Car accidents pose a serious danger in Tennessee

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on Friday, June 1, 2018.

From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi River Valley, there is no better way to travel around Tennessee than in a person’s own car. The streets, roads and limited-access highways such as interstates in the Volunteer State are always open and full of cars, trucks and motorcycles.

The nation has seen an uptick in traffic deaths in recent years, which has led to innovations in traffic control, car safety and other related fields. Tennessee, which was one of the most dangerous states for motorists and pedestrians in the first decade of the 21st century, has seen fewer traffic fatalities overall.

The state still remains in the top third of states in traffic deaths per resident, and the Nashville metropolitan area in Davidson County has seen an increase in fatalities in cars and trucks. Experts believe one of the factors is cheaper gasoline, which invites more motorists out for vacation and other optional trips.

The U.S. government has, at various times, researched economic conditions, public health indicators and climate change as possible factors in traffic deaths. One factor that most law enforcement agencies are enforcing is distracted driving, which has gone up with the availability of cellular telephones and onboard navigation in cars.

Drivers owe it to themselves and each other to avoid driving distracted or under the influence of alcohol. Any accident could cause severe injury, permanent disability or even death.

Victims of car accidents or the survivors of crash fatalities may sue for financial damages to help them recover from a tragedy. A lawyer may help prepare a lawsuit for civil court.

Source: Nashville Patch, “Where Tennessee Ranks as Traffic Deaths Climb in U.S.,” Greg Hambrick, accessed June 01, 2018

Woman sues Tennessee venue for slip-and-fall injury

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Premises Liabilityon Thursday, June 14, 2018.

We are usually responsible for our own decisions, but we can also suffer unfairly from the decisions of others. Owners and managers of businesses with public spaces or invited guests owe those people a clean and safe place to congregate or move through. If they fail, they may be liable for the results.

A woman is suing the owner of a party venue in Campbell County after she experienced an injury on the property. She entered the property during a rainy evening and left under darkness. Without exterior lighting covering the parking lot and outdoor walkway, she tripped on her way to her car and broke her arm as a result of the fall.

Surgery and hospitalization cost the victim around $52,000, and her family sued the owner of the venue for failing to maintain adequate lighting outside the building. The defendant claimed that a manager switched on the outdoor lights as she left but did not know the bulbs had burned out.

The court determined that the owner had no documented plan to inspect or maintain outdoor lighting fixtures. It was part of the court’s decision to deny the defendant’s application for dismissal because public spaces must be regularly maintained to ensure the safety all of passersby or invitees.

Victims of negligence or miscommunication by property owners and managers may have a case in civil court for financial damages. Tennessee civil court juries may find for plaintiffs if a case cannot be settled or mediated. An attorney can help represent plaintiffs’ interests during the process of filing a suit, working with defendants and concluding things satisfactorily.

Source: Tennessee Court of Appeals, “Cynthia L. Christian et al. v. Ayers L.P. d/b/a Ms. Lassie’s Lodge,” accessed June 14, 2018

Tennessee personal injury cases need strong legal representation

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Personal Injury on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

We’ve all laughed at the cartoon where someone slips on a banana peels and falls.

Truth is, it’s not funny.

Banana peels and a number of common things around the house can cause serious injuries, such as concussions and fractures or even death. And when you are invited to someone else’s home for the first time – whether as a guest or as someone who is there to provide a service – you don’t know what kind of hazards await you.

You could trip on a garden hose that hose that hasn’t been rolled up or an area rug that is curled up on the edge. You could fall down a flight of stairs if the handrail isn’t secure. A frayed wire could cause an electric shock.

These are examples of negligence on behalf of a property owner or renter, who are responsible for the upkeep of the grounds so that visitors do not suffer an injury. While a visitor is counted on to make all attempts to take care of his or her own safety, there are some accidents that just can’t be foreseen.

If you are a victim of premises liability, as it is known, it’s important to have a legal team experienced in personal injury incidents working for you to fight for compensation for your injuries, your pain and suffering and your lost income. It’s vital to obtain legal counsel before accepting a settlement offer from the insurer of a negligent property owner because you could be signing away some of your rights.

The attorneys at The Myers Law Firm can represent your interests. You can learn more about our personal injury experience and other areas of our law practice here on our website.

Might your headache be a sign of traumatic brain injury?

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

If you’re driving along a Tennessee highway and another driver suddenly crashes into your car, in an instant, your whole world may feel as though it dropped out from underneath you. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your life may indeed significantly change in the near or distant future. Some of your injuries may be undeniably apparent, such as lacerations, broken bones or loss of consciousness. First responders are experienced at assessing a crash scene to see who, if anyone, is in need of emergency care.

Those who came to your aid hopefully were able to get you to the nearest hospital in a timely manner, and doctors at that facility were hopefully able to treat your condition. The problem is that not all car wreck injuries are immediately apparent. If your condition doesn’t improve, or you experience additional symptoms, (especially head pain) you may be suffering from a traumatic brain injury. It’s not only critical to seek immediate medical attention, it’s also pertinent to know where to turn for support if the other driver was negligent.

Do you have a brain injury?

