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Johnson City Legal Issues Blog

Are punitive damages available in TN car wreck cases?

The purpose of punitive damages today is not to compensate the plaintiff but rather, to reprimand the offender and to discourage the offender and others from committing comparable wrongs in the future. The Tennessee courts are in the habit of awarding punitive damages in select car wreck cases, but not all. If you sustained serious injuries in a Tennessee automobile collision, you may wish for the courts to punish the defendant by forcing him or her to pay you punitory damages. Whether or not they will do so depends on a number of factors.

According to CaseText, in the evaluation of the 1992 case Hodges v. S.C. Toof & Co., the Tennessee courts reexamined and modified the manner in which they would award punitive damages in the future. While it did not modify to whom a jury may award punitive damages, it did change what plaintiffs must prove to receive exemplary damages.

Pedestrian killed by cement truck in Nashville

When it comes to truck wrecks, large semis are often attributed to these devastating incidents. However, trucks of any size, ranging from big rigs to construction vehicles and delivery trucks, can cause a tragic collision. Tennessee residents are not only in danger from trucks on high-speed freeways – trucks can pose a hazard to others on smaller city streets and in parking lots, as well.

A recent crash involving a pedestrian in Nashville illustrates this point. As Fox 17 News reported, a 66-year-old man was crossing a road when a cement truck turning left struck him. He later died in the hospital. The truck driver told authorities that he was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian after he noticed him crossing. Authorities have not yet determined whether the truck driver or the pedestrian had the right of way.

Viral challenge leads to car wreck

Online “challenges” that go viral can be fun for many people in Tennessee and elsewhere, especially the younger crowd. These such challenges have become a part of popular culture in the United States, and they are frequently posted online for others’ amusement. However, it is important to use common sense when participating in a viral challenge. Many of these activities, such as the notorious “Tide Pod challenge,” have resulted in injuries.

Recently in Utah, a 17-year-old girl reportedly wrecked her car when driving blindfold and participating in the latest online challenge craze. The “Bird Box challenge,” modeled after events in the Netflix movie Bird Box, involves participants blindfolding themselves and doing everyday activities. The Bird Box challenge and others like it can be harmless when people take the necessary precautions and avoid putting themselves or others in danger. However, according to CBS News, the driver and a teenage passenger apparently decided it would be a good idea to try the challenge while driving blind. Not surprisingly, they collided with another vehicle. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Determining liability for slip-and-fall injuries

When you think of injuries from a fall, you may think of someone falling from a height, such as a construction worker. However, tripping and slipping resulting in a fall can occur at any time, especially when property owners are not diligent about eliminating hazards from their property.

An uneven pavement, an exposed tree root or an object left in your pathway may cause you to fall forward, damaging your knees, arms or face. A slip on a slick surface may send you backward, injuring your spine or head. Injuries in these types of falls may be minor at best, but in an instant, such a fall can lead to life-changing or deadly injuries.

Potentially deadly situations related to allergens

Tennessee residents are often in good hands when they check themselves in to a medical clinic. However, there are some instances in which mistakes or the overlooking of information can result in severe injury or even loss of life. Today, we will take a look at deadly allergic reactions.

According to FindLaw, allergens actually comprise a fairly notable part of medical malpractice or negligence cases. They can occur in two ways, usually. In one, a known allergy of a patient is either missed or ignored and a drug they are allergic to is administered. In the other, a person doesn't have a known injury but a substance is known to cause allergic reactions. Despite that, the patient is not tested before administration, or given an alternative medication. In either case, the subsequent allergic reaction can lead to swelling, hives, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and even brain damage, anaphylactic shock, or death.

What are common injuries for different crashes?

As a driver in Tennessee, you understand that there are plenty of risks to sharing the road with other cars. Crashes are a major risk, and each type of crash comes with its own set of common injuries. At the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC, we're here to help illuminate the differences.

First, we'll look at three of the main types of collisions: T-bone, rear-end, and head-on. T-bone crashes occur when one car hits the side of another straight-on, making a "T" shape. Head-on crashes are, as the name implies, crashes that happen when two cars going in opposite directions run directly into each other. Finally, rear-end collisions happen when one car hits another from behind.

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.

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