Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Shelby County, Tennessee is one of the most populous counties in the state. It should come as no surprise that each year, Shelby County ranks high in terms of motor vehicle accidents, compared to other counties. In 2017, Shelby County ranked #1 in Tennessee with a total of 37,602 car wrecks. Shelby County also boats the highest 10-year average from 2007-2017, with an average of 33,852 auto accidents per year.

In the greater Memphis area, the top causes of car accidents are typically drunk driving, distracted driving, failure to yield right of way, speeding, and failure to keep in proper lane. Of all 2017 accidents in Shelby County, nearly 20% involved at least one form of distracted driving, which can include talking on a cell phone, looking down at GPS, and texting while driving.

If you are involved in a car wreck in Memphis or the Mid-South, safety should be your top priority. There are steps that can be taken to look out for your legal rights and make sure they are protected. Of course, contacting an experienced car accident attorney in Memphis can go a long way towards accomplishing that goal. However, here are steps you can take to help yourself.

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“Flu Season” often runs November through May, and for the 2018-2019 season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates between 163-168 million doses of the flu vaccine will be administered. The flu, or influenza, is a respiratory illness that is contagious. It attacks cells in the body by spreading through one’s respiratory tracts. Symptoms of the flu include aches all over the body, fatigue, muscle weakness, and fever.

Side Effects of the Flu Shot

Some of the most common side effects that you can suffer from after being vaccinated are soreness, redness, headaches, fatigue, fever, and nausea. An allergic reaction may be possible too, and signs of that include difficulty breathing, severe swelling, dizziness, fast heartbeat, and wheezing.

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ThinkstockPhotos-505686606Multiple news outlets are reporting a bus accident in Desoto County, Mississippi, earlier today that has left at least 26 people injured and 2 people deceased. The bus was traveling on Interstate 269 near the U.S. 78 exit when it was rear-ended by another vehicle. Icy conditions were present, per authorities. As a result of being rear-ended, the bus ended up flipping over.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene, as approximately 45 people were on the bus. Around 26 people were injured (including 3 in serious condition), and 2 suffered fatal injuries. Of the injured parties, at least 19 passengers were sent to Baptist Desoto and 7 more were sent to Baptist Collierville. According to a spokesperson for Baptist, the bus, operated by Alabama charter bus company Teague VIP Express was traveling from Huntsville, Alabama, and the passengers ranged in age from 40-70 years old.

Common carriers such as charter buses must follow rigorous standards put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These federal laws regulate bus company and driver conduct such as vehicle maintenance, driver training, and mandatory driver rest. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Teague VIP Express is based in Anniston, Alabama, authorized to carry passengers.

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Bird scooters are all the buzz in Memphis these days. In June 2018, Bird and the City of Memphis reached an agreement to bring the California-based startup to the Bluff City, marking the 15th United States city for Bird. Memphians who want to use a Bird scooter can rent them from Bird’s smartphone app and pick them up and drop them back off at designated spaces, which initially will be Downtown, Midtown, Cooper-Young, Uptown and South City. Proponents of these scooters tout additional mobility options for Memphis residents and tourists. But what happens if you get into an accident while riding a Bird scooter?

Safety Is Most Important

Members of the Memphis City Council are excited about Bird and what it could mean to Memphis. City Councilman Kemp Conrad described the move as “Memphis being an innovative, nimble and busy, friendly city.” Of course, with more scooter traffic comes safety concerns, and the top priority is always to keep citizens safe. For example, one condition of Bird entering Memphis is a requirement that Bird launch a citywide marketing and targeted community outreach to educate the public as to how to safely operate and maneuver these electric scooters.

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Each year, legislators from all states introduce proposed bills in an effort to better their particular state, and Tennessee is no different. Throughout legislative sessions, proposed bills are introduced among a wide range of topics, including healthcare, motor vehicles, watercraft, child custody, drug offenders, constitutional rights, firearms, public contracts, taxes, and real estate. Through the voting procedures of the state, many of these bills get signed into law. In Tennessee, more than 150 bills became law effective July 1, 2018. Here is a summary of all of the new Tennessee laws. Below are a few that apply specifically to public safety:

  • Boating laws – Bill SB1335 affects boating across Tennessee’s bodies of waters, including numerous lakes where people like to enjoy holidays. One new requirement is that any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must obtain a boating education certificate before renting a boat. If a resident from another state wishes to rent a boat in Tennessee, that individual must present a boating education certificate from his or her home state.
  • Proof of motor vehicle registration – Bill SB0727 will now allow people to show evidence of proper title and registration of their motor vehicle via electronic formats. These formats could include cell phones or similar electronic devices such as tablets.
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All parents want to have a healthy baby, but sometimes it is simply out of their control. Statistics show that out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, between 6 to 8 of them will be born with some type of birth injury. Birth injuries can have a lasting effect on the infant as well as the infant’s parents and family members.

