer could be liable.

Municipalities or Government Agencies

If the conditions of the road caused an accident, the corporation that constructed the roadway could be found at fault. Many collisions occur due to roads being under construction.

An Other driver

An other driver can still be at fault for causing a single-car accident. For example, if a distracted driver swerves into your lane, and in an attempt to avoid colliding with him, you have to drive off the road and then collide with a tree – the other driver is at fault because that other driver’s negligence is what caused you to have to leave the roadway, which resulted in an accident.

If you have been in an accident that did not involve a collision with another car, you could still bring a civil claim to receive compensation. Contact a Little Rock car accident attorney to discuss your accident.

Car Accident? Don’t Pay for Someone Else’s Mistakes

by Mike Rainwater | May 15th, 2017

Have you ever looked at your checking account or credit card balance and wondered where all the money went? Routine expenses add up on their own. Throw in a few unexpected expenses, and you can find yourself in a financial crisis quickly. That’s one reason why even a not-so-serious car accident can be a huge interruption to folks in Arkansas. Medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, and other expenses add up quickly to create serious personal financial problems.

Our Arkansas car accident attorneys help victims and their families get the compensation they deserve for their injuries so they don’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. That includes medical expenses, time away from work, and pain and suffering. If you’ve been injured by a careless driver, you shouldn’t be responsible for the financial impact. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we’re ready to fight on your behalf so you don’t have to.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our experienced Arkansas car accident lawyers will review your case at no cost or obligation. And if we do take your case, you won’t pay us anything unless we get money for you. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.  Don’t get stuck holding the bills. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Why Do 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuits Settle For More Than Regular Auto Accidents?

by Mike Rainwater | May 15th, 2017

The sad truth is that many cases have more value than the amount of available insurance (which is a minimum required amount of only $25,000 in Arkansas). But, commercial trucks are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance. Plus, trucking companies usually have to purchase additional insurance in order to protect the assets of the company from being taken to pay a judgment debt. So, … typically, an 18-wheeler accident will result in a larger settlement than a car accident.

In addition, the injuries in a truck collision are generally greater. This is because the weight of truck multiplied by the speed yields a much greater force than is found in a collision involving vehicles others than large trucks. A passenger vehicle generally weighs 3,000 to 6,000 pounds. A loaded semi-tractor with trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This variance is so wide that the passenger vehicle cannot withstand the force imposed by the large truck and it crumples to the point that the occupants are significantly injured, even at lower collision speeds. Greater injury plus more liability insurance coverage translates to more money being available for settlements of claims involving 18-wheelers.

What are Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Many factors can cause a truck accident including those related to the driver, the vehicle, and the load they’re carrying. Here are some of the most common:

  • Shifting Loads
  • Speeding
  • Jackknifing
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Tire Blowouts
  • Brake Malfunctions

While not common, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton has been involved in suing trucking companies with drivers who were found to have been likely driving under the influence of drugs.

Have You Been in a Truck Accident?

The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year. If you’ve been harmed in a truck accident, know that you could be owed substantial compensation from a settlement. Truck accident lawsuits are complicated. If we can help you, call Rainwater, Holt & Sexton to talk to a truck accident attorney.

Three Tips to Stay Safe When Driving Near Trucks

by Mike Rainwater | May 12th, 2017

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are nearly 11 fatal truck accidents every day in the United States, resulting in 4,000 deaths annually. In addition, more than 100,000 people are injured every year as a result of truck crashes. With over 10 million trucks traveling American roads, it’s important to understand how to adjust your driving when in the company of commercial vehicles.

1. Stay out of Blind Zones

Large trucks have large blind spots. If you can’t see the driver in their side mirrors, they probably can’t see you either. Assume that blind spots are 30 feet directly behind the truck, 20 feet in front of the truck and on both sides of the vehicle. If you find yourself in a truck’s blind spot, slow down or move ahead to stay visible – do not linger in a “no zone” where they can’t see you.

2. Pass Safely and Don’t Cut In

Before passing a large truck, make sure you can see the driver in the mirror. Alert the driver that you’re passing by using your turn signal, move to the left lane and accelerate to get pass the vehicle promptly. Before pulling back in front of the truck, make sure they are visible in your rearview mirror. Don’t pass on a downgrade and never pass in the right lane. Trucks take 40 percent longer to stop, so don’t cut off a truck – they might not be able to slow quickly enough to avoid a collision.

3. Anticipate Wide Turns

Trucks need extra turning room and swing wide or even start their turn from the middle lane to clear the curb. If a truck has its turn signal on, don’t try to squeeze by it or get between the truck and the curb.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Arkansas, set up a free consultation with a Little Rock truck accident lawyer to talk about your options for recovering compensation.

How Do Airbags Work?

by Mike Rainwater | May 11th, 2017

Airbags have only been around since the 1970s, when Ford introduced them in an experimental fleet of cars. It wasn’t until 1998 that airbags became a requirement in all new vehicles. Airbags are now in all of our cars, but do you know how they work?

Parts of an Airbag

There are three main parts to an airbag: the bag, the sensor and the inflation system.

