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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photo for uber post

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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Ice cream

Yesterday, Blue Bell Creameries of Texas voluntarily recalled ALL of its products due to potential contamination with listeria monocytogenes.  Blue Bell has been experiencing problems with listeria monocytogenes since early March, 2015, and the problem has just continued to grow leading to yesterday’s global recall involving ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt and frozen snacks.

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While texting and driving gets a lot of attention (and for good reason), there are many forms of distracted driving, just as many laws that relate to it and, the good news, plenty of strategies for preventing it.  Let’s review, shall we?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorize distracted driving into three forms: visual (taking your eyes off the road), cognitive (letting your mind wander from the task of driving) and manual (taking your hands off the steering wheel).  Some of the more common forms of distracted driving are texting while driving, eating while driving, using a navigation system, putting on make-up and daydreaming.

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trucktire copy

Fourteen states now have a speed limit between 75 and 85 mph, and these higher speed limits present several problems when it comes to tractor-trailers and other big trucks.   Of course, the faster you are going, the quicker your reaction time must be. In addition, higher speeds and the increased weight of trucks mean they need a greater stopping distance. But, while those problems may seem fairly obvious, there is also a hidden danger associated with higher speed limits.

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Close-up of LincolnOn Friday night, my wife and I surprised our seven year-old daughter with a new puppy.   Lincoln is a nine week-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a delight. Right now, we are trying to potty train and keep him from chewing stuff.

Of course, a dog owner’s responsibilities extend beyond keeping the flip-flops and the rug safe. Responsible pet owners must be sure to vaccinate their dog, keep the dog from running at large and keep the dog under reasonable control so that it does not harm others. While the law does not require it, I also believe a responsible pet owner should maintain adequate insurance (either via their homeowner’s or through a separate pet insurance policy) to help ensure that anyone injured by the dog receives fair compensation for their medical bills and damages.

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Deep down, whether we like to admit it or not, we all want to be told what we want to hear:  

 Yes, we can get you a million dollars for your injuries.  Don’t worry, the litigation process is quick and easy.  No, the other side will never try to blame you.  Of course, those pants make you look skinny.

And believe me, when I tell you, we would love to dispense such easy, breezy news to every one of our clients. But, we can’t.  Sometimes, there is not enough insurance to fully compensate our clients for their losses.  Sometimes, the other side wants to make life difficult, drag things out and blame the victim.  Other times, the venue for the case is not ideal or is in a court that is not particularly efficient.

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The statistics from Wednesday were pretty sobering.  And frankly, they are depressing.  And, if you are like me, you want to help prevent these crimes and help take care of those that have been victimized.  So, here are a few tips to help you get started: Continue reading

Let’s start with some statistics that will both sadden and anger you:

Child Abuse

  • Each year, 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States. The abuse can consist of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect.
  • Every ten seconds a report of child abuse is made.
  • Child abuse is an underreported crime.
  • Amongst industrialized nations, the United States’ record on child abuse is one of the worst.

Sexual Assault

  • Every 107 seconds, another person in the United States is a victim of sexual assault.
  • Sexual assault is an underreported crime with 68% not reported.
  • Roughly 2/3 of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim.
  • One in four college women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape

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Yesterday, we started the discussion for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with some of the crazier forms of distracted driving (using the bathroom, taking selfies,  curling eyelashes, putting in contacts, etc.) But today, the focus is on the most fatal form of distracted driving.  I think the answer will surprise you.  Most people, including me, would likely guess that texting is the most fatal form of distracted driving. And while texting and driving is indeed very common and very dangerous, it does not hold the top spot.

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