Taylor King Law Blog

school zone safety arkansas taylor king law car wrecks

Backpacks are filled with notebooks and pencils, lunches are packed, and bulletin boards are decorated - it’s Back to School time in Arkansas! Many school districts in Arkansas are already back in session, and the rest will follow suit in the coming weeks.

Your children may be ready to ace their new classes, but you face a different test each morning and afternoon: school zone driving safety.

Whether you cross paths with school buses on your morning commute, see children boarding the bus in your neighborhood, or drive through a school zone near your local campus, Back to School season requires heightened safety awareness from Arkansas drivers. Taylor King is here to give you a crash course in school-related driving safety to ensure you’ll get an “A” each time you get behind the wheel.

1.  Stop for School Buses.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but Arkansas school bus laws are commonly misunderstood. When a school bus stops on a roadway with either its red lights flashing or its stop sign raised, the law requires all vehicles traveling in BOTH directions to stop.

Most Arkansans are aware of this law on two- or three-lane city streets, but it also applies on multi-lane highways. The exception is when there is a median or dividing strip, such as a concrete barrier or large grassy strip dividing the lanes of traffic. Turning lanes are not considered a median.

This is important because much of Arkansas is rural, with buses stopping at houses on the edge of highways. Those highways, even those with a turning lane, do not have a median, which means that all traffic in BOTH directions must stop when a school bus is loading or unloading. We believe many drivers violate this law because they do not understand this specific situation, but we can all do our part to help educate our fellow drivers.

2. Be Vigilant Near Crosswalks.
Children often act impulsively and don’t always understand the safety risk of stepping into a road. That makes them particularly vulnerable to pedestrian/vehicle accidents.

While you should always come to full stop at stop signs and red-light intersections, it’s especially important to do so when children are nearby. Stop fully, look both ways, and proceed with caution through the crosswalk. Even if you’ve followed all laws, you should still yield to pedestrians and avoid a collision if at all possible.

3. School Zone? Slow Down.
If you’ve grown accustomed to breezing through school zones in your community during the summer, it’s time to hit the brakes. Arkansas law states that “a person shall not operate a motor vehicle in excess of twenty-five miles per hour when passing a school building or school zone during school hours when children are present and outside the building.” It is also illegal to talk on the phone while driving through a school zone in Arkansas.

The law also requires ample signs and warnings to be posted at the beginning and end of the school zone, so you won’t be caught off guard - and you’ll have no excuse for speeding past a school.

“When children are present” refers to any time when children are present at crosswalks, sidewalks, roads, or highways that are part of a school zone. It also applies to situations where a traffic control person (such as a police officer) is present as well as any time that a sign-mounted light is flashing to warn you of a school zone.

Regardless of the time of day, it’s important to be alert and watchful any time you drive near a school building or zone. Early sports practices or late evening events may bring children to roads and sidewalks outside of the “normal” school hours. Watch closely and drive slowly.

The “Flashing Red, Kids Ahead” Safety Campaign

This is the fifth year for the “Flashing Red, Kids Ahead” safety campaign in Arkansas. The campaign seeks to remind drivers to stop when they see flashing red lights on a school bus (as discussed above).

Thanks to Isaac’s Law, named for Bryant elementary student Isaac Brian who was killed in 2004 after exiting his school bus, violating Arkansas school bus laws now carries a stiff penalty. Anyone convicted of passing a stopped school bus will face any combination of a fine of $250-$1000, up to 90 days in jail, driver's license suspension of 21 days to 1 year, and up to 400 hours of community service. And in cases like Isaac’s where the driver kills a student, he or she is guilty of negligent homicide, a class C felony.

wells fargo taylor king law auto loan arkansas

Do you have a vehicle financed through Wells Fargo? You may have been overcharged by Wells Fargo in connection with insurance related to your auto loan.

A recent news article has reported that more than 800,000 people who went through Wells Fargo for their car loans were charged for unnecessary auto insurance. Some people may still be paying for this unneeded coverage.

Contact us today at 1-800-CAR WRECK (1-800-227-9732) if you took out an auto loan from Wells Fargo and were required to buy insurance. We may be able to help you get your money back.

The insurance that Wells Fargo required was more expensive than auto insurance that customers had often already purchased on their own. This unneeded collision damage insurance pushed roughly 274,000 Wells Fargo customers into delinquency and resulted in nearly 25,000 wrongful vehicle repossessions.

According to the article, Wells Fargo borrowers suffered financial damages beyond the unnecessary insurance costs, including:

  • Repossession costs
  • Late fees
  • Charges for insufficient funds
  • Damage to consumers’ credit reports

If you have a Wells Fargo auto loan and sustained any of these damages, contact us to learn about your rights.

Wells Fargo did not always tell customers about their required auto insurance before it was imposed, and almost 100,000 of the insurance policies violated the disclosure requirements of five states:

  • Arkansas
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Washington State

If you live in any of these states and had an auto loan from Wells Fargo, contact us today. As always, we are On Your Side, By Your Side.

arkansas car wreck taylor king law lost wages

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Arkansas, and another driver was at fault, you’re probably aware that you have legal rights to compensation for the physical injuries, medical treatment, and property damage you’ve experienced. But did you know that you may also be entitled to reimbursement for lost income?

This category of damages can be confusing for many people, but the personal injury lawyers at Taylor King Law are here to answer any questions you may have.

What falls under the category of “lost income?” ​Often referred to as “lost wages,” this includes any income during 1) the time that you were unable to work, and 2) any time you spent receiving treatment for your injuries from the accident. That time may range from a few days to several months, depending on the severity of your injuries and the length of your treatment plan.

Whether you work part-time or full-time, receive an hourly wage or monthly/yearly salary, work overtime hours or contract work, or are self-employed, ou’re still entitled to those lost wages. Never assume that your employment status or an unusual employment situation will negate your legal rights. Your lawyer can help walk through any situation in more detail.

What if I used sick leave or vacation days? ​Though you technically received payment if you used sick leave or “paid time off” (PTO) to cover days after the wreck when you were unable to work, there’s good news: The law states that you are still eligible to recover those wages.

Your loss of sick days or PTO is considered the same as losing the pay itself, since you would much rather have used those days for vacation time or other personal matters.

How can I be sure my lost wages will be included in the settlement amount? ​When it comes to lost income, the insurance company won’t simply take your word for it; you need proof. That’s why it’s vital to thoroughly document every day or hour you missed from work, as well as your hourly wage or yearly salary.

Taylor King Law provides every client with the tools they need to record every important detail of their case, including lost wages. When you communicate openly and honestly with your attorney, he or she can help ensure that nothing is forgotten or omitted.

Can I be reimbursed for lost opportunities, like missing a job interview or business meeting? ​This question is more complex, and the answer may depend on your situation. Lost opportunities are more difficult to quantify; that is, it’s hard to assign them a dollar amount as you would for missing days of work at an hourly rate. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant, so it’s important to discuss all issues of lost income with a qualified Arkansas injury lawyer.

If you can build a strong case that your injuries led to the loss of a significant job or income opportunity, you may be able to receive added compensation from the at fault driver.

Have you been injured in a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, or other situation where another person’s negligence has left you unable to work, even for a short period of time? You may have legal rights to compensation. The Arkansas car wreck lawyers at Taylor King Law help accident victims just like you every day, all over the state. Call 1-800-CAR-WRECK today to begin your free consultation. Your legal team will help you document all lost wages so that you can get back on your feet and recover your financial losses. We’ll be on your side, by your side. You’re one call away from getting help today!

family fun month arkansas taylor king law bradi bear

August is a month full of celebrations! Not only is it my BIRTHDAY MONTH, but it’s also known as National Family Fun Month.

That in itself is an exciting thing, but for my family this year, it’s super-DUPER exciting news...you know why?! It just got a little bigger!

That’s right, Attorney Austin King and his wife Jillian had their first child last week!!! Taylor Woods King (named after the one and only Taylor King himself) is making everyone in the Taylor King family downright giddy. Apparently pups aren’t allowed in the hospital labor and delivery section, but everyone reported that he is very special.

I can’t wait to meet the little guy and do lots of FAMILY FUN THINGS together all of August. I’ve come up with a long list of all the activities I enjoy doing with Taylor King, and I’m hoping someday little Taylor Woods will like doing them too!

1. Water the Plants/Play in the Sprinklers: Ok, this may seem simple, but how fun (and productive) is it to cool off yourself, family, and your plants with some water hose fun?? You can play spray tag or build your own slip-and-slide with dish soap and a tarp!
2. Family-Style Meals: Not only can you all share and pass the food to one another during dinner or lunch, but you can also take it a step further and prepare the meal together! It can be so fun to work together and learn about washing, cutting, and cooking delicious food! Salad and pizza combos are always a crowd favorite, or you could go big and put all that Food Network binge-watching to good use! Either way, throw on an apron and get in the kitchen! Oh, and speaking of throwing - us pups wouldn’t mind if you’d throw some scraps on the floor!
3. Outdoors Sports! How about a good ol’ game of Frisbee (or fetch)?
4. I’m going to be honest, it is currently pretty warm for outdoor sports, so I’m offering up number 4: some good ol’ card games and board games in that air conditioning! I have a pretty good poker face, if I do say so myself.
5. Popcorn and a Movie Marathon: This combo just can’t be beat. Popcorn is such a tasty treat! Pick a favorite movie series and watch one movie every night (or once a week) all snuggled up with your family!
6. Try a new Sonic slush or half-priced milkshake (after 8:00 pm) once a week! Bonus: you can bring your puppy friend and sit outside at the picnic tables...the smell of french fries is doggy heaven!

Looking for ways to keep the family fun going all year long? Try this: at the start of each month, let each family member choose one thing they’d like to do as a family. You can set price limits and other parameters to keep things realistic. The only rule? You have to follow through! I guarantee you’ll make great memories and grow closer!

paw print transparent -Bradi Bear

reckless driving taylor king law car wreck arkansas

From being cut off in rush-hour traffic to being stuck behind a car driving 15 miles below the speed limit on our morning commute, we’ve all experienced careless drivers at one point or another. In fact, even the very best drivers among us have made a least a few mistakes while behind the wheel.

However, sometimes a driver’s behavior crosses the line from being a mere mistake or “bad manners” to a much more serious offense: reckless driving.

What is Reckless Driving?
In Arkansas, reckless driving is defined as driving in a manner “that indicates a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” It’s a serious charge, and a reckless driving conviction can have a lasting impact. A convicted driver may face fines, jail time, and license suspension. More importantly, reckless behavior is likely to cause injury or even death for another person on the road. Arkansas police and judges take reckless driving seriously because it poses such a high risk for the innocent drivers and passengers who are sharing the road.

Which Behaviors are Considered Reckless in Arkansas?
It’s a long list, because any behavior that displays that “wanton disregard for safety” can be reckless.

Reckless behavior may include:
● Participating in racing other vehicles, whether or not you initiated the race
● Attempting to evade police or refusing to pull over when a police officer attempts a traffic stop
● Driving 20 miles per hour (or more) above the posted speed limit
● Refusing to stop at traffic signals or stop signs
● Failure to use turn signals when appropriate
● Driving while distracted by a cell phone or other electronic devices
● Driving without regard to weather or road conditions (such as construction zones)

What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Arkansas?
The severity of the penalty for reckless driving in Arkansas depends, in part, on the outcome of the driver’s actions. If a person is physically injured as a result, the reckless driver may be sentenced to 30 to 90 days in prison, a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000, or both.

Upon a second conviction where a person has suffered physical injuries, that conviction carries a punishment of 60 days to one year in jail, a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000, or both.

If the driver’s reckless actions did not cause physical injury, the penalty is less severe, though still serious. The first conviction yields either jail time of five to 90 days, a fine of $25 to $500, or both.

If the driver is convicted a second time within three years, that driver may be imprisoned for 30 days to six months, fined $500 to $1,000, or both.

You will also have to deal with the realities of paying higher insurance rates and having the conviction noted on your driving record and background checks.

How Can I Avoid Reckless Driving?
If you’re a driver, it’s pretty simple: stay focused on the task at hand and follow all national and local driving laws.

The majority of people who get behind the wheel each day in Arkansas are rational, thoughtful people. Drivers are not typically charged with reckless driving for driving a few miles over the speed limit or forgetting to use a turn signal when turning onto an empty street. However, that doesn’t make those behaviors ok. If you make it a habit to push the boundaries of traffic laws, you may find yourself pushing them further and further - and the results can be reckless.

How Can I Avoid Other Drivers who are Reckless?
That question is more difficult to answer. The truth is that wherever you are - morning or evening, weekday or weekend, country road or city street - another driver may make a reckless decision that puts you in danger. There’s no way to completely avoid that risk unless you stop traveling altogether.

Summer does seem to be an especially busy time for transit in Arkansas, however. With current low gas prices, longer daylight hours, summer destinations, and family road trips, many people traveling on Arkansas roadways. That’s why it’s particularly important to be alert and focused, both on your own driving and on the other cars around you.

What Should I Do If I am the Victim of a Reckless Driver?
If you or someone you love has been injured by a reckless driver, you may have legal rights to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Taylor King Law work every day to help Arkansas accident victims like you. When you call 1-800-CAR-WRECK, you’ll get a free consultation with Taylor King and professional advice about your case. We’ll be on your side, by your side, every step of the way. You’re one call away from getting help today!

bradi bear, summer, arkansas, taylor king law

Hey everybody! I thought I’d catch everyone up on a typical day at the park. And what better way to do so than with an original song?? So to the tune of the “Who Let the Dogs Out,” I give you...
“Who’s at the Dog Park!”

Who’s at the dog park? Who, who, who, who?!
Bradi’s at the dog park! Woof, woof, woof, woof!

When it’s nice outside, the park is bumpin'
Just hop in the car, we’ll have a ball
I tell momma to fasten that seat belt
Wherever we go we obey the law

Who’s at the dog park? Who, who, who, who?!
Bradi’s at the dog park! Woof, woof, woof, woof!

Routine at the park is pretty standard
I run, fetch, play, rest, repeat
All the pups play together
Then our owners give us treats

Who’s at the dog park? Who, who, who, who?!
Bradi’s at the dog park! Woof, woof, woof, woof!

After awhile the park gets heated
We all have fur coats after all
I bark goodbye to my pup-friends
And head on home with my tennis ball

Who’s at the dog park? Who, who, who, who?!
Bradi’s at the dog park! Woof, woof, woof, woof!

                                                                                              paw print transparent  -Bradi Bear

 

pedestrian crossing, car wreck, taylor king law, arkansas

When it comes to driving safely, most of us focus our attention on how to react to other vehicles on the road, whether that’s a car, motorcyle, or bicycle. But there’s another important group you may be forgetting: pedestrians.

Each year, nearly 5,000 people across the US are killed in motor-vehicle related accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An additional 75,000 suffer injuries. These numbers come only from accidents that occur on public roadways, so that doesn’t include any car-related injuries that may occur on private land.

Why is pedestrian safety so vital? Car accidents can be devastating, of course, but vehicle passengers have some protection within the car’s frame and with seatbelts. Pedestrians are unprotected, so their resulting injuries are often catastrophic. Additionally, the most vulnerable pedestrians are children and people with disabilities; they may be less aware of their surroundings and less able to react quickly in an emergency situation.

The topic of pedestrian safety seems fraught with misconceptions, and today we’d like to debunk two of them. No matter how you like to travel, whether that’s in a car, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or on foot, it’s important to understand and obey the Arkansas laws related to pedestrians. Safety begins with awareness!

Myth #1: Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right-of-way (in other words; pedestrians rule the road).

It’s true that drivers ALWAYS have a duty to exercise caution and take “due care” to avoid striking any pedestrian, regardless of whether a crosswalk is present. However, Arkansas law states that if a person

is trying to cross a roadway outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection (i.e. anywhere other than a marked crosswalk or intersection), he or she must yield right-of-way to the vehicles.

You may see how this could become a complicated issue if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle outside of a crosswalk area. The pedestrian failed to yield right-of-way, but the driver failed to exercise due care in avoiding the person. Avoid taking this risk and cross only in marked crosswalks or intersections, and  never assume that a car is going to stop, even if required by law.

The law also states that if traffic controls (stoplights) are present on a road, pedestrians must not cross between two adjacent intersections except in the crosswalk. If there is a “walk/don’t walk” traffic signal, you should only cross when the signal flashes “walk.”

Myth #2: Drivers are only required to stop or yield for pedestrians if a crosswalk is clearly marked with paint or signs.

