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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2015, 840 people were killed in the United States in December in drunk driving crashes. People may still enjoy alcohol during the holidays and make wise decisions to protect themselves and others, including the following:

  • Designating a sober driver
  • Also offering non-alcoholic beverages at parties, taking the keys from guests who are drinking, offering them a safe way home or letting them stay overnight
  • Deciding ahead of time to limit one’s alcohol intake
  • Calling 911 when observing a driver who is showing signs of impairment, such as running stop signs and driving erratically

A drunk driving crash can tragically change a person’s or family’s life in an instant. Those who are injured by intoxicated or negligent drivers may be entitled to seek compensation.

What are common injuries for different crashes?

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

One of the most common injuries with rear-end crashes is whiplash. This is due to the force of the crash pushing a person forward, causing their head to snap back in a “whip-like” motion. T-bone collisions can result in something similar.

Head-on collisions are considered among the most dangerous because your speed is amplified by the speed the other car is driving at. Common injuries include broken bones, crush injuries, and the possibility of head injury or concussion, especially if you aren’t wearing a seat belt.

If you have been involved in a crash of any kind, you’ll likely be dealing with injuries in both the short and long term. For this reason, you may benefit from the aid of a legal expert. You can also visit our webpage on car crashes, linked here, if you want more information on how to handle the aftermath.

Potentially deadly situations related to allergens

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

The Journal of Family Practice takes a look at once such case in which a girl died of anaphylaxis despite having a known allergy, discovered just one day before her death in the same emergency room. The person who administered the drug that took her life did not check to see if she had any known allergies first. She was also not given a medical allergy bracelet the day before when diagnosed with a penicillin allergy, which could have prevented the mix-up.

Those who have suffered from personal loss or lost a loved one to medical negligence may choose to pursue damages for lost wages and emotional distress. It can help ease the financial burden, leaving more room to focus on coping with the grieving process.

Determining liability for slip-and-fall injuries

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

Whose fault is it?

Whether you are on private property where you were welcomed or invited, or you are in a public place, such as a store, office building or government property, you have the right to be safe from hazards that could cause you harm. A property owner who fails to regularly monitor the environment for danger may be responsible for any injuries you might suffer as a result of a preventable fall. Personal injury claims related to slips, trips and falls are not easy to prove. Liability depends on the following elements:

  • The property owner, manager, or employees created or knew about the hazard that caused you to slip or trip.
  • The property owner was aware of the hazard but did nothing to repair it, remove it or warn you about it.
  • If the owner was not aware of the hazard, it was because he or she did not take reasonable steps to become aware of it, such as establishing a maintenance routine.

This last point may be the most difficult to prove since you will have to demonstrate to the court what the property owner should have known. Additionally, you will have to show that your own actions did not contribute to your fall. For example, the court will want to know whether you were trespassing or in an area of a building where you should not have been. Perhaps your shoes were not reasonable for the circumstances or you were texting while walking, which prevented you from seeing the hazard.

Tripping on a sidewalk, slipping on a wet floor, stumbling on a dark stairway or falling in a cluttered aisle may leave you with disabling injuries and chronic pain. Determining liability for these injuries requires skilled and methodical representation. A Tennessee attorney can provide such representation.

Viral challenge leads to car wreck

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

Netflix spokespeople responded to this incident and other minor mishaps by urging people not to take part in the Bird Box challenge. There is nothing wrong with participating in a popular activity when common sense is a part of the proceedings. When it comes to a motor vehicle, it may be best to avoid viral challenges altogether. Those who are injured as the result of other people’s negligent actions may be entitled to the compensation of their medical expenses.

Did a crash leave you with more than physical suffering?

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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 do I know if I have PTSD?

PTSD is a mental disorder that develops in people who have experienced a serious, shocking event. The fact that is it a mental disorder may be the reason why many victims of car crashes are reluctant to seek help for this often-debilitating condition. Nevertheless, among those who seek help from a mental health professional following a collision, about 60 percent receive a diagnosis of PTSD. You may also have this condition if you experience any of these symptoms after your crash:

  • Overreaction to events that remind you of the crash, such as car horns or tires screeching
  • Inability to get behind the wheel again because of fear or anxiety
  • Unreasonable alertness to potential danger
  • Flashbacks and nightmares of the crash
  • Hyper emotions, such as outbursts of anger, irritability or depression

You may be more susceptible to traumatic stress if the crash left you with life-threatening injuries, if you lost a loved one or if you struggled to get the support you needed after the incident. The symptoms of PTSD can leave you unable to function, especially if you are afraid to be in or around moving vehicles. You may be unable to sleep or appropriately interact with co-workers, friends and family.

