Articles Posted in automobile accidents

We have a duty to care for others in almost anything that we do. Whether it is going out for a walk on the sidewalk, eating dinner in a restaurant, or going out for a drive, we have an expectation that people will comply with the duty of safety and care to others. Unfortunately, there are many times when people breach their duty to others. This breach of duty can often lead to serious injuries or even death. Negligence is a legal claim that is used to describe those who have been injured by a failure to care for others in the same way that a reasonable person would have done so. If you have been injured as a result of negligence, we encourage you to contact our Tennessee injury attorneys.

A Nashville family recently lost their father as a result of the alleged negligence of two construction companies. On February 5, Gary English, age 75, was heading to meet some friends for dinner after finishing up a game of tennis. Mr. English hopped on his Honda motorcycle and drove toward Brown’s Diner, a popular dining establishment in the Hillsboro Village area. While driving along Chesterfield Avenue, close to the intersection of Blair Boulevard and Sharondale Drive, English ran his bike into a hole in the road. The unmarked hole in the road was located near a subdivision of new homes being built.

Upon driving into the hole on his bike, Mr. English lost control of his bike and hit a metal guardrail before striking the trailer hitch of a parked truck. Mr. English was then taken to the hospital with serious spine, brain, and other injuries. He died four days later.

The lawsuit alleges that there were not any warning lights, barricades, or signs indicating that there was a hole in the street. The attorney representing the English family stated, “There was nothing at all to alert Mr. English to the fact that a substantial portion of the roadway had been dug out and left unrepaired on a dark street. The plaintiffs will attempt to show that the actions of the defendants breached a duty of care to those traveling on the excavated road. The plaintiffs will attempt to show that a reasonably prudent person would not have acted in the same way.

The suit names J2K Builders and Wieland Contracting as the defendants in the case. The defendants had been involved with the construction and planning of the new neighborhood as well as the road work at the scene of the accident. The lawsuit claims that J2K Builders and Wieland Contracting acted negligently in not protecting the excavated road in a sufficient manner. The suit also claims that the defendants did not comply with local laws that govern public roads. Brought forth on behalf of Mr. English by his children, the lawsuit is seeking up to $3 million in damages.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average rate that a pedestrian is killed in an accident is one pedestrian related death every two hours. The rate a pedestrian is injured is every eight minutes. Also, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian related car accident and been injured or died, then you should speak to a Tennessee pedestrian car accident and personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will hear your case and see to it that you receive the compensation you need for what you have suffered.

In this case, comedian Russell Brand is being sued for running over a pedestrian with his car in an accident that took place in January 2012. The victim Victor Sneed is asking for $185,000 in damages in a new lawsuit filed against the actor, citing bodily injuries to his hand, arm and hip after a run-in with Brand. Snide previously sued Russell in October 2012 for $25,000 in the same accident, but appears to have upped his claim since then. In January, Brand shot back at Sneed, stating that injuries incurred from the accident were the “direct, proximate and sole result” of his own “physical bodily condition and constitutional composition,” according to court documents.

The CDC also reports that, pedestrians can help prevent injuries and even death from car accidents if they are especially careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street, if they crease their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing, and finally if whenever it is possible, pedestrians should cross the street at a designated crosswalk. It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if pedestrians must walk in the street, they should walk facing traffic.
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Our Tennessee Auto Accident Lawyers have handled all sorts of cases over the past 20 years. However, the rise of cases resulting from people texting and driving is border line epidemic. We recently spoke about this problem on TN mornings:

 

 

As more evidence of the problem you can look at the government statistics below:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of drivers who use cell phones (texting or emailing) increased to 0.9% in 2010.
The percentage of drivers using a cell phone while holding it to their ears was 5% in 2010 The level of hand-held cell phone use was higher among women drivers than men drivers.
Drivers between the ages 16 to 24 are more likely to use a hand-held telephones hone.
More than three-quarters reported that they were likely to answer calls on all, most, or some trips while driving. They also said that they rarely consider traffic situations when deciding to use their cell phones.
There were 3,092 deaths in distraction-related car wrecks in 2010, but the number is probably much higher.
Most drivers said they are willing to answer a call or text while driving, but most of these same drivers said they would feel unsafe as a passenger in a car where the driver was sending or receiving text message Continue Reading

Several years has passed since we first heard about the sudden acceleration accidents occurring with Toyota cars. Since then hundreds of personal injury lawsuits have been filed. There has yet to be determined a clear answer as to was the cause of these accidents. Some experts have suggested it was the wrong sized floor mat, others say it was a problem with the electronic acceleration system and still others say it was just driver error. Regardless, it has been the position of the victim’s product recall lawyers that the car should stop when you stomp on the break no matter what caused the acceleration.

Recently a couple of these defective car cases have settled. I recently gave an interview discussing these cases which you can watch below:


 
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According to Fox 12 news, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has a million dollar lawsuit he was faced with after a December 2011 car accident that occurred while he was serving a two day suspension after a Thanksgiving stomping incident.

he terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Suh’s lawyer owed something to Saadia Van Winkle for the injuries suffered as a result of the car accident; however, the parties did disagree on the extent of the damages.

In Tennessee and all across the country, many people unfortunately get into accidents with cars that result in serious injury for the people involved. These accidents can occur for many reasons including but not limited to the involvement of drugs or alcohol, just not watching the traffic signals, or being distracted by someone else in the car. Whatever the reason for the car crash, if you or someone you know has been injured as a result of any type of auto accident, you should speak with a Tennessee auto accident and personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will hear your case and work with you to make sure you receive the compensation you may be entitled to.
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Senseless Tennessee car accident cases that involve alcohole have seem to become common place. The anger directed at these avoidable tragedies is often reflected in the jury awards According to this case, Duane Arlen Clark struck Keara Kroelinger after she was stopped at a light and pulled out when it turned green. Clark was said to have had high levels of Xanax and prescribed methadone in his system when he ran the light in his pickup truck hitting Kroelinger’s car.