Recovering from a motor vehicle collision is often an arduous experience. The wreck itself may have caused you serious emotional trauma, from which trouble sleeping or lack of appetite may stem. However, these symptoms may also signify brain injury, so it’s important to report such issues to your doctor. The following list includes other signs of traumatic brain injury:

  • Speech problems often occur for victims of car crashes. This is often a sign of a moderate to severe brain injury.
  • Tingling sensations in limbs or numbness in any body part may also be a sign of brain trauma.
  • If you feel off-balance when you walk or as though the room is tilting or spinning, you’ll definitely want to seek immediate medical care. Vertigo often accompanies brain trauma.
  • Vision problems as well as dilated or uneven pupils are symptoms of brain trauma as well.

The blunt force impact of the crash may have jostled your brain against your skull; however, it could be hours, days or even a week before symptoms surface. It’s important that you do not ignore any sign of an underlying adverse health condition following a car wreck. It’s equally important that you know how to gather evidence and seek justice if another person’s negligence is responsible for your ill-health.

What constitutes medical malpractice in Tennessee?

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Medical Malpractice on Thursday, July 12, 2018.

We make an appointment with our doctor, make a visit to the emergency room or follow through with a recommended surgery in hopes medical professionals will make us right again. Typically, they do.

But what happens if something goes very, very wrong?

Sometimes, doctors make honest mistakes. Other times, their mistakes rise to the level of negligence. And that’s when you need to get some answers.

The term “medical malpractice” can be applied when a negligent act by a doctor, nurse or other person entrusted to provide medical treatment causes harm – not healing – to a person.

Just what is negligence?

Medical negligence can occur when a diagnosis is made in error, when the wrong treatment is provided or when an illness is managed incorrectly.

Medical malpractice laws protect patients and their right to seek compensation if a professional’s negligence causes them harm. To prove medical negligence, the injured party must prove:

  1. Injury to the patient.
  2. That a doctor-patient relationship existed.
  3. That a medical professional deviated from the proper standard of care.
  4. A connection between that deviation and the patient’s injury.

In addition, a qualified medical expert must testify what the standard of medical care in a particular case is and how the medical professional didn’t meet the standard.

If you believe you have been injured by our medical care and that you have a case for medical malpractice, you should consult with an attorney who can go over the particulars of your case and talk about avenues you might pursue. Experienced legal professionals typically can recognize the pros and cons of a medical situation right away.

How does a wrongful death case work in Tennessee?

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Wrongful Death on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Your loved one is gone. The person who always has been your rock and your emotional support, your biggest fan, isn’t there when you wake up in the morning anymore.

But once the tears stop and your friends and family go back to their regular routine after being at your side, you are alone with your thoughts.

How will you do this? How are you going to make it financially?

If your loved one has died because of the negligence or misconduct of someone else, such as a drunk driver, you could have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. In wrongful death cases, the plaintiffs typically can pursue compensation for what they’ve lost: wages from the deceased, companionship, the cost of the funeral and more.

In general, a wrongful death suit is brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate, usually by a surviving spouse, children or other immediate family members.

Tennessee, like all states, has a statute that establishes how wrongful death lawsuits can be filed.

To win a wrongful death case, the plaintiff’s side must show:

  1. That a person has died
  2. That the death occurred because of someone else’s negligence or someone else’s intention to cause harm
  3. That family members have suffered financially because of the death

Unlike in a criminal trial, where the standard of proof must be “beyond a reasonable doubt,” in a civil case it is by the “preponderance of evidence.” That is a lesser standard.

It would be wonderful if a wrongful death suit could bring back our loved ones; it can’t. All the courts can impose is a financial judgment to the defendant. While it is small consolation, a financial award can help a family get back on their feet.

If you have lost a family member and are considering a wrongful death action, we can help you, answer any questions you might have and eventually advocate for you.

Lesson 1 in the Tennessee school year: Stay safe

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Personal Injury on Thursday, August 9, 2018.

Classes are back in session in Knox County, Tennessee. Your child went back to school with a fresh haircut, new shoes and a backpack filled with supplies.

The biggest need kids have this time of year, though, is a talk with you that covers just how they can stay safe to and from school. It’s never too late to remind them of the rules of the road, whether they walk to school, ride a bike or take the bus. Cars in the school zone present a daily danger to youngsters.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), in the span between 2006 and 2015, about 300 students 18 and younger died in crashes related to getting to and from school.

While the school bus is the safest form of transportation, dangers remain. Here are some tips from the NHTSA, which advises parents to teach children to “always play it SAFE”:

  • Stay five steps away from the curb.
  • Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
  • Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
  • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

While walking to school, younger children should be accompanied by an adult. For children old enough to walk with friends, remind them of the following:

  • Walk on the sidewalk, and if there isn’t one, walk facing traffic and as far from the street as possible.
  • Pay attention at all times and don’t be distracted by friends or phones.
  • Use crosswalks.
  • Look to the left, then right, then left.

Kids who ride their bikes should follow these rules:

  • Always wear a helmet and fasten it.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay in the bike lane, where available.
  • Never use their phones or electronics while riding. Stay focused.

