March 5, 2014

Wrong-Way Traffic Accidents

I am reading more and more about tragic wrong-way accidents happening on the roadways. Today I read in an out-of-state paper of an unfortunate accident in Washington which took the life of a 6-year-old boy and critically injured two others. Recently it was in the news that 11 people died in wrong-way crashes in Tampa, Florida and Pomona, California. It is hard to hear of innocent lives being lost to such a preventable error. Like most, these accidents are avoidable if drivers would pay more attention when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle.

In a 2012 report by the National Transportation Safety Board, it was reported that 3 percent of all crashes are wrong-way crashes and are 27 percent more likely to be deadly crashes. It states that 60 percent of these crashes are caused by a drunk driver traveling too fast. The study also indicates that elderly drivers, 70 years of age and older, were the cause of 15 percent of these types of crashes. The primary cause of wrong-way accidents was found to be vehicles entering via an exit ramp. Often highway design is the problem, with the on and off ramps being next to each other. In an effort to prevent wrong-way crashes, officials suggest lowering the ‘Wrong Way’ signs, making them bigger, adding a second set of signs farther up on the ramp, and installing rumble strips to the pavement so they know they are going the wrong way. And interestingly enough, 78 percent of these types of accidents occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and most collisions reportedly take place in the lane closest to the median.

If you or a family member have suffered from being involved in a wrong-way accident, it is important to speak with an Arkansas accident lawyer to discuss your claim and rights as soon as possible.

January 30, 2014

Accidents Caused by Texting

I recently read an article that discussed an injury lawsuit in which a woman was awarded $1.14 million in a texting and driving accident. According to the article, the Plaintiff suffered extensive injuries, including a minor traumatic brain injury and exacerbation of a lower back pain condition. The Defendant, State Farm Insurance Company, argued that her injuries were not related to the wreck. They also did not admit liability until just before trial.
Texting and driving accident cases are becoming more common. It is important to determine the cause of the auto accident to make a proper claim to a judge and to a jury. As this personal injury case proves, insurance companies often take extreme positions to “wait out” the injured party. It is important that information about the wreck is gathered so that these insurance company tactics are not used to deny the injured person justice. Additionally, we find that insurance companies often argue that the injured person’s medical condition pre-existed the wreck. The insurance adjusters fail to understand or give little weight to the fact that the car wreck often aggravates a prior medical conditions like back pain. Arkansas has a jury instruction that handles this situation. AMI 2203 Measure of Damages—Aggravation of Pre-existing Condition. It reads:

In this regard you should consider the full extent of any injury sustained, even though the degree of injury is found by you to have proximately resulted from the aggravation of a [condition][disease] that already existed and that predisposed to injury to a greater extent than another person. [However, you may not award [him][her] damages for any (pain)(mental anguish)(disability) (__________) which [he][she] would have suffered even though the accident had not occurred.]

It is important to point this law out to the insurance company’s adjusters who are often out-of-state injury adjusters. Arkansas law clearly allows recovery for an aggravation to a pre-existing condition. If you or a family member have suffered an accident, it is important to speak with an Arkansas accident lawyer to discuss your claim as soon as possible.

January 6, 2014

Arkansas Accident Fatality

A recent published study pointed out that In the past 10 years, fatal accidents in the state of Arkansas decreased by more than 30 percent. In 2004, more than 700 people died in car and truck crashes. In 2010, that number of auto accident fatalities went down to just more than 560. Last year there was another decline with 473 fatal accidents in Arkansas.

There are many reasons for this decline. These include increased seat belt use, driver education, increase in safety technology, decrease in DWI accidents and a recent change in Arkansas driving law. The study pointed out that the Graduated Driver License (GDL) law was expanded for Arkansas teens in 2009 to help provide a safe environment for young automobile drivers by placing restrictions on when and with whom they may drive. The Arkansas law was designed to allow teens to gain driving experience through the use of restrictions. The Arkansas driving law provides for teen driver’s licenses in three levels: learner’s license, intermediate license and unrestricted/regular license. The different levels allows drivers a staged learning progression. The study found "that significant reductions in crashes and crash-related fatalities were found. This is especially true for the youngest drivers who obtained their intermediate license to drive for the first time without an adult."

My own law practice involving personal injury cases has seen this decline in teen accidents as well. Car accidents involving young persons can be some of the more difficult cases to handle since kids are involved. However, as the study found, car accident rates and fatality rates are going down for this set of drivers and we should all encourage young people to take part in driving education courses. Teenage driving is one of the exciting milestones in a child's life and making sure they are safe is paramount.

November 26, 2013

Arkansas Car Accidents around Thanksgiving

Drivers hitting the roads for Thanksgiving have a greater risk getting in a accident, according to one recent study. Some people have named the day before Thanksgiving "Black Wednesday" because car accidents increase between 8 p.m. that evening and 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

Although I see that auto accidents increase during this time, I see many different reasons in our law practice. The most obvious reason for the dramatic increase in car accidents in Arkansas is more people are driving at night and in unfamiliar places. However, I believe that is only one of the reasons. The weather around this time of the year also plays a huge part in the uptick in car crashes in Arkansas as well as people driving under the influence of alcohol. DWI accidents are typically very serious and involve serious injuries. Arkansas drivers need to be aware that accidents increase this time of the year and we must all be diligent in making sure the roads are as safe as possible.

If you or a loved one are involved in an Arkansas car or truck accident, please seek medical attention immediately. I have seen many cases where injuries go undiagnosed for a long period of time because people wait to seek medical attention believing that they do not have the money to cover the medical bills. An Arkansas lawyer can help make sure auto medical payment insurance (Med-pay) and health insurance cover these expenses. Please contact an Arkansas injury lawyer if you have any questions.


November 4, 2013

Arkansas Car Accidents and Daylight Savings....Connection?

A recent article I read indicates that more automobile accidents occur the week following daylight savings. I was surprised to read the effects the one-hour time change has on our bodies. In addition to an increase in motor vehicle accidents, the time change also increases our chances of injuries at work, an increase in heart attacks, developing cluster headaches, and apparently more time is spent surfing the internet this week. Attached is a link to the article I read if you would like to read more about the effects the time change has on our bodies. http://now.msn.com/daylight-saving-effects-include-more-accidents-headaches

Use extra precaution this week when you're behind the wheel to avoid car accidents or at work. It's always a hard adjustment to fall back because we have enjoyed those long days, but soon we will all be more adjusted to the change and driving home in the dark at 5:30 or 6:00 will be the norm again. If you need to speak with an Arkansas accident attorney, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm. Take care and drive safely.

September 13, 2013

Arkansas Vehicle Crash Checklist

Some things should be done before, during and after an auto accident. Before an auto accident, it is important for all of us to know what is covered under our auto insurance policy. We should know the insurance deductible, liability limits, towing, and rental car coverage. We also need to know whether medical payments and underinsured/uninsured motorist’s coverage is part of the insurance policy.