There are two types of crosswalks: marked and unmarked. The concept of an unmarked crosswalk is often misunderstood. Generally, any intersection (where two roads cross at right angles) is understood to be an unmarked crosswalk. An unmarked crosswalk is found where the sidewalk would naturally extend into the road.

Arkansas law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians at any marked OR unmarked crosswalk - that includes street corners in small towns where there may be no traffic signals or lights. You may be driving through unmarked crosswalks each day without ever realizing it!

This is particularly important in more rural areas, where there may be few traffic signals, and on college campuses where there is heavy foot traffic.

While all 50 states have laws concerning pedestrian crossings and crosswalks, each state is different. To get an overview of your own state’s specific laws, take a look at this 50 State Summary from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident where a car failed to yield to you as a pedestrian, you may have legal rights to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Taylor King Law work every day to help Arkansas accident victims like you. We help all victims of car accidents, and that includes pedestrians and bicyclists. When you call 1-800-CAR-WRECK, you’ll get a free consultation with Taylor King, whether or not you hire our firm. We’ll be on your side, by your side, every step of the way. You’re one call away from getting help today!

boating safety, arkansas, taylor king law

We spend a lot of time emphasizing the importance of safe driving on Arkansas roads. But in the summer, you may find yourself spending less time in your car and more time on a boat!

It’s no wonder that many of us take to water to beat the heat; great getaways like Lake Hamilton, Lake Degray, and Greers Ferry Lake are just down the road for many of us. 

Spending time on the lake is meant to be relaxing, but unfortunately, many people apply that same sense of leisure to their boating skills. With more than 200,000 boats registered with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, there are a significant number of people on Arkansas water each day of the summer season. That’s why it’s so important to brush up on your boating safety knowledge before you hit the waves!

  1. Take a Boater’s Safety Course – and get certification. Arkansas, along with more than 40 other states, requires boaters to take an approved Arkansas Game and Fish Education Course before operating a boat on state waters. You can complete the course either online or with a classroom instructor. There’s an assessment at the end; once you pass, you’re able to operate a boat, including motorboats and sailboats. We took a look at the course material and trust us – there’s a lot to learn!
  2. Wear a Life Jacket. Arkansas law requires that anyone under the age of 13 wear a life jacket while boating, and all persons must wear life jackets while on a personal watercraft (like a jet ski). It also requires every boat to have a life jacket for each person on board. Drowning causes 7 out of every 10 boating fatality accidents, and 9 out of 10 drowning victims weren’t wearing a life jacket. Experts agree that wearing a life jacket is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe around water. So why don’t more people wear them? The most common reason is concern over how they make you look or feel. However, the bulky orange life vests of years past are just that – past. Manufacturers now make life jackets in many colors, more comfortable and flattering cuts and fabrics, and multiple size options. It’s worth finding a life jacket that you’ll be proud to wear!
  3. Act Wisely about Weather. Keep a weather app on your phone and check it often. If bad weather is in the forecast, stay off the water, even if it hasn’t reached your area yet. Water and lightning don’t mix. This applies to all water activities, including canoeing and kayaking.
  4. Don’t Drink and Boat. Think of “drunk boating” in the same terms as drunk driving – it’s a serious offense. The state of Arkansas agrees; the penalty is the same for both. It is always illegal to operate or physically control (steer) a boat while under the influence of alcohol. Your first offense could leave you with up to a $1,000 fine, a six-month license suspension, and a year in jail – not to mention the risk you pose to other boaters and swimmers. If you plan to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on a boat, be sure that you will not need to operate it, even for a few minutes.
  5. Learn to Swim. Whether you’re 3 or 33 years old, it’s (almost) never too early or late to learn to swim. This is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your safety while near water, whether on boat or on shore. Many local pools offer swim lessons, and private instructors often advertise their services. Find a swim instructor near you today!

Whether on land or sea, the personal injury attorneys at Taylor King Law take safety seriously! We hope these tips will help keep your family safe as you soak up the Arkansas summer sun. 

Were you the victim of a car or boat accident where another person caused your injuries? You may have a legal claim for compensation. Call today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK to begin your FREE consultation with Taylor King. You can trust our experience Arkansas injury lawyers to be On Your Side, By Your Side. 

national grilling month, taylor king, fire safety

Warm sunshine on your face, a cool breeze blowing, and the smell of something delicious wafting over from the grill – what could be better?

There are few summer Arkansas activities we love more than a backyard barbecue. After all, July is National Grilling Month! Take a look at Bradi Bear’s latest blog post to learn about that: https://www.taylorkinglaw.com/blog-topics/bradi-bear-2/national-hot-dog-month.html

With so many families enjoying the long summer days gathered around their favorite grilled goodies, it’s probably no surprise that July is also the peak month for grill fires. Familiarize yourself with these quick tips to ensure your family fun isn’t interrupted by injuries – or a visit from the local fire department!

  1. Keep your grill where it belongs. Both propane and charcoal grills should always be used outdoors. Keep it a safe distance from your home, deck railings, and overhanging tree branches – anything that could be flammable. 
  2. Keep it clean. When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your grill? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time to give it a scrub. A build up of grease can cause some serious flame flare-up, leading to burn injuries. Purchase a quality wire grill brush and use it each time you grill.  
  3. Keep close – but teach kids to keep their distance. You may be tempted to “set it and forget it,” but you should never leave your grill unattended. Children and pets are often curious about what’s cooking. It’s important to keep them at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times. Thermal burns are the leading cause of cooking-related injuries.
  4. Keep it cool – then heat it up! We can’t forget the importance of food safety when we discuss good grilling practices. Food poisoning is no joke! To avoid the risk, keep your meat refrigerated until you’re ready to place it on the grill. Before serving it up, check the internal temperature of those hamburgers and chicken kabobs; poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and burgers are safe at 160.

And of course, if you smell gas while cooking on a grill – or a gas-powered indoor stove – immediately turn it off, get away, and call the fire department. Gas leaks can cause serious injury or death.

Keep these grilling tips in mind, and keep the fun going at your next summer cookout!

If you or someone you love has been injured in a grilling accident due to a defective product or the negligence of another person, you may have legal rights to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Taylor King Law work every day to help Arkansas accident victims like you. When you call 1-800-CAR-WRECK, you’ll get a free consultation with Taylor King, whether or not you hire our firm. We’ll be on your side, by your side, every step of the way. You’re one call away from getting help today! 

bradi bear, national hot dog month, taylor king

Welcome to July! Can you believe it? In my opinion, this summer is flying by faster than a speeding ticket (and you know I don’t play around with rules of the road).

It should be NO surprise to anyone that I was researching holidays in July. Celebrating Independence Day on the 4th just got me amped for the next celebration.

AND GUESS WHAT…I didn’t have to look far for it! It is National Hot Dog Month!!!

I know we pups get our “National Best Friend Day” and “National Pet Day,” but it’s about time someone devoted an entire month to celebrating dogs!

I am, in all senses of the word, a “hot” dog. Momma keeps me looking beautiful in my shiny red coat - the daily baths are a little much if you ask me, though. And when I say coat, I mean it! This thing is like a parka sometimes...I get so toasty at the park with all this fur! - I mean it!  All I’m sayin’ is thank goodness for lakes and plastic swimming pools.

While we all know that it’s the inner beauty that counts, I’m not mad that people will be celebrating attractive pups like me every day of National Hot Dog Month! I’m thinking that means more treats, daily pupcakes, an extra scoop of food at mealtimes, and new toys on the regular!!

Oh, and I almost forgot the best part - there is this great new smell outside! Must be something seasonal in July, because it is just about everywhere I go!

After a little detective work, I believe I’ve pinpointed the scent to these large metal boxes outside that Momma calls “grills.” She always tells me to be careful around them because they are hot. Anyways, it’s definitely where this meaty smell is coming from.

It’s not a burger, and it’s not bacon. I couldn’t EXACTLY put my nose on it, and I take great prize in my sniffer, so I finally asked Momma about it.

She said it was all for HOT DOGS! THESE WERE SPECIAL TREATS FOR ME THE WHOLE MONTH OF JULY!

I know y’all think being human is really cool, with the whole “opposable thumbs” thing... …but I think the month of July alone shows who the real winners are. But don’t worry, I’ll def share a treat with y’all, too - so think of me when you grab a hot dog treat from a grill this July!

 

                                                                                                                         paw print transparent -Bradi Bear

dog treats, Bradi Bear update, taylor king

How’s it going, everyone? Bradi Bear here, just blogging away. I was reminiscing on some older blog posts, back when I was new to the Taylor King team. It all started with me telling about my adventures in day-to-day life, mostly keeping Momma out of trouble.  Those posts were some pretty good reads, if you ask me!

I realize I haven’t given you a good ol’ Bradi Bear story in a while...so here we go! Nothing but the truth here, people!

Apparently, Momma and Daddy got married. I wasn’t allowed to go to the wedding...something about it being for humans only...HMPH.

In my book, marriage means I now have to share my couch, bed, and Momma with him 24/7. I also have double the amount of people to take on walks, and double the “accidentally dropped” food to clean up off the floor. Keeping this house clean is a TASK!

But it’s okay, because I’m training Daddy to give me treats more often. I’ll let you in on my secret: when I feel like it is time for Daddy training I go stand by the cookie jar where Momma keeps the treats. This is his signal.

He then pulls out a treat - most of the time it’s chicken-flavored, but I don’t discriminate. Then Daddy does a bunch of talking…this is the part we’re still trying to streamline. He talks about “sit” and “down” and “shake”. While I listen to him go on and on, I normally pop a squat and wait. Sometimes it takes so long that I just lay down.

 Finally, if I’ve waited long enough, I raise my paw as if I’m going to swat that treat right out of his hand. This usually shows him that I mean business, and he gets scared and gives me the delicious snack.

We still have some things to work on. Once, he tasted my snack before he gave it to me!! I was appalled! Momma has NEVER eaten my food! I didn’t know how to react; he could have AT LEAST asked. Like I said, he is a work in progress!

Other than that, things are going pretty good with my new roommate….more updates to come!

                                                                                                                 paw print transparent Bradi Bear

summer movies, taylor king, bradi bear

Hellllo everyone! Summer has arrived - it’s PAW-TY time!

While I love the great outdoors as much as the next pup, sometimes the summer heat sends you indoors. And when that happens, nothing beats cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie. Summer vacations always need a good movie marathon… am I right?

 So get that popcorn poppin’ (and share some!) because I’ve compiled my top movies to watch this summer. I’m a pup of varied taste, so I’ve given you some action, some romance, some comedy...but there is one common theme to the list. Can you figure it out?

 Top 10 Picks for Summertime Flicks

1. Air Bud. The original is my favorite, of course. It’s hard to make a solid sequel, but let’s be honest: I’ll watch anything with golden retriever puppies.

2. Lady & the Tramp. A classic that never goes out of style. It always makes me crave spaghetti!

3. Bridesmaids. My favorite scene is...you guessed it...stealing the golden retriever puppies.

4. The Sandlot. I’m thinking The Beast and I could be friends...MAYBE.

5. Beethoven. Here’s a tip: never get in a slobber contest with a St. Bernard. They win every time.

6. 101 Dalmatians. While I cannot IMAGINE having 100 brother and sisters, c’mon Mom...maybe just one?!

7. Bolt. I MEAN. Dog + superpowers? Is there anything better?

8. Must Love Dogs. Because I mean…it’s def on my list of important character traits.

9. Because of Winn-Dixie. “The book was better,” you say? Blah blah blah. I know. But it’s still a great movie.

10. The Wizard of Oz. In my humble opinion, Toto stole the show.

 

                                                                                                                     paw print transparentBradi Bear King

water safety, bradi bear, taylor king law

Momma says I'm a "full bred golden," but I'm not totally convinced.

If you ask me I think I've got some fish in my blood. I LOVE the water. Sprinklers, puddles, and (shallow) lakes are always calling my name: "Bradi Bear, come splash in me," they say. It's the truth.

Now baths...those are a different story. But the great outdoor's water supply? I just can't get enough. 

I actually discovered recreational water during a call of duty.

Let me tell you MY version of the story, because apparently, it differs SLIGHTLY from Momma's.  She is always forgetting details.

So, my first experience with water (outside of a bath) was a trip to the lake. Now you can see why I was a little wary of what appeared to me to be a GIANT (greenish) bath.

My suspicions grew when Momma strapped a bright orange life jacket on me. Why did I need a floatation device? WHAT WAS SHE PLANNING?

We finally hopped on a speed boat, and everything improved. If you can believe it, it was 10 times better than riding in the car with the windows down! I was beginning to think this whole "lake" thing was going to be alright...UNTIL the boat stopped.

Noodles and more life jackets appeared from nowhere. Everyone started moving around and rocking the boat. Then the unimaginable happened.

People actually JUMPED INTO that green abyss.

I was so frantic! People were safe and sound one minute, then the next - gone!

Nobody seemed to notice the drastic change of events, so I knew it was up to me to save them all. I conjured up all my pup courage and ran to the rescue! With one heroic jump I plunged into the water after the first distressed passenger. I tried running towards them, but my little pup legs couldn't find any solid surface. I kicked and kicked and realized that was doing the trick (yes, if you're wondering, I am a completely self-taught swimmer). I think I'm the reason they've coined the term "doggie paddle"- maybe you've heard of it. 

I quickly U-turned and showed off my new skill all the way back to the boat. Thankfully, the others caught onto my technique and followed my lead. ALL WAS WELL. They all thanked me later for saving them...with belly rubs.

                                                                                                                                  paw print transparent Bradi Bear King

Taylor King Arkansas personal injury lawyer

Summer is approaching, and that means long, sunny days - perfect for exploring Arkansas! What could be better than spending the day enjoying all that our beautiful state has to offer? Well, let me tell ya: a day spent enjoying it with your best four-legged friend, that's what! 

While I may not be able to join you inside a restaurant for dinner, and movie theaters aren't really my scene (the loud noises remind me too much of thunder...NO THANKS), I have good news. Arkansas is The Natural State, where kids and adults of all ages can find some outdoor fun... And outdoor fun is my FAVORITE kind of fun!

If you've never ventured out beyond taking your pup for a walk around the block, you might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of dog-friendly attractions near you. Think outside the box and try one this weekend! Here's a few of my fave options: 

1. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Digging in the dirt? Well, that's a pup's favorite pastime! We can help you sniff out a diamond or, even better, a BONE!

2. Garven Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas. You're not the only one who likes to stop and smell the roses. They have a dog-friendly patio and lots of great walking trails here! 

3. Movies in the Park in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. They show free movies at First Security Amphitheater all through the summer months and welcome puppy pals! Just be sure to clean up after us and bring a leash!

4. Dog Parks (aka Bark Parks). Socializiation is important for a pup. You'll find local parks in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Maumelle, Benton, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Rogers...and the list goes on! 

5. Hot Springs National Park - another feature in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Remember, humans and pups BOTH have to stay on the trails here...no more jumping in those hot springs!

6. River Market District in Little Rock. In this hoppin' downtown area, there's a local farmer's market and even some restaurants where pups are welcome (on a leash).  

7. Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat in Hot Springs. There's nothing like feeling the lake's cool breeze in my fur! Take a ride with your pup on Lake Hamilton as long as you keep them on a leash and on the outdoor decks!

Am I missing any two-paws-up attractions in Arkansas? Let me know - I'm always up for an outdoor adventure! 

 

                                                                                                                                       paw print transparent Bradi Bear King

Water safety and drowning prevention, water injuries

When you think of personal injury lawyers, you might assume we only handle car wreck cases. And while we are passionate about helping our Arkansas neighbors who’ve been the victim of a reckless driver, personal injury encompasses much more than that. 

While water is the source of lots of summer fun, it can also be the cause of serious injury or even death.

In Arkansas, our motto is “The Natural State” for good reason: you’ll find plenty of natural water sources, from smaller ponds and bayous to more well-known lakes and rivers, including Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs, the Buffalo River in northwest Arkansas, and the White River which runs through Batesville. Or, perhaps, a local waterpark or personal pool is more your style.

Wherever you’ll be cooling off this summer, it’s vital to practice smart water safety. About ten people die each day in the United States from unintentional drowning. Drowning ranks fifth on the list of leading causes of unintentional death in the US. And this number doesn’t include those who live but may suffer permanent injuries, including irreversible brain damage.

The American Red Cross and The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals have some great safety tips to avoid injuries near water. We’ve combined their advice to give you a list of Six Super Safety Tips for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention:

1. Never swim alone. Yes, adults, the buddy system even applies to you. Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, there may be factors outside of your control that put you in danger. You need a friend nearby to notice if you’re in distress and call for help if anything should happen.

