Tennessee Injury Lawyer Blog

This is a question many people most likely have after taking that first step and hiring a personal injury lawyer after they have been injured in a car wreck. You may be thinking, I have hired the lawyer, now what happens? Hiring a personal injury lawyer to help with your case is a crucial step in getting the outcome that is most beneficial to you; however, there are more things you can do to make the meeting with your lawyer to be even more successful and to make the process as smooth as possible. Here are some of the more common things you should do to help your lawyer be able to make your case as successful as possible.• Tell your lawyer everything you know or can remember

  •  Tell your lawyer everything you know or can remember. Talking about your accident may be embarrassing because you may feel like you did something wrong but it is important that you remember to be as honest with your lawyer as possible and to tell them everything you know concerning your injury case. You are protected by attorney-client privilege, so your lawyer has to keep everything you share with them confidential. It is important to tell your lawyer all the details and events from your car wreck so they can take the facts and figure out the best way to help you. Also, this way they do not find out any information later that can be used against your case.
    • Keep all medical appointments and follow your physician’s orders
    You have obviously suffered an injury if you have contacted a personal injury lawyer, so it is important for your health and well-being as well as for your case if you keep all your appointments and do all the things the doctor tells you to do. If you don’t, this can impact your case in a negative way by showing the other side that you must not be that injured. If they do not think you are seriously injured, they will be able to deny that you need any compensation.
    • Only talk to your lawyer about your case
    If you have been hurt in an accident, it can be tempting to want to tell your friends and family all about your case. However, your insurance company is trying to find reasons not to give you the compensation you deserve and they will try to twist the things you say and do in their favor.
    • Avoid social media websites like Facebook and Twitter
    It can also be tempting to talk or post about your injuries and case online. However, the insurance company will try to use anything you post or share as a way to prove that you are not as injured or suffering as much as you claim. Posting pictures of you dancing with friends or going a trip while you have an injury claim, may impact your case in a negative way.
  • Provide your personal injury lawyer with any documents they may need for your case
    Since you have been injured, there will be paperwork and medical documents that you need to fill out for your case. It is important that you provide your lawyer with these documents as soon as possible so they will be able to meet deadlines for your case and keep your case moving along as smoothly as possible. If your lawyer is not able to receive these documents on time, this will delay your case and also any compensation you may receive.
  •  Cases can take time, be patient
    When you are injured in an accident and need compensation to pay your bills, being patient and waiting can be difficult. It is important to remember that building a case can take time because there is paperwork to do, tests to be performed, and investigating to do in order to prove that you need compensation for your claim. Your lawyer will try to make the process go as easily as possible, but if they do not have time to do all the work that needs to be done, you can lose valuable compensation that you need.
    • Ask questions
    Cases can be confusing and complex, that is why you hired a lawyer to help you. If you do not understand something, ask them. They are there to help you and guide you along the way. It is okay to ask questions or ask for updates. It is important that you know what is going on with your case.
    • Trust your lawyer
    This can be difficult to do when you are injured and you are counting on compensation to help you. However, your personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and experience that is needed to help you. It is important to trust and to listen to your lawyer. They may ask you to do or not to do something in order to help you have the best outcome for your case.

If you have been injured in a car accident, then you should contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys with the Higgins Firm. We will work with you to get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact us online or call 800.705.2121 for your free consultation.