The jury took ninety minutes to decide the verdict in this case. The judgment was against Clark who is now serving a prison sentence of fifteen years after pleading guilty to manslaughter. The family of Kroelinger was awarded $13 million in punitive damages. Charles Kroelinger, the victim’s father, stated that he intends to use the money he received from the verdict to set up an education fund in Keara Kroelinger’s name because she was attending graduate school and pursing a master’s degree in psychology before the accident occurred.
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Car accidents can result in even more serious injuries when the vehicles may not have been properly tested by their manufacturers. the parents of fifteen Skylar Carpenter filed a Tennessee Auto Accident lawsuit against General Motors and her school district after Skylar was killed in a motor vehicle accident in February of 2011. According to the lawsuit, she was a passenger in a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban driven by school teacher Debra Holcombe, along with five other students, who were on their way to an FFA competition in San Antonio. Holcombe was traveling south when she lost control of the vehicle which veered off the road multiple times and skidded into the culvert before becoming airborne and flipping several times.

According to the lawsuit, Skylar Carpenter’s parents are claiming that General Motors was negligent in their design, manufacture, and assembly, marketing and testing of the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban calling it “unreasonably dangerous and defective.” The lawsuit also claims that General Motors knew the vehicle failed to provide adequate occupant protection in a rollover, failed to provide adequate restraint throughout the entire accident, and violated the principles of crash worthiness by not providing proper restraint and by not preventing ejection, and for failing to conduct adequate testing or proper engineering analysis. Also, the lawsuit claims that side airbag failed to perform as designed because it became stuck or ensnared on the curtain rod, it failed to provide ejection mitigation, failed to provide proper restraint, failed to prevent ejection and the seat belt buckle failed to provide proper restraint and unlatched which rendered other safety systems ineffective. The lawsuit states that Skylar was properly restrained but the restraint system failed to protect her as she was ejected from the vehicle.

The lawsuit against the school district claims that the accident would not have occurred had Debra Holcombe, employed by the school district, not been negligent. This lawsuit claims that unknown reasons caused Holcombe to lose control of the vehicle which resulted in Skylar’s death. Both lawsuits are seeking damages for disfigurement, physical and emotional pain, torment, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, loss of companionship and society, loss of consortium, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, interest and court costs.
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In Tennessee the legislature is pushing a new agenda of tort reform to make Tennessee a more “business friendly” state. However, is this agenda putting our citizens at risk? One was to see the results of tort reform is to consider cases against the government. Since they right the laws they have benefited from its own tort reform for years. A case just came out of the court of appeals that I think is a good example of what happens when companies or the government have no fear of legal repercussions.

According to this case, Lori Gregory’s son, James Ballentine, died on May 10, 2010, after a rollover automobile crash in Tennessee on Springfield Highway, minutes from the Robertson County line. While ambulances across that line sat ready and within two to three minutes, Metro dispatched Davidson County ambulances, which took ten to fifteen minutes to arrive. Gregory filed a lawsuit against Metro arguing that it should have called nearby Ridgetop or Greenbrier for help.

According to the Tennessee Court of Appeals however, “Metro had no duty to summon or call for aid outside of its jurisdiction even if that aid was much closer.” This case could set a precedent in Tennessee because it’s the first case to deal with emergency responders’ duty to seek outside aid if it is closer. Gregory could appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court; however, she stated she probably won’t, after having spent most of her life savings on the legal battle already.
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Last month there was a horrible bus crash in East Tennessee involving a school bus. The crashed and rolled with 39 students on board. This week the insurance company for the school system tendered a check for $700,000.00 into the court to be disbursed among the 39 students. This check is to cover all of the children’s damages including medical bills. According to reports, at least 18 children where admitted to the hospital. It is doubtful that the $700,000.00 will cover all of the medical bills.

So why $700,000.00? Why not at least pay all of the medical bills? The reason is the government has drafted laws that limit its liability no matter how significant the negligence or how much damages were incurred. Seems strange that an entity that has a budget that had a budget of $30.2 billion last year will limit the amount it will have to pay for medical bills. So how will this work for the families? Will the kids receive anything for their injuries? Maybe.

Currently under the law in Tennessee we have a provision called the made whole doctrine. This is very important in Tennessee Accident Cases. The reason is all health insurance contracts have a “subrogation” provision. This basically says that if your health insurance company pays your medical bills and someone else is responsible then you must pay the health insurance back from any money received. However, under Tennessee Law if you are not made whole by the injury settlement then you may not have to pay your health insurance back from the money you received. Accordingly, in this case if the children were fortunate to have health insurance pay their bills and there is not enough money to make them whole they may be able to keep some money from the injury settlement instead of it all going to the insurance company. This will likely be the biggest fight in the case. It always is when thee is not enough money to pay for the damages caused by someones negligence.
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A tragic automobile accident lawsuit recently resolved with Disney giving the family some closure. According to this case, nine-year old, Chase Brubaker was riding his bicycle when he was hit and killed by a Walt Disney World bus in April 2010 at the Disney Fort Wilderness Resort. The patrol investigators determined that the bus driver was not at fault and no charges were filed. Investigators concluded that Chase was “solely responsible” for the accident. They also stated that his bicycle had a flat tire and an under inflated front tire that could have contributed to the crash.

Chase’s mother filed an auto-negligence lawsuit against Disney and the bus driver in October 2010. A Disney spokeswoman stated that the lawsuit was settled last month. Terms were not disclosed.
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