Wrong-Way Driving and Auto Accidents in Tennessee

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

It’s a no-brainer. Drive down an interstate highway going the wrong way and you are sure to get into an accident, and a serious one at that. But why drive the wrong way in the first place? Emergency? Alien abduction? It could be anything, but unfortunately in most cases it is because the driver was impaired.

This was the case of a woman who chose to drive her Escalade the wrong way on Interstate 65 in Nashville, Tennessee. The inevitable happened, leaving one man in a Corvette dead and a woman passenger seriously injured. According to Tennessee car accident attorneys on the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A. website these types of accidents typically have long-reaching consequences. Aside from the physical, emotional and psychological trauma, serious car accidents can result in huge financial problems that few people can handle without assistance.

In the case above, the woman driver admitted she was intoxicated, and this opens her up not only to criminal charges but also civil liabilities. The demise of the Corvette driver could be considered a wrongful death because the woman acted in a negligent and reckless fashion which was the proximate cause of the death as well as the serious injury.

Survivors of the deceased may rightfully retain the services of a wrongful death lawyer to file a suit against the woman driver. The injured passenger may also feel the need to sue the then-inebriated driver to get compensation for medical and other expenses resulting from the accident.

If you are now in a similar situation as a victim, you know how bad it can get. Consult with a competent personal injury lawyer in Tennessee to get compensation for the harm a negligent car accident has caused you.

Legal Actions that Military Personnel Can Face Due to a Criminal Offense

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

As opposed to desertion or abandonment of duty and other military-related crimes, a DUI offense is not an exclusive concern of Military courts even if the offense involves military personnel. And whenever members of the US armed forces get involved in criminal offenses, like DUI or domestic violence, the punishment is always more severe compared to their civilian counterparts.

Despite the fact that there is a zero tolerance policy for alcohol and drug-related offenses (this includes DUI offenses) in the US military, thousands of soldiers get charged with the anti drunk-driving law each year, especially while the soldier is on leave or between deployments. But, rather than due to any intent of violating the law, military personnel are often chanced upon by traffic enforcers while trying to drive safely back home after a few bottles of beer, alone or with friends, in an attempt to get over the stress and emotional pain caused by the war they fought in. This explains why, statistically, soldiers are found to be drinking more often than civilians.

Regardless of their reason for drinking, however, once caught, they will have to face the law like anybody else and, if convicted, will have to suffer punishment – a punishment that is actually considered more severe compared to a civilian charged and convicted because, besides the punishments pronounced in a civil court, they can also be discharged from service, ending their career in an instant.

Punishments for a military DUI actually depend on the authorities who will try and decide on the case; this depends, in turn, on the jurisdiction where the drunken driving incident occurred. If off a military installation, then the soldier is sure not to face a court martial as the civilian authorities or the state is the one that will surely file the DUI charge (a court martial may be imminent, though, if the civilian court acquits the soldier). The charged soldier’s commanding officer, however, can still take administrative actions, like corrective training, cancellation of pass privileges, or mandatory substance abuse treatment; it is also possible that the personnel would be charged by the military with a related crime, such as disorderly conduct.

If the arrest occurred inside the base, then the soldier will be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and subject to both administrative actions and a court martial (though trial and decision is to be made by the military, the state has the authority to suspend the soldier’s license, require the installation of an interlock device inside his/her vehicle, or limit or revoke his/her driving privileges). The commanding officer can also decide to take either a punitive action or an administrative action (mentioned above) against the arrested soldier.

In a punitive action it is either is a:

  • Court martial, which can end in dismissal from service, imprisonment, grade reduction or forfeiture of pay
  • Non-judicial punishments (NJP), which are certain limited punishments for minor disciplinary offenses. An NJP proceeding is called “office hours” in the Marine Corps, “captain’s mast” or “mast” in the Coast Guard or Navy, and “Article 15” in the air Force and Army.

With the possibility of an ended military career, a service member cannot, but make sure that he/she gets an exceptional lawyer who will be able to make a very strong defense in his/her behalf. It is in this very area and concern that the military arrest attorneys of Flaherty Defense Firm have developed skills that can save military personnel from losing the life they have loved to live; thus, it will be highly advisable that, if charged with an offense whether on or off the base, the charged soldier contact one of them immediately.

