April 3, 2013

On March 29, 2013, residents of 22 homes in a subdivision in Mayflower were evacuated after thousands of gallons of oil spilled from the Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Pegasus pipeline running through the area.  What caused the 20-inch pipeline carrying Wabasca Heavy Crude from Western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast to burst remains a mystery as of April 3, 2013, but the company has apologized for the “inconvenience” to those displaced by the disaster on Good Friday leading into to the Easter weekend.  The pipeline was built in the 1940s.

The (estimated) 12,000-barrel spill has been classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a “major spill.”  One barrel holds 42 gallons.

Although residents have been advised to expect evacuations of less than two weeks, the reality is that the effects of the Mayflower Oil Spill will reverberate through the community for much longer.  Residents have already expressed fears that the spill will have a long-term impact on property values.  Time will tell whether Lake Conway, located near the spill, was contaminated, but there have been reports of oil-soaked birds, including ducks, in the area.

Some residents have indicated that they did not even know the pipeline ran through their neighborhood.  At a town meeting held following the disaster, residents unsatisfied with the oil company’s response to questions were angry.

ExxonMobil has promised to compensate families who have been damaged by the spill; The Brad Hendricks Law Firm is here to make sure they do, too.

After an oil spill, cleanup and removal of the contamination is an obvious priority; however, there are many issues which need to be dealt with in a Oil Spill case.  Those affected by an oil spill may be entitled to:

• Damages for any health effects that may result from this spill. A number of people have reported respiratory problems already.

• Damages if the value of your property has been reduced because of the contamination. This information has to be reported by Sellers and Buyers may be unwilling to purchase your property in the future, and will be unlikely to pay fair value. It is likely that your property has suffered a loss of value.

• Damages for the inconvenience and concern caused by this spill.

• Punitive damages may also be available.

The Brad Hendricks Law Firm invites those affected by the Mayflower pipeline oil spill disaster to contact our firm to discuss these issues.  Our attorneys, paralegals, and staff stand prepared to help, but The Brad Hendricks Law Firm also pledges its financial resources to stand against ExxonMobil to right this wrong.  If The Brad Hendricks Law Firm does not win, our clients will owe us nothing.

Our firm offers representation to those who do not want to be part of a class action lawsuit, but who want the individualized representation necessary to address their specific damages.  If you or a loved one has been harmed by the ExxonMobil Mayflower Pipeline Oil Spill, and you want an attorney who will fight for you, call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today toll free, at (800) 603-5100.

Tweets may be used against you in a court of law

January 7, 2013

twitter_muzzleIn an era where social media has become a popular source of information, you should be aware that the things you say on Twitter (or Facebook, or "Insert Next Big Social Platform Name Here") may be used against you in a court of law – no Miranda warnings (or other prior notice) required.

This lesson was learned the hard way by Omiesha Daniels, who was injured in a car wreck in Georgia.  Originally, Ms. Daniels sued for more than $1.1 million in damages.  Although the jury originally awarded Ms. Daniels $237,000, the award was reduced to $142,000, after the defense used Ms. Daniels’ tweets against her.

In a personal injury lawsuit such as Ms. Daniels’ case, she has the burden of proving the extent of her injuries, which may include medical bills, ongoing medical treatment, and lost wages.  Even where the defendant’s liability is not in dispute, however, the any defense attorney worth her salt will try to prove that the plaintiff’s injuries are not as severe as claimed.  Often, the plaintiff’s statements, including those made online, may be the most vital evidence of all.

Ms. Daniels claimed that her injuries prevented her from returning to work as a hairstylist, but her tweets described parties in New Orleans, beach romps during spring breaks.  A photograph of her carrying a purse on the arm that had been broken did not help Ms. Daniels, either.   In response to the evidence presented against her, Ms. Daniels claimed that the handbag was not heavy, and her attorney advised that the jury did not understand the complexity of her job.  Ultimately, according to the defense attorney, Ms. Daniels’ tweets were her undoing. 

