Courtroom

Not surprisingly, every accident victim whose case goes to trial wants to know the answer to this question. Of course, victory at trial depends upon a number of factors including the facts of your case, your lawyer, the opposing lawyer, the judge, the jury pool, etc.   Below we will examine each of these in a little more detail and how you can help your case: Continue reading

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Wrong-way accidents are just as the name implies: an accident caused by another driver going the wrong way on a street, highway or interstate. Wrong-way accidents are not terribly common but when they occur they typically involve a fatality because the impacts are usually head-on and severe.  In fact, more than 350 people are killed each year in wrong-way accidents.

By and large, wrong-way accidents involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol.  So then, it will probably not surprise you to know that you are more likely to be the victim in a wrong-way accident at night and on weekends.  You are also more likely to be involved in a wrong-way accident if you are driving in the lane closest to the median. Why?  Because the wrong-way driver will typically move to the far right lane thinking it is the slow lane.  Since they have been drinking, they choose this lane so they do not get pulled over for speeding. Finally, older drivers are over-represented in wrong-way accidents.  Aside from cracking down on drunk driving, what can be done to prevent wrong-way accidents?  Continue reading

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Last week, my wife and daughter were driving home from school when they noticed a goat in the road.  Fearful the goat was going to get run over or cause an accident on the narrow little road, my wife decided to try and find its owner.  Two farms were nearby so my wife pulled into first farm and went to the front door to alert the owner about the escaped goat. The homeowner advised my wife the goat in question belonged to the farm on the other side of the street.  The woman also reported she herself had put the goat up on several occasions.   Armed with this information, my wife drove to the farm across the street to alert them their goat was loose.

When my wife and daughter exited the car, the goat was still at the road.  They knocked on the door and waited a few moments but no one was home.  As they turned to walk back to the truck, they noticed the goat was approaching.  Before they could get back to their vehicle, the goat became aggressive, and this goat had horns.  Continue reading

Kate and John boating

Middle Tennessee has many wonderful lakes: Center Hill, Old Hickory, Percy Priest, Normandy Lake and others. Our family’s favorite is Tims Ford where we like to spend as much time as possible out on the water.

While boating and jet skiing are fantastic recreational activities, there are a number of laws applicable to both. Let’s review 10 of the most important: Continue reading

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Last month, a judge was publicly admonished by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct because she posted comments on Facebook about a trial she was presiding over.  Then, earlier this month, a Michigan prosecutor lost her job due to statements she posted on Facebook related to the looting in Baltimore.  And for accident victims, Facebook is just as dangerous.

As soon as an accident victim makes a claim, a claims adjuster or a defense lawyer will likely try to find the person on Facebook to glean as much information as they can.  And if your Facebook posts are not consistent with the allegations of your lawsuit, then they start doing a happy dance.  Let me give you some examples of how Facebook can be used against an accident victim.  Continue reading

dock photo 2For the past eleven summers, our family has spent as many weekends as possible on Tims Ford Lake. We enjoy swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, grilling out with friends and all of the other fun the lake has to offer. But, in those eleven years, there have been some unspeakable tragedies as a result of electrocutions.

Around the corner from us, two young boys were electrocuted and died when they jumped from their dock and into the water. The electrical work on the newly installed dock had been improperly installed allowing a live charge to enter the water. Then, just two years ago, an adult was electrocuted and died as a result of an improperly grounded dock.  Both accidents were preventable. So what can you do to make your dock safe? Continue reading

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I can feel it. Can you?   Summer is almost here. The kids have just a few more weeks of school and then it is time for pools, lakes, waterparks, time at the river and more fun in the sun.  In an effort to ensure everyone has a safe summer, May is National Water Safety Month, and in March of this year, Governor Bill Haslam signed a proclamation to that effect for the State of Tennessee.

While water can be the ideal spot for summer fun, it can also be a spot for terrible drowning and near-drowning accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 people a day die from drowning accidents. And drowning is the number one cause of death for children 1 to 4.

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It depends upon the type of claim you have. If you have been injured in a car wreck, you may have multiple claims. Of course, you have a claim against the other driver who caused the accident. But, you may also have a claim against your own insurance carrier if the other driver was not insured or not adequately insured to compensate you for all your damages. If the other driver had been drinking before the accident, you may have a liquor liability claim if the other driver was overserved at a restaurant or bar. If your vehicle failed to perform as designed in the accident, such as the airbags failed to deploy, you may have a product liability claim against the automaker. If the accident happened in a construction zone that was improperly marked, you may have a claim against the construction company.  Other claims might also be possible.

In most of these cases, the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt, or that you were cited for failing to wear your seatbelt, is NOT admissible based on a Tennessee statute, T.C.A. 55-9-604. In other words, the other side will not be able to bring it up in your case. Below is a handy-dandy list on whether the seatbelt issue could hurt you in your type of case: Continue reading

Here is the scenario: You are lawfully passing through an intersection when you are struck by another vehicle that ran the red light. Police respond to the scene and investigate the accident. After talking to witnesses, the police issue the other driver a citation for running the red light. Because you were injured in the wreck, you hire a lawyer (hopefully us) to file a lawsuit for your damages.  As part of that litigation, you want to know if the citation is admissible to help prove your case.

So what is the answer? It depends. Sorry, we know folks hate those kind of answers but here is why we say that. A traffic citation is sort of like being arrested – it is not proof of anything unless there is a finding of guilt. So if the other driver’s traffic citation is tried and he either pleads guilty or is found guilty of running the red light, then the finding or conviction may be used in the civil case.  But what if there is not a guilty plea or guilty finding?

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SB 0907/HB 0992 seeks to establish requirements for transportation network companies (TNC).  The bill defines a TNC as a business that operates suing a digital network to connect drivers and customers/passengers for prearranged rides.  Taxi services, shuttle services, limousine services and other private passenger services are not subject to the bill.

The bill has several positive features for Tennessee consumers.  Below is a summary of some of the key provisions:

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