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How Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Bring Peace of Mind?

Published on Feb 14, 2019 at 11:03 am in Wrongful Death.

Unexpectedly losing a loved one completely turns a family’s life upside down. The deceased’s loved ones suddenly have to plan a funeral and burial, grieve their loss, and adjust to a new way of life. These matters are often worse when their loved one died because of an individual’s or company’s negligence. In these cases, it may be some small comfort to bring the responsible party to justice.

Here are a few reasons why filing a lawsuit may be in your family’s best interests:

A Price on Life

Published on Jul 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm in Wrongful Death.

How much is your life worth? In November, Arkansans will have the opportunity to cast a vote that will determine whether an arbitrary price tag is placed on the value of their lives.

Issue 1, which will appear on statewide ballots in Arkansas on November 6th, is an amendment which proposes to cap Arkansans’ loss of life damages at $500,000, regardless of the wrongdoer’s conduct.  If Issue 1 passes, citizen juries would not be allowed to enter a verdict of more than $500,000 for the loss of life damages of a child, a stay at home mother, or an elderly nursing home resident.

 All life is precious.  All lives are valuable.  All lives are worth more than $500,000. Protect the value of your life and the right for local juries to make their own decisions. Vote No on Issue 1.

18 Wheeler Wrecks and Regulations

Published on Jul 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm in 18 Wheeler, 18-Wheeler wreck, Car Wrecks, Careless Driving, Negligence, Tractor Trailer, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

We have blogged before about the challenges of handling a wreck involving an 18 wheeler. If you are involved in a serious wreck with an 18 Wheeler, be aware that it is very likely they will have experts, including accident reconstructionists, on the scene within hours. You should not delay in seeking help. You need someone preserving evidence on your behalf and making sure that everyone involved will be treated fairly and justly.

Most 18 Wheelers have downloadable data in them that should be preserved after a significant wreck. The data can show braking, speed, rpms, steering input and numerous other pre-crash items important to reconstructing what happened. This information needs to be preserved for all parties involved.

Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer, Lost Chance of Survival Doctrine

Published on Jul 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm in Delayed Diagnosis, Medical Error, Medical Malpractice, Medical Negligence, Missed Cancer, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

Lost Chance of Survival

We take many calls concerning medical negligence cases, and we frequently get inquiries from people who claim their doctor delayed in diagnosing their cancer. These cases can be difficult to evaluate for the following reasons:

1) Proximate Cause – did the delay cause any damage?

2) Burden of Proof – is there actual proof the diagnosis was missed, such as a radiology study that required follow up?

3) Differing types of cancer have different cure rates, growth rates, etc.

Legally, the biggest issue in a delayed diagnosis cancer case is lost chance of survival. Currently, in a death case, a Plaintiff has the burden of showing that the doctor’s malpractice reduced Plaintiff’s chance of a survival to less than 50%. For the best explanation of this issue, review Holt v. Taylor, 344 Ark. 691, 43 S.W.3d 128, 2001 Ark. LEXIS 286 (2001). In Holt, on April 30, 1996, Sheryl Holt was being prepped for gallbladder surgery and underwent a routine chest x-ray. The x-ray noted “a right apical mass, infiltrate and/or plural thickening.” This was abnormal and the radiologist recommended follow up. No action was taken.

Medical Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Published on May 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm in Medical Error, Medical Malpractice, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

US News and World Report has published an article this morning that summarizes a study done by doctors from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. The study found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death for Americans behind only heart disease and cancer. The study estimates 251,454 deaths result each year from medical mistakes. It appears this was based on numbers from 2013 and before. The study’s lead author, Dr. Martin Makary a professor of surgery and health policy at John Hopkins School of Medicine, stated “People don’t just die from heart attacks and bacteria, they die from system-wide failings and poorly coordinated care.”

Dr. Makary went on to state that “throughout the world, medical error leading to patient death is an under-recognized epidemic.”  The study defined medical error as “lapses in judgment, skill or coordination of care; mistaken diagnoses; system failures that lead to patient deaths or failure to rescue dying patients; and preventable complications of care.”

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.

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.  

Traffic Deaths on the Rise in Arkansas

Published on Aug 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm in 18-Wheeler wreck, Car Wrecks, Wrongful Death.

Traffic related deaths are on the rise in Arkansas and nationally. It is shaping up to be the deadliest year on our roads since 2007. Arkansas has had 240 traffic related deaths for the first six months of this year. For the same period in 2014, there were only 211 deaths. Traffic fatalities are up 14% in Arkansas and nationally according to reporting for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. These figures just serve as a reminder that all of us need to stay alert when we drive. Put the smart phones down. It is extremely dangerous to drive and text or engage in any distracted driving. Texting while driving is illegal in Arkansas. McMath Woods wants everyone to be safe out there.

911 Delayed Response by City of Little Rock Covered by THV 11

Published on Feb 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm in Consumer Awareness, Wrongful Death.

Ashley Blackstone of THV 11 in Little Rock reported on the tragic story of Jinglei Yi and Le Yang who lost their lives due to a delayed 911 response by the City of Little Rock. McMath Woods continues to represent Dayong Yang, the husband of Jinglei Yi and father of Le Yang. https://www.thv11.com/story/news/local/2015/02/23/911-lost-on-the-line/23908195/

Arkansas Wrongful Death Law

Published on Jul 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm in loss of life, mental anguish, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

States have vastly different law concerning wrongful death cases–cases where it is alleged that certain acts caused death. Arkansas wrongful death laws allow for the recovery of what is termed “loss of life” damages by the Estate of the person killed, commonly referred to as the decedent. Loss of Life damages have been defined by the Arkansas Supreme Court as the “value that the decedent would have placed on his or her own life.” Durham v. Mayberry, 356 Ark. 481, 156 S.W.3d 242 (2004). Other forms of damages are also allowed for the Estate, including any conscious pain and suffering experienced prior to death. Wrongful death beneficiaries of the decedent under Arkansas law can include any living children, spouse, siblings, mother and father. Each has a separate claim for mental anguish. Anyone who believes a loved one or family member has a wrongful death claim should consult an attorney. Folks with venue choices should at least consider Arkansas law before filing in other states.

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