  • The bag itself. The actual airbag is made of thin, nylon fabric. It’s folded into the steering wheel or dashboard.
  • Sensor. The sensor tells the bag to inflate in a collision. The sensor is calibrated to detect a collision force equal to running into a brick wall at 10 to 15 miles per hour.
  • Inflation System. The airbag is inflated with sodium azide and potassium nitrate with a device that’s the equivalent of a solid rocket booster.The two gases react quickly to produce a large pulse of hot nitrogen gas which inflates the bag causing it to burst out of the steering wheel or dashboard as it expands.

What Happens When it Inflates

When nitrogen is produced by the inflation system and the bag inflates, it bursts out of the steering wheel or dashboard. The reaction happens faster than you can blink your eye, keeping you from colliding with the steering wheel, dashboard and windshield. About a second after the airbags inflate, they are already deflating because of holes in it, so it can get out of your way.

Airbags don’t always work as they’re supposed to. For example, Takata airbags have been under scrutiny and millions have been recalled for defects that have killed several people instead of saving them. If you’ve been in a car accident and have experienced injuries from an airbag, contact a Fayetteville car accident attorney.

What to do When Whiplash Turns out to be a Serious Neck Injury

by Mike Rainwater | May 10th, 2017

Whiplash is caused by a sudden jolt of the neck or shoulders. It is a common byproduct of car accidents, and it doesn’t always appear immediately after the collision.

In a rear-end car accident, whiplash occurs because of inertia. As the inertia of your body is moving forward, it’s stopped suddenly by your seatbelt. Your head, though, continues moving while the body is stopped. The “whip” occurs when the head snaps back.

Immediately following an accident, you might feel okay because your body is pumping adrenaline, which masks the pain. Once the adrenaline leaves your body, the pain will set in – hours or days later.

Symptoms of Whiplash

After a car accident, if you feel any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing whiplash:

 Neck or shoulder pain and stiffness

  • Soreness or pain in the jaw
  • Weakness in one or both arms
  • Dizziness and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Back pain or discomfort
  • Ringing of the ears

Don’t Delay Medical Treatment

Even though you might feel okay, you should always accept medical care at the scene of the accident because of the fact that adrenaline could be hiding a serious injury.

However, if a paramedic was not at the scene, see a doctor as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the less serious your injury will appear in the eyes of a claim adjuster. They could argue that it was caused by something else and it could appear suspicious that you waited to seek medical attention.

Go to your primary care physician first, and they’ll refer you to a specialist if needed. Avoid clinics that advertise help with personal injury claims, as they likely won’t have your best interest in mind.

 See a Car Accident Lawyer

Keep a record of all of your medical treatments and daily symptons, and see a Conway car accident lawyer. Whether you decide to make an insurance claim or pursue a lawsuit against the guilty party, a car accident lawyer can help determine the best course of action.

On-the-Job Injury? Don’t Take Chances

by Mike Rainwater | May 8th, 2017

If you’ve been injured on the job, you need to know much money are you are going to lose out of pocket. One hundred dollars? One thousand? You need to be able to answer that question because cash flow is so very important. As Arkansas workers’ compensation lawyers, it is our job to know the answer to questions like that. More importantly, it is our job to make sure our clients get every penny they deserve when dealing with the workers’ compensation insurance company handling your claim. Workers’ compensation insurance companies insure the employer, not the worker. The insurance company’s loyalty is to the employer, not the employee.  Thus, the injured worker needs his or her own advocate – to make sure the employee gets what is owed under the facts and the law.

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we handle workers’ compensation claims because we know it is hard to get full benefits for an on-the-job injury. The truth of the matter is you only get one chance to get your workers’ comp claim right, and your family’s financial future just may depend on how well it all turns out. An experienced Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney knows how these claims work and can fight on your behalf to help make sure you’re treated fairly.

If you’ve been injured on the job, don’t take chances with your family’s financial future. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our attorneys will review your case for free and answer any questions you might have about your options. If we feel we can help, we’ll do everything within our power to maximize your workers’ comp claim so you can put this accident behind you. Contact us today.

RHS Works legal clinic with Mexican Consulate

by Richard Atkinson | May 7th, 2017
The Rainwater, Holt and Sexton team on Thursday

The Rainwater, Holt and Sexton team on Thursday

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton we pride ourselves on serving all of Arkansas. Yes, we mean geographically, and we have shown our commitment with offices in four locations in the state. That also means serving everyone who lives in Arkansas. Our firm spent the last few days working with the Mexican Consulate’s mobile consulate in Northwest Arkansas. The mobile consulate travels the state helping Mexicans in Arkansas with a variety needs. One need highly expressed was legal help, especially with Power of Attorney.  On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday our firm had 5 lawyers and 7 staff onsite to help answer legal questions and assist in creating Powers of Attorney for families. We also called on many other lawyers that are friends of the firm, of which many specialize in immigration and family law.

It’s an honor to work with the Mexican Consulate, which is the Mexican government’s representation in Arkansas. We don’t take the responsibility lightly and we are grateful for the trust they put in us. Through the work with the Mexican Consulate we have been able to build great relationships with consulate officers and build relationships with people we can help.  We also had an opportunity to speak with Univision reporter Karen Perez.

 

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