FDA Approved Pradaxa Linked to Fatal Bleeds

June 15, 2012

Arkansas Pradaxa Lawyers in Little Rock - Brad Hendricks Law Firm

If you or a loved one has taken Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate), an anticoagulant or blood thinning medication used to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF), and have suffered dangerous, life-threatening side effects such as internal bleeding or hemorrhaging, heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI), please call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm.

Pradaxa Approved by FDA in 2010 and Investigated by 2011

In 2010, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pradaxa, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as a direct thrombin inhibitor indicated to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Its popularity soon increased due to the perception that it was easier to use and modify than warfarin, with fewer interactions.

An investigation was launched less than one year later, in September 2011, after five New Zealand patients died from internal bleeding/hemorrhaging after taking Pradaxa. Mere weeks earlier, Japanese officials had notified the manufacturer that 81 elderly patients experienced heavy bleeding/hemorrhaging from March 14 to August 11, during which time five patients died. In the United States, the FDA received approximately 3,781 adverse event reports identifying Pradaxa use in 2011 alone-more than reports associated with any other drug monitored by the FDA.

No Known Antidote for Pradaxa-Related Bleeding

The FDA announced in January 2012 that it had approved changes to the Warning and Precautions section of Pradaxa’s labeling to include the following: "Lack of a specific reversal agent; futility of using vitamin K to affect anticoagulant effect." There is no specific agent known to aid with the reversal of Pradaxa related bleeding. Vitamin K, a known antidote used to counter warfarin-related bleeding, is ineffective. The new labels also warned that Pradaxa’s anticoagulant activity and half-life are increased in patients with renal (kidney) impairment. Pradaxa was hailed as a safer alternative to traditional blood thinners like warfarin; however, warfarin bleeding may be interrupted by administering Vitamin K. Because Vitamin K is not effective to interrupt Pradaxa bleeding, the effects can be deadly. Risks increase with age, according to some reports.

Pradaxa Bleeds May be Fatal - Brad Hendricks Law Firm Although anticoagulants are known to carry some risk of bleeding, patients who have taken Pradaxa have reported potentially harmful symptoms such as:

Unusual bleeding/hemorrhaging or bruising
Unusual gum bleeding or frequent nose bleeds
Heavier-than-normal menstrual or vaginal bleeding
Uncontrolled bleeding
Pink or brown urine or red or black (tar-like) stools
Unexplained bruising or bruising that gets larger
Coughing up blood or blood clots
Vomiting blood, or vomiting a substance resembling coffee grounds
Weakness or swelling of the feet, ankles, lower legs, hands, and feet or other joint pain or swelling

The FDA cautions that those taking Pradaxa should not stop taking the medication without first consulting a trained healthcare professional, as sudden cessation of this medication may increase the risk of stroke. If you or a loved one are taking or have taken Pradaxa, and have observed or developed any symptom identified above, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. Ask your healthcare professional whether Pradaxa could be the cause of the problem.

Pradaxa Injury Help You Can Count On

We want to know about your experience with this dangerous drug whose use may lead to fatal internal bleeding or hemorrhaging. Call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today at (501) 588-0549 or (866) 676-5096 for a free consultation with an experienced team of lawyers and professionals. If you or a loved one has been harmed by Pradaxa, you can count us to fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.

Arkansas is the least Bicycle-Friendly State

May 24, 2012

Bicycle AccidentIn honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists released its Bicycle Friendly States Ranking on May 22, 2012.  Arkansas is ranked as the 50th Bicycle Friendly States – last, in other words.

The rankings were based on an examination and comparison of the states in five (5) categories:  Legislation and Enforcement, Policies and Programs, Infrastructures and Funding, Education and Encouragement, and Evaluation and Planning.  While Arkansas received a score of “2” in the “Legislation and Enforcement,” in part due to its safe passing law, the lowest score of “1” was assigned in all other categories.

Arkansas’s high rate of fatalities in proportion to the number of bicyclists is cited as one reason for its poor ranking.  The League recommended bicycle safety as an emphasis for all projects, programs, and policies.  The top suggestion for Arkansas was that it adopt a state bicycle plan and establish a bicycle advisory committee to oversee the plan. 