After an auto accident, it is important that the accident victim remains calm and only gets out of the vehicle if it is safe. It is important that the police or other law enforcement officials are called to the scene and exchange information with the other driver. This information should include their name, address, phone number, insurance company name and policy number. One important item to ascertain is witness names and addresses. Oftentimes, I meet with clients who know and spoke with witnesses at the scene but they are not included in the accident report. Unfortunately, the client did not get their names assuming that the accident report would include this information. It is almost impossible to figure out their names and addresses after the wreck if they are not part of the accident report. Therefore, it is very important to get this information at the time of the wreck.
Obviously, photos and/or video of the accident scene and damages to the vehicles are important.

After leaving the accident scene and receiving any necessary medical treatment, it is important that you contact your insurance company and attorney to discuss your legal rights. If you have any questions regarding an auto accident in Arkansas, please contact an Arkansas accident attorney to discuss your claim.

January 22, 2013

Pedestrian Hit and Killed in Benton, Arkansas

Benton police are investigating a pedestrian accident that left one man dead after he was hit by a vehicle. According to the news report, the Benton Police Department responded to a call of a pedestrian accident on the I-30 South Service Road. Unfortunately, the pedestrian died from injuries suffered in the accident.

Pedestrian accidents almost always cause serious injury and death. The Pfeifer Law Firm has helped families through this difficult time. It is important that the facts of the pedestrian accident are fully understood and investigated. Oftentimes, we find that important information is not included in the accident report and the individuals involved as well as the investigating officer need to be interviewed as soon as possible to gather all the relevant facts.

Insurance companies often look for reasons to deny the claim or find fault with the pedestrian. It is important that an Arkansas injury lawyer become involved in the claim as soon as possible to make sure phony excuses by the insurance company do not jeopardize an injured person's personal injury claim.

Arkansas law mandates that certain additional insurance protections are available to cover funeral and medical expenses due to pedestrian accidents. Oftentimes, the Pfeifer Law Firm must point out the proper insurance statute in the Arkansas Code to an insurance company's adjuster to get the additional benefits paid. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, please contact an Arkansas injury lawyer at the Pfeifer Law Firm to discuss your legal rights.

December 21, 2012

Arkansas Drunk Drivers Cause Serious Accidents

People convicted of drunk driving should have ignition interlock devices installed on their cars to keep them from starting the automobile if they are intoxicated. Federal safety officials are now backing this car accident safety plan.

The National Transportation Safety Board said this DWI accident policy could be a major factor in preventing traffic collision deaths, especially wrecks caused by a wrong-way driver. About 60% of wrong-way accidents involve an intoxicated driver according to government officials.

An alcohol ignition interlock is a device that prevents the engine from starting until the driver breathes into a device that measures alcohol content to see if it is lower than prescribed limits. Unfortunately, the alcoholic beverage industry opposes a blanket requirement for first time offenders. Some in the industry support ignition interlocks for first-time convictions of people who posted a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher.

Some good news also was announced by the government. Nationally, deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers dropped 2.5% in 2011, taking 9,878 lives, compared with 10,136 in 2010. Hopefully, the use of interlock devices will continue to bring number of traffic accident deaths and serious injuries caused by drunk drivers down as well. The Arkansas car accident lawyers at the Pfeifer Law Firm can help you and your family if you or a loved one is injured by a drunk driver.

October 19, 2012

Major Interstate Accident

I am amazed reading about a massive dust storm swirling reddish-brown clouds over northern Oklahoma that triggered a major accident along an interstate near Arkansas. According to news reports, the interstate had near blackout conditions.

The storm caused a multi-car accident. According to news reports the interstate accident involved nearly three dozen cars and tractor-trailers. The dust storm was likely caused due to the lack of rain This is the time of year that many farmers prepare for winter crops by loosening the dirt.

This type of accident occurs in Arkansas from time to time. It is important that Arkansas drivers keep a proper lookout for major dust storms as they travel along Arkansas roads. Complicated liability issues often emerge in wrecks that involve burning fields and dust storms. It is important that someone involved in a wreck contact an Arkansas car accident lawyer to discuss their legal rights as soon as possible after a wreck.

July 31, 2012

Car Crash in Arkansas

A very unfortunate accident occurred in Sharp County. Four emergency responders were injured while helping at an accident in Sharp County. According to news reports a car lost control in a curve, hit a tree, and came to rest nearby. While emergency personnel were helping with the crash, another vehicle lost control and hit the workers. This accident shows how dangerous EMT, police and fire department jobs are when responding to a accident.

It is important that drivers who approach an accident scene use extreme caution. Ambulance, police and fire personnel need to work wherever the accident happened and must help injured drivers and passengers in the disabled auto. Therefore, drivers approaching wrecks must slow down and avoid the accident scene if possible. Oftentimes, subsequent crashes occur when a driver pays more attention to the accident scene than on the road ahead. This auto accident law firm has handled these types of accident cases. However, they could have easily been avoided if the driver was more cautious. We all owe these emergency responders the utmost respect and should show them respect by using extreme caution when approaching accident scenes.

July 16, 2012

Pedestrian Accidents in Arkansas

Whether you’re driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle, or walking, it is important to remember some safety tips that could save your life. At Pfeifer Law Firm, we are committed to helping you understand your roadway rights under Arkansas law and recover monetarily when you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, but we also strive to help answer questions and educate through our car accident, personal injury, road safety and rules of the road blogs. Do you ever wonder who has the right of way when you’re at an intersection? Do you ask yourself, Should I walk facing traffic or with the flow of traffic? Hopefully you will find these tips on road safety helpful to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you on the roadways.
Tips for Pedestrians on the Roadways
-Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers
-Wear bright/light colored clothing
-Wear shoes and clothing with reflective materials
-At night, cross in areas with adequate lighting
-As you wait to cross, be sure to stand clear of hedges, parked cars or other obstacles
-Carry a flashlight when walking at night
-Be alert
-Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
- Don't assume drivers will stop; make eye contact with the driver of the vehicle, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is distracted by a child in the car or using a cell phone, they may not see you
-Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road
-Be alert to vehicles that are backing up
-Obey the WALK/DON’T WALK signs
-Be attentive and careful at street crossings
-Cross at crosswalks, if possible
-Obey WALK/DON'T WALK signs
-Always look both ways before stepping into the roadway
-Make sure the driver a turning vehicle sees you and will stop for you. Don’t assume he will stop
-Look across ALL lanes you must cross before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not assume all drivers in other lanes can see you

Safety tips for drivers
-Watch for pedestrians
-Always be watchful of pedestrians waiting to cross the roadway
-Before making a turn, look in all directions and be mindful of pedestrians crossing
-Don't drive distracted
-Do not drive after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs that may affect your ability to operate a vehicle
-Do not use your cell phone while driving
-Texting while driving causes accidents. Do not text and drive
-Watch for pedestrians while backing up. Children may be difficult to see, so pause prior to backing up, look carefully, then proceed
-Do not hang items from your rear view mirror. They could obstruct your view of a pedestrian or oncoming vehicle
-Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
-Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked
-Yield to pedestrians when making right or left turns at intersections

Driving Safety
-drive the speed limit
-avoid aggressive maneuvers
-Use extra caution when children are nearby playing along the side of the street or when older pedestrians are present who may not see or hear you
-Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians
-Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians

The Pfeifer Law Firm is here to answer any questions you may have regarding road safety. If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, please call 501-374-4440 or email us today for a free consultation. There are Arkansas laws that specifically deal with pedestrian accidents and insurance coverage for payment of medical bills that all injured pedestrians should be aware. Contact an Arkansas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer today.