It is disturbing to hear that a Memphis Nursing Home has so many care issues that its federal funding has been cut and residents forced to move. News sources discovered that the harsh sanction was related to deficiencies state surveyors found during a recent visit. The news source visited the facility in order to speak with an administrator after a concerned family member sent an email about the issue. An unidentified employee asked the news source to leave. The Signature Healthcare Company was then emailed and contacted by the news source.
The Signature Healthcare Company confirmed that beginning on April 11th, it would no longer be paid by the federal government or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for Medicare and Medicaid resident care. This is important because many nursing home residents and patients are receiving Medicare and the facilities get reimbursed for their care. The move by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid seems to be a disciplinary action.
Signature Healthcare’s Media Relations Manager Ben Adkins stated that instead of issuing the facility a monetary fine for the survey findings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid decided to cut the funding. “We are working through appropriate channels of recourse to try and get this rarely-used remedy changed, or at least delayed for the safety and well-being of our residents,” stated Adkins. The administrator who answered our questions at the time is no longer in that position at Saint Francis. Officials with the Tennessee State Department of Health would only say at the time, that it was related to an extended, annual survey and multiple complaint investigations.  Adkins states that the company is offering to relocate residents to other nursing homes in Memphis, including Signature facilities until the state finds the facility corrected the violations, at which time the nursing home will be eligible to receive federal funding again. Signature states that it will also transfer some of its staff to other facilities it owns in the area so no jobs are lost. According to Adkins, the company plans to inform the state as early as next week that the facility is back in compliance.
There are many nursing homes that receive fines and funding cuts due to nursing home abuse, neglect, and other violations. There are many ways nursing home abuse and neglect can be prevented. Some of these ways include providing more education and training for the staff, making sure residents that are prone to bedsores are turned or their position is changed often, paying close attention to those residents with certain nutritional or dietary needs, communicating with the family and loved ones about the care that is being given and why. It is also important that family members visit often and watch for signs of abuse such as bruising, scarring, bleeding, or signs that the loved one is quiet, withdrawn or seems easily agitated. It is important that any signs of abuse or neglect be reported.
If you believe that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, we strongly advise that you contact one of our experienced and compassionate Tennessee nursing abuse and neglect lawyers with the Higgins Firm. We care about our clients and will listen to you and work with you to see to it that you receive the compensation you may be entitled to for what your family has suffered.
Contact us online or call 800.705.2121 for your free consultation to discuss your legal needs and options.

Making the decision to file for divorce is hard. However, if you feel your marriage is beyond repair, our team of attorneys are here to assist you in the divorce process. If divorce is the right choice for you, below is an overview of how to get a divorce in Tennessee.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
In order for a couple to obtain a divorce in Tennessee, you must meet certain requirements. Tennessee law requires one of the parties to be a resident of the state for at least six months.
You must also state your grounds for divorce. In Tennessee, you must state and prove one or more of the following:
• Impotence and inability to procreate since the time of the marriage,
• Cruel and Inhuman Treatment/Inappropriate Marital Conduct;
• Bigamy,
• Adultery,
• Desertion without cause for one year,
• Conviction of an infamous crime or felony,
• Attempted the life of the other by poison or other means,
• Refusal to move to Tennessee without cause for two years,
• Wife was pregnant at the time of marriage by another person without her husband’s knowledge,
• Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotics (if began after the marriage),
• Indignities to the spouse’s person,
• Abandonment and refusal to provide for spouse, and
• Separation for two years if there are no minor children.
If, however, both spouses are in agreement as to all terms of the divorce including the divisions of assets, debts and child custody, if applicable, then the parties may proceed under the grounds of irreconcilable differences. This is called an uncontested divorce. Typically, an uncontested divorce saves both parties time and legal fees.
THE INITIAL PROCEEDINGS
After you have met the requirements to obtain a divorce in Tennessee, the initial step is to file a Complaint for Divorce. The Complaint must contain specific language or it can be dismissed. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney will provide you with a less stressful experience.
Once the Complaint has been filed, your spouse will need to be served with a copy of the Complaint. If you do not know the whereabouts of your spouse, you will still need to attempt service, and later on, motion the court for service through publication. After your spouse has been served, he/she has 30 days to file an Answer to the Complaint. A court will not grant a divorce prior to the expiration of the 30 days, regardless of the situation.
If your spouse does not file an Answer, you may motion the court for a default judgment. If the parties agree on the terms of the divorce, they may execute a Marital Dissolution Agreement and Parenting Plan, if applicable, and set the matter for a final hearing. If, however, an agreement cannot be reached, the judge will ultimately decide on the division of marital assets, debts, and custody in a trial.
CONSIDERATIONS IN A TRIAL
If your case is set for trial, having an experienced attorney at your side is invaluable. At trial, the judge will hear all the evidence, testimony from both spouses and any witnesses. When dividing marital assets and debts, the court considers numerous factors, but is ultimately charged to divide the assets and debts equitably, not equally. The court does not consider marital fault in making such a division.
Alimony may be an issue in the divorce proceedings. A court will again look at numerous factors before making an award for alimony. Unlike the division of debts and assets, a court may consider marital fault when making such an award.
If a couple has children, a court will consider many factors when making a determination of custody and visitation. Ultimately, a judge must determine what is in the best interest of the child. Child support generally cannot deviate from Tennessee’s Child Support Guidelines, but can in certain situations to either lower or raise a child support obligation.