2. Learn to swim. Every child is different, but experts say you can begin safely teaching children to swim when they’re as young as 6 months old. Whether you’re 3 or 35, though, it’s never too late to learn! Many local public pools offer inexpensive lessons.

3. Learn CPR. Parents, caregivers, and babysitters should become certified in CPR and first aid. A victim can spend critical minutes without oxygen if you wait for paramedics to arrive to begin administering first aid, resulting in permanent brain damage or injury.

4. Wear a life jacket if you’re boating, whether that’s in a kayak or canoe, sea-doo, or larger boat. It’s simply not worth the risk.

5. Never leave a child unattended in or around the pool. Actively observe your children and don’t assume that they’re ok because they’re quiet. Drowning is often called a “silent death” because victims are so focused on getting air that they don’t make a lot of noise or splashing motions. If your child is going to a friend’s pool or local pool where you can’t be there to supervise, be sure to check ahead of time that lifeguards or vigilant caretakers will be present.

6. Reach and throw; don’t go. Your first instinct may be to jump into the water to help someone who’s in trouble, but that puts both of your lives at risk. A person who is struggling in the water may panic and pull you downward if you try to swim to them. Instead, throw them something that floats or grab a pole that you can use to reach them.

At Taylor King Law we know firsthand how enjoyable it is to spend summer days by the pool, in a fishing boat, or paddling a kayak. Unfortunately, we also see people every day whose lives have been forever changed by water accidents. Never assume it couldn’t happen to you. Learn to swim, practice smart water safety, and teach your children to do so as well.

Have you or a loved one suffered injuries in a water accident where another person was at fault? You may have legal rights to compensation. The attorneys at Taylor King Law would be glad to talk with you, hear your story, and give a professional opinion. This consultation is FREE and at no obligation to you. Get started today by calling Taylor King at 1-800-CAR-WRECK (227-9732). Choose an experienced Arkansas injury attorney who will be On Your Side, By Your Side. 

Bradi Bear's Arkansas storm safety guide

I am not the biggest fan of storms....honestly, I chant the song "Rain, rain go away, come again another day" anytime it starts raining outside. Now I know some of you are "rain is relaxing and my favorite kind of weather" people...but hear me out.

1. Do you ever have to use the restroom in the rain? No. So I'll tell you how much fun it is, as someone for whom it is the ONLY option. None.

2. Rain ruins perfectly good park days. Indoors doesn't have nearly as much running room.

3. Rain brings thunder, and thunder is loud. Loud noises are not my friend.

So April is here and in Arkansas, you know what that means...sunshine one day, a monsoon the next! You never know what you are going to get...it could even change mid-day! That reminds me of a very traumatic story.

So Momma and I have been working on this thing called "trust" lately. It consists of how long I'm allowed to stay out in the house unsupervised while she runs errands. I gain trust when she comes back to everything as she left it, and apparently lose trust when things aren't so tidy when she returns.

Who knew she didn't like half chewed blankets or sheet corners?! I thought it gave the room character. Anyways...

I had been gaining lots of trust lately while Momma went to the grocery store or ran quick errands. So she decided I was ready to be left for a full day (she was going to come back for potty breaks of course). It was a really pretty day and momma left the blinds open for me to patrol all things happening outside.

Only a few hours later that the sky turned black and rain started pouring. The thunder was shaking the entire place, I swear! I had no idea WHAT to do or WHERE to go! Obviously it made the most sense to begin shredding every rug in sight.

Once the rug was in tatters, I remembered the safety of my kennel. I darted in there and curled in the back corner until Momma finally got home, AGES later. She claims it was only 15 minutes after the storm started but that woman must be crazy.

These days, I don't get to be left out much for longer then a quick trip to the mail box... RIP, rugs.

In all seriousness, us pets don't understand storms! They scare the living daylights out of us and we really don't know how to protect ourselves. I felt better in my kennel because I knew it as safe and it diminished some of the noise from outside.

Having this option for your own pet can help calm them during a storm. I also felt much better when Momma got home and could be with me. I didn't like being alone and she didn't seem upset about the storm. I could pick up on her calmness and felt reassured that things would be okay. Still not a fan of storms though.

As scary as storms can be at home, they're even worse on the road! Check out Taylor King's blog post for tips for driving safely through rain and stormy Arkansas weather. 

 

                                                                                                                                           paw print transparentBradi Bear King

 

Little Rock personal injury attorney

Hey everyone! I've been hanging around the Taylor King Law Firm and boy, do I have some stories for you! I was asking the attorneys how they all became the great drivers they are today, and they shared some funny tales of the "potholes" they hit along the way.

And guess what?! Taylor King himself had the most to share! I picked some of my favorite driving stories to tell yall:

"I actually didn't get my license until I was in college. After getting married and moving 30 minutes away from the school's campus, I realized I had to have a license. I took driver's education in high school but still had to take a driver's test. At that point it had been years since I have driven, so my mother-in-law gave me driving lessons! We definitely bonded over the experience." - Noelle Skaff

"Once before I was old eough to drive, my oldest brother and I were at home talking and he brought up the subject of driving. I was somewhat curious about learning to drive but was still content taking the bus to school at that point. But being the bossy big brother he was (and still is at times), he talked me into getting behind the wheel of his car and going for a spin. He considered it my first "driving lesson" - but to make a long story short, we didn't get very far before we ended up needing a tow car. I was traumatized by that little ride of ours for quite a while!" - Britt Johnson

 "Not long after I got my first license, I got into a fender-bender. I was driving a 1991 Chevy Lumina, my grandmother's old car, so of course we didn't have the collision insurance that would have paid for the damage. Instead, my dad sent me to his mechanic friend's shop and had me do body work myself with a little help from the pros. I started with a white car and ended up with a white car with a blue hood and fender." - Jay Neal

"When I was in college I spent more time push-starting my five-speed Opel Manta than actually driving it! One year during spring break my mother let me borrow her Ford LTD station wagon to drive to Big Ben National Park with my friends. We would have to make stops to fill up the oil in the engine - on a 13-hour trip to the border of Mexico! When we finally got there, we may or may not have slipped across the Rio Grande river to eat tacos.

But my favorite story? It'd have to be the time I was planning my move from Arkadelphia to Fayetteville to attend law school. I didn't have the money to rent a UHaul, so a generous friend offered to loan me his truck. He forgot to mention that it was a DUMP TRUCK. Needless to say, I made some other arrangements." - Taylor King

 

                                                                                                                                paw print transparentBradi Bear King

You read that title correctly! This month marks my two-year Work Anniversary (work-iversary...get it?!) here at Taylor King Law. It's hard to believe that it's been two whole years since Taylor King asked me to join his team permanently - and BOY has it been a great two years!

So much has happened: multiple TV segments have been shot featuring yours truly, new billboards can be seen all over Arkansas, new offices have been opened, we've lost and celebrated the life of good ol' cousin Buddy, and new lawyers have joined the Taylor King family (including one, Austin King, who really IS Taylor King's family). 

So how did I, an average pup with humble beginnings, get to where I am today - a pup with professional headshots, trending personal injury lawyer blog, and her very own facebook page? I'll start from the beginning...

Bradi Bear and Taylor King: The Early Years

It all started when Taylor King's daughter Maggie decided she was ready for a pup of her own. She'd been raised to love golden retrievers; Buddy and Lady King were both members of the King family since she was eight years old. So it was a no-brainer that she needed to have a golden as well.

That's where I come in! Maggie couldn't resist my adorable face and snuggly personality from the first time we met. And just like that, Maggie became my new Momma and I was adopted into the King family; little did I know I had a TV star as a puppy-cousin! 

Momma drove me in for a Hogs game on my first trip to Arkansas. I decided to skip the loud cheering and crowds for a nap and rawhide chew back at Taylor King's home. Apparently I made a great first impression on the entire King family, so much so that they invited me out to the commercial shoot the next morning. "We'll just see how it goes," Momma told me.

Before I knew it I scored a cameo spot in one of the commercials alongside my cousin Buddy, Taylor King's original sidekick! I was so honored and a little camera shy if we are being honest. And that was that- Momma and I packed up and headed back to her school in Texas. Until....

Bradi Bear Hits the Big Time 

I WENT VIRAL! Everyone loved the cute new pup in Taylor King's commercials. He was getting calls left and right asking about me and if I was in the office for a visit!

Taylor King called up Momma right then and there and told her he needed more Bradi Bear! Who could blame him? I begged and pleaded Mom to let me go back and dive right into this newfound fame...she told me I was getting a big head and to slow my roll. Hmph.

But a few months later, in March, Momma was finally convinced to let me join the Taylor King Law firm!!! I signed my contract (lawyers love contracts) and began writing blogs and posting pictures of my day-to-day activities! What a dream job...it was so fun just telling my fans what I was up to!

But the more I hung around Taylor King and his attorneys, the more interested I got in the personal injury side of things. It is pretty fascinating! I asked Taylor King and Buddy if I could shadow them and learn the ropes...AND THEY SAID YES! So here I am, people: one snuggly pup with a face you can't tell "no" (or so I've heard), going two years strong at Taylor King Law! 

And I'm just getting started! 

 

                                                                                                                                   paw print transparentBradi Bear King

 

 

Never fear - I have NOT personally been in an accident. But the heading got your attention, didn't it?!

Recently, Taylor King and I were talking business over some pupcakes. He told me that the hardest part about a personal injury case for clients is that they don't always know what the expect! When you've been working as long as Taylor King has, these things become second nature. But when you've been injured in your first ever car wreck, how are you supposed to know what's going on?!

I can confirm that there are so many moving parts behind the scenes. You have case managers, insurance, medical records, and much much more...which makes it hard to know how long it will take to settle your case and get that money in your pocket

It reminds me of how I feel when Momma takes me to the the vet! I've been there for quick checkups, but once I had to get my stomach pumped! (I ate my food...and my food bowl one time. It was a rough morning to say the least.) Long story short: I never know WHAT to expect, and it is not a good feeling.

So today, my mission is to shed some light on what you can expect with a Personal Injury Case - with a little Bradi Bear flare thrown in, of course. Let's talk timelines, y'all!

Step One:
So you've decided you want Taylor King Law Firm to help you? You'll need to put your pawprint (or signature) on a contract and a medical authorization so that we can get copies of your medical records and bills. Taylor King makes this process quick and easy! 

The way we cover the whole state, is that we have investigators all over that can get to you in about an hour. He or she will call you to schedule an appointment to get you signed up.

Step Two:
Next, we take things off your shoulders and start the claim! That means getting a copy of the accident report and calling the insurance company to let them know that we are representing you.

We do this every day, so we will help you figuring out your property damage to your vehicle, and be sure you are taken care of fairly. Once all that is taken care of, we focus on your personal injury claim AND make sure you get all the medical treatment you need.

Step Three:
When you're released from your doctor (or vet), the attonerys at Taylor King put together what we call a settlement brochure.

This is pretty much a copy of everything needed to convince the insurance company how much your case is really worth. It's everything we've gathered so far: accident reports, photographs, medical records, medical bills, and lost wage information!

It is all packaged it up and sent it to the insurance company, then negotiated back and forth like a good game of tug of war until we get you a fair settlement. 

So, WHY can't your lawyer give you an exact day when you'll get your money? Why did your friend's case settle more quickly than yours? Well, back to my story about the vet...

Every pup is different. While I was waiting to get my stomach pumped that day, I was in a waiting room with other pups (and even a cat) who had all sorts of issues...some were sick, some had cuts or infections, and one even needed surgery! Your case is not the same as your friend's, and the length of time it takes to settle depends on your injuries, your insurance company, and a whole bunch of other variables. 

Hope that helped out a little on what all goes on when you file a personal injury claim with Taylor King Law. Now if only Momma would spell out my vet visits like that...

                                                                                                                                   paw print transparent Bradi Bear King

 

Taxable income on Arkansas injury settlement

Tax season is upon us! If you've settled a personal injury claim or lawsuit in the past year, you're probably wondering whether Uncle Sam expects you to pay taxes on that money. 

Here's the short answer: In most cases, no. 

Don't stop reading yet, though. There are many factors that determine whether a settlement amount is taxable. We'll walk you through the basics of settlement taxes, but it's important to know that only a tax expert can answer specific questions for you. If your settlement was complex or included punitive damages, it's best to consult a CPA or personally contact a lawyer. 

Whether your settlement came from out-of-court negotiations or the verdict of a lawsuit, it’s all the same when it comes to taxes.

Physical Injuries
Generally, personal injury settlements are not taxable. Federal tax law specifically states that compensation for personal physical injuries or sickness will not be included in your gross income - the income you pay taxes on.

Typical personal injury settlements include compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. As long as you have a physical injury (and, let’s face it, it’s unlikely you’ll be getting a settlement for those things unless you were physically injured), you don’t have to pay taxes on that money.

Bottom Line: If you received a typical injury settlement for physical injuries, you don’t have to pay taxes on that amount. 

Emotional Injuries 
Sometimes your settlement will include “non-economic damages” or compensation for “emotional injuries” – that would include emotional suffering or distress, PTSD, inability to enjoy your life normally, etc. Federal tax law states that as long as those injuries were linked to a physical injury, any compensation you receive for them is not subject to tax. 

If, for example, you made a claim based on employment discrimination at work, or emotional distress from a car accident, but didn’t have the slightest physical injury, then your settlement or verdict would be taxable. 

Bottom Line: Did your emotional distress stem from a physical injury? Then that compensation is tax-free, too. 

Punitive Damages and other Exceptions
If you receive money for punitive damages, however, that money is always taxable. Punitive damages are awarded only when a defendant has acted "willfully or recklessly;" in other words, if the defendant intentionally caused damage to the plaintiff. This is separate from “compensatory damages” mentioned above that are meant to compensate you for injuries or lost wages. In personal injury cases involving car wrecks, it’s difficult to prove that a defendant acted willfully, so punitive damages are very rarely awarded in those cases. 

If a court did award punitive damages, your lawyer would request that those be calculated separately from compensatory damages. You would then be responsible for paying taxes only on the money received for punitive damages. 

Bottom Line: You probably didn’t receive punitive damages for your personal injury settlement, but you can consult your injury lawyer if you’re not sure. 

Still not convinced? Take a look at this article on Settlements Taxability from the IRS for even more information; for a tax document, it's surprisingly easy to read and understand! 

If you are a former or current client at Taylor King Law and have questions about filing your taxes after receiving an injury settlement, please call our office at 1-800-CAR-WRECK (227-9732). Your lawyer will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. 

Have you been injured in a car or motorcycle wreck in Arkansas? You may have legal rights to compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer will stand up to the insurance companies and ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. Call Taylor King today to begin your FREE consultation or submit a contact form here on our website. 

 

Bicycle safety; injury lawyer Arkansas

It's not officially spring in Arkansas, but the warmer, longer days have many people shedding their heavy coats and emerging from their winter hibernation (we’re looking at you, Netflix!). You’ll begin to see many more bike riders out and about in the next few weeks.

Whether you admire their commitment to health or just wish they’d get out of your way, there are laws in Arkansas that govern how car drivers should interact with cyclists, and vice versa. Odds are, some of these will come as a surprise:

1. Bikes are not vehicles, but…
In Arkansas, bicycles are not defined as “vehicles,” but bicycle riders are granted all the rights and duties of a vehicle driver. That means that a cyclist must yield for pedestrians, stop at intersections, and signal (using arm signals) when making a turn.

2. Share the road:
Except for freeways and controlled-access highways, cyclists can use any public road, street, or highway, just as cars do. So yelling “get on the sidewalk” to a bike rider in your lane is not just rude; it's also incorrect.

3. Speaking of sidewalks:
Many states have laws prohibiting bike riders from riding on sidewalks. Many people have been injured in accidents where cyclists collided with pedestrians on a sidewalk. In Arkansas, however, there is no state law governing this. The cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Maumelle all have ordinances to keep bikers off the sidewalks and on the road. Check with your local town to see if there are local ordinances.

4. Give me three: 
As a car driver in Arkansas, you are required to keep three feet between you and a bicycle rider at all times. This is especially important when passing. If you can’t stay three feet away as you pass, wait until the road widens or traffic thins out. Ask any bike rider; they can attest to the scary feeling of having a car THISclose as it swerves around them. The 3 Feet Rule is law in 26 states, including Arkansas.