The Purpose of Medical Malpractice

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

There has been a lot of attention focused on legislation that seeks to limit (cap) non-economic awards for medical malpractice lawsuits in an attempt to reduce healthcare costs. However, that is rather like closing the barn doors after the horses have fled, because the purpose of medical malpractice is not to get monetary awards but to motivate health professionals to honor their duty of care to patients. As found on the website of The Benton Law Firm, patients have the right to expect that they receive the appropriate medical care.

Take for example the case of a Connecticut hospital that reduced medical malpractice claims by half by simply improving their patient care system. There are no medical malpractice caps in Connecticut, which clearly illustrates what really needs to be done to reduce malpractice claims: better patient care.

Healthcare professionals, especially medical doctors, and especially specialists, have bought into the belief that they are gods, and that they can do no wrong. Consider the case of a celebrated cardiologist in Fresno who left an open-heart surgical procedure before it was done, leaving it to an assistant to finish the job. The patient went into a vegetative state, and the doctor is now being sued for medical negligence.

Because healthcare professionals literally have our lives in their hands, they are stringently trained and expected to conform to a high standard of care. When they breach that duty through willful or reckless behavior, they need to be held accountable for the damage they inflict on people who have put their utmost trust in them. Because medical malpractice often results in life-changing injuries or death, it is just right that the victims or their survivors receive at least significant financial compensation for their losses.

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice and suffered grievous injury as a result, financial compensation is the least that is owed you. A medical malpractice lawyer may not be able to “make whole” what has been lost, but they can help in giving you the best shot at it.

Bankruptcy and Student Loan Discharge

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

It is common wisdom that among the few things you cannot have forgiven when filing for bankruptcy is student loans, and considering that it is typically the biggest expense next to a mortgage in US households, that’s just too bad. However, there are always exceptions to the rule so never say never.

In some instances (admittedly rare) a bankruptcy court will consider forgiving a student loan under certain circumstances, primarily when paying the student loan results in undue hardship. However, it is not enough that the debtor declares that it is; the state bankruptcy court will determine it based on the results of a test, which differs from state to state. In order for an applicant to request a discharge of a student loan, a formal Complaint to Determine Dischargeability must be submitted together with your bankruptcy documents.

The court will then determine if a student loan discharge is warranted. Many states including Alabama use what is known as the Brunner test, which considers three criteria: poverty, persistence, and good faith. Others use what is known as the Totality of the Circumstances test to determine undue hardship.

As a general rule of thumb, however, it is extremely difficult to convince the court to allow even a partial discharge of student loans. These are highly complex undertaking and would require significant assistance from experienced bankruptcy attorneys to even have a remote chance of success.

If paying for your student loan poses undue hardship for you, you have no choice but to try to get it discharged when filing for bankruptcy. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area for a frank assessment of your prospects in this matter.

The Truth about Slip-and-Fall Injuries

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

There is often something in the news about someone who slipped and fell on an icy patch in front of an establishment winning spectacular amounts of money in a personal injury lawsuit. The fact of the matter is, establishing fault let alone negligence in a slip-and-fall case is not at all easy.

There are two concepts essential in premises liability cases that may seem simple enough in everyday use but can involve quite a bit of legal complexity. One is reasonableness, and the other is foreseeability. The first concept pertains to the injured party while the second one to the premises owner.

People have a right to expect to be relatively safe when they go about their daily lives, but with right comes the responsibility to take “reasonable” care to avoid harm or injury. For example, if a woman wears high heels even though she knows the sidewalk is icy and slippery, she cannot blame anybody for falling down and breaking her leg. On the other hand, a premises owner had or should have foreseen that anyone even in appropriate footwear could be injured when passing the sidewalk fronting his store, but did not take steps to make the sidewalk less slippery or at least post a warning he or she could be held liable for injuries to passersby.

Before considering a lawsuit for a serious slip-and-fall injury, the potential plaintiff is encouraged to consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer to find out if it does indeed involve negligence of the premises owner. The consequences of such an injury can be life-changing, but without competent legal representation you will have little chance of making any headway in your claim.

Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultation, so take that opportunity to get your case assessed. It is important that you take that first step which can change the rest of your life.