July 13, 2012

Distracted Driving Causes Accidents in Arkansas

One of the biggest challenges is getting young teenage drivers to understand that their actions behind the wheel can have serious implications. I recently read an article concerning a driver simulation computer that involves simulated driving and interactions with police, judges and emergency medical personnel in an 20-minute experience featuring a real judge, actual sheriff's deputies and EMTs.

According to the article, the teen drivers were moved by the post accident simulation of personal injuries and court simulation. Unfortunately, distracted driving is very serious and can lead to serious injury in car accidents. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pointed out recently that distracted driving accounts for about one in 10 road fatalities — 3,092 deaths in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released statistics finding that 58% of high school seniors admitted to texting or e-mailing while driving during the previous month.

Arkansas law makes texting while driving illegal for teen drivers. The Arkansas Law bans drivers of all ages from sending text messages while driving, except in emergencies. Another Arkansas driving law bans the use of cell phones by drivers under age 18, except in emergencies. This Arkansas motor vehicle law prohibits anyone age 18-20 from using a cell phone while driving unless the person is using a hands free device or in an emergency.

These laws only go so far. It is important that all parents lead by example. Please remember the statistics when you pick up your phone to check a score and look at an email. Unfortunately, Arkansas drivers are no different that other states and car accidents caused by distracted driving can cause serious personal injury and death. If you have questions about Arkansas driving laws or have suffered an injury due to an accident, please contact an Arkansas car accident lawyer to answer your questions.

April 25, 2012

Accidents in Arkansas Caused by Tailgating

I recently read a story about a study put out by Michelin North America that documents how common tailgating is in Arkansas and around the country. According to the study, 74% of drivers say someone tailgated them in the past six months. But only 11% admit to tailgating someone else.

The study also states that almost half of automobile drivers surveyed don't know the proper recommended distance to keep behind the car in front of them.

In an Arkansas car accident case, the jury is provided the following instruction found in the Arkansas Model Instructions.

AMI 902

When two vehicles are traveling in the same direction, the vehicle in the front has the superior right to the use of the highway, and the driver behind must use ordinary care to operate his vehicle in recognition of this superior right. This does not relieve the driver of the forward vehicle of the duty to use ordinary care and to obey the rules of the road.

A large percentage of accident cases handled by the Pfeifer Law Firm involving rear end collisions that cause personal injuries. Most of the time, these car accidents are caused by vehicles that are following too close or tailgating. It is imperative that Arkansas drivers keep a proper lookout for the forward vehicle so that they can stop quickly if needed. Car accidents involving rear end collisions can cause serious personal injuries and can be avoided if drives use more caution and ordinary care.

April 10, 2012

Distracted Driving Causes Arkansas Accidents

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month. A new federal law that prohibits commercial vehicle operators from using handheld cellphones while driving affects about 4 million truck and bus drivers.

Drivers who violate the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration law could be fined $2,750 for each offense and loss of their commercial operator's license for multiple violations. Further, companies that allow truck drivers to use handheld phones while driving face a penalty.

Drivers who cause a crash while violating either the new federal law or Arkansas state law involving cell phone can be found negligent and possibly reckless for violating the law. Further, as an Arkansas truck accident law firm, we review the companies policies regarding cell phone use to determine if the trucking company provides a policy and whether the policy and training were followed in each instance. Cell phone records and company policy and procedure manuals are reviewed and if the accident was caused by distracted driving involving cell phone use, the company and truck driver should be held fully responsible.

March 11, 2012

Alcohol Causes Wreck on I-40 in Arkansas

A young Conway girl was killed in a three-vehicle accident just west of Mayflower on Interstate 40. According to the Arkansas State Police alcohol and speed are the two determining factors in the crash. According to written reports, there were 173 driving fatalities in Arkansas involving driving under the influence of alcohol in the last reported year. Drunk driving is dangerous and leads to innocent lives being destroyed due to traffic fatalities and injuries in Arkansas. Victims of drunk drivers should seek legal counsel to help them make sure medical bills are paid and there other damages are handled promptly and fully. An Arkansas injury lawyer can make sure the injured are fully compensated by the negligent driver and their insurance company.

February 22, 2012

Arkansas Car Accidents

Recently, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) examined deaths of 16 and 17 year old drivers through the first six months of 2011 and found an 11% increase over the same period in 2010. Deaths of 16 year olds rose 16% and 17 year olds 7%, for an overall jump of 11%.

The study by the GHSA, which represents states on highway safety issues, covers only the first half of last year. According to the report traffic accident deaths usually rise during the second half of the year, which includes summer and vacation driving. If data for the second half of 2011 continue the trend, it would be the first time in almost a decade that deaths have risen for this age group of drivers.

According to the report, the rise is caused by two things:

•The improving economy means more teens on the roads. The recession probably helped reduced travel among teen drivers in 2008 and 2009; those drivers are returning to the highways.

•The impact of phased-in driving privileges for teens — graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs — is leveling off. These laws, implemented and strengthened in the mid-1990s, are in found in Arkansas.

The report found that Arkansas only had a slight increase in teen accident deaths. However, any teen death is too many. I wrote about new laws in Arkansas concerning teens' use of cell phone while driving. It can be found here. If you have any questions about teen driving law in Arkansas, please contact me to help answer any questions about Arkansas driving laws.

January 30, 2012

Arkansas Accident Near Brinkley

A multiple vehicle accident slowed down traffic on I-40 westbound near Brinkley. The accident occurred at mile marker 207 between Brinkley and Little Rock. According to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, traffic is being diverted at exit 221 westbound and exit 202 eastbound. According to news reports, Medflight transported some passengers to a local hospital.

Interstate accidents in Arkansas continue to pose a major health risk to Arkansas families. It is important that we all remain vigilant and use caution when traveling on the Arkansas interstate system. Arkansas Accident attorney at the Pfeifer Law Firm handle cases involving injuries and damage in car and truck accidents. If you or a loved one would like to speak with an Arkansas car accident lawyer, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm.

