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Johnson City Legal Issues Blog

Tennessee crash results in juveniles' injuries and death

Parents in Tennessee often worry about their children on the road, whether they are driving a vehicle or riding as a passenger in a car that a peer is operating. The concerns are often whether or not teen drivers have the necessary maturity, experience, judgment and skill to cope with hazardous situations that may arise on the road.

Approximately two weeks ago, three teenage girls were traveling west on White Flats Road in Dayton, Tennessee, on a Wednesday evening. One of the girls, a 15-year-old freshman at a local high school, was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, resulting in her ejection from the vehicle when it rolled over several times after going off the road on the right side and into a ditch, where it hit an embankment. She later died at an area hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. The girls in the front seat, a driver and passenger, reportedly received injuries, though the extent or severity thereof is not known.

Are people sometimes released too early from the hospital?

We place a great deal of trust in our medical professionals, especially if we go to the hospital. You and other Tennessee residents should have confidence that when you are released from your hospital stay, you are ready to go home to finish your recovery.

Unfortunately, many people are not ready to leave the hospital when they are discharged, according to some health advocates. U.S. News & World Report explains that most modern hospital stays are less than a week in length. This can be due to advances in medical care and doctors’ worries that staying too long in the hospital exposes you to serious pathogens. However, some experts claim that one in five people are released from the hospital having at least one vital sign instability, which can be a serious sign that they can be readmitted or even die within a month.

Major crashes on interstate result in deaths, delays

Crashes in Tennessee involving commercial trucks can affect large numbers of people. Some of the effects may be short-term, i.e., a temporary traffic delay, while others can have more permanent consequences that affect the lives of those involved in the collision and/or their family members for years to come. 

Three known deaths, as well as widespread traffic delays, resulted from two separate multi-vehicle crashes in Arkansas last Friday. Though occurring along the same stretch of Interstate 40 between Forrest City and West Memphis, the two wrecks occurred approximately 2 1/2 hours apart from one another. There does not seem to be any evidence of a relationship between the causality of either collision to the other, although details as to what caused both crashes are not currently available. 

Can a back injury affect your quality of life?

Tennessee motorcyclists have to share the road with a lot of big vehicles. This can potentially be a big problem, considering the impact a motorcyclist will face in a crash compared to those in larger, more protected vehicles. Back injuries can be somewhat common, and they may have far-reaching consequences you don't think to anticipate.

Back injuries can range from what is considered relatively mild, all the way up to the possibility of paralysis due to spinal damage. On the more mild side of the spectrum, there are muscle tears and sprains, as well as possible bone breaks. Fortunately, breaking the spine doesn't mean the spinal cord will be damaged.

Beware of drunk drivers: They place your life at risk

Perhaps you're the type of person who believes in the old adage, "to each his own." Maybe you consider yourself quite open-minded when it comes to clothing styles, taste in music or religious affiliation. However, some issues in life are definitely more black-and-white, and less gray. For instance, you don't have to say much to convince someone that it is wrong to get behind the wheel of a car to drive while intoxicated.

Not only is intoxicated driving a crime in Tennessee and all other states, it places the life of the driver and any passenger, other motorists or pedestrians nearby at risk, too. Every time you drive a car, you must not only adhere to all traffic and safety regulations, you should also try to remain as alert and cautious as possible to reduce your chances of becoming involved in a collision. The problem is there's nothing you can do about another driver's behavior.

What are the 3 most common motorcycle injuries?

As a Tennessee bike rider, you know the joys of the open road. You also know, however, that motorists do not always give you and your bike the respect you deserve on the open road.

Even when you wear protective equipment and clothing, you still place yourself at risk every time you ride your bike. OurEverydayLife.com warns that the three most common injuries you are likely to suffer in a motorcycle accident are the following:

  1. Head injuries
  2. Bone breaks
  3. Road rash

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.

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