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Johnson City Legal Issues Blog

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Tennessee residents have much to look forward to in the month of December, from going to holiday office parties to spending time with their family and friends. A serious injury in a drunk driving crash should never be one of the memorable events of the holiday season.

Unfortunately, collisions involving intoxicated drivers during the holidays have become such as pervasive problem that the White House has designated December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Why during the holiday season? People tend to drink more during holiday festivities, whether at a bar, a restaurant, the workplace party or the homes of relatives and friends. Unsurprisingly, many people choose to drive home when they should not be behind the wheel.

What does medical malpractice look like?

As a Tennessee resident who has recently suffered damages during, before, or after a medical procedure, you may be wondering: is this a result of medical malpractice? Did negligence lead to this outcome? The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC, are here to help define medical malpractice so you know what to look for.

Medical malpractice, at its most basic definition, is the failure of medical practitioners to meet "acceptable standards of care". The causes of malpractice can vary. In one case, it might be due to negligence because the hospital staff is overworked and tired. In another case, it could be a staff actively cutting corners to try to lower costs. In certain cases, members of medical staff may be intentionally neglectful or even abusive toward patients.

Why Tennessee intersections are so dangerous

It's logical to assume that if you are alert and cautious behind the wheel every time you drive, you increase your chances of safely arriving at your intended destinations. Numerous types of roadway situations can increase your risk of injury, such as intersections. In fact, approximately half of all motor vehicle collisions in Tennessee and across the country occur at crossroads.  

Even if you see potential danger at an intersection, you may not be able to react quickly or safely enough to avoid a problem. Another driver's negligence may turn your otherwise safe and uneventful car trip into a disastrous situation. The more you know about intersection safety, the better; it's also good to know where to seek medical and legal support if you suffer an injury in an intersection collision.  

What frequently endangers motorcyclists?

As a motorcyclist traversing the roads of Tennessee, you know that the roadway risks you face can be harmful or even potentially deadly. In order to protect yourself when riding, it's important to have an understanding of where your biggest threats are coming from.

Ride Apart takes a look at the objective dangers involved with riding a motorcycle, focusing on the issues that aren't within the control of the rider. These issues primarily revolve around visibility to other drivers, as well as the actions of those you share the road with.

Car wrecks and catastrophic burns

At the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates PLLC in Tennessee, many of our clients have received serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident. Should you suffer burns in a fiery crash, these are some of the most catastrophic injuries that car wrecks produce.

The combination of your car’s enclosed space plus the numerous parts, liquids and interior surfaces that could become hot enough to burn you make for a deadly combination. Even if you survive such a crash, the effects of your burns could remain with you for the rest of your life.

Did a crash leave you with more than physical suffering?

A motor vehicle crash is a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. If you have recently been in a collision, you don't need to be told that your life is not the same. Whether you suffered catastrophic injuries, lost a loved one or escaped with minor wounds, the event itself may have changed you.

Even if your injuries are healing and your prognosis is good, you may be experiencing other symptoms you are embarrassed to talk about. Perhaps you are having nightmares or anxiety attacks when you never dealt with these problems before the crash. If this sounds familiar, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of your crash. PTSD is treatable, but it is important that you seek help before the symptoms interfere with your quality of life.

How much driving can a trucker do each day?

When you drive a truck in Tennessee, you may sometimes think you are up to driving for another hour or so. Regardless of how tired you are, though, you typically have to pull over after driving for so many hours. This is because trucking regulations dictate how long you can drive each day.

Truck drivers can usually be on the road for 14 consecutive hours at a time. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these hours are not typically based on the number of hours in a day. Instead, this rule means that you can be on the road for 11 hours in a 14-hour time period. You generally need to stay off the road for 10 successive hours after meeting this time limit. This 14-hour limit typically includes the time you take to lie down for a nap or eat your lunch. If you drive a truck with a sleeper berth, these 14 hours may sometimes be extended. If you sleep in the berth for at least 8 straight hours, this time usually is not considered part of the 14-hour time limit.

Congratulations to Tony Seaton, Tri-Cities Pro Bono Hall of Fame

Seatonprobonoaward.jpegLegal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) hosted its annual Tri-Cities Celebration of Pro Bono Service on Thursday, August 23 at the Tipton Haynes historical site in Johnson City. The event celebrates Upper East Tennessee attorneys who participate in LAET's Pro Bono Project by donating their time and skill to provide civil legal services. Special awards were given for "Access to Justice," "Excellence in Pro Bono" and "Above & Beyond."

This year, the celebration included the induction of the inaugural member of the Tri-Cities Pro Bono Hall of Fame. That inaugural member was Tony Seaton of the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC. Moreover, the hall of fame itself will be named the Seaton Hall of Fame in Tony's honor.

Nashville motorcycle crash highlights left-turn dangers

Motorcycle enthusiasts in Tennessee and elsewhere are aware of the many unique hazards they face every time they ride. While dangers frequently present themselves in the form of adverse weather or poor road conditions, other drivers are a major risk for bikers.

As discussed numerous times previously, drivers of passenger cars and trucks often have difficulty seeing motorcycles in traffic. They may be unaccustomed to sharing the road with smaller, faster vehicles or not paying attention for motorcyclists. As RideApart explains, other drivers show up more than once in a list of the 10 most common motorcycle crash types. Bikers may be interested in learning that the top cause of motorcycle wrecks involves another driver turning left in the bike’s path.

Can nursing bullying result in medical malpractice?

There are pecking orders in many industries. You and other Tennessee residents might be surprised to learn that bullying is quite common in nursing. In fact, most nurses may experience or witness bullying to some degree at least once during their careers. The unfortunate fact is that being bullied or bullying others on the job can significantly affect the quality of patient care.

The Journal of Emergency Medical Services explains that numerous surveys of health care workers indicated that the job performance of bullied nurses is often negatively impacted, and patients’ safety and well-being is often put at risk. Also, the data revealed that the health care industry is rife with bullying, more than any other industry in the country.

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