The new school year is always filled with promise and can be a lot of fun for kids. But safety has to be the No. 1 priority. Should the unthinkable happen and your child is injured in an accident with a vehicle while getting to or from school, you might need advice from a Tennessee attorney on how to proceed to recoup any medical bills or losses your family might suffer.

Teens, seniors involved in more accidents than any age group

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

It’s wonderful for Tennessee seniors to have their independence, thanks to their cars – until it isn’t.

According to AAA, senior citizens have good driving habits. They wear their seat belts, don’t drink and drive and stay under the speed limit. They stay off the road after dark whenever possible, avoid rush hour and stay home in bad weather.

At some point, however, seniors will reach the point that it’s time to pass the car on to the grandkids. They are more likely to be injured or killed in accidents – and to put other drivers at risk – because of age-related conditions or illnesses. Seniors are second only to teen drivers when it comes to having the highest rate of dying in a crash.

AAA reports that seniors live seven to 10 years longer than they should be driving. The organization also shared these facts about senior drivers:

  • Among people in their 70s, 80 percent have arthritis. That condition affects their joints, and some driving maneuvers – such as turning – can cause pain.
  • A reduced range of motion and weaker muscles make it difficult for seniors to perform some basic driving moves, such as pressing the accelerator, holding the steering wheel or reaching for the door.
  • More than three-fourths of drivers 65 or older say they take at least one medication, but fewer than 33 percent of them know how the medicine could affect their ability to drive.
  • By 2030, there will be about 70 million people over 65, and as many as 90 percent of them could have a driver’s license.
  • Looking back to 2009, 28 percent of the people killed in an accident with a senior citizen were occupants of other cars, pedestrians or bicyclists.

It’s a tough conversation to have, but children of parents over age 65 should talk to them about how much longer they think should drive – and keep an eye on their parents’ driving skills.

If you’re involved in an accident with a senior driver and have been injured, you are entitled to have your medical bill and lost wages – at a minimum – repaid. A Tennessee attorney who has worked with cases involving motor vehicle accidents should be consulted before you accept an insurance company’s offer to settle the case.

Tennessee shoppers: Watch your step

On behalf ofThe Myers Law Firm PLLC posted in Premises Liability on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

You set out for a day of fun with that bonus money in your pocket and head toward to your favorite Tennessee mall. There are some things you’ve put off getting, but today’s the day to make your purchases.

You walk through the mall, happily heading toward the entrance to the store of your choice, and your legs come out from under you. You feel yourself falling and put out your arm to brace your fall. You wind up on the ground, your arm in terrible pain.

Yes, it’s broken. You didn’t see the puddle on the floor ahead of you, the result of a leaky roof apparently. There’s no staff there to wipe up the water and none of those yellow triangular signs to warn you of the hazard ahead.

Incidents such as this happen at shopping centers and malls quite frequently, actually. They are the result of the failure of owners or management to address either routine or emergency issues to keep the area safe, or to warn shoppers and workers of hazards.

Shopping injuries can range from minor to serious, including death. While the rate of injuries increases around major holidays or events – think Black Friday – they can happen any time of year. The injuries can include sprains, head injuries, broken bones and even neck and spinal injuries.

These injuries may result from things such as overcrowding, shopping carts tipping over, objects falling from shelves or pallets, falling because of wet floors, poor lighting or torn carpeting.

Store owners are required to exercise care to make sure the premises are free of dangerous or hazardous conditions. For instance, stores must fix broken stairs or railings, replace burnt-out bulbs, quickly clean up spills and provide security for customers.

If you have been injured in a shopping accident, it would be wise to visit a Tennessee attorney experienced in premises liability to discuss how to recoup your losses, such as medical expenses. Property owners need to be held accountable for their negligence.

Wrongful death suits bring financial peace of mind to Tennesseans

On behalf of The Myers Law Firm PLLC posted inWrongful Death on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

You can’t put a price tag on a human life. For each family member left behind in Tennessee, the loss of someone who has passed away is one they’ll never get over.

If your loved one dies as a result of medical malpractice, an accident, an injury or someone else’s negligence, you not only have been denied companionship, love and emotional support, but you also could be losing financial support.

A wrongful death lawsuit could be appropriate in your situation.

A wrongful death case can be difficult to talk about. Some might worry others will think they are trying to profit from the death of a family member. That isn’t the case at all.

As a survivor, you must consider the costs of the funeral, medical expenses and such. Think about your kids, who have been raised in a two-income household and now find the family finances could keep them from college. Think about how you will support yourself and your family moving forward, without that second income.

A wrongful death suit isn’t a scheme to get rich. It’s a plan to survive.

The amount awarded in a wrongful death suit will depend on a number of factors, including the victim’s age and health, the number of family members to be supported, the nature of the injury or accident that led to the death and potential earning capacity.

Awards also can consider the nontangibles and attach a dollar figure for factors that include the pain and suffering the decedent endured before death, a family’s loss of love, care and comfort and the loss of a partner’s sexual intimacy.

In the face of a loved one’s death, it is tough to think about moving on. A consultation with an attorney who handles wrongful death cases could be the first step you need to take to have some clarity about how to go forward.