It is that time again. The boat and jet skis are in the water. Spring rains are bringing the lake level up to summer pool. With the warmer temperatures, the water in the lake will soon be ready for swimming. Our family will head down to Tim’s Ford Lake every chance we get. For our family and probably most others, the first ones in the water are the kids. To keep them and everyone else safe this summer from electrical shock drowning, refresh yourself on these life-saving safety tips and teach your children the ones appropriate for them: Continue reading
As the New Year approaches, many start to think about improvements they want to make in their lives for 2017. At the Law Offices of John Day, our work involves helping people who have been injured in accidents and, since most accidents are preventable, we thought we would give you some New Year’s resolutions that can help protect you and others. The best part of these resolutions is, for the most part, they are easy and painless to implement (unlike that weight resolution most of us make). Here are our recommendations:
- Check your auto insurance and make sure you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. I can’t tell you how often someone calls our office with significant injuries from a car accident who cannot recover any money because the driver who caused the accident did not have insurance and the client did not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. We have written a number of posts about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and you can find them here, here, here and here. But, our number one piece of advice to protect yourself would be to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with as high of limits as you can afford. You will truly be surprised at how cheap it is and it can mean the difference between receiving compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and injuries and receiving nothing.
- Wear your seatbelt. They save lives. Period.
Government regulations get a bad rap. To be sure, if you look long enough, you can find some that will make you shake your head and wonder, but for the most part regulations do a good job of providing protection to the public. And, they can also be a big boost in accident claims and injury lawsuits.
As proof that regulations are needed to protect the public, one need only look at the tragic hot air balloon crash in Texas that killed the pilot and 15 passengers earlier this year. Many believe this accident occurred because the Federal Aviation Administration does very little to exercise oversight of hot air balloon operators. In fact, regulations on hot air balloon operators are almost non-existent despite the fact that they often carry more passengers than small commuter planes and helicopters. Unlike conventional pilots, hot air balloon operators do not have to get regular medical exams and, while the form operators must complete asks about narcotic drug charges, it specifically excludes alcohol- related driving offenses. In the deadly Texas crash, the operator was taking at least 10 different drugs for various medical problems. Some of the drugs including oxycodone would have disqualified him from flying conventional aircraft because of their effect on decision-making and reaction times. Moreover, the operator had been convicted of drunk-driving on at least four occasions. Of course, regulations do not prevent every accident, but it is probably safe to say that if the Federal Aviation Administration had implemented tighter regulations over hot air balloon pilots that this particular pilot would not have been in the sky with passengers on that fateful day.
Regulations not only provide protection to the public but they also can help your accident claim or injury lawsuit. If you are injured in an accident and you want to recover money for your injuries, you must prove that someone else was negligent, that negligence caused your injuries and the extent of your injuries and damages. Let’s focus on negligence. In simplest terms, you should think of negligence as either doing something you should not have done or not doing something you should have done. Lawyers will often refer to it as a violation of the standard of care. Part of proving the other party was negligent involves proving the standard of care, but when there is a safety regulation the standard of care has already been established by the regulation itself. So then, all you must do is prove the defendant violated the regulation. In other words, the regulation can eliminate one step of what is normally a two-step process. So regulations can play a critical role in injury litigation.
In 2015, there were 136 reportable boating incidents, 77 injuries and 13 fatalities. Falling overboard was the leading cause of fatalities with 3 deaths attributed to it. The most common cause of injury accidents was operator inattention. The most dangerous lake for injury accidents last year was Center Hill Lake.
In the personal watercraft (PWC) or jet ski category, Ft. Loudon lake was the most dangerous. There were 9 injury accidents and 3 fatal accidents. The primary causes of jet ski accidents were excessive speed and off throttle loss of steering. (For inexperienced jet ski drivers, off throttle loss of steering is a real problem because the natural inclination if you get into trouble is to let off the gas. But on a jet ski, a driver cannot steer at all without being under throttle.)
So if you are set to spend the day on the river or lake, here are some tips on how to stay safe this summer: Continue reading
Memorial Day is a day to remember and be grateful for those brave men and women who have died while serving our country in the military. It is also the unofficial start of summer. Beach trips, parades, lake outings, pool parties and barbecues are on a lot of folks’ agenda. Here are ten safety tips to help keep your weekend fun and injury-free: Continue reading
Last week, a question was posted on Avvo (a legal Q & A site) seeking advice about what should be done following a car accident. The questioner was worried about getting sued, and the primary source of his anxiety was because he had substantial assets including investment accounts but he only had $100,000 in automotive insurance coverage. In particular, he wanted to know if he should hire his own lawyer separate and apart from any lawyer hired by his insurance company? Before I get to that, let me start with something more important. Continue reading
Last year was a record year for vehicle recalls. Already this year, Ford has announced a recall of nearly 400,000 Ranger pickups due to faulty airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just announced a recall of Britax car seats. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues a new recall virtually every day. As a consumer, how do you know if the products you and your family use are safe? And what do you do if you get hurt by a defective product? Continue reading
Each year, more than 1.4 million people will suffer a brain injury from a car accident, fall, assault or some other cause. The brain is incredibly complex and so is the treatment of brain injuries. Primarily, physicians have relied upon CAT scans and physical symptoms such as loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, confusion and the like to determine the severity of the brain injury.
But both of those methods have their limitations. For instance, CAT scans can only detect if there is cranial bleeding. They are unable to detect damaged brain cells that are not bleeding. As for the physical symptoms, they may not always be detected or reported. For instance, in a car accident, a person may lose consciousness for a short period of time and regain it before any emergency medical personnel reach the scene. Or with a young infant who has not yet learned to talk, it would be difficult to know if the child was slurring its speech or was dizzy, etc. Continue reading
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
For 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