5. No cutting corners:
Since bike riders follow the same rules as drivers, this means you can’t cut them off to turn in front of them. Bicycles move more quickly than you might think, and jumping in front of them (only to slow down and make a turn) often results in a collision. If a bike is to your right and you want to turn, wait until they pass and then move over.

Car crossing in front of bicycle; right turn

Bicycle Accident? Call Taylor King Law 

If you or someone you love are injured in a bicycle accident due to the actions of a car driver, you may have legal rights to compensation. The experienced Arkansas injury lawyers at Taylor King Law are ready to help. Call us today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK to begin your FREE consultation and get answers to your questions. Don't let time run out on your legal rights. 

 

 

Arkansas auto insurance, medical payments coverage

Do you have your car insurance policy handy? Go ahead and pull it out, or pull it up on that insurance app you have on your phone (isn't technology amazing?). We'll wait.

Ok, scan or scroll on down toward the bottom. You're looking for the words "Medical Payments Coverage" or "Personal Injury Protection." Found it? Good!

Medical Payments Coverage, usually just called "Med Pay," is an important part of your automobile insurance policy in the state of Arkansas. No, it doesn't cover your property damage or that of the other driver; instead, it insures your physical health. Med Pay is coverage that will pay for up to $5000 of the medical bills you incur within two years of your car wreck (as long as they're accident-related, of course). This coverage works regardless of whether the accident was your fault or the fault of another driver.

Are There Laws About Med Pay in Arkansas?

If you're thinking that Med Pay sounds pretty important, Arkansas lawmakers agree with you. Every insurance company in Arkansas is legally required to offer you Med Pay coverage when you apply for an auto insurance policy. The state legislature took it one step further and created a requirement that if you choose not to have Med Pay coverage, you have to sign a written statement saying that you're waiving the coverage. The law was created as a matter of public policy because lawmakers felt it was so important for injured Arkansans to have some type of coverage to help pay their bills after an accident, whether or not they were at fault.

Are There Penalties for Using Med Pay?

The legislature has also felt that this coverage is so important that you shouldn't have to fear negative consequences if you use it. In Arkansas, insurance companies cannot penalize you in any way for using, applyying for, or dealing with Med Pay in any way. That means the company cannot raise your premiums or deduct points simply because you used your Med Pay coverage.

Can I Afford Med Pay?

You may have been tempted to waive Med Pay coverage in an attempt to lower your monthly insurance premium. But even if you're looking to cut costs, don't cut Med Pay. It's a very small portion of your monthyly premium, probably less than two cups of coffee from Starbucks, and it's well worth the peace of mind you'll have if you're involved in a car accident and need medical attention.

The beauty of Med Pay is that it starts working immediately to help cover your ambulance ride, emergency medical services, hospital visits, and chiropractic therapy.

How Do I Know if I Have Med Pay?

Check your policy or contact your insurance provider. It's possible that Med Pay is available to you under the law if you never signed a written rejection, even if you haven't paid premiums for this coverage or didn't intend to have it when you applied for the policy.

Why Should I Use Med Pay if the Wreck Wasn't My Fault?

Even though the wreck is the other driver's fault, it's still in your best interest to always use your medical benefits or any other health insurance you may have to pay for your medical expenses. If you're injured, you need medical treatment immediately; the other driver's insurance will only cover medical bills after you've completely finished treating. In the meantime, you still need treatment.

The law in Arkansas does not allow evidence of collateral sources, such as Med Pay or health insurance, as evidence in a trial or hearing. Therefore, you can still get credit for medical bills you have incurred from the at fault driver although they have already been paid by your Med Pay for health insurance.

Your insurance company can request money back out of your third-party settlement for some of the proceeds it has paid for your medical benefits. This is called subrogation. Until 1997, insurance companies in Arkansas would recover around two-thirds of the medical benefits they had provided from the victim's settlement. That changed when our state Supreme Court ruled that an injured person has the right to be "made whole," and that comes first before the insurance company has the right to get back the money it's used to cover your healthcare costs, for which you've already paid premiums.

Problems with Med Pay? Taylor King Can Help

If you're dealing with Med Pay or injuries from a car accident, you don't have to walk through it alone. The lawyers at Taylor King Law deal with insurance adjusters and complex insurance coverage questions every day. An experienced Arkansas injury lawyer will make sure that you get any Med Pay benefits you're entitled to, as well as getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to subrogation with your insurance company in order to maximize your settlement.

To ensure that your rights are protected, call Taylor King today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK to begin a FREE consultation and get answers to your questions.

Arkansas injury lawyers, Taylor King

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY, ladies and gentlepups! I thought my faithful readers were in need of a love poem and maybe a quick history lesson too! But we'll start with the love poem...

Valentine's Day is full of sweets

Puppy dog kisses and bacon treats

No chocolate for me, only rawhide

And that catchy slogan

On your side by your side 

In my opinion, nothing says love like a good pair of puppy dog eyes. But walk in to just about any store and you are bound to see heart decorations instead. Where did this heart/love idea even come from? Have you ever wondered? WELLLLL, investigator Bradi Bear to the rescue!

Thank goodness for Google - really, I want to know how pups or people found out ANYTHING before it. Turns out the two got associated because of that "racing heart" feeling you get whenever something exciting is about to happen. As heart rate increases, so does blood flow, and that's what you hear pounding in your head whenever you get those "love" feelings. I personally get that way whenever momma breaks out the treat box, but I get excited pretty easily.

So I got to clicking around during my search and got to the more medical information about our hearts. I'm going to be honest, some of it had my head spinning with crazy terminology and diagrams of different valves and pumps. But what I took away (besides that actual organ hearts look nothing like the Valentine craft) is that the heart pumps blood and oxygen to pretty much every other part of our body. It is kind of a big deal.

It got me thinking about my own dog heart...I thought it has to be at least 5x the size of human hearts, because us pups just love so so much. Turns out a dog's hearts pumps on average 4,000 liters of blood and beats 144,000 times a day. 

And while we're on the subject of hearts, let's talk about your lawyer. Sometimes our society gives lawers a bad rap, but in reality, there are plenty who have a BIG heart for their clients. It's so important to choose a lawyer who cares about YOU, not just your case! Taylor King may not have the super-special dog heart like me (it's not his fault that he isn't a pup), but he and the other attorneys at Taylor King Law truly love the work they do and care for the clients they serve. 

Here's hoping your heart is full of love and your home is full of treats today! 

 

                                                                                                                 paw print transparent Bradi Bear King

 

Taylor King Arkansas injury lawyer

When you go to hire an attorney, what are you looking for? Sure, the diplomas and licenses on their wall are pretty important...but this is a person you're going to be spending a lot of time talking to over the weeks or months! How can you know you've picked the right guy or gal?

Well, I think you should look no further than your favorite doggy pal! After all, they don't say "a dog is man's best friend" for nothin'! Us pups have some pretty PAW-some qualities that are all wrapped up in our cute cuddly bodies, and they're the same qualities you should be looking for in a lawyer! 

1. Loyalty - DUH! We are known for protecting and sticking up for own owner! We will always stick by our human's side (on your side by you side....sound familiar?) Your lawyer should also be loyal and always on your team.  

2. Determination - Ever try getting a squeaky toy away from one of us? I can put up quite a fight if you even THINK about taking one of my bacon scented toys. The lawyer you choose should put the same amount of effort and work into your case.

3. Selflessness - Ask any pup around and I bet we'd all say we are more concerned for YOU than for ourselves. Same goes for a good lawyer. An attorney should always be making decisions with the client's best interests in mind.

4. Friendliness - Anytime I encounter someone, old friend or new comer, I greet them with big tail wag and pup sniff. I believe a warm welcome and meaningful communication makes someone feel special. You want an attorney who treats his or her clients not only like human beings, but like family.

5. Problem Solving - We pups get things done! Have you ever seen those videos of dogs trying to get REALLY big sticks through narrow walkways? Well, it might take a couple of attempts, but we work until we solve the problem. An attorney shouldn't give up at the first road block either! You want someone with the knowledge and willpower to work through the toughest circumstances. 

There are other adjectives that go hand and hand with lawyers and pups (intelligent, good-natured, house-broken...) but I didn't think they needed much explanation! 

If you're in need of legal services and aren't sure where to look, why not start with Taylor King? He's got my paw of approval! Plus, he's got 30 years of legal experience up his sleeve! You can call 1-800-CAR-WRECK to get started, or check out the rest of our website...I wouldn't be mad if you read a few more of the blogs from yours truly while you're here! 

 

                                                                                                                               paw print transparentBradi Bear King

Finding a hit and run driver

Arkansas Hit and Run Laws

Have you ever seen a child break something valuable and then try to hide the pieces, rather than confess to his parents? This is the same behavior that some people employ when they cause an accident - commonly called a hit and run (H&R). A hit and run is a crime, and it's defined as being involved in a collision with another car, pedestrian, or property, and knowingly leaving the scene without stopping to give his or her name, license number, and other information to someone at the scene. If another driver rear-ends you at a stop sign and then drives away without stopping to exchange information, that's H&R. If you emerge from a store to find that someone has side-swiped your car and left the scene, that's also H&R.

If you are involved in an accident, Arkansas law states that you have 3 responsibilities:

1. Give your information - name, address, and registration number of the car you are driving
2. Give aid to any person injured in the accident, and call for medical help if necessary
3. Remain at the scene for a reasonable amount of time ("reasonable" in AR is defined as no less than 30 minutes) to speak with police, unless you must leave to give aid to the injured person.

The vast majority of the time, someone who commits H&R is the at-fault driver in the accident, but anyone driving a car involved in the accident who leaves the scene can be charged with hit and run. Their desire to avoid consequences may stem from a number of reasons. They may have been intoxicated, without insurance, driving a stolen or borrowed vehicle, driving without a license, engaged in illegal activities, or have outstanding warrants.


Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

While the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary from state to state, hit and run is a criminal offense. Penalties also depend on the severity of the damage, including property damage, and the severity of other passengers' injuries.

Arkansas law states that anyone who leaves the scene of an accident where a person has been injured or killed may be charged with a Class D felony, and their license will be revoked. Penalties are less severe for accidents where only property damage is involved, but those still include a fine and revokation of your drivers' license.


Finding a Hit and Run Driver

While police will attempt to find drivers who leave the accident scene, it's difficult to do without much information to help them. If the accident occurred in a parking lot, where you never saw the other driver, it may not be possible to identify the driver. In those cases, Arkansas law presumes that a driver who leaves the accident scene is uninsured. It's a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, because that will be used to cover H&R damage.

You would never have time for a Google search immediately after an accident. That's why it's important to learn what details to look for immediately after an accident, long before you're ever involved in one. Look for the car license number, make, and color of the other car. If the driver gets out of the car, try to take in as many details as you can. This information can help the police locate the driver. In many cases, of course, you may be injured or in shock immediately after the wreck. It all happens quickly, and it's understandable that you may not remember many details. In that case, ask for witnesses at the accident scene. You can also return to the scene and ask nearby businesses if they might have video survellience of the area. Witness statements and video footage can be powerful evidence in identifying a hit and run driver.

To learn more, look at Arkansas Code Title 27, Chapter 53.

Were you injured in a hit and run accident? The injury lawyers at Taylor King Law have years of experience helping people just like you. You may have legal rights, but there is a statute of limitations in Arkansas, so you'll want to call as soon as possible. Call 1-800-CAR-WRECK or submit an online form to begin your Free Consultation with Taylor King.

 

Minimum car insurance laws in Arkansas

Insurance Requirements in Arkansas

Here’s the first thing you need to know about auto insurance in Arkansas: you have to have some. If you drive a car in Arkansas, whether or not you’re the owner, you’re legally required to have a car insurance plan.

The question, then, is not if you need insurance, but which kind.

Liability: Insurance to Protect Others

Each state sets its own minimum insurance requirements for drivers. In Arkansas, you must carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is what protects you if you’re at fault in a car accident; it will pay for the damage you caused to another person or vehicle, up to the limits set by policy.

  • Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) is for – you guessed it – injuries caused to the other driver or passengers. In Arkansas the minimum coverage is $25,000 per person or $50,000 total in a wreck where more than one person is injured.
  • Property Damage Liability (PDL) covers damage to the other car(s) involved in the wreck. The minimum PDL an Arkansas driver can carry is $25,000 per accident.


This is the minimum liability insurance you can carry in Arkansas, often referred to as “25/50/25 limits;” insurers cannot sell you a policy with lower limits, but you can purchase policies with higher limits if you choose. The word “limit” means it’s the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to cover injuries or property damage in a car wreck where you were the at-fault driver.

Comprehensive, Collision, and PIP: Insurance to Protect Yourself

Beyond liability insurance, there are multiple other types of insurance that you should consider. Liability insurance only covers the damage you cause to other people; if you’re at fault in a wreck, liability won’t pay for your injuries or damage to your car. That’s where Comprehensive, Collision, and Personal Injury Protection plans come in. While they’re not required by law, they’re a smart addition to your policy.

  • Comprehensive Insurance covers “non-collision” damage to your car: fire, flood, theft, vandalism, collisions with animals, hail, and much more. In Arkansas, where collisions with deer are not uncommon, this is the insurance policy that would cover the damage.
  • Collision Insurance pays for damages to your car caused by collision or rollover accidents.
  • Personal Injury Protection, often referred to as PIP, covers your medical and injury-related costs regardless of who was at fault. Coverage includes ambulance and emergency room visits, doctor visits, chiropractic or physical therapy, etc. Exact coverage depends on your state, but you may have an option under PIP to get even more coverage: funeral costs, a percentage of your lost income, or accidental death insurance. PIP is optional in Arkansas but is required in other states.
  • Medical Payments (Med Pay) is similar to PIP, but is less comprehensive. It covers medical expenses for the insured, members of your household, and passengers.


In Arkansas, you are required to sign a statement waiving your Med Pay coverage if you choose not to include it on your insurance policy. Med Pay is especially helpful because you can use it while you’re still getting treatment and recovering after an accident; you don’t have to wait for a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company. And without Med Pay or PIP, you’ll be left to pay your own medical bills or rely solely on health insurance if you cause the wreck.

One More Thing: Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance

Ideally, every driver would follow the law, carry liability insurance, and protect his or her fellow drivers. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Experts estimate that 1 out of every 7 Arkansas drivers are uninsured.

If you’re the victim of an accident where the other driver didn’t have insurance, or their insurance policy won’t enough to cover all of your bills, you’ll be glad you had Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage on your own policy. This policy will also cover your property damage or injuries in “hit and run” situations where the driver hits your car and then leaves the scene.

Can You Prove it?

Finally, it’s not enough to simply have insurance – you need to have proof. If you’re pulled over by a police officer, involved in an accident, or trying to register your vehicle, you’ll need to show proof of insurance. Failure to show proof of insurance can result in hefty fines, registration suspension, reinstatement fees, and more.

Keep one insurance ID card in your car’s glove box and another in your wallet to ensure you’re never without one.

Sorting through all of the definitions and options involved in buying car insurance can be confusing, but we hope this guide to Arkansas insurance helped clear things up.

Questions? Get a Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Arkansas and have questions about your insurance, Taylor King is here to help. Call today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK for a free consultation and answers to your most important insurance questions. The injury lawyers at Taylor King Law have many years of experience in dealing with insurance adjusters and will protect your rights to a fair settlement.  

How's it going everyone? It's Friday! WAHOOO! Many people (and pups) would say Friday is the best day of the week! Whether it's that you've made it through the work week or your human is finally home for two full days to love, cuddle, and give you treats, everyone seems to deem Friday as FAVORITE.

So to keep with the theme, I thought I'd let you in on some of MY favorite things. I believe you probably are all aware of my love/obsession with ANYTHING bacon-scented, but I am trying to branch out. 

1. STICKS! Big sticks, little sticks, sticks that break easily, sticks that take teamwork to break down, sticks that i can drag behind me, sticks that I try to sneak into the house, and especially sticks that are dirty. All are welcome here. There is room in my heart for all of them. 

2. A scrambled egg. Yes, I said it. I LOVE a scrambled egg; it settles my tummy when I don't feel that great. I gobble those things right up and I always hope and pray when momma takes the carton out of the refrigerator that she is going to crack one of those bad boys for me. I whine just a little as a subtle reminder when she forgets.

3. Wearing my new Taylor King Law LONG-SLEEVED t-shirt. It features the best-looking pup and keeps my legs warm on chilly mornings. My fur coat can only do so much.