January 16, 2012

Car Accidents - Arkansas

I just read a report of a recent study that found women to be better drivers than men. According to the study, some 80 percent of all fatal and serious car crashes are caused by male drivers. The car accident study found that women are 27 percent less likely than men to cause auto accidents. In 2007, statistics reveal men were involved in 6.1 million car accidents while women were involved in 4.4 million. Further, male drivers out number females 3 to 1 for DUI violations. According to the new report, traffic violations are higher for male drivers in almost every single category from reckless driving, failure to yield, seat belt violations, or speeding.

Women have been telling us men that they are better drivers. Now it seems that they can point to some proof. I will start to keep a non scientific list of at-fault drivers for Arkansas car accident cases that we handle. It will be interesting to see if the car and truck accident cases handled by an Arkansas personal injury lawyer will follow this same ratio....

Please contact an Arkansas car accident attorney if you or a loved one has suffered from a car crash in Arkansas. It is important that legal advice concerning the auto accident be given as early as possible.

December 13, 2011

NTSB Recommends Ban on Driver Cell Phone Use

According to the National Transportation Safety Board states should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices. The recommendation applies to both hands free and hand held phones and significantly exceeds any existing state laws restricting texting and cellphone use behind the wheel.

The recommendation came in connection with a deadly highway pileup accident in Missouri last year. The board found that the traffic collision was caused by the inattention of a driver who sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the crash. The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010, accident near Gray Summit, Mo.

The board previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers. According to a study, at any given moment nearly 1 in every 100 car drivers is texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a handheld electronic device. Arkansas has passed a statute limiting cell phone use. Please see a previous blog post outlining the new law. Arkansas traffic accident injuries caused from cell phone use is avoidable and drivers should use good judgment and not be tempted to use their cell phones while driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, please contact an Arkansas accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

September 3, 2011

Little Rock Car Accidents

A national insurance company has ranked Little Rock, Arkansas 119 out of the top 200 biggest cities in the report. According to the report, Little has gotten worse over the last few years. From my experience as a Little Rock accident lawyer, most accidents are caused from inattention and various distractions. Serious accidents caused from cell phone use continues to rise even even with recent Arkansas laws concerning texting while driving.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury in car accident please contact an Arkansas accident lawyer as soon as possible to fully protect your legal rights.

July 25, 2011

Accident On Interstate 30 in Arkansas

The Arkansas State Police are reporting that a serious accident occurred on Interstate 30 near Prescott, Arkansas. Four people were killed, and four people are being treated for serious injuries as the result a wreck on Interstate 30.

A white Dodge Durango SUV was headed east on Interstate 30 when the driver veered into the center median and over-corrected and overturned. Three people in the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene, but one person died later as a result of injuries at a Hot Springs, Arkansas Hospital. Additional people were severally injured and are being treated at local hospitals according to the report.

One vehicle accidents are often severe and result in serious injury or death. Many times we focus on two car accidents, however, on car accidents are just as serious and require consultation with a accident lawyer. Multiple types of insurance coverages could be triggered in this type of car accident. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney to determine what the legal implications are because of a one vehicle crash. If you or a loved one would like to speak with an Arkansas injury car accident lawyer, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm for a free consultation.

July 13, 2011

Distracted Driving Causes Arkansas Accidents

Cellphones and other electronic devices cause up to 25 percent of U.S. car crashes, according to a recent report. The study was released by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The study stated that drivers are distracted up to half the time and that crashes caused by distractions can cause a fatal injury. The study indicated that texting causes more distraction that cellphone use.

Thirty U.S. states and the District of Columbia have law prohibiting the use of all cellphones by novice drivers and 41 states and Washington, D.C. had prohibited texting by novice drivers. Thirty four states and the District of Columbia have enacted texting bans for all drivers.

In my experience as an Arkansas car accident lawyer, incidences of personal injury caused by cellphones is common. These car accidents can and should be avoided. If you would like to speak with an Arkansas injury lawyer please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm.

May 1, 2011

Guilty Plea in Fatal Arkansas Accident

An Arkansas state trooper struck a plea bargain this week over the death of a motorist killed in a Mississippi County crash. According to the black box records, the police car was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour without emergency lights or sirens.

The Arkansas trooper entered a no contest plea to a Class A misdemeanor, negligent homicide. Sentencing was suspended for a year and he could appear a year from now and have his record expunged.

This fatal Arkansas traffic accident shows how useful the computerized black boxes can be in accident investigations. Most cars have black boxes that record information that can be used in claims and lawsuits involving injury or death in auto collisions and crashes. It is important that an injured car accident victim or their family contact a personal injury lawyer to help determine if this information needs to be preserved in their personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you or a loved one has any questions concerning a car, truck or auto accident, please contact an Arkansas accident attorney at the Pfeifer Law Firm to discuss your rights.

January 10, 2011

Arkansas Hit And Run Accidents and Insurance

A hit-and-run accident on U.S. Highway 62 East near Henderson sent three people to the hospital according to an Arkansas State Police press release. The injured driver was struck in the rear by another vehicle traveling in the same direction.The impact caused the Ford Mustang to leave the roadway and overturn. The vehicle which struck the Mustang then left the scene of the collision. The driver and two passengers were transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center.

Hopefully, the police find the driver and the vehicle that was at fault in this wreck. However, many times the Hit and Run driver can't be located and the injured victims are left wondering how their medical bills will be paid and how they may be reimbursed for lost time from work. Hopefully, this victim carried uninsured motorist coverage to handle this Hit and Run accident. It is important that all Arkansas drivers carry uninsured and under-insured insurance coverage on their cars. This insurance coverage will "kick in" when the other driver can't be located or who does not carry adequate insurance coverage to fully take care of the injuries and damages that were caused by the accident.

If you or a loved on has any questions about possible insurance coverage it is important that you contact and Arkansas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your rights are fully protected.

July 27, 2010

Arkansas Intersate Accident

A Memphis man was killed after police say he hit a car head-on going the wrong way on the interstate. This Arkansas auto accident happened on Interstate 40 in Crittenden County, Arkansas.

This car accident follows a recent report that found several recent auto and truck accidents on I 55 in Arkansas were cause by driver fatigue. The area around the Interstate 40 interchange with Interstate 55 has been cursed by many serious accidents. It is very important that all drivers drive cautiously on Arkansas Interstates. If you or a family member would like to speak with an Arkansas accident lawyer, please contact accident lawyer Paul Pfeifer at 501-374-4440.