Others suggestions included:

•     Develop a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) curriculum for bicycling enforcement both for new officers and continuing education – focus on laws related to bicyclists, interactions between motorists and bicyclists, and bicycle collision investigation.

•     Adopt a statewide Complete Streets policy.  The National Complete Streets Coalition has a model state policy and other resources to ensure adoption and implementation.

•     Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize bicycle projects and accommodations. The state is spending a low amount, less than 0.56 percent, of federal funding on bicyclists and pedestrians.

•     Conduct a share the road campaign creatively addressing the issues specific to your state.

•     In general, any question that was answered with “no” should be addressed so the answer can be a “yes” next year.

Source: Today’s THV and The League of American Bicyclists

This post is brought to you from The Brad Hendricks Law Firm as a service to provide legal and other information of public interest. If you have any questions about this or any other post, please contact our firm at (501) 221-0444 or (800) 603-5100 or email us. Our firm provides legal counsel in the areas of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Social Security, Bankruptcy, Business Law, Employment Law, and Family Law, among others.

Beginning of Summer Brings Potential for More Boating Accidents

May 21, 2012

boating accident injures 2Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies and Pine Bluff fire personnel responded to a boating accident on Lake Longhofer on Saturday.  Two girls, ages 9 and 10, were injured when a boat collided with the raft they were on.  Both girls were transported to Jefferson Regional Medical Center; one was then transported to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  The incident is being investigated by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, but Major Lafayette Woods of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department advised KARK that deputies do not believe that alcohol was involved, and no charges have been filed.

According to the Handbook of Arkansas Boating Laws and Responsibilities, every boat or vessel operator should follow three basic rules of navigation:

1.  Practice Good Seamanship

2.  Keep a Sharp Lookout

3.  Maintain a Safe Speed and Distance

Our thoughts are with the children’s family.

Source: Today’s THV and KARK

This post is brought to you from The Brad Hendricks Law Firm as a service to provide legal and other information of public interest. If you have any questions about this or any other post, please contact our firm at (501) 221-0444 or (800) 603-5100 or email us. Our firm provides legal counsel in the areas of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Social Security, Bankruptcy, Business Law, Employment Law, and Family Law, among others.

LR Bus Driver Charged with Negligent Homicide

May 19, 2012

Charges have been filed against Little Rock Central Arkansas Transit bus driver Allen Mems, 52, in connection with the death of David Wright, 57 and a pedestrian.  In November 2011, Wright died after being struck by the bus driven by Mr. Mems as the bus was making a left turn.

Source: Arkansas Matters

This post is brought to you from The Brad Hendricks Law Firm as a service to provide legal and other information that may be of interest to Arkansans, our clients, and visitors. If you have any questions about this or any other post, please contact our firm at (501) 221-0444 or (800) 603-5100 or email us. Our firm provides legal counsel in the areas of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Social Security, Bankruptcy, Business Law, Employment Law, and Family Law, among others.

Fatal Accident Closes I-40 near Conway, Arkansas

October 10, 2011

Part of I-40 was closed on Monday, October 10, 2011, near the Highway 64/Oak Street at Conway.  Arkansas State Police are reporting that one man has died.

According to an early news report, a westbound Chrysler minivan crossed the median and hit another car head on.  Another car then struck both vehicles. 

Motorists can expect delays while the police work the accident.

The name of the victim has not yet been released, but The Brad Hendricks Law Firm will provide an update when that information has been published.

Fayetteville Worker Struck by Car Dies

September 22, 2011

Yesterday morning, three Fayetteville workers were struck by a vehicle.  The driver, Jo Jackson of Fayetteville, reportedly told police officers that she was unable to see the workers because she was blinded by the sun.  This afternoon, one of the workers, 57-year-old Jackie Luper, died from injuries he sustained when he was struck by Ms. Jackson’s car, according to Fox 16.

Ms. Jackson had been cited for driving while intoxicated by drugs, reckless driving, and disobeying a traffic control device.  Because a child was in the vehicle with Ms. Jackson, she was also charged with child endangerment. 