We get this question a lot and not to sound like a lawyer but the short answer is: “It depends”.   Basically, you can’t re-open your case just because you are still having problems with your injury.   Also, just because your injury has gotten worse is not by itself grounds by itself to re-open your Tennessee Workers Compensation Case.  It is important to note, however, that if your injury is exacerbated at work you may have an entirely new work comp case so be sure to report it.   Regardless, this brings us to the factor that will often let you reopen your work comp claim.  Specifically, you can often reopen the case if through no fault of your own you lose your job after a workers compensation settlement.  This  is known as reconsideration. Here is how it works.  Under the Tennessee Workers Compensation act, if you were injured prior to July 1, 2014 and are returned to work at the same or greater rate of pay then your recovery was limited.  This provision was put in the act to give employers incentive to bring the injured employee back to work.  It can be good for both parties.  On the one hand the employee will have a job and on the other hand the employer can save some money.  To protect the employee the legislature also put an escape clause which provides that if you lose your job through no fault of your own then you can reopen you case and get the full benefits.  This may include losing your job because of lay offs or if you quit your job because you injury prevents you from continuing.  This doesn’t include your quitting to get a better job or if you are guilty of misconduct like cursing your boss out.  I recently did a show on this topic which you can watch below:

This brings us to our next important factor: TIME.  Like any Tennessee workers compensation case there are time limits.  Generally, you have between 200 weeks to 400 weeks from the date that you returned to work until the day you loose your job for a reconsideration to be available.  This time limit is dependent on whether the original injury was to a scheduled member (i.e. leg, arm) or to the body as a whole (i.e. shoulder or back).  If it was a scheduled member you have the reconsideration right for 200 weeks but if it was a whole body injury then you have the right to reconsider for 400 weeks from the day your returned to work.  Next, after you lose your job you have one your to file your claim or you are out of luck.  Unfortunately, we see a lot of people that get caught by this because they just did not know they had a right to re-open the case.

If you have a question about your right to reconsideration or any other workers compensation matter, please fee free to contact our Tennessee Workers Comp Lawyers today.  We offer free case evaluations on any work comp cases.

As in any State, Tennessee performs regular inspections of nursing homes. Some inspections reveal properly run nursing homes but on the other hand some reveal nursing homes with persistent neglect issues. Currently running through our Tennessee legislature is a bill that will protected these bad nursing homes. Specifically, the bill would prevent victims of nursing home neglect from showing the jury the results of prior inspections. The party for this bill argues that prior inspection and investigation information that details violations of state and federal regulations would unfairly influence the facility that is facing a lawsuit in a single case. They think that a case should focus on the specific underlying incident and those facts. They feel it would be unjust or unfair to site evidence of another wrongdoing, violation, or past problems. However, the real impact of the bill is that it will protect bad nursing homes not the good ones. For instance, there may be home that has been cited multiple times for neglecting patients and a jury will never know. Without this information the bad nursing homes can disguise their repeated failures as a onetime accident. So how does this law ensure better care for our most vulnerable Tennessee residents? It doesn’t. It is simply a product of nursing homes protecting their financial interest.

The party against the proposed bill also thinks that past negative violations and results of laws and regulations already put the responsibility on nursing homes to comply with the law and work to improve their quality of care for their residents. If there are more incidents of abuse or neglect that are the foundation of a lawsuit, if it is proven, would show that those nursing homes failed to meet their obligations. This is why opponents of this bill think that past violations are important as admissible evidence in order to determine if nursing home facilities are complying with the law. They think that past violations are relevant to new alleged ones.

The Senate and House versions of this bill are required to go through committees or subcommittees for debate, revision, and editing before going before the main floor for final votes. The governor also needs to sign off on the bill to make it into a law.

If you have questions as to how this proposed bill may affect your nursing home abuse lawsuit or if you think someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you should contact one of our compassionate and knowledgeable Tennessee nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers with the Higgins Firm. We will answer any questions you may have. If we determine that nursing home abuse did take place, we will work with you and fight for you to make sure the nursing home is held accountable for their actions. We will also make sure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to for what you and your loved ones have suffered.

Contact us online or call 800.705.2121 for your free consultation to discuss your legal needs and options.