4. Running with Taylor King in the morning. He made a New Year's Resolution to stay with a workout routine, so I decided to be his workout buddy while I was home for the holidays. Every morning we'd get up and run laps around his house. And when I say "we'd run laps," I mean Taylor King would run laps while I ran SUPER fast sprints back and forth across the yard. I think it really helped keep him motivated.

5. I am one social pup, so I love meeting new clients! I get to show off my perfected "sit and stay" routine and it doesn't hurt that they always want to give me a scratch on the head. I'm still working on a complete "roll-over," though. I just get side tracked when they go in for a belly rub...I mean really? Who could ever turn down a belly rub?

6. Trips to the dog park! There are always new smells to sniff, new water to splash in, new squirrels to bark at, and oh - did I mention how that place is FULL of sticks? See item #1. 

7. Puppicinos from Starbucks. It sounds fancy, but it's essentially a cup full of whip cream, which means it's essentially the greatest thing ever.

8. Participating in photoshoots! Whether it is for a billboard (have you seen our new Little Rock sign on Cantrell Road?) or a holiday, I love being treated like a movie star and posing for the professional camera....or mom.

9. Hiding my toys. This is a real passion of mine. I don't live outside, so I don't get to actually bury things in the dirt like I've seen others do at the park. Instead I like to keep my things safe behind pillows, curtains, in couch cushions or tucked away in corners. I'm pretty stealthy if I do say so myself. I quickly learned that leaving toys in the middle of the room was NOT the best place if I didn't want Mom to move them. 

10. Bacon Scented Stuff. Sorry...I couldn't help myself. 

                                                                                                                                           paw print transparentBradi Bear King

Tips for safer driving; Arkansas personal injury lawyer

How do you like to begin the new year? Are you a goal-getter who makes one (or more) resolutions each year and keeps them all the way through December 31? Or, perhaps, do you begin with good intentions but find yourself derailed midway through March? Maybe you’re utterly realistic (or content with yourself as you are) and don’t make resolutions at all.

Regardless of how you feel about New Year’s Resolutions, it can be helpful to see the beginning of a calendar year as a fresh start, a time to evaluate and make changes to improve your life or the lives of others.

Not sure where to begin? We suggest one resolution that everyone can keep: Become an All-Star Driver in 2017!

Beat the Odds of a Car Accident 

Think about it: the average American spends 17,600 minutes driving each year. That’s more than 45 minutes in your car each day. Driving is an everyday activity for the majority of Arkansans, since our state is more rural with fewer methods of public transportation - but it’s anything but an ordinary task.

Your odds of being killed in a car wreck are 1 in 113, compared to a 1 in 358 chance of being killed by firearm or 1 in 1,183 odds of drowning. That doesn’t mean you should throw away your car keys and never drive again. But it does mean that no matter how many times you get behind the wheel, you should never go on “autopilot.”

You can take small, tangible steps toward becoming a better driver, helping keep yourself and others safe on the road. And you can start today!

5 Ways to Become a Better Driver Today

Choose one of the following tips to put into practice the next time you get behind the wheel. Write a reminder on a brightly-colored Post-It note and stick it somewhere in the car where you’ll see it.

  1. Keep Your Hands on the Wheel at the Correct Positions. When most of us learned to drive, we were told to hold the steering wheel at “10 and 2,” referencing the numbers on a clock. Apparently, we’ve been doing it wrong. This hand position puts you at risk for hand, wrist, and even head injuries when your airbag deploys in a car wreck. Instead, the official guidelines recommend keeping your hands lower, at “9 and 3.”

    And don’t think about “hooking” the wheel, with your hand under the wheel and your palm facing you, or “palming” it, when you keep your palm resting against the wheel without closing your fingers around it. These positions don’t give you good control of the steering wheel and, again, set you up for injury in the event of a collision.

  2. Drive the Speed Limit. This is one safe driving tip that truly requires no special skills or training. Whether you’re going significantly slower or faster, you are always at a greater risk for accidents when you drive at a different speed than the cars around you. And although it may feel like you’re getting there more quickly, speeding really doesn’t save you much time, particularly when you factor in traffic and traffic lights.

    Don’t believe it? Try this interactive tool from DefensiveDriving.com to see for yourself: Does Speeding Save Time? Once you consider how much time and money you’ll waste if you’re pulled over and issued a speeding ticket, driving the posted speed limit just makes sense. 

  3. Learn to Merge Correctly. This is a tough one for many people. When we see that a lane of traffic is ending, most of us fall into one of two categories: the "rule followers" who merge as soon as they see the sign, falling in line long before the lanes actually narrow, and the "line jumpers" who wait until the last possible second to merge from the narrowing lane. According to experts, neither style of merging is correct and both, in fact, cause major traffic jams.

    Instead, you should "zipper merge," which is explained in The Urge to Merge by the New York Times as well as Lifehacker's article The Right Way to Merge. There's no guarantee that all of your fellow drivers will cooperate, but you can do your part to reduce traffic jams. Feel free to share this article on social media as a subtle nudge to your friends who could use a lesson on merging. 

  4. Eliminate Distractions. When it comes to distracted driving, texting gets the most attention because it involves both mental and physical distractions. However, when you commit to being a focused driver, you’ll need to think twice about other common car distractors: eating, changing the radio station/adjusting music settings, using your GPS or map app, and talking to other passengers.

    You’re operating a 2-ton machine. Give it your full attention; you may be surprised by how quickly your driving improves!

  5. Don’t Drive If You’re Not Alert. This is where you expect to see the standard warning against drinking alcohol and driving. Drunk driving IS a serious danger: Alcohol is involved in 1 out of every 3 traffic fatalities in the United States. But there are other factors that keep you from being alert when you drive.

    Did you know that driving after pulling an-all nighter is just as risky as driving while drunk?

    That's right, according to an Australian study on driving and sleep impairment. Once you’ve been awake for 18 hours, your driving impairment is similar to having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 percent; stay awake for 24 hours straight, and your impairment compares to a BAC of .10 percent, well over the legally drunk level of .08 percent. Certain medications and even severe illness can also impair your driving. 

What to Do When Another Driver Causes Your Wreck 

While these strategies can help you become a better, safer driver, you can't always prevent an accident. If you were the victim of a car wreck in Arkansas and have injuries, Taylor King Law is here to help. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to everyone who calls us at 1-800-CAR WRECK. If you have a case, we'll handle everything from requesting medical records to negotiating with the insurance company. Hiring an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer can help you protect your legal rights to compensation. 

Drunk driving, safe New Year's Eve in Arkansas

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

It seems appropriate that December should be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, given that drunk and impaired driving spikes during the holiday season. And since New Year's Eve is on Saturday in 2016, we expect to see an even bigger rise in alcohol-related incidents this year. 

Alcohol-Related Deaths in Arkansas 

30% of traffic-related deaths in 2015 involved drunk drivers - that's more than 10,000 people across the nation. 148 Arkansans died in alcohol-related wrecks during that same period.

And those percentages increase significantly between Christmas and New Year's Day, according to The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). 4 out of every 10 traffic-related deaths during that time period involve drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) higher than the legal limit of .08%. 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

DUI arrests in the United States are highest between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. 

If you live in Arkansas, expect to see increased state and local law enforcement on the roads this weekend. They've joined the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which will continue through January 1. 

Why Do People Drive Under the Influence?

Most people would agree that drunk driving is bad news. So why are there still so many substance-related wrecks around the holiday season? 

Experts say that part of the problem lies in using the phrase “drunk driving.” When someone asks, “Am I drunk?” they’re not thinking about their BAC; they’re thinking about how they feel. If they still feel in control of their speech and motor skills, or if they’ve only had “a few” drinks, they may not consider themselves “drunk” even though their BAC is higher than the legal limit. Someone might drink more during the holidays and chalk it up to celebration, not realizing their true impairment.

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that impairs your driving ability. Even “recreational” drugs like marijuana can impact your fine motor skills and slow your reaction time. And don’t assume medicine is safe just because you have a prescription for it – many medications carry warning labels about driving, and others can negatively impact you if taken other than as prescribed.

Drinking or taking drugs impairs your judgment, so you may not be making the best decisions at precisely the moment when your choices matter most.

Safe Holidays = Smart Planning

That’s why the first step in preventing alcohol- or drug-related car wrecks is the most vital: If you drink at all, especially during the holidays, commit not to drive. Make this commitment before you get to the party or restaurant.

Next, have a plan in place. Make arrangements ahead of time for a sober friend to drive you, save the number of a taxi service in your contacts, carry bus fare, or download the Uber app. Check to see if your city offers a free ride service during the New Year’s weekend – many do!

What if your friend is drinking and tries to get behind the wheel? Don’t be afraid to be assertive. Take the keys. Call for help or help them get home using public transportation. Your friends might be angry in the moment, but that’s a small price to pay in order to keep them safe and potentially save their lives. They’ll thank you later – and so will everyone else on the road.

Spotting an Impaired Driver: Know the Signs

So you and your friends have committed to driving safely and soberly – great! But what about everyone else on the road? You don’t have to be a police officer to know the signs of an impaired driver. Keep an eye out for drivers exhibiting the following behavior:

  • Weaving or zig-zagging across the road
  • Stopping randomly in the road, or braking erratically
  • Tailgating, flashing their lights, or honking the horn erratically
  • Traveling at unusually high or low speeds
  • Straddling two lanes
  • Striking or almost striking road signs, traffic cones, or other objects
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road or swerving into opposite lanes of traffic

What to do if you Spot an Impaired Driver

  • Stay far away from the other vehicle. Do not try to pass the vehicle or make the driver pull over. Don’t put yourself in danger.
  • Take note of as many details as you can, including their license plate, make and color of their car. Don’t risk your own safety to get this information, of course.
  • Finally, pull over and call 911. Give them as many details as possible, including the name of the road or nearest mile markers and the direction the car was traveling. Then, let law enforcement officers do their job.

Have You Been Injured by an Impaired Driver?

Even when alcohol- or drug-related wrecks don’t result in death, there can still be serious consequences. Victims may be seriously injured or have extensive property damage. Have you been injured in an accident with an impaired driver? The driver may face criminal charges, but you may want to file a separate personal injury claim to receive compensation for your suffering. The personal injury lawyers at Taylor King Law have 20 years of experience defending the victims of drunk driving. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Tell us your story and we’ll see if we can help.

At Taylor King Law we’re on your side, by your side for the people of Arkansas.

I can't believe it has already been a FULL YEAR since I was making resolutions about having a positive attitude towards taking baths (see last year's New Years Post if you don't know what I'm talking about). This was a semi-successful goal, if you were wondering. 

Even though it seems to have gone by with a blink of an eye and wag of a tail, so much has happened in 2016. These are the moments that stand out most in my mind for the past year.

  • With my expert input and guidance, we launched our brand new website at Taylor King Law! The update even gave me my very own blog page! Did you see that little pawprint on the home screen? One click on that baby brings you straight to ALL my posts. Does it get much better than that?!
  • Wait, I can think of something: BEING PART OF THE TAYLOR KING COMMERCIAL SHOOT! I got my hair AND makeup done for the event like a true star.
  • I also have my very own professional headshots. I've been perfecting my autograph if anyone is looking for some last minute presents!
  • Of course, my birthday is a highlight of EVERY year. I love checking the mail and getting a birthday card from Taylor King! I can't believe he remembers every year. Maybe it was the subtle reminders I left for him...and everyone else who works there...on their calendars.
  • OH, and I can't believe I almost forgot this one - I got to meet Power 92's Broadway Joe when he visited our Arkadelphia Office last month! Have you heard him mention Taylor King on the air yet?

And then there was one very hard moment..

  • Losing my doggy-cousin, Buddy. He was a member of the King family but was loved by everyone - including all you clients! Buddy won't ever be replaced or forgotten in our hearts and is missed greatly every day.

Seriously, my list could go on and on because 2016 was a BIG year. But what I may be proud of most is the Taylor King Law Firm continues to work hard for our clients - every single day, every single year. That's what being On Your Side, By Your Side really means! Happy New Year, everyone! 

 

                                                                                                                                                            paw print transparentBradi Bear King

Personal injury lawyer, insurance settlement

A few weeks after another driver rear-ended you at a stoplight, you file a personal injury claim for the injuries you’ve experienced and medical bills that are piling up. One day, the phone rings.
It's the insurance adjuster calling with good news: they're ready to make a settlement offer. The adjuster gives you a number, explains their reasoning in offering that amount, and assures you that it's a fair settlement offer that you'd be wise to accept. What do you say?

Dealing with Insurance Adjusters after a Wreck

Insurance companies are businesses. Their goal is to make a profit, and in order to do so, they need you to accept the lowest possible settlement offer. This is important to remember because it means that in this situation, the adjuster is neither on your team nor looking out for your best interests.

So when an adjuster assures you that an offer is reasonable, you'll need to do some critical thinking of your own. As personal injury lawyers, we've seen many settlement offers that sounded appealing at first. After our clients considered all of the pain, medical bills, and property damage they had experienced, they realized this offer was far from fair.

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

We should mention that if you hire a personal injury lawyer, you won't be faced with the situation we just described.

That's because one of the first things your newly hired lawyer will do is send a letter of representation to the insurance company. This letter instructs the insurance adjuster to contact your lawyer instead of you – meaning that your phone shouldn’t ring, and if it does, you can just tell the adjuster to call your lawyer. Your attorney and legal assistant will handle settlement negotiations with the insurance company.

The adjuster will send settlement offers directly to the law firm, who will then call you to talk through your options and questions. Your attorney will give you his/her professional opinion and will keep negotiating until you’re happy with the result. The ultimate decision is up to you.

You can handle your own claim without hiring a lawyer with experience in car wreck cases, but you should be prepared for many more calls like the one we described at the beginning of this post. 

3 Questions to Consider Before Accepting an Offer

Whichever route you take, you’ll need to consider the following questions before making any decisions or signing any settlement agreements. A personal injury lawyer will go even more in detail and help you consider issues that apply to your unique situation which may not be covered here. 

  1. Will It Cover All of My Medical Bills?
    It's important that you finish treatment before sending any demands to the insurance company so that you can be sure all of your bills are taken into account. But what if you're facing long-term treatments, medicine, or future surgeries? 
  2. Are Lost Wages Included?
    You’ll want to receive compensation for any days of work that you missed due to your injury or doctor’s appointments related to the accident. But wage loss can encompass much more than that. Do you work irregular hours or freelance for a living? Have your injuries prevented you from returning to your job or industry? Did you have to take a lower-paying job because you could no longer perform your job duties? Don’t accept a settlement offer until you’ve considered the future impact your injuries may have on your ability to work.
  3. Does It Take Into Account the Pain and Suffering I’ve Experienced?
    Sometimes the losses you suffer after an accident aren’t monetary. The emotional and mental turmoil you may experience, including strain on your family, lower quality of life, and inability to perform normal daily functions, are classified as “pain and suffering.” This is a notoriously difficult category for which to assign a dollar value, and insurance adjusters may try to skip right over it. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine whether you have a valid claim to compensation in this area.

Get the Settlement You Deserve with Taylor King Law

The attorneys are Taylor King Law have experience with dealing with insurance companies; they do it every day. When you hire Taylor King, you get a team to be On Your Side, By Your Side. We'll stand up for your best interests and handle the complicated process for you. You'll never have to deal with insurance calls or make important settlement decisions without the advice of a skilled lawyer. 

Have you received a settlement offer and aren't sure whether to accept? Call us today at 1-800-CAR WRECK. We'll be happy to speak with you. If the settlement is too low, we can represent you to make sure you are fairly compensated. With offices all over Arkansas, we're the personal injury lawyer you need. 

Arkansas lemon law; personal injury lawyer

In 2014, Arkansas passed a New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, better known as the Arkansas Lemon Law. A “lemon” is the common name for a new car that requires repeated service and repairs, often without entirely fixing the problem. The name likely originated from a 1960's Volkswagen ad that depicted "picking out" every car that didn't meet the car manufacturer's standards. Today, "lemon" is almost universally understood to be synonymous with shoddy craftsmanship.  

Under the Lemon Law, Arkansas owners are protected if their car is determined to be a “lemon” within 2 years or 24,000 miles of purchase.

This doesn’t mean that you can automatically get a refund or a new car if yours has problems, however; it’s a bit more complex than that. Below, we’ve done the work of decoding the Arkansas Lemon Law to put it in plain language for you.

Which Vehicles are Covered?
The law covers a motor vehicle that has been licensed, purchased, or leased in Arkansas. You must be sure that your vehicle is legally registered and titled, also.

As the owner or lessee of the vehicle, you are covered for the full length of the Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance period, which is 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes LAST. If the vehicle changes ownership during that period of time, it is still covered under the Lemon Law.