What Is a Birth Injury?

Birth injuries commonly arise due to physical pressure during the birthing process. This typically happens in or around the birth canal. Sometimes, an infant will suffer injuries that simply heal themselves and resolve without the need for any medical treatment or future procedures. Others are not as lucky.

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Summer is out in full force. Cookouts, vacations, breaks from work and school – entertainment options are all over the place. In Southeastern areas like Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri, a popular activity is a trip to the lake. On any body of water, you may see boats and jet skis. Boating activities can be fun, whether we are fishing, water skiing, tubing, or just relaxing. However, safety should always be the top priority, as boat accidents are on the rise.

Boating Accident Statistics and Causes

According to the American Boating Association, 2016 saw 4,463 boating accidents, the highest number since 2012. Of these accidents, there were 2,903 injuries and 701 fatalities. All in all, these accidents caused nearly $49 million in property damage. The 2016 statistics unfortunately show troubling trends when compared to 2015 – there were 7.3% more accidents, 12% more deaths, and 11.1% more injuries in 2016.

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Like all states, the Volunteer State sees its fair share of motor vehicle accidents. Accidents can cause one’s life to flip upside down in the blink of an eye. While some victims are fortunate in that the wreck causes little to no damage to anyone’s vehicle or property, others are not nearly as lucky. Catastrophic accidents can cause permanent injuries or even death. The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security works to protect Tennesseans and reduce motor vehicle crashes, which includes providing driver education and keeping track of statistics.

2017 Tennessee driving statistics were recently released, and they yielded interesting results. For starters, there were a total of 208,104 motor vehicle crashes statewide, with 50,174 deemed to have caused an injury. Of course, these would only include injuries reported at the scene, so this figure is likely much higher considering some motor vehicle accident related injuries can take hours, days, or longer to develop. The total accident figure is an increase from 2016, when 206,404 wrecks were reported. While accidents saw a slight increase from 2016 to 2017, these figures represent a stark increase from 2008, when 159,214 accidents were reported.

In 2017, fatal car accidents slightly increased from 2016, going from 1,037 to 1,040. July was the deadliest month, with 120 fatal crashes. This can likely be attributed to the 4th of July, a holiday that typically sees a higher rate of drunk driving. 83 of the fatal crashes in 2017 involved teen drivers, compared to 103 in 2016. While teen driving fatalities decreased, the opposite occurred to seniors aged 65 and older. In 2017, 250 seniors were involved in deadly accidents, compared to 231 in 2016. Pedestrian fatalities also increased from 2016, going from 110 to 134.

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Car accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. However, when bad weather is involved, the chances of a wreck taking place increase exponentially. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 22% of auto accidents each year occur in bad weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, heavy winds, or ice. On average, 73% of weather-related wrecks occur on wet pavement, 46% when it is raining, 17% during snow or sleet, and 13% on icy pavement.

Between 2005-2014, there were more than 1.2 million weather related car accidents across the United States. In these accidents, more than 445,000 people suffered injuries, and nearly 6,000 involved lost their lives. These are troubling statistics no matter how you read them, but they are even more concerning when considering most could have been prevented through exercising caution.

To recover for your losses following a car accident, you will likely need to show the other driver acted negligently. Negligence is generally defined as the failure to act reasonably under the circumstances. Generally speaking, drivers always owe other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others a legal duty to act reasonably, exercise caution, and drive safely. In the context of bad weather, additional precautions are typically needed.

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According to a recent report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the number of traffic citations issued to Hamilton County drivers decreased for the 5th year in a row in 2017. For example, in 2012, police officers in Chattanooga wrote 6,776 tickets for speeding and 1,653 tickets for seatbelt violations. In 2017, officers only wrote 2,119 speeding tickets and 378 seatbelt violation tickets. On a similar note, tickets for red light violations dropped from 668 to 280.

With tickets going down, that must mean more people are choosing to follow the rules of the road, right? Not so fast. The Chattanooga Police Department has provided several reasons why traffic citations are declining in the area. The first concerns officer discretion. A supervisor of the Chattanooga Police Department’s traffic division stated police officers have discretion when it comes to issuing tickets and citations. For example, if an officer pulls someone over for speeding, he or she can issue a verbal warning instead of writing a ticket. Since the police department wants to always encourage safe driving, some officers believe that having a conversation with the offender and providing a verbal warning can do more to prevent violations in the future than writing that person up with a citation.

Police attrition may also be linked to less tickets being issued. Losing officers has been a problem for many municipal police departments over the year, and the issue is no stranger to Chattanooga. According to the Chattanooga Police Department, between three and four police officers leave the department each month, on average, with some being transferred to new divisions and others leaving the force altogether.

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