Sorting out the Mesh

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

There seems little doubt that transvaginal mesh products pose a significant health risk to women already having trouble with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), mostly brought on by age and lifestyle. With the device making the bad even worse by shifting out of position, causing pain, and increasing the risk of a serious infection, these women have had enough. They have come in droves to their state courts and demanded compensation from the manufacturers of the ill-conceived device. Many will get what they want out of court as Endo (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) has seen the wisdom of working for a settlement, with C.R. Bard following suit. Others such as Boston Scientific are not as perspicacious as evidenced by the continuation of the litigation process.

The transvaginal mesh device is basically an adaptation of a highly successful product called a surgical mesh. The original mesh was used to provide support for hernia sufferers during surgery, and came in two kinds: permanent and temporary. The temporary mesh (usually made of biologic material) eventually dissolved as the hernia resolved, while the permanent mesh was designed to prevent future occurrences of herniation. Because it was so successful in hernia repair, it was believed that it would be equally effective in POP and SUI in women. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, and as illustrated by recent events, it wasn’t.

The main problem with transvaginal mesh is the location. The vagina constantly expands and contracts, making it next to impossible for something like a mesh to stay in place. In addition, that area of the female anatomy has naturally-occurring flora essential to feminine health but can be a problem during surgery because it is never completely sterile. The mistake of transvaginal mesh manufacturers is that they did not do their homework; they did not do adequate clinical testing to find out the possible issues that may come out with this new application of an old product.

If you have problems with your transvaginal mesh implant, this is the time to seek compensation. Contact a transvaginal mesh lawyer in your area to get a rundown of the legal process for suing your manufacturer.

Off-the-Clock Work is Unpaid Overtime

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

A recent U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation into the time-keeping records of social networking company LinkedIn Corp. revealed that the company was in violation of certain provisions of the Fair Labor and Standards Act with respect to off-the-clock work rendered by 359 past and present employees from various company branches, including New York. The company promptly paid back wages and liquidated damages for a total of more than $6 million to the employees concerned and agreed to take proactive measures to prevent it from happening again.

In that case, there was no need for litigation as the company did not challenge the results of the investigation. However, that is more an exception than the rule. In most cases, companies deny any wrongdoing, and it is necessary for employees to find relief in litigation.

It is definitely not an easy decision to make, because most employees are afraid of losing their jobs especially at the time when so many people are unemployed. However, employers have no right to take advantage of this fact as it is in direct contradiction not only of state but also federal laws protecting employee rights. In many cases, employees wait until they are employed elsewhere before they file a lawsuit. According to the website of employment law firm Cary Kane, unpaid overtime is wage theft, and employees in New York-based companies have a right to sue for unpaid overtime and other wages up to 6 years after the fact.

It also helps a case when more than one employee files a complaint at the same time because it increases the credibility of the plaintiffs and indicates a systematic violation of employment law. If you believe that your company is not paying you as they should under the law, take steps to correct the matter. Report the violation to the proper authorities and retain legal counsel to advise you on your legal options.

The Costs of Doing Business in the US

By on 11-02-2014 in Car Accidents

Commercial trucking is the lifeblood of commerce in the US. Without those semis and cargo trucks plying their routes on the nation’s highways, pretty much everything would come to a grinding halt. Consumer goods will not be delivered, warehouses will retail establishments and supermarkets will close their doors, packages will not arrive at their destinations, and no one will do any business. That’s a fact.

But it is also true that trucking accidents have become more numerous of late. As more small trucking businesses take advantage of the global market, more trucks are being pulled out of circulation for failing to pass safety regulations in 2012 (more than 2 million trucks) and in that same year, statistics show that 10 deaths and 284 injuries resulted from truck accidents every day. That’s an 18% jump from 2009, which means 18% more people in the US have to suffer through adverse life changes.

While safety violations may partly explain this increase in accidents, other factors also impinge. Despite the boom in the industry, many small truck companies have difficulty in complying with federal regulations including hours of service (HOS) because the more miles they travel the more money they make. With competent truck drivers at a shortage, many drivers violate HOS regulations to keep tight schedules. This is enumerated as a major cause of trucking accidents. It also takes money to keep the trucks running, and as TBS Factoring Service website points out, cash flow is usually a problem because they have to wait as long as 90 days to get paid for hauling jobs.

If you have been involved in a truck accident and suffered serious injury or loss, you have a right to be compensated for it. Consult with a competent personal injury lawyer in your area and get it done right.