Which Vehicles are NOT Covered?
5 types of vehicles are NOT covered under this law: mopeds, motorcycles, the “living facility” or interior portion of a motor home, vehicles weighing over 13,000 pounds, and vehicles that have been significantly altered after their purchase.

Which Defects are Covered?
“Nonconformities” that substantially impact the use, safety, or market value of a vehicle, OR that make the vehicle nonconforming to the manufacturer’s warranty, are covered.

Nonconformity is defined as "any specific or generic defect or condition, or any combination of defects and conditions."

Many defects clearly pose a substantial safety risk: faulty brakes or steering, defective seatbelts, wiring problems, and much more. It’s less clear whether other defects would fall into that category, and determination of such may vary by state.

What’s the Difference Between a Lemon and a Recalled Car?
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to “issue vehicle safety standards and to require manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety related defects or do not meet safety standards” (NHTSA website).

Recalls occur when a defect is found in one or more cars that may be replicated across multiple vehicles of the same make and model. The manufacturer is required to repair the defect at no cost to the consumer. Manufacturers may voluntarily issue these recalls, as well. Examples of this recall include the widespread Takata Corps airbag recall and Mazda's recent recall of some RX-8 models over fuel pump sealing rings. 

A “lemon” vehicle, on the other hand, is one that has been repaired and serviced multiple times and still has problems. It is unlikely that more repairs will provide a final solution for the car.

When Should You File a Claim under the Arkansas Lemon Law?
Most attorneys recommend that filing a claim under the Lemon Law is a last resort.

Manufacturers are given a “reasonable number of attempts” to repair the defects. In Arkansas, they can attempt the repairs up to 4 times (or up to 2 times when there is a serious risk of death or injury) before being required to repurchase or replace the car. If the reasonable attempts fail, they must issue the refund or replacement within 40 days of the final attempt.

Questions? You can find a more detailed Arkansas Lemon Law Summary from the Better Business Bureau or this Consumer Alert from the Arkansas Attorney General.

Find an Arkansas Defective Product Lawyer at Taylor King Law 
Have you or someone you know been injured by a defective mechanism or recall on your vehicle? You may have legal rights to compensation. The attorneys at Taylor King Law can help; call 1-800-CAR WRECK or submit an online form to begin your no-obligation Free Consultation. 



Bradi Bear's Christmas Wish List

IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!
Not only do people walk around singing carols all the time (I do love a good jingle), but Christmas means more family time, lots of good food, and giving/getting gifts of love, friendship, and maybe even a brand-spanking-new collar! At the Taylor King home everyone is required to make a list for Santa and I've decided to make mine NOW - you know, just in case the mail at the North Pole starts to pile up. I can only imagine the U.S. Post Office there at this time of year. 

Bradi Bear's Christmas List:

1. Year Supply of Denti-Chews - The only treat mom lets me have because they doesn't upset my tummy while simultaneously cleaning my teeth. Everyone wins!

2. Brand New Collar - I wasn't kidding about this earlier. I have had my eye on this cheetah print one with coordinating flower.

3. My Very Own Billboard with Taylor King - This would be the gift that keeps on giving. Who doesn't want to see a cute pup on their way to work, right? 

4. Gingerbread Dog Treats - I scarfed one of those babies down at a friend's house the other day and have been begging Momma to invest in a box of our own

5. iCPooch - It's one of those interactive video chat/treat delivery systems. I could see Momma or Taylor King anytime of the day! Plus it'd be so handy for those conference calls into the office. 

6. Safety for everyone traveling this holiday season - I know this won't come with a bow on it under the tree, but I hear Santa is a pretty special guy. If he can fit down a chimney with that big belly I bet he can work some magic with this request.

7. Bacon Scented Anything. I already have a ball...but beyond that I am not picky. I'm sure the elves have something new up their sleeves! 

Thanks Santa! Fly safe this holiday season, and don't forget to buckle up!

 

                                                                                                                                        paw print transparentBradi Bear King

Get Your Car Ready for Winter in Arkansas

As you get Christmas decorations down from the attic and begin pulling scarves and sweaters from their winter storage, you might be forgetting to prepare one important thing: your vehicle. Arkansas doesn’t typically experience the same harsh winter weather as more northern states. But this can lure people into a false sense of security when it comes to driving in the coming cold months. Because extreme weather is less common, Arkansans are more likely to be caught unprepared when it does happen. Sudden snow or ice has been known to leave Arkansas drivers stranded on highways and interstates for hours, even overnight.

Luckily, it’s simple and relatively inexpensive to get your car ready to anything December, January, or February might send your way - and you can take these steps right now.

5 Easy Ways to Prep Your Car for Winter Weather

1. Upgrade your car emergency kit. To be ready for anything when cooler temps hit, add a pair of gloves, blanket, flashlight (with fresh batteries), snack bars, jumper cables, first aid kit, and an ice scraper for your frosty windows. Pro tip: buy a scraper that includes a built-in mitten on the handle to keep your fingers from freezing!

2. How are your windshield wipers doing? Experts say you should replace your wiper blades once a year, so why not do it now? Consider replacing your usual wiper fluid, which freezes quickly upon contact with cold windshields in the winter, with one made specifically for winter weather. It can even help loosen ice and snow from your windshield.

3. Change your oil. Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a mechanic, let the changing weather be your reminder to do routine maintenance. You may need a different type of oil entirely for the winter months. In general, the colder the weather, the thinner the oil in your engine needs to be.

4. Check your antifreeze and coolant levels. As the name would suggest, “antifreeze” helps keep you car engine from freezing up when your toes do. Your car’s manual provides instructions for checking antifreeze levels. You can find kits to check your coolant mix at auto supply stores or larger grocery stores.

5. Check your tires - both air pressure and tread depth. Most people don’t need snow tires if they live in the southern states, but good tires are key to staying safe on the road when winter storms do blow through. You can check your tire pressure with a simple, inexpensive gauge. Your car manual will tell you the optimum pressure (called PSI, or pounds per square inch) for your particular vehicle. Most gas stations offer free air fill-up stations. To check your tire treads, use the “Lincoln test.” It’s easy: insert a penny into the tire tread with Lincoln’s head pointing down, toward the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, that means it’s time to replace your tires. Tread is important; it allows your car to “grip” the road, particularly in rainy or snowy conditions.

Help for Winter Car Accident Injuries

Each year, people are injured in accidents where snow, ice, or other weather conditions played a role. If you were the victim in a car wreck, you may have legal rights to compensation and should speak with a personal injury lawyer about your potential case. The attorneys at Taylor King Law are ready to help. Call 1-800-227-9732 (CAR-WRECK) today for a no-obligation, free consultation. We’ll be on your side, by your side, even when the weather isn’t.

 

Holiday Home Safety Avoid Mistakes

For a prime example of what can go wrong when you travel for the holidays, look no further than Home Alone. True, you probably won’t forget your child as you jet off for a Christmas vacation in Paris, and even if you did, there’s an invention called cell phones. Still, we probably all have a thing or two to learn about keeping our homes safe during holiday travels – without resorting to BB guns and tarantula traps.

Are you making any of these 5 home safety mistakes this season?

 1. Posting specific details about your travel plans on social media.
No matter how tightly edited your Facebook Friends list may be, there’s always room for error. In an age of instant updates, we’ve all been tempted to post pictures of our view from the ski lift (or a bored selfie on a 15-hour road trip to Grandma’s house). But you might not realize that to someone with bad intentions, that seemingly innocent post is like a flashing neon sign that screams, “WE’RE NOT HOME.” Wait to post updates and pictures until the trip is over, or at least write generic captions like “Having a great time with family” without specifying that you’re out of town. 

 2. Putting your Christmas tree – and gifts – in front of a window.
We can’t deny that your tree looks fabulous in front of that full-length window. Your decorating skills are second only to your gift-wrapping abilities. But the great view might also attract would-be burglars who can easily smash the window and snatch your family’s presents. Consider putting your tree in another location, keeping valuable gifts out of view, or at least closing your blinds when you leave home.

 3. Leaving your spare key in its usual place.
Let’s be honest: that decorative planter/frog/rock isn’t fooling anyone. When you leave for a trip, remove your spare key. Better yet, give it to a close friend who’s staying in town. Ask him or her to check in every few days to pick up your mail and check the faucets if you live in a colder area where freezing pipes are a concern.

 4. Leaving all your lights off – or on.
Most people know that a dark house is a clear signal that nobody’s home. But if you’re tempted to just leave your lights on, think about the damage you may be doing to your electric bill – and your efforts to “go green.” Instead, consider investing in a light switch timer. You can set the timer to turn lights on and off at specific times of day, which simulates your regular routine.

 5. Decking the halls without checking the cords.
More than 400 people die each year in electrical-related house fires. Check your lights for frayed cords or cracked bulbs before stringing them on your tree or roof. Don’t connect more than one extension cord, either – if it’s not long enough, buy a new one. And as lovely as they may be, don’t leave your Christmas tree or outdoor lights on overnight or while you’re traveling. Using an outdoor timer makes it a no-brainer!

We hope these tips will help you and your family stay safe and make the most of your holiday together!  

Bradi Bear's Thanksgiving Thankful List

Turkey Day is just around the corner! I decided to poll the Taylor King Law Firm's office staff on their Thanksgiving Day festivities and traditions. HERE ARE THE RESULTS:Thanksgiving Food Favorites
Now "Turkey Day" isn't all about turkey, plus Taylor King only gives me ham scraps under the table when Momma isn't looking. It's really a day to stop and think back over the past 11 months on what all we have to be thankful for this holiday season. I'm thankful for the little things Thanksgiving brings like orange and red leaves for me to race through while subtle wind blows to cool me off. I'm thankful for pumpkin-flavored pup treats and the way the house smells of spices all the time. I'm thankful for dog parks, seatbelts, my orange ring, tennis balls, sticks, and running off leash. Goodness, it doesn't stop there; I'm thankful for bigger things too like being a part of the Taylor King family and Law Firm. They support my ever-growing interest in car safety and never-ceasing need for belly rubs. I'm afraid I might miss something, and you know how I love lists, so I've decided to collaborate with Taylor King to make a join "Thankful For" List! Here it is...

  1. Thankful for the ongoing trust our clients continue to place in the Taylor King Law Firm
  2. Proud to be apart of a country that continues to be free and have an abundance of opportunity
  3. Bacon Scented Squeaky Balls (I convinced him this had to make the list)
  4. Blessed to truly look forward to going into the office everyday, enjoying the work I do  
  5. Grateful to work along side my (Taylor's) son, Austin King

That's the short list...I could go on and on but I smell something in the kitchen and need to go investigate! Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! 

                                                                                                                      paw print transparent Bradi Bear King

 

 

Arkansas Road Safety Deer Danger

From October to January, drivers are at increased risk on Arkansas roads. It’s not due to snow or ice, the typical winter culprits, which make their appearance much less frequently in Arkansas than in more northern states. No, in Arkansas the real danger is one of our four-legged friends: the deer.

If you live in Arkansas, chances are you know someone who’s hit a deer while driving, or you’ve experienced it yourself. Why does it seem to be more common in the late fall months? This is deer breeding, or “rutting,” season, so they are highly active and on the move during this time.

While most of us would be far more afraid to come face-to-face with a lion or crocodile than a deer, hitting one with you car can cause extensive damage, both to you and your vehicle. Collisions are usually fatal for the deer, as well.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that crashes with deer cause about $4 billion in vehicle damage each year, and close to 200 people are killed in deer collisions annually.

Obviously, you would prefer to avoid hitting a deer in your car. Let's look at some practical ways to do so.

Meeting a Deer: What are the Odds?

  • You are most likely to encounter deer along the roadside at dawn and dusk. It’s important to drive with heightened awareness during those times. You know not to use your phone while driving, especially at night, but even “zoning out” can put you in danger and cause delayed reaction times.
  • Deer are more likely to frequent the roadsides in heavily wooded, less populated areas, but because so much of Arkansas is considered rural, they’ve been known to pop up in the middle of small towns and along busy interstates. 
  • Deer also rarely travel alone. If you see one deer, there will be others nearby.

Preventive Measures to Avoid a Deer Collision

  • SLOW DOWN. This is our #1 tip to avoid hitting a deer. The more conservatively you drive, the more time you have to react if a deer darts out in front of you.
  • Watch for the “shine” of deer eyes reflecting along the sides of the road, and immediately slow down if you see some.
  • If there’s no oncoming traffic, use your high beams to increase road visibility.
  • The phrase “deer in the headlights” is based in fact: Deer often freeze in the road because they’re mesmerized by bright, steady lights. Flashing your lights can help break the trance, as can giving one long blast of your horn.

When You Can’t Avoid the Crash

  • Don’t swerve. Not only does swerving confuse the deer, but it puts you at risk for swerving into oncoming traffic, hitting a tree or ditch, and flipping your car, all of which pose more danger than the deer.
  • Maintain control of the car and steadily increase your pressure on the brake - don’t “slam” the brake at the last minute. It’s hard to remember in the moment, but letting off the brake at the moment of impact is important. Braking can cause the front of your car to dip down, making it more likely that the deer will go through the windshield and seriously injure people in the car.
  • Call police even if your car is the only one involved in the accident. It’s dangerous to touch the deer, which may still be alive, and you need documentation of the accident for your insurance company.

Insurance for Deer-Vehicle Collisions

Do you live in Arkansas, particularly in a rural area? You may want to consider opting in to Comprehensive insurance coverage, because deer are not covered under Collision. Comprehensive insurance also covers events like fire, storm damage, theft, and vandalism.

Accident Recovery: Help is Waiting at Taylor King Law

At Taylor King Law, we can’t file a claim against the deer if you’re involved in a collision with one. But if you were the victim of a car accident where the other driver was at fault, you may have legal rights to compensation. We can help make complicated paperwork simple, handle insurance negotiations, and stand firm to be sure you get the settlement you deserve. Call today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK or submit a question through the Case Evaluation Form on our website. 

Veterans Day, Military Dogs

You heard it here first: Thank a Vet! Let's not get confused here; I don't mean the doctor who tries to distract me with a treat while he gives me my booster shots (even though Momma says veterinarians are good people too). I am talking about the brave men and women who fight for our country and the people who live in it.

Veterans Day is Friday, November 11, a day set apart for remembrance and celebration for America's veterans' willingness to serve. It was first known as "Armistice Day" and celebrated on the first anniversary of World War 1. It became a national holiday in 1938. In 1954 the holiday changed to "Veterans Day" in order to honor and account for all veterans in all wars.

It amazes me how brave soldiers have to be! I mean, I get anxiety when I hear the dishwasher make weird noises...I can't imagine what it is like to fight day in and day out for our country. The sacrifice tons of men and women have made deserves to be recognized!  

Do you know one veteran that doesn't always get credit where credit is due? Military dogs! Those pups work hard and are trained with incredible skill. They are experts in bomb, weapon and drug detection, as well are tracking and attacking enemies. I read this article, 10 Things You May Not Know About Military Dogs, and was just amazed at how much I didn't know about these amazing pups. These dogs are companions and soldiers in our military and I'm making it my mission to thank my own kind for the work they do for our country! Way to go pups! 

 

                                                                                                                                  paw print transparentBradi Bear King

 

 

National Stress Awareness Day, Distracted Driving

You're Stressed - Are You Aware? 

November 4 is National Stress Awareness Day. While stress serves a biological purpose, doctors and scientists agree that high levels of stress can significantly contribute to chronic health problems, disease, and even early death.

This day was established to raise awareness and educate the American public on the growing problem of stress in their lives.

2016 seems to be a particularly stressful year, and we can't blame it all on the World Series. The presidential election has been particularly contentious, with 52% of American adults admitting that the election is a significant source of stress.

But we want to draw your attention to another source of stress - one that's far more subtle, just as dangerous, and not likely to end on Election Day: distracted driving.

Stress and Distracted Driving 

You already know that texting and driving significantly impairs your driving abilities, but it turns out that distractions do more than take your eyes off the road. When you engage in another activity while driving, your body begins to show signs of stress: increased heart rate and perspiration. These findings come from researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute who have been studying the topic using a driving simulator.

What Qualifies as a Distraction?

The impact doesn't just come from texting or talking on the phone, the researchers note. Technology-related distractions tend to get the most negative attention, but distractions can also come in the form of refereeing a fight with your children in the backseat, talking to someone in the passenger seat, or getting upset at another driver on the road. Bottom line? Your body does not like it when you try to multi-task. 

