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Equal Justice Under Law and McMath Woods Attorney John D. Coulter File Lawsuit Over Unconstitutional Mobile Home Ordinance

Published on Jan 7, 2017 at 12:11 am in Consumer Awareness.

McCrory residents David Waltington and Lindsey Holloway reside in a trailer that is worth approximately $1,500. Living below the national poverty line, they cannot afford a more expensive home. McCrory Police Chief, Defendant Paul Hatch, has ordered them to leave the county, banishing them because their mobile home is valued at less than $7,500.

David and Lindsey are an engaged couple hoping to start their marriage in McCrory, where they can be near Lindsey’s job and close to their families. Their home meets all reasonable health standards and complies with all other regulations. Their trailer is parked on property with all the required hook-ups and is set back from the road. Since the only criterion preventing David and Lindsey from living in the city is the value of their home, McCrory is operating a wealth-based banishment scheme.

Equal Justice Under Law filed the complaint in partnership with McMath Woods P.A. attorney John D. Coulter.  Executive Director of Equal Justice Under Law Phil Telfeyan says, “McCrory’s attempt to banish its most impoverished residences is unconscionable discrimination. David and Lindsey own their trailer, pay rent on their property, and are being forced out of their home simply because McCrory considers them undesirable. McCrory should invest in its residents rather than criminalizing poverty.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Announces Proposed Rulemaking on Vehicle to Vehicle Communication

Published on Dec 20, 2016 at 3:28 pm in Consumer Awareness.

On December 13, 2016, the NHTSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication. Using V2V technology, vehicles of all kind will one day be able to communicate important safety and mobility information to one another to help save lives, prevent injuries, ease traffic congestion, and improve the environment.

Here’s a link to the V2V Notice of Proposed Rulemaking press release.



Have You Experienced A Delay When Calling Little Rock 911?

Published on Apr 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm in Consumer Awareness, Wrongful Death.

A couple weeks ago, my family and I saw a local news story about the successful water rescue of a family in Kanis Park by the Little Rock Fire Department.  As the news story ended, my five year old son said “when you call 911, they come real fast.”  I felt horribly conflicted.  On the one hand I was overjoyed to hear that a family of 3 had been saved and I wanted to reassure my son that calls to 911 always bring timely help.  But on the other hand, I knew that a 911 call about a different water rescue from several years earlier didn’t produce an appropriate response and ended in great tragedy.  

Over the last three years, I’ve helped represent Dayong Yang and the estates of his late wife, Jinglei Yi, and his late son, Le Yang, who drowned due to a delayed 911 response. While working on their cases, I’ve often thought “was the delayed response an isolated event?”  “Could the delayed response happen again?”  Unfortunately, the answer I found in an October 2015 consultant’s report prepared for the City of Little Rock was that “[t]he lack of staff appears to be affecting the ability of [Little Rock 911] to provide comprehensive training, answer all calls in a timely manner and provide the required support to field personnel from the dispatch perspective.”

I’m curious to know whether others in Little Rock have experienced delays in having their 911 calls answered and delays in 911 responses.

Here’s the link to the story of the successful 2016 water rescue: https://katv.com/news/local/firefighter-relives-first-water-rescue-as-guardian-angels-save-3-from-flood-waters.

Here’s a link to a story on the drowning of Jinglei Yi and Le Yang: https://archive.thv11.com/news/article/243379/2/LR-Water-Accident-Dad-remembers-wife-son-fights-for-life.

Can I Make A Claim For Future Medical Expenses?

Published on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm in Car Insurance, Car Wrecks, Consumer Awareness.

Under Arkansas law, an injured person can recover “[t]he reasonable expense of any necessary medical care, treatment and services received . . . and the present value of such expense reasonably certain to be required in the future.”  AMI 2204.  This means if an injured person has received $100 in medical treatment, then they can present  $100 in medical treatment  to the jury if the charges for the treatment were reasonable.  However, if the injured person claims $100 in medical treatment and $1,000 in future medical treatment, then they can present the $1,000 in future medical treatment only if the future charges are “reasonably certain” to be incurred.  What “reasonably certain” means has been discussed at length by Arkansas courts.   Usually, testimony from  a treating doctor on the seriousness of the injury and the need for future medical treatment will be enough to allow future medical expenses to be submitted to the jury.

What Is Gap Insurance?

Published on Mar 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm in Car Insurance, Car Wrecks, Consumer Awareness.

I often receive phone calls about liability insurance carriers not wanting to pay for all of the debt associated with a motor vehicle that has been totaled.  According to Arkansas’s jury instructions, the liability insurance carrier must only pay the difference in fair market value immediately before and immediately after the wreck.  See AMI 2210.  Fair market value is defined as “the price the [motor vehicle] would bring on the open market in a sale between a seller who is willing to sell and a buyer who is willing and able to buy after a reasonable opportunity for negotiations.”  See AMI 2221.  The amount the vehicle owner owes is irrelevant to the market value of the vehicle.

