firecracker photo

The 4th of July is almost here. Cookouts, parades and fireworks are iconic activities for the holiday weekend. My idea of a perfect 4th of July is throwing something on the grill, hanging out with family and friends then watching the fireworks on the lake in our boat.

But for many others especially kids, the holiday is not complete without shooting off some fireworks. So many folks will pick up sparklers, firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rocket, smoke bombs and the like. But even these seemingly innocuous fireworks can cause serious injury if proper safety rules are not followed. For instance, did you know that sparklers can generate heat up to 2000 degrees or the equivalent of a blow torch or hot charcoal in a grill. In fact, sparklers cause 25% of all fireworks-related burns. Bottle rockets and small firecrackers sent a whopping 8,600 people to the emergency room in 2010. More fires are reported on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, and the spike is attributed to fireworks.

Below are some tips for keeping your family and friends safe while shooting off fireworks this holiday: Continue reading

Bar photo

And stabs and kills his mother’s boyfriend. The parents of the murder victim sue the restaurant and win $40 million dollars.  Probably not the punchline you were expecting and you might be wondering how the restaurant is to blame. Well, let me give you a few more facts. Continue reading

Aqua Dots photo

Well, I would certainly hope not. But that really is not the point. The point is Spin Master manufactured a toy, Aqua Dots, which was tainted with the date rape drug.  Children, who tend to put things in their mouth, ingested the drug and became ill.  Spin Master failed to tell anyone about reports of children being hospitalized after ingesting the Aqua Dots.  When this came to light, the company agreed to pay a $1.3 million dollar fine.   And last week, a jury awarded a family $435,000 because their son fell into a coma and continues to have residual problems after ingesting the date rape drug from the Aqua Dot toy.   So how does Spin Master defend all of this? Continue reading

Pay here sign

First, allow me to use an example to explain subrogation: You are hurt in an accident. You go to the emergency room, are admitted to the hospital for several weeks and then have a few months of follow-up appointments and physical therapy.   After deductibles and co-pays, your health insurance company pays all of your medical bills. After you recover from the accident, you settle your injury case with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Using the money you got from your settlement, you buy your first home. Several months later, you get a letter from your medical insurance carrier demanding to be paid back for the medical bills they paid on your behalf after the accident.   You no longer have the cash because you bought a home, but they are threatening to sue you.

Can they do that? What about if you are on Medicare or Tenncare? Isn’t that why you paid the premiums for your medical insurance? If they sue me, could they take my house or garnish my wages?   What if I never tell them about my accident? Continue reading

beer photo

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) will prevent a car from moving if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration at or in excess of .08, which is the legal limit in all 50 states.   The technology is available in two forms: breath analysis and touch analysis.   With breath analysis, the driver simply exhales normally into the device for an instantaneous measurement. And for those with a germ phobia, you do not have to actually touch your mouth to anything.  The system is contact- free.  The touch system measures BAC under the skin’s surface via the use of an infrared light at the fingertip.  So when will it be available and where? Continue reading

teen driver

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers.  And according to AAA, the deadliest days of driving for teens are the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  With teens out of school, they are on the roads much more and often have other passengers in their vehicles with them.  Below are some statistics for teen drivers in Tennessee and some tips on how to keep your teenager safe during this peak accident time.

First, let’s look at teen driving statistics for some Tennessee counties.  Listed below are the counties with the highest young driver (ages 15-24) crash rate rank for 2014 and the number of crashes for each county:   Continue reading

train track pic

Recently, officials for the Music City Star commuter train announced construction on a new Lebanon station will get underway later this summer.   The new Lebanon station will be the seventh for the commuter rail line operating through Davidson and Wilson counties.

Mass transit options are welcome by many in the Nashville area. Mass transit would help alleviate some of the heavy volume that regularly snarls traffic on area interstates. And because the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization estimates one million more people will be in Nashville by 2035, traffic volume will only increase. So many see commuter train travel as an easier and cheaper way of getting to and from Nashville. Continue reading

whip cream photo

Last week, a Franklin woman drove her Lexus SUV into a ditch. After she managed to get her vehicle out of the ditch, she proceeded along Battle Avenue until she crashed into a brick mailbox. When police arrived on the scene, they found the driver disoriented. Upon searching her vehicle, they found 13 cans of nearly empty whipped cream. According to reports, the driver had been huffing the aerosol in the whipped cream cans in order to get high.

Of course, a natural reaction upon hearing this story is to titter and then crack all sorts of wise comments. But, we need to remember that impaired driving is impaired driving. It really does not matter whether you impairment stems from alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, whipped cream or something else. If you are impaired, you should not be driving.   Fortunately, for this woman, she did not hurt anyone else or herself.  So how common is this problem?  Continue reading

Davidson County Court House

According to the Administrative Office of the Courts data, for the 2013-2014 reporting year, there were 10,232 tort cases filed in the State of Tennessee. (Tort cases are claims for injury or death and include medical malpractice or healthcare liability claims.) During that same time frame, 10,322 cases were concluded in some fashion such as dismissal, settlement or trial. However, very few were concluded by way of a trial. In fact, only 416 cases or 4% of tort or healthcare liability cases were tried in the entire State of Tennessee last year. So what kind of verdicts were returned in these 416 cases? Continue reading

train photo

Almost two decades ago, Congress decided $200 million should be the most a passenger train company like Amtrak should be required to pay to injury victims. Sounds like a lot of money, but let’s look at that for just a moment.

Passenger trains can hold hundreds of people and train wrecks can cause an array of injuries from broken bones to death. Without knowing how many people would be injured or what type of injuries they sustained, Congress set a limit on how much money, as a group, they could recover. Congress set a limit without knowing how many people would be killed and what those lives lost meant to their families. For example, was the person who was killed the sole breadwinner for a family consisting of three very young children?  But it gets worse.  Continue reading