If you've been looking for a good reason to focus exclusively on the road, you've found (another) one.

 

Car Accident Common Mistakes

Ask anyone who's been involved in a car accident: it's overwhelming. You may be dealing with a damaged car, injured passengers, or injuries of your own. You'll be asked to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time. It's difficult to be prepared because you can't exactly schedule a car crash as you can a trip to the dentist.

Fortunately, many people have been in your shoes and have wisdom to share. We've compiled a list of the top 9 mistakes people make after a car wreck so that you can learn from their experience. 

  1. Panicking. Accidents are scary. It's natural to feel anxious and begin to panic, but it's not helpful and may even make things worse! It's important to remain calm so that you are able to 1) call the police, 2) request an ambulance, and 3) check to see if anyone involved in the accident is injured and needs medical help. You need to be thinking clearly in order to avoid the other 8 mistakes on this list, so we cannot stress enough how important it is to push through your panic and focus on taking care of the task at hand. 

  2. Forgetting to Get Detailed Information. There's a lot of information you need to get from the other driver: name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver's license number, insurance company, and the name of the car's owner. It's not impossible to get that information later on, but it is much more complicated! Your personal injury lawyer can get to work on your case much more quickly if you can give them that information at the beginning. 

  3. Discussing Your Accident - with anyone except police. You may instinctively want to apologize to the people in the other car, whether or not you were at fault. But in some cases this may be considered an admission of guilt. Likewise, seemingly innocent statements to your insurance adjuster may be used to negatively impact your case and result in a lower settlement offer for your injuries. When you speak with your insurance company, you can tell them about your vehicle and property damage, but don't share details about your accident or injuries. 

  4. Refusing Medical Care. Some common car accident injuries, like broken bones, are immediately apparent. But many other injuries you may experience as the result of a car wreck can take days to appear. Don't make any definite judgments about your medical condition at the scene of the accident, or even the day after. You may feel fine at the time, but making statements like "I feel fine" or "I'm not hurt" can cast suspicion on you if, a few days later, you experience pain or medical complications. It's almost always a good idea to see your doctor before ruling out any injuries. 

  5. Not Collecting Documents. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, he or she will need copies of the following documents: the accident report, property damage estimate, photos of property damage and your injuries, and all insurance cards and policies. It's much easier to collect these documents as you go, rather than retroactively attempting to track them down.  

  6. Failing to Keep a Daily Diary. Taylor King Law provides each of our clients with a journal for one important reason: every detail is important when it comes to a personal injury case, and it's easy to forget details during such a stressful time. Take time to jot down daily descriptions of your pain level and how your injuries affect your daily life; this is valuable to your case! 

  7. Failing to Submit Bills to the Insurance Provider. Most legal offices will assist you with forms sent to you by your health insurance provider. Check your policy to see if your provider qualifies to be paid back from a third-party reimbursement. 

  8. Forgetting to Report the Accident to Your Insurance Provider (ASAP). It's important to notify your own insurance provider about the accident immediately, regardless of who was at fault.

  9. Signing Anything (Before Consulting an Attorney). Taylor King offers free, no-obligation consultations to all prospective clients, as do many other personal injury lawyers. Talk with an attorney before you sign anything or accept any offers from an insurance adjuster. Signing the wrong papers could mean that you've settled for less than you deserve. 

And finally, don't forget to be patient. It takes time to resolve a case and negotiate a settlement, no matter how skilled your attorney may be. Choose an attorney with character and integrity, and then trust them to work diligently on your behalf. 

Help is Here at Taylor King Law
Were you injured in a car accident? Do you have questions or concerns? The Taylor King Law firm represents thousands of Arkansans in personal injury cases. We may be able to help you. Contact us for a Free Consultation at 1-800-CAR WRECK, or fill out our quick and easy Case Evaluation Form online. We'll be happy to speak with you about your injuries and discuss your legal options. 

Halloween is approaching and you know what that means? COSTUMES AND TREATS! Two of my favorite things...but you know what I'm not a huge fan of? Scary things. Like aggressive "un-leashed" dogs, loud vacuums, and that suspicious looking board momma takes off the door once a week. She calls it an "ironing board" - don't ask me what that means; as far as I can tell, she just lays shirts on it sometimes. Anyways, I thought I might overcome my fear this holiday season by telling you my own scary story. I can't be as frightened if I know the end, right?

Chapter 1: Halloween is Here 

Once upon a time there lived a family named the Kings: Mr. and Mrs. King and their two children, a boy and a girl. The family had a sweet, smart, energetic pup named Bradi Bbbb...Bradi B! Yeah that's it. Just Bradi B. The family all lived together out in the country in Arkansas. It was fall, which was the King family's favorite time of year. Momma King loved decorating their home with pumpkins, acorns, and other fall themed decorations. Mr. King loved being outdoors in the cool fall weather and eating pumpkin flavored treats. And the children looked forward to the special day where they got to dress up as anything they could imagine and collect candy all night long. That's right, Halloween. 

PAUSE: I know this is supposed to be a scary story, but I'm getting there! 

Chapter 2: Bradi B Fights a Monster

The night finally arrived: the King children, dressed as a hippie and Batman, were ready to go. Bradi B got a costume too; she was dressed as a ferocious lion. Since the family had very few neighbors, they hopped in their car to drive to nearby neighborhoods. Bradi B took in how different everything looked in the moonlight compared to the bright light of day. 

"Bradi B! Hurry up pup, all the good candy will be gone soon!" the little girl called.

Bradi B stood frozen at the end of her leash, tail tucked, staring at something big and bulky behind her. Bradi B took a cautious step to the side, wondering how she could have missed it on the way out. Something big, black, and boxy was creeping in the shadows beside the house. Bradi took another side step when the creature lurched forward toward her with a scraping sound. Bradi B darted away, but the monster crashed and threw empty bottles and a milk carton after her. 

"Bradi B, how'd you get your leash wrapped around the recycling bin?" Mr. King asked as he got out the car to clean up the mess.

The Kings were off to town after one last puppy growl from Bradi B in the general direction of the offending bin.

Chapter 3: Teal Pumpkins and Safety Scares 

"Why are all those pumpkins blue? I thought they were supposed to be orange!" the boy asked, face pressed to the window.

"They are actually teal. It's party of a project to let parents know that those houses offer things besides candy to trick-or-treaters" Mrs. King explained.

"Bleh. Let's skip those houses," the little girl said.

"No, it's a good thing! They offer things like small toys and non-food treats for children who have food allergies...WATCH OUT!" Mr. King responded.

Mrs. King brought the car to a screeching halt; a wide-eyed ballerina had just pirouetted into the road in front of the them, followed by several costumed friends. A semi-hysterical looking mother with a fairy wand in hand ran out into the middle of the road and herded them all back to safety. 

PAUSE: Told you it'd get scary. Nothing gives me the heeby-jeebies more than a BIG safety violation! What went wrong? First, NEVER run out in the road. Period. You should cross slowly (at crosswalks if possible), but only after looking both ways, and preferably with an adult. Of course, you always want to visit familiar streets. And my goodness, parents, WATCH YA KIDS! The biggest danger to kids on Halloween isn't taking candy from a stranger - it's walking out in front of one of the MANY cars that are everywhere! Don't try to watch a big group of kids by yourself. Cars are everywhere so bring some back up grown-up help if you are in charge of multiple children and their friends. You need eyes on everyone for safety! But let's not put all the blame on the crazy sugar-rushed kiddos or stressed out parents, all drivers should be mindful on Halloween and extra cautious. 

The Kings parked their car and went over some safety rules to ensure a successful Halloween trick-or-treating experience. 

"Only cross the street at corners, do NOT dart out in-between cars. Y'all are both short and drivers won't be able to see you if they are on the road. We also have to walk on the sidewalk from house to house. Even though we're with you, we still shouldn't cut through yards or streets. And remember, say thank you for your candy!" Mr. King reminded the children.

They knocked on the first door, and a few minutes later everyone walked away thinking it was the beginning of a successful night - well, almost everyone. Bradi B wasn't so delighted. Why you might ask? Nobody else seemed to notice, but that sneaky recycle bin monster had followed them all the way here and was watching them from the side of the house!

TO BE CONTINUED...

 

                                                                                                               paw print transparent Bradi Bear King

 

The history and science of speed limits

Bradi Bear here...it's confession time. Lately I've had this NEED FOR SPEED at the park. I just love the way the wind whips in my face when I run, tongue out, chasing other dogs. The other day on the way home from the park, I had to AMAZING realization that I'd feel like I was running even faster if I hung my head out the window of the car. I realized this wasn't going to happen when mom clicked on my seatbelt. I may or may not have whined the entire way home.

Ok...I'm coming clean; I did say this was confession time: I not only whined, but pouted and strained to get near the window until Mom gave in. She agreed to let me stick my head out the window while she drove through the parking lot at a LITERAL snail's pace. Wow Mom...so fun. I was thinking SPEED, WOMAN, SPEED!

When we got home, I decided to do some investigating on this whole "speed limit" thing. Here's what I found...

We can date speed limits all the way back to 1652! The colony now known as New York prohibited wagons, carts, and sleighs to be driven at a gallop. With a rise in gas prices many states started enforcing speed limit laws to bring in money. Costly fines have been a constant theme throughout speed limit history!

In 1974, President Richard Nixon agreed to a national law of state regulated speeds of 55 mph. This caused a HUGE drop in the traffic fatality rate...hmm, maybe there is a connection. In 1995 the power was handed back to states to regulate their own maximum speed. Most states have varying maximum speeds for specific roads, types of cars, and weather conditions.

Arkansas sets its speed limit at 70 for both cars and trucks on rural interstates, 60 on urban interstates, and 65 on other limited access roads.

In 2014, speeding was a contributing factor to 28% of motor vehicle crash deaths. The percentage of deaths was higher on minor roads than on major interstates or highways. You can find out more from the Highway Loss Data Institute's Fatality Facts page. To make a long story short, driving fast is dangerous! Speed limits really are there for a reason and purpose, not to ruin our fun (like I thought Momma was doing). They take into consideration the road condition, car and passenger frequency, and traffic amount to safely get you where you need to go...in a timely manner!

So the next time you're tempted to accelerate past the speed limit because "there aren't any cops in this area," remember that getting a speeding ticket isn't the worst thing that can happen. Causing a wreck and injuring yourself and others is much worse. 

If you've been injured in an accident where someone was driving over the posted speed limit, you may have a legal claim to compensation. The attorneys at Taylor King Law will listen to your story and help you get back on your feet. You can call us today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK (800-227-9732) to begin your FREE consultation. On your side, by your side - and under the speed limit (I may have taken creative license with that one)! 

 

                                                                                                                            paw print transparentBradi Bear King

National Bus Safety Week in Arkansas

We can all agree that nothing could be more important than protecting our children, but some of us might need a quick reminder of the Arkansas school bus laws that are designed to do just that. 

We've made it easy for you: here's a quick guide to help you get an A on your morning commute!

Stop for School Buses

At first glance, the law seems simple enough: When you see a school bus stopped on the road, you stop as well. Arkansas Code § 27-51-1004 (2015) is a bit more specific:
When a school bus stops and displays its flashing red lights, every driver coming from any direction must bring their vehicle or motorcycle to a complete stop before they reach the school bus. They must remain stopped until students have finished boarding or exiting the bus and the bus begins moving again.

Multi-Lane Highways and Medians

Now comes the tricky part: Another subsection of the code states that when busses are traveling on a multi-lane highway with a dividing strip or median that is at least 20 feet wide, opposing traffic is not required to stop, but should continue to exercise caution and be on the alert for children.

A multiple lane highway is defined as one with 4 or more traffic lanes, including at least 2 lanes traveling in each direction. A dividing strip or median is defined as either a barrier, grassy median, or paved median - a section in which cars can’t drive. This means that a turn lane is not considered a dividing strip. Thus, if you are driving on a 5-lane highway in Arkansas that includes a turn lane, but no physical barrier or median, you are required to stop when you meet a stopped school bus traveling the opposite direction.

This is important because much of Arkansas roadways are rural highways that do not have a physical dividing strip. We believe that many driver violate the law because they are confused about this specific section of it. In a single day in 2013, Arkansas bus drivers counted 589 instances of illegal passing. 445 of those incidents occurred when the driver was approaching from the opposite direction.

The law does state that students should never be allowed to cross a multiple-lane highway, and bus drivers are required to adjust their routes so that this never happens. Still, children may act impulsively, and accidents can happen in mere seconds.

Isaac's Law in Arkansas

Stopping for busses is not a mere suggestion. Thanks to Isaac’s Law, named for Bryant elementary student Isaac Brian who was killed in 2004 after exiting his school bus, violating Arkansas school bus laws now carries a stiff penalty. Anyone convicted of passing a stopped school bus will face any combination of a fine of $250-$1000, up to 90 days in jail, driver's license suspension of 21 days to 1 year, and up to 400 hours of community service. And in cases like Isaac’s where the driver kills a student, he or she is guilty of negligent homicide, a class C felony.

Limitations of the Law

Unfortunately, many bus drivers don’t have time to record the license plates of cars who pass them illegally. Some Arkansans argue that legal penalties will not be a significant deterrent to law-breakers if they are rarely caught in the act.

But at Taylor King Law, we believe our true motivation to follow Arkansas bus stop laws is not found in fines or penalties, but in a desire to keep our children safe. Every stopped school bus and flashing red light indicates that someone’s son or daughter is near the road. We can all do our part to ensure they get home safely.

For more resources or to learn more about National Bus Safety Week, visit the National Association for Pupil Transportation website. 

"Why the sad face Bradi?" 

Well thank you for asking...I've had mixed emotions about the month of August. Although it is my birthday month (I turned 2 on August 4th) it also brings on the start of school. Back to school means early rising, long days, homework, crowded roads, busy buses, rushing drivers, oh man my list could go on and on.... But I have some good news! Back to school doesn't have to be all down in the dumps! I'm a pup all about positivity and here at Taylor King Law Firm we believe you can make any situation better with a little hard work and a good attitude. So I've decided to turn my slightly depressing list up there into a guide for the ABSOLUTELY BEST YEAR EVER!

1. Carpool Bonding

-Whether your carpool is with your family only or with a couple families in the neighborhood, make that time worthwhile. Instead of having everyone in the car be in his/her bubble zoned out on electronic devices (except the driver of course), make it a device free zone! Play popcorn DJ, where everyone in the car gets to pick a song that's listened to- or make it a competition and see who is the first person to guess the song being played. It's hard not to be in a good mood when your favorite song is playing, so start your school day off with the right mind set! 

2. New Year New Peeps

-Find your real friends- the ones who will stay on your side by your side through anything! Let's be honest, my life can be "ruff" sometimes and everyone needs a shoulder to lean on now and then! Friends that will be there for the fun late night popcorn sharing nights as well as the "oh no I just flunked my AP Fetch test" kind of moments are the ones who you should seek out at the beginning of the school year

3. Set Semester Goals

-I'm a goal driven kind of pup! I've been taught to value hard work, and I'm not sure if the two correlate but something excites me about the smell of new pencils and unused school supplies! Therefore, I ALWAYS get a new planner for a new school year. It helps me lower the anxiety of what some people call "syllabus shock"- you know that awful feeling in your pup belly when you see ALL you have to do in such little time! But anyways- something I like to do is write down semester goals (you can even a couple every 9 weeks instead). All you do is write 3-4 things you'd like to accomplish in that time period! It can be anything from "make the soccer team" to "make all As and Bs on my math tests" shoot it can even be stuff like "say hi to a new person everyday" (I actually like that one a lot, adding it to my list!) Well you write them down then put them in an envelope that you tape in your planner on the end date of that semester or 9 weeks! When the date finally arrives you get to see what you've accomplished! 

                                                                                                                                                       paw print transparentBradi Bear King

Is Your Teenager Ready to Drive? Teen Driving Safety

Do you remember how you felt when your parents let you drive a car for the first time? Were you excited, nervous, or some mixture of the two? 

You probably feel that same strange mix of emotions when you think about letting your own teen get behind the wheel. 

With school starting back in just a few weeks, many high schoolers are dreaming of driving off without a parent in the car - and many parents are dreaming of getting to finish their morning coffee while their teenagers transport themselves to early-morning sports practices! 

First-Time Driving: Talk to Your Teen

Now is the time to ask an important question: Is my child ready to drive?