March 12, 2010

Medical Bills After an Arkansas Car Accident

One of the most common questions that I get from clients is "How do I get my medical bills paid after an accident?" After an Arkansas car accident, there are several ways to make sure medical bills are paid. First, health insurance should pay the medical bills while the claim of the accident victim is ongoing. However, if the car accident victim does not have health insurance a claim can be filed on their automobile insurance company for medical benefits coverage. Arkansas law mandates that:

Every automobile liability insurance policy covering any private passenger motor vehicle issued or delivered in this state shall provide minimum medical and hospital benefits, income disability, and accidental death benefits, under policy provisions and on forms approved by the Insurance Commissioner, 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, as follows:

(1) Medical and Hospital Benefits. All reasonable and necessary expenses for medical, hospital, nursing, dental, surgical, ambulance, funeral expenses, and prosthetic services incurred within twenty-four (24) months after the automobile accident, up to an aggregate of five thousand dollars ($5,000) per person and may include any nonmedical remedial care and treatment rendered in accordance with a recognized religious method of healing. Expenses for hospital room charges may be limited to semiprivate accommodations

This insurance can also be used to reimburse a car accident victim for any out of pocket bills that they incurred. Most people involved in Arkansas car accidents do not understand how this insurance coverage works and they are never provided an explanation from an insurance company. If you or a family member has suffered a car accident, please contact a Little Rock Arkansas car accident attorney to discuss how your bills can be paid and how your rights can be protected.

February 13, 2010

Arkansas Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

Drunk drivers cause approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States.

If you are behind the wheel and you have been drinking, you are more dangerous than a man with a gun shooting into a crowd of people. The man with the gun has made his presence of danger known and people can attempt to take cover. If you're driving down the road while intoxicated, the innocent people driving around you have no idea you're drunk behind the wheel and coming right at them.

Here are some facts about alcohol:

- Alcohol remains in your system for up to six hours.

- Alcohol is responsible for an estimated 75% of fatal car crashes occurring between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.

- A driver is considered to be legally intoxicated in Arkansas when his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) level is at or above .08 grams per deciliter.

- To reach a BAC level of .08, a man weighing approximately 170 pounds would need to consume four standard drinks in one hour on an empty stomach. A woman weighing about 140 pounds would need to consume three drinks in one hour.

- In 2007, alcohol-impaired driving caused the deaths of nearly 13,000 Americans.

- On average, someone in the U.S. is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes.

- An estimated 3 in every 10 Americans at some point in their lives will be involved in an alcohol-related collision.

- A BAC level as low as .02 can affect a person’s response time and makes driving more dangerous. The probability of having a wreck increases significantly with a BAC level of .05, and even more rapidly after with a BAC level of .08.

- A driver with a BAC of .08 is 11 times more likely to be in a fatal accident than a driver who has consumed no alcohol.

- In 2007, more than half of drivers driving while intoxicated and involved in fatal crashes had a BAC level of .15, nearly twice the legal limit.

- Drivers are far more likely to be driving while intoxicated or under the influence during the night than during the day. A study done in 2007 showed that 36% of drivers involved in nighttime fatal crashes were legally drunk versus just 9% during daytime collisions.

- Motorcycle drivers are at higher risk of being involved in a fatal drunk driving accident, with 27% of such accidents in 2007 involving at least one drunk motorcycle operator.

- A crash involving alcohol is more than twice as likely to occur on a weekend day than a week day. Approximately 31% of drivers involved in fatal car crashes on the weekend are legally drunk, as opposed to just 15% during the week.

- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), beer is the most common type of alcoholic beverage involved in both DUI arrests and fatal crashes.

- Males are almost twice as likely as females to drink and drive and to be involved in a fatal car crash.

- According to a recent study, a first-time offender of driving while intoxicated has already driven while under the influence more than 80 times before being arrested.

- DUI means driving under the influence of some type drug. DWI means simply driving while intoxicated, and in many states, refers to the use of alcohol.

- A recent study has shown that using a cell phone while driving can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk, causing drivers to run traffic lights and a decreased reaction time to driving conditions.

My wife's aunt was killed by a drunk driver in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was on her way home from work one evening when a drunk driver crossed the center line and hit her head on. Her precious life was cut short because of someone else's decision to take a drink and get behind the wheel. Her family's lives are changed forever.

If you or a family member has been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, please contact a Little Rock Arkansas accident lawyer today to discuss your legal rights.


February 9, 2010

Arkansas Winter Driving Accidents

Winter conditions can make travel along Arkansas roads dangerous. The Arkansas Highway Department recommends that motorists stay off Arkansas roads during ice and snow storms. However, sometimes that is not an option for some people. The following winter driving tips were listed on the Department's website:

Wear your seat belt, and make sure all passengers—including children—are buckled up.

Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas. If you hit a patch of ice, stay off your brakes and decelerate slowly, holding the car steady as you go over the ice.

Speed is the main problem with driving on ice. Adjust your speed to fit the weather conditions. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.

If your car goes into a skid, take your foot off the gas pedal but don’t hit the brake. Steer gently in the direction you want the front of the car to go. As the car straightens out, you will be able to regain traction and control.

Check your car battery before cold weather sets in. Battery power dips in cold weather.

Keep blankets, a first-aid kit, flares, jumper cables, tire chains, a flashlight, ice scraper and gloves in your car. Take a food supply of candy bars or dried fruit in case you become stranded.

Keep the gasoline level as high as possible to prevent water condensation in the tank.

Check the automobile’s motor oil, transmission fluid, ignition system, lights, heater, cooling system and wipers

Arkansas motorists must also be aware that we must follow Arkansas traffic laws during winter weather. It is not an excuse for a driver to blame bad road conditions for running a stop sign, red light, or violating any other traffic law. In Arkansas, violations of Arkansas traffic laws can be used as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit or insurance claim. If you or a family member has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, please contact a Little Rock Arkansas accident lawyer today to discuss your legal rights.

January 17, 2010

Fatal Arkansas Car Accident - Blood Tests Lead to Arrest

Blood tests from the Arkansas Crime Laboratory led to an arrest of an Alma, Arkansas man involved in a fatal car accident. He was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, first-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree battery.

Blood samples were taken from the negligent driver. The test results showed that the driver of the vehicle had marijuana and Xanax in his system at the time of the accident.

Most people associate driving under the influence with alcohol. However, this accident is a vivid reminder that altering drugs can, and often do, lead to serious car and truck accidents. I recently handled a case where an elderly woman and her grandchildren were struck head-on by a car driven by a man that had taken narcotic prescription medication earlier in the day. The investigation showed that his intoxication at the time of the wreck led to his inattention and carelessness. Fortunately my client was not killed, but she was seriously injured and required an air lift to an Arkansas hospital. Although she was able to receive a monetary settlement, she will suffer a lifetime of pain, suffering, and disability. Please be careful and do not take medicine or other drugs that could alter your ability to drive. If you need to speak with an attorney regarding a car or truck accident, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm today.