Now, Fayetteville police officer Sgt. Chip Stout has indicated that the prosecutor must now decide whether to charge Ms. Jackson in Mr. Luper’s death. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “[d]rugged driving is a public health concern because it puts not only the driver at risk but also passengers and others who share the road.”  Drugs alter the driver’s perception, balance, coordination, reaction time, and other critical skills necessary to safely operate a vehicle. 

We at the Brad Hendricks Law Firm send our thoughts and sincerest condolences to Mr. Luper’s family during this difficult time.

Little Rock School Bus and Car Collide

September 22, 2011

KARK 4 News is reporting that a school bus carrying five Booker Arts Magnet School students and a car have collided at 31st and Booker streets in Little Rock.  The driver of the school bus and the children were unharmed, but eyewitnesses reported that the driver of the vehicle was injured and has gone to the hospital.  The identity of the driver of the car, and the extent of her injuries, are unknown.

In Auto Insurance, Less is NOT More

July 6, 2010

by Caroline Lewis

My husband and I have full coverage on both of our vehicles, and before I started working at the Brad Hendricks Law Firm last year and working on personal injury matters, I would have said that is sufficient, particularly since my deductible is “only” $500.  What that meant, to me, was that two minor (but still damaging) accidents that were our fault were relatively inexpensive to resolve. 

During the time I have worked at the firm, however, I have learned that less, when it comes to automobile insurance, is not more. In fact, the minimum insurance coverage that is required by law, while helpful, cannot prevent the devastating consequences of a major accident resulting in thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Whereas, before, thoughts of “personal injury protection,” “underinsured coverage,” or “uninsured motorist coverage” never even crossed my mind—not even when my husband and I were regularly rejecting these three options that every automobile owner should have—now, I wish I could tell every motorist how important these benefits can be to one who has been involved in a catastrophic accident.

Consider the case of Jane Smith. Jane was involved in a car accident earlier this year after another motorist plowed into the rear of her car as she was sitting at a stop sign in southern Arkansas. Because Jane had personal injury protection, Jane was able to seek the medical treatment she desperately needed for her back and neck injuries, and because this coverage is available whether the insured is “at fault” or not, her insurance company immediately began paying bills associated with the accident, thereby reducing the amount of money Jane had to pay out-of-pocket.

As months passed, Jane’s condition did not improve and her bills soon neared $25,000, with no end of treatment in sight. In fact, on top of physical therapy, injections, and pain management treatments that can be quite expensive, her neurosurgeon ultimately recommended surgery on her back to alleviate the debilitating pain she had suffered since the accident. In Jane’s case, the other driver (who was at fault) had insurance, but assuming he has only the minimum coverage required by law, his insurance company would only pay $25,000 of Jane’s bills. What about the surgery that is still to come? What about rehab? What if still more treatment is required?

Fortunately, Jane has exceptional insurance. Not only did her own insurance provider immediately start paying some of her bills (until the personal injury protection was exhausted), but she has underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. That means that, for Jane, once the other driver’s insurance limits are exhausted, she can then look to her own insurance company for compensation for additional damages caused by her accident, up to her policy limits. For Jane, her UIM coverage was $25,000 per person, or $50,000 per occurrence. Assuming that Jane’s total damages are $50,000, she is fully covered, assuming that the other driver’s insurance pays policy limits of $25,000, and her own insurance company pays the $25,000 available under her underinsured motorist coverage. Had Jane not had underinsured motorist coverage, $25,000 of her damages would be uncompensated, leaving Jane with potentially unmanageable expenses that she must pay with other resources. If no such optional resources are available? Jane could be thrust into a financial crisis from which recovery may be very difficult, if not impossible.

I think about Jane’s case and how devastating it has been for her and her family—financially, emotionally, and physically, and I am grateful, on her behalf, that she had the foresight to obtain UM/UIM coverage. Everyone should.

Compared to other insurance coverage, the money spent on UM/UIM coverage is slight. The difference it might make, however, if you are someone in your household is involved in an accident, is priceless. Check with your insurance agent to verify whether you have uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. Confirm that you have personal injury protection. If you don’t have them, consider adding them, and then consider what might happen if you are in an accident and don’t have them.


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