If your vehicle is totaled, you owe $10,000 on the vehicle, and the fair market value of the vehicle is $8,000, then you are upside down $2,000.  Stated differently, there is a gap of $2,000.  This is where good gap insurance coverage comes in handy.  A well written gap insurance policy will cover the $2,000 you are upside down on the vehicle.  As with most types of insurance coverage, there are good policies and bad policies.  When purchasing gap insurance, you must read the fine print to determine whether you are paying for a policy that covers the outstanding debt on the vehicle or only the fair market value.  As discussed in the first paragraph, the liability insurance carrier is required to pay the fair market value of the vehicle so gap insurance that only covers the fair market value is of limited benefit to the consumer.  For more information on how gap insurance works and the type of policy you need, check out the following link from the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office: https://arkansasag.gov/programs/consumer-protection/my-vehicle/gap-insurance

Is Hands Free Safer Than Hand Held Cell Phone Use?

Published on Mar 7, 2016 at 2:57 pm in Car Wrecks, Consumer Awareness.

In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for a nationwide ban on driver use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.  The requested ban included prohibiting drivers from using hands free cell phones while driving.  Why?  Because statistical data shows that even when drivers have hands free cell phones, they still perform visual manual tasks involving their phones which take their eyes off the road.

Here’s a link to the NTSB announcement: https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/No_call_no_text_no_update_behind_the_wheel_NTSB_calls_for_nationwide_ban_on_PEDs_while_driving.aspx

Here’s a link to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report on hand held and hands free cell phone usage: https://www.distraction.gov/downloads/pdfs/the-impact-of-hand-held-and-hands-free-cell-phone-use-on-driving-performance-and-safety-critical-event-risk.pdf

Lase Med’s Antonella Carpenter Found Guilty On 29 Of 41 Federal Counts

Published on Mar 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm in Consumer Awareness.

Arkansas Business reported yesterday that Antonella Carpenter, who ran a purported cancer treatment facility in North Little Rock called Lase Med Inc., was convicted in Tulsa, Oklahoma for her fraudulent scheme claiming to cure cancer.  Here’s the link to the Arkansas Business article: https://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/109908/lase-med-operator-antonella-carpenter-convicted-for-cancer-scheme?utm_source=enews_022916&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily-report&utm_campaign=newsletter&enews_zone=3815

Back in 2011, a McMath Woods’ client was awarded a 2.5 million dollar verdict by a jury in Arkansas federal court against Lase Med Inc. and Antonella Carpenter.  Here’s a link to our 2011 blog post about the trial: https://wp.me/p6otNS-dO

What Is A Contingency Fee?

Published on Feb 24, 2016 at 3:29 pm in 18-Wheeler wreck, Brain Injuries, Car Insurance, Car Wrecks, Consumer Awareness, Wrongful Death.

A contingency fee is a fee charged by an attorney to a client contingent upon the outcome of the matter.  Contingent fees in personal injury and wrongful death cases are allowed in Arkansas if the agreement is in writing and states the method for computing the fee, including the percentage of the fee and how costs will be handled.  See Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(c).

McMath Woods has served injured Arkansans since 1953.  Over the past sixty-three years, we’ve handled many personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent basis.  If you or a loved one has been injured and you need to hire an Arkansas lawyer on a contingency fee, please feel free to give us a call at McMath Woods.  

Has A Recall For Your Vehicle Been Issued? If So, Did You Fix Your Vehicle?

Published on Feb 22, 2016 at 3:12 pm in Car Wrecks, Consumer Awareness.

In 2015, there were 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide.  On average, 25% of recalled vehicles go unrepaired.  That means approximately 12.75 million recalled vehicles in 2015 went unrepaired.  To see if your vehicle has been recalled, you can use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s VIN search: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/

To learn more about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s public awareness campaign “Safe Cars Save Lives,” please click the following link: https://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/nhtsa-launches-safe-cars-save-lives-campaign-01212015

McMath Woods Encourages All Arkansas Drivers to Have Personal Injury Protection Benefits

Published on Feb 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm in Car Insurance, Car Wrecks, Consumer Awareness.

Arkansas Code Annotated 23-89-202 requires all automobile liability insurance policies in Arkansas to have $5,000 in medical payments benefits, commonly referred to as medpay, up to $7,280 in income disability benefits, and $5,000 in accidental death benefits.  When these benefits are combined on an insurance policy, they are commonly referred to as personal injury protection or PIP.

Although PIP benefits are required by Arkansas law, Arkansas drivers can reject them by doing so in writing when they purchase their policy of insurance.  See Ark. Code Ann. 23-89-203.

McMath Woods encourages all Arkansas drivers to purchase PIP benefits.  PIP benefits make up a small fraction of the cost of most auto insurance policies and the benefits apply to injuries from car wrecks regardless of fault.  PIP benefits can greatly help if you or your loved ones are injured in a motor vehicle collision.

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