January 5, 2010

Arkansas Car Accident Decision Will Help Accident Victims

A recent Arkansas Supreme Court case will help victims of Arkansas car accidents. In State Farm Insurance Company vs. Stamps, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision upholding the award of statutory damages of 12% and attorney fees against State Farm Insurance Company. The Court found that these amounts were justified based upon Arkansas Code Annotated 23-79-208 because State Farm refused to settle with an accident victim after demand was made under their underinsured policy.

Arkansas law states that if an injured victim makes a settlement demand on their insurance company that is refused and they are awarded damages within 20% of the demanded amount, 12% damages and attorney fees will be awarded by the Court. This law is meant to punish insurance companies when they delay payment of a meritorious claim.

The Pfeifer Law Firm routinely handles insurance claims for injured accident victims in Arkansas. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident and would like to speak with an Arkansas accident lawyer, please contact us today.

December 8, 2009

I-540 Arkansas Bridge Accident

A serious car accident occurred on I-540 in Arkansas. According to published reports the Arkansas State Police spent more than an hour cleaning up four separate auto accidents involving 16 cars on the I-540 bridge over the Arkansas River near Fort Smith.

The car accident happened when cars began to slow down due to the rainy weather conditions. It appears that the cars behind were following too close and started a chain of rear-end collisions.

This Arkansas car accident acts as a reminder that drivers need to stay a safe distance behind forward vehicles. My Arkansas personal injury law firm handles car accident cases that all too often involve rear-end collisions. The problem with drivers following too close and driving too fast for road conditions is very common on Arkansas highways. Injuries from car accidents cause great hardship to the victims and their families. If you have any questions concerning an Arkansas car accident, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm, an experienced Arkansas car accident law firm.

October 23, 2009

Arkansas Car Accidents Caused by Texting

Texting while driving is as dangerous as driving while drunk. A new law began in Arkansas that bans texting while driving. Act 181 of 2009, also known as Paul’s Law was passed to make Arkansas roads safer.

Paul’s Law bans drivers of all ages from sending text messages while driving, except in emergencies. This Arkansas motor vehicle law was named after Paul Davidson of Jonesboro, Arkansas who was killed in an accident with a vehicle whose driver admitted he was sending a text message.
Another new driving law, Act 197 of 2009, bans the use of cell phones by drivers under age 18, except in emergencies. This Arkansas law prohibits anyone age 18-20 from using a cell phone while driving unless the person is using a hands free device or in an emergency.

As texting has become more popular, accidents blamed on texting has increased dramatically. Recent studies have shown that 26% of people text while driving. Studies suggest that the danger of texting while driving exceeds the danger of simply talking on your cell phone. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study estimates that 515,000 people were injured in traffic accident due to a distracted driver. According to Arkansas State Police, at least 787 crashes in Arkansas in 2008 involved drivers who were distracted by electronic communication devices.

If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury in an Arkansas accident, please contact an Arkansas car accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights. The Pfeifer Law firm provides free initial consultations for Arkansas car accident injury victims.

October 14, 2009

Arkansas Car Accidents on Rural Roads

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that more Americans die on country roads than on more congested city roads. In 2008, 56% of the 37,261 traffic deaths occurred on rural roads. About 23% of the population lives in rural areas.

The comparison is even greater regarding Arkansas traffic accidents. Seventy-four percent of car accident and truck accident deaths were on county or rural roads in Arkansas. Although Arkansas is a rural state, I was surprised by the statistic concerning Arkansas vehicle accident fatalities. From experience representing victims of Arkansas car accidents, I find that people usually drive faster on rural Arkansas roads than the conditions allow. Another possible reason for fatalities in rural areas is the slower delivery of acute medical care for injuries from the accident.

If you or a family member has suffered injuries from an accident, please contact an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer. It is important to know your rights and make sure that your damages are fully compensated.

September 29, 2009

Accidents in Arkansas Causing Personal Injuries

Little Rock, Arkansas has been ranked in the top ten most accident prone cities. According to an article in a popular health magazine, Little Rock ranked fifth in the number of accidents that occur each year. This finding appears to be based upon statistics from the Bureau of Labor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association.

As someone who deals with Arkansas accident victims, this finding is quite troubling. Arkansas accident injuries include car accident injury, on the job injury, slip and fall injury, motorcycle accident injury, truck accident injury, dog bite injury, medical injury, and nursing home abuse injury. Arkansas personal injury victims have a right to have their medical bills paid, lost wages paid, pain and suffering fairly compensated and be fully compensated for their damages.

If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury in Arkansas, please contact an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer to make sure your injuries are fully and fairly compensated.

September 5, 2009

Jury Service in Arkansas Personal Injury Lawsuits

A recent article in the New York Times was disappointing. The story outlined problems with Courts getting enough people to show up for jury duty and the resistance to people wanting to serve on jury duty. This problem has a negative impact on people who suffer a personal injury or car accident in Arkansas. Jurors must be reminded that the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution states:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

The article points out that angry jurors are a concern for plaintiffs in civil suits because the plaintiff brought the suit and is more likely to be blamed by the jurors for any inconvenience that jury duty caused them. I often remind jurors about their civic duty and thank them for their service. The right to a jury trial should always be cherished.

Jurors are paid a small daily stipend in Arkansas. It may be time to pay them more in accordance with the value of their civic duty. Although most personal injury lawsuits and car accident claims settle before trial, it is necessary to prepare and have the option of trial to keep insurance companies honest. The jury system is used to offer justice to victims of personal injury and negligence claims in Arkansas. If you or a family member has suffered an injury in a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, or other type of personal injury, please contact an Arkansas personal injury attorney to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

August 4, 2009

New Driving Laws Designed to Reduce Arkansas Car Accidents

New laws are now in effect that the Arkansas legislature hope will reduce Arkansas traffic accident and personal injuries. A simplified

For drivers under 18:

-No using cell phones while driving.
-Only one minor may be in the vehicle with you unless they are siblings or live with in the same house.
-Driving between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. is prohibited, unless driving to or from a school, work or church related activity.

For drivers age 18-21:

-Talking on a cell phone is allowed if a hands-free device is used.

For drivers over 21:

-Using a cell phone to talk is unrestricted.

The laws setting these new restrictions say the first offense will result in a warning, with a possible fine after that.

Arkansas car accidents and truck accidents often occur because drivers are inattentive and careless. These laws are designed to limit traffic accidents caused by teenagers. It is important that teenagers and their parents understand these new laws and the reason for their passage.