If your PTSD symptoms resulted from a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation so you can obtain treatment for all your symptoms. You do not have to live your life in fear and anxiety. Having Tennessee legal and medical professionals to assist you can make a difference in your recovery.

Car wrecks and catastrophic burns

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

Types of burns

The American Burn Association explains that the following four types of burns can happen in a car crash:

  1. Thermal burns from the fire itself or from one of your car’s excessively hot interior surfaces
  2. Electrical burns from your car’s live wires or from a downed power line
  3. Scald burn from your car’s hot liquids such as gasoline or even from excessively hot coffee that spills on you during the crash
  4. Chemical burns from your car’s caustic fluids such as antifreeze, steering fluid, oil, transmission fluid, etc.

Degrees of burns

While medical experts categorize burns from first- to fourth-degree depending upon their severity, car crash victims almost invariably suffer third- and fourth-degree burns, the most catastrophic. (First- and second-degree burns generally result from overexposure to the sun’s rays.) Should you receive third-degree burns in your car crash, not only will your skin receive extensive injury, but so will the tissues, muscles and tendons underneath the affected burn areas. Should you receive fourth-degree burns, the damage goes even deeper, all the way to your bones. Both third- and fourth-degree burns require immediate medical assistance and intervention since they constitute life-threatening injuries.

For more information, please visit this page of our website.

What frequently endangers motorcyclists?

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

Because of the small size, motorcycles can be hard to spot, especially for people in larger vehicles. There are ways that you can make yourself more visible, such as wearing reflective gear or having bright lights. However, it doesn’t guarantee that a driver will see you, especially if they don’t check their blind spots. In order to avoid being hit, you can try to limit the amount of time you spend in the blind spot of other drivers.

Weather can also pose a danger that you can’t control. You’re more susceptible to both the terrain and weather on a motorcycle, since it’s a small and uncovered vehicle. This means that ice, sleet, snow, rain, and other dangerous conditions can not only make it harder for you to drive safely, but can amplify the dangers you usually face.

Unfortunately, even knowing the bigger sources of danger doesn’t mean you can prevent every possible crash from happening. If you have been involved in a crash and suffered from an injury, consider contacting an attorney for more information about the possibility of compensation.

Why Tennessee intersections are so dangerous

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

Driver negligence makes intersections high-risk locations

Numerous types of driving behavior are irresponsible and, in fact, may violate Tennessee traffic regulations. Such behavior also places you at great risk for serious injury. The following list includes actions you should never do while you are navigating an intersection as well as behaviors that place you at great risk when other drivers are negligent:

  • Cutting lanes: Part of intersection safety involves making sure you’re in the correct lane when you approach a crossroads. If a driver suddenly cuts across a traffic line to get into a turning lane, for instance, a collision is far more likely to occur.
  • Blind spots: If you pull up to an intersection that has multiple lanes, you want to make sure you are not in another driver’s blind spot. If the driver to your left or right can’t see you in his or her mirror, a collision might occur if that driver decides to switch lanes.
  • Traffic lights and stop signs: Intersections that have traffic lights or stop signs installed are known as secured crossroads. However, such devices only help keep travelers safe if drivers stop at the proper times.

Since there are various types of intersections, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the rules and safety regulations for roundabouts, secured and unsecured crossroads, and other navigation situations. No matter how cautious you are, however, if a negligent driver crashes into your vehicle, your life may be forever changed. Intersection collisions often lead to litigation in civil court when recovering victims seek legal accountability against those who caused their injuries.

What does medical malpractice look like?

Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 3:39 pm    

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.

In all cases, the actions (or lack thereof) have led to the suffering of the patient in question and did not meet the standards of care for that hospital, city, state, or so on. That isn’t to say that all bad outcomes are related to malpractice, however. Due to the nature of medical treatments, there are cases in which the doctor and medical staff can do everything according to standards and still have a bad outcome. This is where many people have difficulty deciding if their case involves malpractice.

If you have suffered due to medical malpractice or negligence during your time of need, take a look at our webpage here on medical malpractice. You can seek compensation for the damages you have faced, and you can get your life back on track.

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