At Taylor King Law, we believe there is a difference between being old enough to drive and being ready to drive. As parents ourselves, we encourage you to strive for discussions, rather than lectures, when it comes to addressing the topic of driving with your teen. Share your concerns and ask them about their own. But don’t let them brush it off with a simple, “Lots of kids drive; it’s not a big deal,” because it is. 

Car Crash Statistics for Teens

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers age 16-19. Per mile driven, teenagers are nearly three times more likely to be killed in a fatal car wreck than drivers in any other age group. Driving can be a rite of passage and an important step toward freedom, but it comes with many risks. That's why we've compiled a list of questions to consider before letting your teenager hit the road solo.

5 Questions to Ask Before Handing Your Teen the Car Keys

1. Do they meet your state’s legal requirements?

Getting your driver’s license is no longer a simple matter of passing a test. Most states have some form of Graduated Driver’s License laws, which is a three-step approach to giving young drivers full driving privileges. You might be surprised to learn some of the restrictions in place for new drivers.

Arkansas’s Graduated Driver’s License Law (Act 1694 of 2001) details 3 stages of licensing: 

Learners license - May be issued to a driver 14 years or older after passing a written driving test. Drivers with a learners license may not drive alone or without a licensed passenger who is at least 21 years of age; this is called a Class A restriction. This license expires on their 16th birthday. 

Intermediate license - Issued to drivers between the age of 16-18. At this stage, teens may drive on their own only if they have been driving with the Class A restriction - that is, with an adult licensed passenger - for at least six months. 

Regular license - Issued to drivers at age 18 or older. Drivers must not have any serious accidents or convictions for the previous 12 months on their record, or this license will be withheld. 

2. Do they agree to (and follow!) my rules as their parent?

We don’t want to anger any teens out there, but we believe that driving is a privilege, not an undeniable right. Does your teen follow your rules and expectations in other areas of life, such as obeying curfews, completing schoolwork, and contributing to chores around the house? If so, this is a good sign that they are ready for the responsibility of driving. If not, how can you reasonably expect that they will follow safety rules on the road? 

One non-negotiable safety rule? Cell phone usage. It is always illegal for teens 18 or younger to use cell phones while driving (except in specific emergencies). This includes both texting and making phone calls.

3. Do they show good judgment and stand strong under peer pressure?

This one might sound silly, but we can’t emphasize it enough. Why? Studies show that within the 16-19 age range, three groups of drivers have a much higher risk of being in a fatal car wreck: male drivers, new drivers, and teen drivers with teen passengers. Teenagers are more likely to make risky decisions on the road when their friends are along for the ride.

This doesn’t mean that you should never let your child drive if they are easily swayed by their friends’ actions, but we do encourage you to set clear guidelines. For example, you might limit the number of passengers who can ride with your teen - or require that they drive alone for a period of time. 

4. Do they have adequate driving experience and knowledge of basic car maintenance?

Passing a written driving test is one thing, but navigating rush-hour traffic is another. You can help prepare your child to drive alone by riding with them, often. Practice in low pressure situations and work your way up to heavy interstate traffic.

In addition, teach your teen basic car maintenance skills: how to get fuel, change windshield wiper fluid, use jumper cables, and what to do in case of a flat tire. 

5. Is our family financially ready to have a teen driver in the family?

Driving without insurance is an absolute no-go, but insuring teenage drivers can be costly. Before your child begins driving, have an honest discussion about family finances and whether you, as the parents, are willing to cover their insurance costs, or if they might need to work part-time to cover it. The same goes for fuel and, if car shopping is on the table, the purchase of the car itself.

Take note: Some insurance companies offer discounts for students who make good grades or take drivers’ education courses. Ask your own insurance company what they can offer. 

We hope these tips will be helpful for you and your teen driver. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car wreck, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Call Taylor King Law at 800-227-9732 for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation today. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust our promise to be on your side, by your side. 

Road Rules - Test your driving knowledge

Lately on my evening drives (in the passenger seat...buckled up, OF COURSE), I've been noticing an awful lot of people breaking some rules of driving. I know, I know...it's been a long while since you took that drivers' exam at the DMV.

And I'm not saying that you aren't a good driver! I'm sure you keep your hands at "10 and 2" and never get road rage. But there are some rules of the road that people may have forgotten since their high school Driver's Education class.

That's why it's POP QUIZ TIME! I know it's still summer, and you're probably thinking, "Bradi, a quiz? SCHOOL IS OUT!" But the good news is that if you fail this little quiz of mine, you have plenty of time to brush up on your driving knowledge before busses full of sweet students hit the road. 


Bradi's Rules of the Road Pop Quiz


I'll start you off easy...let's review some road signs! Now, I'm colorblind but even I could answer these!

Name That Sign: Match the picture to the corresponding names below 

A) Sign Stop      B)Sign Yield     C)Sign School Zone     

D)Sign Hospital       E) Sign Pedestrian Crossing

1. Hospital

2. Stop Sign

3. School Zone

4. Yield

5. Pedestrian Crosswalk

 

Driving Basics: The most fundamental driving knowledge we should all have 

6. TRUE or FALSE: At a four way stop, when two cars arrive at the same time, the car to the RIGHT gets to proceed first.

7. Traffic drives on the ___________ side of the road. 

A) Left
B) Right
C) Depends on the city
D) Depends on the type of road (i.e. highway, street, interstate)

8. You must stop completely at which of the following? 

A) Stop Signs
B) Flashing red lights
C) Red Lights
D) A & C only
E) All of the above

9. What is the difference between broken yellow lane markings and broken white lane markings? 

A) Yellow lines indicate traffic will be going in opposite directions while white lines indicate same direction of traffic. If safe, you can cross lanes to pass a car. 
B) White lines indicate opposing traffic while yellow lines are same direction. You can pass on both colors. 
C) There is no difference. They just use whichever paint was available. 
D) Depends on the type of road

10. Is there a specific time that states require you to use your headlights?

A) No, it's up to the driver's discretion
B) It depends on the make and model of your car
C) Yes, 30 min prior to sunrise and 30 min after sunset
D) Yes, 45 min prior to sunrise and 30 min after sunset

 Road Rules; test your driving knowledge


Bonus Round: These are the tough ones. 

11. When you pull up to a red light, there are two LEGAL actions you can take. What are they? 

12. It is illegal (at any age) to _______ while driving. 

A) Text
B) Drink
C) Talk on the phone
D) A and B only
E) All of the above

13. Who has the right of way at a crosswalk?

A) Once they are in the walkway, always the pedestrian
B) Always the driver
C) The pedestrian, but only if the signal is flashing "WALK"

This concludes our safe driving quiz! Scroll down to compare your answers.


 

 

ANSWERS:

1. D; 2. A; 3. C; 4. B; 5. E; 6. TRUE; 7. B; 8. E; 9. A; 10. C.

11. Stop and turn right unless indicated otherwise.

 12. D. Arkansas has banned texting for all ages. For ages 18-20 texting and the use of handheld cell phones (talking on the phone) is banned. For drivers under the age of 18, all cell phone use- including handsfree/bluetooth, is prohibited.

13. A.

 

SO... how'd ya do? 

 paw print transparent   - Bradi Bear King

What is my claim worth? Calculating personal injury value

When a person has been injured in a car wreck in Arkansas and calls our office, one of their first questions is usually, “What is my case going to be worth?”


It’s a good question. After all, you probably wouldn’t accept a job offer before being told an hourly wage or salary. And who would shop at a grocery store where none of the items were priced?

Unlike a simple transaction of purchasing bread and bananas, however, a personal injury case is much more complex. If you call an attorney and he or she refuses to give you a dollar amount for the value of your case, you’ll probably feel frustrated. Isn’t that their job? Why are they withholding that information? Your instinct might be to keep calling different firms until you find one who will promise the numbers you think your personal injury claim will be worth. Some legal websites even offer an “online calculator” which spits out an estimated settlement amount after you submit the details of your car accident and injuries.

 

Why Shouldn't I Use an Online Calculator?

The truth is that no personal injury attorney, regardless of skill or experience, can determine the settlement amount you should receive simply by listening to the details of your accident. In fact, any attorney who is willing to make that type of promise during an initial consultation is probably not someone to trust with your personal injury case. After all, it’s more than a legal case; it’s your life.

 

How Is My Settlement Value Calculated?

A personal injury claim involves quite a few people: the victim, the at fault driver, attorneys, and multiple insurance adjusters. While it is true that most insurance companies use a baseline “formula” to determine the initial settlement amount they are willing to offer the accident victim, that’s simply a starting point to begin negotiations. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate in your favor based on the facts of your case.

No two car wrecks are alike, and no two victims will suffer identical injuries or complications from the wreck. A number of variables will influence settlement amount for your specific case, and it takes time for the attorney to identify those variables and determine how they impact your claim value.

These variables include, but are not limited to:

  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Severity of injuries
  • Missed work or lost income
  • Pain and physical suffering
  • Emotional damages and lower quality of life
  • Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
  • Ability to live normally
  • Pre-existing injuries
  • Insurance coverage
  • Whether the other driver was completely at fault, or the plaintiff shares a percentage of the fault
  • At fault driver’s negligence - was it a simple error in judgement, or were they driving under the influence or acting with deliberate negligence?

 

What Should I Look for in an Attorney?

Instead of looking for a personal injury lawyer who offers quick numbers, look for one who offers a free consultation, patiently answers your questions, and works to help you feel comfortable before asking you to sign any contracts. Car wrecks can wreak havoc on your life; you need an attorney who will negotiate to ensure that your settlement will cover your expenses and meet your long-term needs.

You will never find a personal injury value calculator on our website. Taylor King and his associates will never claim to know the value of your case during a consultation visit. Instead of offering fast or flashy answers, our promise is to invest time and work into what matters: results. That’s what it means to be on your side, by your side. Call 800-227-9732 if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and need legal representation.

 

It has been brought to my attention that we are officially in what's called the "Dog Days" of summer. At first I was excited because I thought this was a national holiday for dogs (y'all KNOW we deserve more than just one day). Nowadays, people seem to think that we call them dog days because even us pups are too hot to do much besides lay around and hope for a pupcake or two. But I am debunking that myth because a) I ALWAYS have enough energy to go for an evening stroll, thank you very much, and b) I, Bradi Bear King, am all about finding some facts. They might make me an investigator at Taylor King Law soon.

So. Dog days. It turns out that we got that term from the Greeks. Go figure. They thought that the hottest days of the year happened when Sirius, the "dog star," looked like it was rising before the sun. They also thought that other crazy things might happen during that time period, like fevers and catastrophes. Hmm. 

Now, if you are wondering, "Bradi Bear, would you please share your wisdom on how we can survive these crazy hot days?" then you are in luck! Not only am I chock-full of interesting historical tidbits, but I also have some helpful tips for keeping your pup cool until fall finally comes around. I know, I'm just such a giving pup. You don't have to thank me...but I wouldn't turn down a belly rub or really nice ear scratch.

Read on for my special dog-centric list of TOP ways to stay cool in these hot, hot days:

1. LOTS and LOTS of water! This goes for dogs and humans alike...we all need to stay hydrated! When it comes to water, your body actually cools off more quickly by drinking water than jumping into or swimming in it, although I do enjoy both activities. 

2. Sunscreen and Paw Guard. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is yes; they do make sunscreen for dogs (Amazon has everything...haven't we learned that by now?). Paw Guard is another lifesaver, this nifty little balm Momma puts on my paws before walks. It helps protect them against the hot ground! Our pup pads are super sensitive and can easily crack, which is VERY painful. Think about when a blister pops on YOUR feet...ugh. 

3. Take walks when it's coolest - in the morning or after the sun goes down. I try to avoid mid afternoon (around 3 pm is typically the hottest time of the day).

4. COOL COLLARS! Whoever thought of this nifty thing deserves unlimited raw hides and peanut butter! Little ice packs slide into the collar and keep me cool while I'm outside! Sometimes Momma even lets me wear it inside, because the way it's made doesn't let the ice melt out onto the floor or anything. It's a game changer.

5. Pup-sicles! Cooling off with a sweet frozen treat is one of my FAVORITE ways to keep cool in the summer (honestly anytime of year). There are tons of recipes on Pinterest for dog-safe frozen snacks, but some of my favorites include frozen Greek yogurt, fruit, and pumpkin!

If your fur baby has sunken eyes, seems unusually tired, has no appetite, a dry mouth, or is just mopey overall, these are all signs of dehydration in pets! Being aware of what your animal's body is trying to tell you is a very important thing to look out for! Sometimes on those SUPER hot days, it's better for us to just stay in the shade...or, even better, AIR CONDITIONING! 

                                                                                                                                             signatureBradi Bear King

Arkansas Good Samaritan Laws; Arkansas personal injury lawyer

You've probably thought through what you'd do if you experienced a car accident. But have you ever stopped to consider how to react if you see a wreck? 

It’s a great question, because some states do have statutes that hold “first responders,” or the first people to come upon an accident scene, responsible for offering aid to the extent that they are able. These are called “Affirmative Duty to Assist” statutes. 

States that recognize some form of affirmative duty statutes include California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

Then there are “Liability Protection” statutes. You may know them by another name: “Good Samaritan” laws. Unlike affirmative duty statutes, which are only in effect in a few states, all 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize some form of liability protection for those who offer aid to victims. 

Affirmative Duty to Assist Statutes in Your State

These statutes vary widely from state to state. They may apply only to particular healthcare professionals, or only in certain situations. Some hold witnesses responsible for giving reasonable aid to a victim, while others require them only to report the crime to police. 

For example, California’s Mandatory Emergency Services statute applies only to health care facilities, while the Rhode Island statute specifies that a person with knowledge that “another person is a victim of rape, murder, manslaughter, or armed robbery” must report the crime to police as soon as they are reasonably able, if they are at the scene of the crime.

If you are a resident of a state with some form of affirmative duty statute, we encourage you to read more about the details in your particular state in A Comparative Study of Laws that Protect First Responders Who Assist Accident Victims. It’s a long title, but a worthwhile read! 

Good Samaritan Laws in Your State

Although every state’s code includes some variety of a Good Samaritan law, no two are alike. The general premise of a Good Samaritan law is that it protects someone from being sued or otherwise penalized if they act to help a victim who needs medical help or is in physical danger. You can read about your state’s particular statutes here

Good Samaritan Laws in Arkansas 

We hear two common misconceptions about helping people after an accident. The first: “You’re likely to be sued if you attempt to give someone emergency care and it doesn’t have a good outcome, so it’s best not to do anything.” The second: “My state’s Good Samaritan law means that anyone who stops to help an accident victim is protected and won’t face any consequences if things go badly.” Neither statement is true. 

While there are no laws in Arkansas that require you to stop and give aid to victims of a car accident, you may feel compelled by compassion and concern for others. In that case, you should be familiar with the Arkansas Good Samaritan Law. 

This statute is found under the “Medical Professions” subtitle in the Arkansas code, so you might assume that it applies only to people who work in the medical field. While the statute’s primary purpose does seem to be directed toward medical professionals, it also includes a section about how the Good Samaritan law applies to ordinary citizens. Two main takeaways: 

  1. Any health care professional who in “good faith” gives emergency care at the place of an accident will not be legally liable, as long as his or actions were not “willful misconduct” or “grossly negligent.” If, for example, a doctor performs CPR on the man who has a heart attack while sitting next to him in a movie theater, and the doctor is not able to resuscitate him, he or she can’t be sued for trying to help. If he attempted open-heart surgery in the middle of the theater, however, that would be a different matter and would likely lead to legal action.

  2. A person who is not a health care professional can also be protected from legal backlash when giving emergency care, with a few conditions. First, they must believe that the “life, health, and safety” of a person could be helped by taking reasonable actions to provide emergency care. Next, they must be acting in “good faith” to remove or lessen the threat. Again, the actions must not be willful misconduct or grossly negligent.


Taking Reasonable Action

Should you find yourself in a situation where an accident victim needs help, you can decide how to respond by asking yourself these three simple questions:

  1. Is this person’s health or life in immediate danger?
  2. Can I help lessen that danger by doing something?
  3. What reasonable action can I take? 


We recommend reading the full text of the Good Samaritan law, also known as AR Code § 17-95-101 (2015), online in the most recent version of the Arkansas Code provided by Justia Law.

Arkansas Accident Victims Find Help at Taylor King Law 

Have you been injured in a car wreck that was not your fault? Filing a personal injury claim can be very complex, but the lawyers at Taylor King Law can help. Everyone who calls or visits one of our 6 Arkansas office locations will get a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney. Find out if you have a case today. Get started by calling 1-800-CAR-WRECK or submitting a case evaluation form on our website.