Arkansas car accidents take a heavy toll on families and any law designed to lessen the frequency of traffic accidents is important. In the last few years, my law practice has represented many people who were the victim of inattention caused by cell phone use while driving. I work hard making sure victims of Arkansas car accidents receive full compensation for their injuries. If you or a family member has been involved in an Arkansas car accident, please contact an aggressive and experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

July 6, 2009

Arkansas Hospitals Apply for Trauma System

Sixty Arkansas hospitals have applied to receive funding for trauma care that will come from a tobacco tax. As our previous post regarding the Arkansas Trauma system points out, the system is designed to save the lives of Arkansas accident victims. The following is a list of hospitals that have applied to date:

LEVEL 1

Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock
Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, Memphis, Tenn.
Regional Medical Center, Memphis, Tenn.
St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Mo.
UAMS Medical Center, Little Rock

LEVEL 2

Baptist Health Medical Center, Little Rock
Conway Regional Medical Center, Conway
Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff
St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center, Hot Springs
St. Vincent Infirmary, Little Rock
Saline Memorial Hospital, Benton
Sparks Regional Medical Center, Fort Smith

LEVEL 3

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, Paragould
Ashley County Medical Center, Crossett
Baptist Health Medical Center, Arkadelphia
Baptist Health Medical Center, Heber Springs
Baptist Health Medical Center, North Little Rock
Baptist Health Medical Center, Stuttgart
Baxter Regional Medical Center, Mountain Home
Christus St. Michael Health System, Texarkana, Texas
Johnson Regional Medical Center, Clarksville
Mercy Medical Center, Rogers
North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, Harrison
North Metro Medical Center, Jacksonville
St. Bernards Medical Center, Jonesboro
St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, Fort Smith
St. John's Hospital, Berryville
St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, Russellville
White County Medical Center, Searcy
White River Medical Center, Batesville

LEVEL 4

Arkansas Heart Hospital, Little Rock
Bradley County Medical Center, Warren
Chicot Memorial Hospital, Lake Village
Community Medical Center of Izard County, Calico Rock
Crittenden Regional Hospital, West Memphis
DeQueen Medical Center, DeQueen
Desha County Hospital, McGehee
Dewitt Hospital, Dewitt
Drew Memorial Hospital, Monticello
Five Rivers Medical Center, Pocahontas
Forrest City Medical Center, Forrest City
Fulton County Hospital, Salem
Helena Regional Medical Center, Helena-West Helena
Hot Spring County Medical Center, Malvern
Howard Memorial Hospital, Nashville
John Ed Chambers Memorial Hospital, Danville
Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Walnut Ridge
Little River Memorial Hospital, Ashdown
Mena Regional Health System, Mena
Mercy Hospital Turner Memorial, Ozark
Mercy Hospital, Waldron
NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, Jonesboro
North Logan Mercy Hospital, Paris
Ouachita County Medical Center, Camden
Ozark Health Medical Center, Clinton
Physician's Specialty Hospital, Fayetteville
Piggot Community Hospital, Piggott
Pike County Memorial Hospital, Murfreesboro
River Valley Medical Center, Dardanelle
St. Anthony's Medical Center, Morrilton
St. Vincent - North, Sherwood
Stone County Medical Center, Mountain View

The new Arkansas Trauma system should save lives of Arkansas personal injury victims and decrease the delay in treatment of catastrophic injuries from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, workplace accidents, train accidents, and other types of personal injuries. If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of an accident in Arkansas, please contact an experienced Arkansas injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights so you can receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

June 3, 2009

Arkansas Accident Victims Win in Supreme Court

The Arkansas Supreme Court declared a portion of the 2003 tort reform law unconstitutional. The Arkansas Court found that the law violates the Arkansas Constitution separation of powers clause.

The Arkansas Justices decided questions over the provisions regarding the negligence or fault of non-parties when considering liability and regarding evidence of damages for the costs of necessary medical care, treatment, or services.

This is a very important decision for Arkansans who suffer a personal injury. This change will stop the negligent party from escaping liability by blaming a non-party for the personal injury. The decision also allows an personal injury victim to recover the full amount of damages in a Arkansas personal injury lawsuit. The case will help Arkansas accident victims receive reasonable personal injury settlements. If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury please contact an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected.


May 24, 2009

Arkansas Car Accident Drug Testing

The Arkansas Legislature passed a bill in 2009 that would amend current law and requires law enforcers to conduct testing for the presence of drugs and alcohol in drivers who were involved in fatal or potentially fatal car accidents.

Act 423 requires that law enforcers subject a driver involved in an accident “in which death has occurred or is likely to occur” to a “chemical test of the blood, breath or urine”. The results of the test may be used for prosecution purposes and are to be conducted regardless of whether the surviving driver appears to be under the influence of intoxicating or illegal substances or not. A test will also need to be conducted regardless of whether the suspected erring driver is critically injured or not.

Unfortunately, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol leads to very serious car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or truck accident involving alcohol or drugs it is important to contact an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights.

May 12, 2009

Arkansas Car Accident Study

A recent study by the Benton, Arkansas police is being used to make the roads safer. According to an article published by the Benton Courier, police are using accident reports to focus on high traffic accident areas to determine the causes.

According to the study, areas of Military Road from Carpenter Street to Northshore Drive have the most number of accidents. The main contributing factors were failure to yield (12 of the collisions), following too closely (nine of the collisions), careless driving (six of the collisions), not stopping at a red light (four of the collisions), driving too fast (two of the collisions) and improper lane changes (two of the collisions). The other area with high car accident rates include parts of Alcoa road in Benton Arkansas.

This is a proactive approach to reducing car accidents in Arkansas. People should be aware of the areas that produce a high percentage of car accidents so that they can avoid suffering an injury or property damage from a car or truck accident. If you would like to speak with an Arkansas car accident lawyer, please contact me today.

April 20, 2009

Arkanas Car Accident on I-40

A recent news story reported that three people died in three separate accidents on Interstate 40 in Arkansas. Car and truck accidents on I-40 and I-30 in Arkansas are often tragic. The news report indicates that the car accidents happened in or near construction zones. Under Arkansas law, it is imperative that drivers slow down and follow all construction warnings to avoid accidents.

If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury in a car accident or truck accident, please contact an Arkansas accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

April 9, 2009

Arkansas Car Accident Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded over 37,000 fatal traffic accidents in 2008. According to government statistics, fatal accidents are the lowest they've been since 1961. The government also says seat belt use continues to rise in most states. In Arkansas, 70 percent of motorists wear their seat belt compared to just over 50 percent in 2001.

A recent Arkansas car accident occurred in Northeast Arkansas in which the injured divers and passenger were not wearing a seat belt. Although it is advisable to always wear a seat belt, a common question asked by many clients is whether the failure to wear a seat belt will limit their recovery in an Arkansas car accident claim. The answer is no. Arkansas law says that the fact that someone was not wearing a seat belt is not admissible at trial. Therefore, a negligent driver can not argue to a jury that the personal injury from the car accident was more serious because the injured person was not wearing a seat belt.

If you or a family member have been injured in an Arkansas car accident I urge you to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Arkansas to discuss you legal rights.