Our firm is currently reviewing Zofran Birth Injury Cases. Zofran is an anti-nausea drug that was originally developed to help chemotherapy patients combat nausea. However, the drug has also often been prescribed to help with morning sickness during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the drug was never approved for this type of use and multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging that unborn children exposed to Zofran during pregnancy have an increased risk of heart defects, cleft palate, cleft lip and other congenital injuries. The suits also state that the manufacture of the drug failed to warn the medical providers and mothers about these side effects. As part of a federal civil and criminal complaint investigation, it was alleged that the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, promoted this “off-label” use despite there being no FDA approval and paid kickbacks to physicians to prescribe the drug. GlaxoSmithKline never admitted wrongdoing in its promotion of the off label use of Zofran. However, GlaxoSmithKline entered into a civil and criminal settlement in 2012 with the government which included resolution of civil claims related to the use of Zofran as well as many other allegations related to marketing of other pharmaceutical products. As part of this settlement, the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. History, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay over 3 billion ($3,000,000,000.00) dollars in fines, forfeiture and civil claim settlements and plead guilty to a three-count criminal information regarding counts of introducing misbranded drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, into commerce and the failure to report saftey data regarding another one of its drugs, Avandia, to the FDA. If you have taken Zofran during pregnancy, please feel free to call our office to discuss your options. We have also put some frequently asked questions below to give you a little more information about the claims surrounding Zofran.


I TOOK ZOFRAN WHILE PREGNANT WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Don’t panic. If you are still pregnant you should discuss any concerns you have with your doctor. He or she can explain the risks and help you with any concerns. If you had an uncomplicated birth and a healthy child then you really shouldn’t worry. I would suggest talking to your pediatrician to make sure there are no health issues such as an undiagnosed heart defect. However, if you took Zofran for morning sickness and your child was born with heart issues, a cleft lip or cleft palate we would suggest you contact our office. You should also go to your pharmacist and obtain any records you have of medications taken during pregnancy. If you have trouble getting these records we can help.

WHAT ARE THE LAWSUITS INVOLVING ZOFRAN CLAIMING?

The lawsuits against the manufacturer of Zofran, GlaxoSmithKline, set forth allegations that go far beyond just unintended injuries from the drug. The allegations include claims that GlaxoSmithKline decided to illegally market this drug while at the same time they withheld important warnings about the link between Zofran and birth defects.

WHAT IF I TOOK THE DRUG SEVERAL YEARS AGO?

As most everyone knows each state has a time limit to file a lawsuit. However, in Tennessee, the statute of limitations is tolled if the injured person is under eighteen (18) years old. As such, if your child has one of these injuries and they are nineteen (19) years old or younger, it is possible they still have a claim. As with any case, the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to put evidence together so we suggest you contact a Nashville Zofran lawyer as soon as possible.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO HIRE A ZOFRAN LAWYER

We take these cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay anything unless a recovery is made. If a recovery is made, our fee will be based upon a percentage of the money obtained plus costs incurred.
Continue Reading

The Higgins Firm is pleased to announce that Carrie LaBrec has joined the firm. LaBrec will focus her practice in the Serious Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation section of The Higgins Firm. In this role, LaBrec will aggressively prosecute client cases related to nursing home abuse and catastrophic automobile accidents cases.

“Throughout her career, Carrie has been a vigorous advocate for her clients,” said Jim Higgins, managing partner of The Higgins Firm. “Our clients will benefit from her broad understanding of the law mixed with a critical and significant hands-on trial practice.”

LaBrec gained extensive trial experience as a Metro Nashville Assistant Public Defender from 2007 through 2011. During this time, LaBrec represented clients in numerous courtroom proceedings at Criminal Court and General Sessions levels.

After working with the Public Defender, LaBrec augmented her trial work with a respected litigation firm. There, she gained several years’ experience in civil litigation, primarily handling motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, and employment law cases.

LaBrec is licensed in the State of Tennessee and Middle and Western Federal Districts of Tennessee. LaBrec is a graduate of Belmont University and Willamette University College of Law. She is an avid soccer player and a supporter of several humanitarian organizations, including National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). She formerly served as a volunteer and community resource specialist at the YWCA Domestic Violence Center

After a quick 12 years on 3rd and Broadway we have moved on down the road. Although, the move is only about one mile from our old office we have little more space and most importantly WE NOW HAVE PARKING. As we all know, parking in Nashville is no longer easy to find nor is it cheap. Regardless, we did leave a lot of good memories in our old building. It was a place where clients became friends and we watched a city grow around us. We hope that the new owners will enjoy the space as much as we did. In fact, if you are near our old building it is now a Goo Goo store so drop in and grab you one.

Our new building is located at 525 4th Ave South so if you are in the neighborhood be sure to drop by and see us.

