Chattanooga Personal Injury Law Blog

Pedestrian accidents on highways: Why they happen

Pedestrian versus car accidents are particularly unfortunate because pedestrians have no form of protection against a motor vehicle. Fortunately, though, for some pedestrians injured by cars in Tennessee, they can seek money to pay for their medical care stemming from the accident.

In this article, we will focus specifically on highway pedestrian accidents, which tend to beg the question: Can a pedestrian file a claim after being involved in a highway crash? The answer to this question is, yes.

Wrongful death claims: What damages can I pursue?

Imagine you lost your husband, wife, son or daughter in a fatal car accident caused by a negligent or unlawful driver. You may have the ability to pursue financial damages by filing a wrongful death claim against the party at fault for your loved one's death.The decision to file a wrongful death claim, however, is not an easy one to make, and you probably have a lot of questions about the process. In this article we will look at the most common question wrongful death plaintiffs ask: What kinds of damages can I pursue?

Assigning financial damages to the death of a close family member is not easy to do. After all, no amount of compensation could ever replace a loved one lost due to someone else's negligence. However, monetary compensation is the only way courts have to try and right such an unfortunate wrong.

Fatal auto accident claims the life of 20-year-old woman

A terrifying auto collision happened on I-65 in Nashville earlier this week, and a 20-year-old woman is dead because of it. Authorities shut down the interstate for over three hours while cleaning up and investigating the crash.

The crash, which happened at approximately 6 a.m. last Tuesday morning, involved a single vehicle -- a Ford Taurus -- operated by an 18-year-old man. The woman who died was among four passengers riding in the vehicle. No one else in the car suffered injury.

3 important questions about nursing home abuse and neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect are prevalent throughout care facilities in the Unites States. With the baby-boomer generation growing older, it seems that the situation is only getting worse. Here are few questions that every nursing home resident, or every relative of a nursing home resident, should know the answers to regarding this important topic.

What are the rights of nursing home residents?

A post-car accident action plan

It doesn't even matter if you're uninjured following a car crash. Your adrenaline will be pumping and you won't be thinking clearly. You might even be feeling a little shaky as your nerves settle down. For this reason, it's good to be prepared ahead of time with a list of what you should do immediately following a crash.

The following action plan will keep you safe and ensure that you protect your legal rights after a car crash:

Did your loved one die in an accident caused by negligence?

The decision to talk to a lawyer about a potential wrongful death case takes a lot of courage and consideration. After all, no amount of litigation and no amount of money will ever be sufficient to correct the fatal wrongdoing that led to your loved one's death.

Also, the decision to pursue a wrongful death claim in civil court is a personal one. This is not a process that will be completed overnight. It may take a lot of time, a great deal of analysis, expert testimony, depositions, sharing of evidence, and exposing the personal details of a plaintiff's life in order to be successful in such a claim. As such, it can be emotionally taxing on family members who -- in addition to dealing with the legal matter -- are also dealing with the emotional turmoil that inevitably comes with the death of someone close to them.

Shouldn't school buses have seatbelts?

A school bus crash is particularly dangerous to the student riders inside the bus. Not only is it rare for students in a bus to use a seatbelt, but there is no legal requirement for buses to have seatbelts installed, so in many cases, riders do not even have the option to use them. This means that even in a relatively minor bus accident, riders can get thrown around and suffer injuries.

This is exactly what happened in a bus crash earlier this month. The accident happened at a little before 6:30 a.m. Five high school students were traveling in the bus and three students were waiting to step up into the vehicle when the collision occurred. Four of the students suffered serious injuries. Fortunately no life-threatening injuries happened, but two of the students and the driver required hospital care.

Over half of vehicle accidents caused by smartphone use

Traffic accident fatalities have increased by 14 percent since 2014. The reason may be due to smartphone use. According to Cambridge Mobile Telematics, 52 percent of vehicle crashes involved drivers who had been using their smartphones just before the crashes.

State and local governments have been aware of the dangers of smartphones and driving, but new laws to curb smartphone use have not seemed to help. Drivers continue to be distracted by these devices, even when laws exist to prohibit their use.

Are highway guardrails dangerous in Tennessee?

Reports of a teenage driver who died after colliding with a highway guardrail have spurred an investigation by Fox 17 into the safety of Tennessee guardrails. The 17-year-old woman drove into a guardrail that is supposed to collapse on impact and prevent severe damage and injuries.

In this case, however, the guardrail sliced into the young woman's vehicle, struck the woman on the head and instantly killed her. The parents commented to news reporters that this wasn't supposed to happen. To make matters even more unbelievable, the state of Tennessee sent a bill to the parents requesting that they pay $3,000 to repair the guardrail.

What's the elder Abuse Suspicion Index?

Every person who stays in a nursing facility is different. Some are so vocal that they complain about everything -- to the degree that it seems like they're being abused when they're actually not. Others will silently endure lots of horrible and abusive situations without ever saying a word. Still, other residents do not even have the mental or physical capacity to complain about their abuser.

When it comes to detecting if elder abuse is actually happening, few methodologies have been shown to work in a clinical setting. However, the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index has been validated to work -- and physicians should regularly use it to check on the level of care that elderly adults are receiving in nursing homes and hospitals. When using the index, if a patient answers "yes" to one of the following, then it's an indication that further assessment and investigation should be performed.