April 1, 2009

Arkansas Car Accident Uninsured Drivers

Approximately one in six drivers across the United States may be driving uninsured by 2010. This unfortunate prediction was published in a recent study from Insurance Research Council. According to the report the percentage of uninsured motorists decreased nationally, from 14.9 percent in 2003 to 13.8 percent in 2007. However,the recent economic downturn is expected to trigger a rise in the uninsured motorist rate.

The extent of the uninsured motorists problem varied by state. In 2007, the five states with the highest uninsured driver estimates were New Mexico (29 percent), Mississippi (28 percent), Alabama (26 percent), Oklahoma (24 percent), and Florida (23 percent). The five states with the lowest uninsured driver estimates were Massachusetts (1 percent), Maine (4 percent), North Dakota (5 percent), New York (5 percent), and Vermont (6 percent).

Arkansas uninsured drivers totaled 15 percent. Although Arkansas was not the worst, the number of uninsured drivers shows how important it is to have adequate uninsured motorist coverage. Arkansas law mandates that insurance companies offer at least $25,000.00 in uninsured coverage. Any denial of uninsured or under-insured coverage MUST BE IN WRITING.

Unfortunately, I have seen first hand the problems associated with uninsured drivers. Due to the high cost of medical care, it is imperative that all Arkansas motorist be fully insured with medical payments coverage, disability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. In fact, I tell my clients to have as much coverage as they can afford. Oftentimes, injuries from car accidents greatly exceed the insurance limits of the negligent driver. In these situations, a person injured in a car accident can make a claim on their insurance company to be fully compensated for their injuries. If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, please contact an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer to fully understand your rights after the car accident.

March 18, 2009

Injured Arkansans to Get Trauma System

A bill was signed into law by Gov. Mike Beebe creating an Arkansas trauma system. The bill is meant to speed up how quickly trauma patients in Arkansas get the medical care they need. This is a huge victory for people who suffer a personal injury in a car accident, work accident, or other catastrophic injury. It is expected to save many lives and prevent people from becoming permanently disabled from an injury.

Hospitals will be designated as Level I-IV trauma centers. Level 1 trauma centers will provide the highest level of care and be able to care for the most seriously injured. The level IV centers will be designed to provide initial care and stabilize the injured patient. It is hoped this trauma system can be organized in the next year or two. As an Arkansas personal injury attorney who handles car accident, and other injury cases, I am hopeful that it will be in place soon.

March 3, 2009

Arkansas Ranks Third In Car Accident Death Rate

According to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas is the third most dangerous state for driving. The average annual motor vehicle-related death rate was highest in Mississippi (31.9 per 100,000 population), followed by Wyoming (27.7), Arkansas (25.6), Montana (25.6), and Alabama (25.1). The study also found that men are twice as likely to be killed in an auto accident than women. According to the Community Guide of the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle related injuries kill more children and young adults than any other single cause in the United States and are the leading cause of death from injury for people of all ages.

The CDC claims proper use of lap and shoulder belts can reduce the chance of death in a traffic accident by 45 percent, and the likelihood of serious injury by 50 percent. In my practice, I have seen numerous times when a seat-belt saved a life. I have also reviewed cases where seat-belt and airbag malfunctions proved catastrophic. Car accident injuries continue to be a serious problem in Arkansas. Although seat-belt use cannot fully protect against injury, it is an important tool that we should all use. Please wear your seat-belt and if you would like to speak with an attorney about a recent car accident, please contact a car accident attorney today to guarantee your rights are protected.

January 30, 2009

Arkansas Trauma Center Needed

Arkansas is the only state without a trauma center to deal with people who suffer a personal injury. Currently, the Arkansas Legislature is debating a plan to institute a trauma system. Unfortunately, a similar plan was defeated in 2007. Hopefully, this will not happen again.

According to government statistics, 15,000 people are hospitalized with injuries in Arkansas. Of those, 2,000 people die from their personal injuries and 6,000 suffer permanent disabilities each year. Arkansas has the third highest death rate in the country from motor vehicle accidents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 25 deaths per 100,00 people annually in the state compared to a national average of 15.2 per 100,000.

It is time that the Arkansas Legislature act and develop a trauma system to help people who suffer a personal injury in Arkansas. State health officials state publicly that a trauma system would prevent an estimated 2,000 disabilities and save 200-600 lives of Arkansans who don't get appropriate care fast enough.

In my personal injury law firm, I have seen clients transferred from one hospital to the next to get to a hospital that can handle their injuries. I also have clients that were forced to travel hundreds of miles to get appropriate medical treatment for their personal injuries. In the proposed trauma-system bill, hospitals and emergency rooms would be linked statewide ensuring that the trauma patients are taken from the accident scene directly to the closest facility that is best able to treat the specific injuries. This will save valuable time in the treatment of personal injuries.

January 9, 2009

Arkansas School Bus Accident

Four students from the Pine Bluff School District were taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for injuries after an accident involving the school bus they were riding on.

Police said the bus was northbound on Main Street near 27th Avenue when it ran off the road, hit a culvert, then came back on the road and struck a utility pole in front of Carpet Barn before finally coming to rest at 27th and Main.

The driver of the bus reported that he moved the bus over to avoid a vehicle that was southbound and slipped off the road. Police report that an investigation into the accident is continuing and Hines was issued a citation for failure to maintain control.

Under Arkansas law the school district's insurance company can be held responsible for the injuries sustained in this accident. If you or a family member is injured in a bus accident, it is important to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options and determine the insurance coverages that may be available to help.

November 3, 2008

Cell Phone Text Messages Causing Car Accidents in Arkansas

The Arkansas State Police announced that they are collecting data on traffic accidents related to text messaging to determine how much of a problem the practice is in Arkansas. The standard accident reports now have a new information box for troopers to fill out while investigating a crash. When filled, it denotes the use of an electronic device such as a cell phone while driving.

According to Hillary Davidson of Jonesboro, whose father died in a traffic accident, she wants state lawmakers to pass a law that specifically prohibits text messaging while a driver is behind the wheel. She plans to meet with state legislators to ask them to sponsor a bill. Davidson's father, Paul Davidson, died July 14th after his vehicle was hit by another vehicle, driven by a man who told police he was sending a text message. Further, this behavior has gained national attention due to the September 25th Metrolink train crash in California. The crash occurred immediately after the engineer sent a text message.

Although cell phone use and text messaging while driving may not be against the law, their use can be the basis of a negligence action if they cause a car accident in Arkansas. I have successfully argued that a driver was negligent because he was using his cell phone when he did not "see" my client before a car accident. He tried to argue that my client was partially at fault but we were able to show that he was using his cell phone at the time of the wreck and was not paying attention. It is important to gather this information in the discovery phase of a claim or lawsuit. Cell phone records can be subpoenaed from the phone company. This is an important tool that can make the difference in a car accident claim. If you have suffered an injury due to a car accident, please contact me to discuss your rights and determine what information is needed to make a fair recovery for you and your family.