Commercials, Billboards, Websites…. how can you pick a car accident lawyer that is right for your case? The key to choosing the right lawyer for you and your case is to do your homework. It is always good to ask around. If you know someone that has used a lawyer in a similar case ask how they liked the car wreck attorney and how their case turned out. When discussing the matter make sure to ask questions about the communication with the lawyer. Did his or her office return calls promptly? Did they keep the client informed as the case progressed? Did they include the client on decisions regarding the case?

You may also want to look at resources on the internet. Client reviews and verdict results are a great source of information. Also, how long has the lawyer been practicing and do they focus on cases like yours? Once you narrow it down to a few choices the next important step is to have a face to face meeting with the lawyer. There is really no substitute for a direct conversation. Also, when you come to the meeting come prepared. You need to be prepared to not only discuss your case with the car accident lawyer but also the lawyer’s experience. In turn, the lawyer should have some questions for you. For instance, I always ask a new client what are their expectations are about the case? What do they want from the case? I need to know that I can meet those expectations and that the client will be satisfied with the services my office can provide. To make the meeting productive you should bring the following:
– Any photographs of the accident scent, damage to vehicles and of any injuries you sustained as a result of the car wreck or other accident – A copy of your health insurance card and your automobile insurance card – A copy of the accident report. If you have not obtained this report our office can obtain it for you.
– A copy of any medical records and medical bills you may have – Any proof you may have of lost wages or other damages
Finally, when you are ready to make your choice and think there is one final yet crucial element: trust. It is difficult to describe but the needs to be a level of trust and comfort between the lawyer and client to ensure the case progresses as it should. The client needs to feel free to discuss any portion of the case with their lawyer and the lawyer needs to give straight forward and honest answers. The answers are not always easy or what the client wants to hear but these cases can be difficult and everyone involved needs to know that each can trust the other to be candid.
Continue Reading

Residents in Tennessee and people all across the country have heard about serious side effects and complications occurring after taking certain medicines such as Xarelto. We count on our medications to make us better and help our lives to be better. Unfortunately, sometimes some medications such as Xarelto can cause dangerous side effects like uncontrollable bleeding and this can lead to serious health problems or even death. If you or someone you care about has suffered serious complications or died after using Xarelto, then you should speak to a Tennessee Xarelto lawyer as soon as possible. They will hear your case and help you get the compensation that is rightfully yours for what you have been through.

 

 

In this case, plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits due to Xarelto complications have requested that a panel of federal judges consolidate all of the lawsuits in the U.S. District Court. The plaintiffs stated that the Xarelto complaints have the same or similar complaints and claim that people who used the blood thinning medication in order to help prevent a stroke or a blood clot have suffered uncontrollable bleeding or death. These lawsuits also claim that Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a part of the Johnson & Johnson Company failed to warn doctors and their patients that Xarelto has no antidote to reverse bleeding should significant bleeding events occur in patients. The Johnson & Johnson Company filed their own response urging the court to reject the plaintiffs’ request to consolidate all of the lawsuits.
Representatives for those who previously used Xarelto and their families have asked the panel to assign the fifty cases filed in fifteen different federal courts to U.S. District Judge David Herndon. If panel goes ahead with the request, Judge Herndon would manage pretrial proceedings of the Xarelto multidistrict litigation. . Bayer recommended that the judicial panel assign the Xarelto litigation to U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson who is already managing two Xarelto cases.

Xarelto is an oral medication that has been prescribed as a blood thinner and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. The FDA initially approved Xarelto in July 2011 to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients who had knee or hip replacement surgery. In November 2011, the FDA expanded the use of Xarelto to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation. As it announced the expanded approval of the drug, the FDA also stated that Xarelto was the first drug since warfarin was approved 60 years ago to treat and prevent the recurrence of blood clots. The FDA approved the use of warfarin also known as Coumadin and Jantoven as a blood thinner in 1954. However, warfarin has vitamin K as an antidote; Xarelto does not have an antidote to stop bleeding should a significant bleeding event occur in patients using Xarelto.

The plaintiffs in this case stated that the aggressive marketing and promotion efforts of Bayer and Janssen helped to increase the sales of Xarelto. The plaintiffs, however, claim that the increased sales also contributed to the mounting number of serious adverse events associated with Xarelto. The plaintiffs’ motion stated that there were 1,080 serious Xarelto-related events, which included 65 deaths, reported to the FDA in the year leading up to June 30, 2012. By the end of 2012, there were 2,081 new serious adverse Xarelto events reported to the FDA. Of those reported, 151 resulted in death, compared to only 56 deaths associated with warfarin.
Continue Reading

Contact Information