Chattanooga Personal Injury Law Blog

8 injured, 1 dead in head-on drunk driving collision

Police have arrested and accused a 24-year-old man of driving under the influence after a fatal car accident in Shelby County. According to authorities, the young man was driving a pickup truck when crashed head-on into a sport utility vehicle with eight people riding inside it.

Following the crash, police rushed nine people to area hospitals. Tragically, one man from Chesapeake, who had been riding in the SUV, did not survive the accident. The deceased victim was a graduate from Sentara College of Health Sciences and was employed as a registered nurse at the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's emergency department. A spokesperson from the hospital said, "We are deeply saddened about his passing and wish his family and friends our sincere condolences."

How do I prove that medical negligence has occurred?

By filing a medical malpractice claim, victims of medical negligence can pursue compensation for the financial damages and other injuries the malpractice has caused them. In order to prevail in a malpractice case, victims need to prove that medical negligence has occurred.

Here are the three primary elements that must be present to prove medical negligence:

  • A duty was owed to the injured patient by a health care practitioner.
  • The physician failed in this duty through his or her deviation from standard medical procedure, also known as the standard of care, which other reasonable physicians would have employed on behalf of the patient.
  • The physician's failure to adhere to the standard of care resulted in the patient suffering an injury.

The politics of driverless trucks

Considering the countless trucking accidents caused by driver error every year, it's understandable that the driverless vehicle revolution would move its way into the commercial trucking industry. However, it could mean that truck drivers will one day be out of a job. It's for this reason that truck drivers tend to be against the idea.

Nobody wants to be replaced by a computer, but when you look at the driver safety statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it's clear that 94 percent of vehicle accidents happen because of driver error. If driver error could be eradicated, just think of how many lives it could save. In 2015 alone, approximately 40,200 people died in motor vehicle accident-related incidents.

Wrongful death: The difference between a criminal and civil case?

Imagine your loved one died as a result of another person's criminal activity. Maybe your husband was killed while someone was trying to rob him. Maybe your son died while a drunk driver was operating his or her vehicle unlawfully. In both of these cases, they will trigger a criminal lawsuit against the accused person. They may also give rise to a wrongful death suit in civil court. What's the difference between the criminal and civil cases in these situations?

A criminal lawsuit is pursued by government prosecutors. Essentially, a private citizen cannot bring forward a criminal case. These matters are handled by the criminal justice system, which seeks to hold citizens accountable for their violations of the law. Civil lawsuits, on the other hand, are brought by private citizens relating to financial damages they have incurred as a result of a wrongfully acting party.

Former lawmaker files suit after trucking accident

A former Tennessee lawmaker filed a personal injury suit against two trucking companies -- Gogu Trucking Express and Sopranos, Inc. The former state representative filed the lawsuit over injuries he suffered in a trucking accident that happened in Kingsport last November. Although the crash happened in Tennessee, both of the trucking companies in this case are located in Illinois.

Former Tennessee Rep. Jason Mumpower -- who currently serves as the chief of staff for the Tennessee Comptroller --claims that the trucking company and its truck driver employee caused him to suffer $1.5 million in damages. The suit was filed in federal court.

Is the Veteran's Administration hiring bad doctors?

Most reasonable people would never think of going to a doctor with multiple malpractice accusations on his or her rap sheet. In fact, it's doubtful you'd consider going to a doctor with even one malpractice accusation. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs appears to be hiring doctors with not just one malpractice claim on their records, but multiple instances of malpractice.

USA Today recently published a detailed report on the current status of the doctors employed by the VA. One doctor the report zeroed in on had over a dozen med-mal claims and settlements from two different states on his record. The cases included ones where his surgical errors resulted in maimings, paralysis and death. In one instance, the doctor left a patient's legs paralyzed after the doctor placed a medical device the wrong way. In another case, the doctor made errors while installing spinal screws that left a patient unable to control his bowels and bladder. Following the death of a patient, the state of Wyoming took away the doctor's right to practice medicine there.

Reduce car accident risks with daytime headlight use

Motorcyclists have long known to turn their headlights on during the day as it increases their visibility and dramatically reduces motorcycle crash risk statistics. To all the motor vehicle drivers out there --p have you ever thought of doing the same? It turns out that according to numerous studies, simply flipping on your headlights during the daylight hours can reduce the likelihood of getting into a collision.

Some vehicle manufacturers have taken notice by producing cars that have daytime running lights, but the government has not issued any mandates requiring these features at this time. However, turning one's headlights on during the day is simple, as you only have to flip the switch. So, it's possible that governmental bodies could issue new laws that require daytime headlight use. Then, it will be the drivers' responsibility to comply.

Semitruck crash leaves 2 dead

Two victims died in a crash between a semitruck and a passenger car last Tuesday. According to authorities, the incident happened during the early morning hours, at approximately 1:15 a.m. in Manchester below the exit 110 overpass along Interstate 24.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that the semitruck was being driven by a 70-year-old man from Illinois. The accident happened when he struck the back of a vehicle that was stationary beneath the overpass. The semitruck driver was injured, but he survived the incident. The collision caused the semitruck to catch on fire, but the driver escaped with his life.

Remember semitruck safety this holiday season

As the need for goods increases due to holiday shopping, more semitrucks will venture out on the roads. Being prepared to drive near these large and heavy vehicles is imperative for all drivers. Because the risks are so great, drivers should take a few minutes to brush up on some basic facts about semitrucks.

Semitrucks make up 4 percent of vehicles on the road, but they account for 9 percent of crash fatalities. This disproportionate rate shows just how deadly these large vehicles can be.

What's truck driver burn-out?

There's a little-discussed problem that contributes to truck accidents throughout the nation and it's a lot more complicated than being fatigued and tired. Truckers spend so many hours on the job, driving down the highway, that they can get bored and unhappy. But, at a certain level, the situation gets worse, and they experience trucker "burn-out."

Symptoms of trucker burnout may include hating your job and feeling exhausted every time you get behind the wheel. However, the condition isn't very simple to cure. Ultimately, it can lead to inattentive drivers, truckers who can't sleep very well at night and truckers who are more likely to get into an accident. Even worse, it's not so simple to cure trucker burnout. You might think that a few days off and some good sleep would solve the problem, but a lot of truckers don't overcome the difficulty of trucker fatigue until after they quit their jobs.