To educate and inform about legal matters
There are several benefits to working with a personal injury attorney after being injured in an auto accident in Tennessee.
Auto accidents occur all too often on the roads throughout Tennessee, often resulting in serious injuries or death. In 2016 alone, there were 51,136 collisions resulting in injuries and 989 fatal accidents across the state, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. While many choose to handle the settlement process on their own, there are numerous benefits to obtaining legal counsel.
Understanding the law
Tennessee has adopted a modified comparative negligence rule that applies to personal injury claims, including car wrecks. This law stipulates that people found to be 50 percent or more at fault for causing a wreck may not seek damages, and the losses they may be awarded are based on the percentage to which the other party is assigned blame for contributing to the accident. For the average person, understanding how fault is determined and the effect the fault percentage may have on their ability to seek damages may be complicated.
Attorneys who focus on motor vehicle collision claims, however, are familiar with the state’s laws. They understand how the laws may apply to each client’s circumstances. They may draw on this knowledge to help them determine if they are able to take legal action, as well as the percentage of their losses they may be entitled to recover.
Familiarity with the process
The legal process involved with personal injury claims may seem a complex maze of legalities and paperwork for those who are injured in car accidents. Auto collision lawyers are often familiar with the types of medical and legal terminology that may be involved in such cases. They are also experienced in completing the required forms and filing the appropriate legal documents. Using this experience, personal injury attorneys may guide their clients’ through the involved procedures, and help ensure they do not lose out on compensation they need and deserve because of a technicality.
Assessing the value and strength of claims
The subtleties involved in personal injury claims in Tennessee may affect whether people who have been injured in auto wrecks have the right to take legal action and what damages they may be entitled to receive. For example, non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are capped at $750,000, except in the case of certain catastrophic injuries. Lawyers who primarily handle car crash claims may know how to assess their clients’ current losses, as well as how to estimate their future costs and non-economic damages.
Dealing with insurance companies
Following motor vehicle collisions, people who suffer injuries may attempt to work toward a settlement with the insurance companies themselves. Focused on their own bottom line, rather than on the needs of those who were injured, insurance adjustors often seek to pay out as little as possible. On their own, going up against large insurance companies on their own to obtain a fair settlement may seem a daunting task for people who have experienced such situations. Often having experience dealing with other legal representatives and insurance companies, personal injury lawyers may look out for their clients’ best interests throughout the process, and may not be intimidated into taking an unfair settlement.
Protecting the rights of accident survivors
As a result of the injuries they suffer in Tennessee auto accidents, people may need extensive medical treatment and be forced to take time off work to recover. Consequently, they may not only lose wages, but also incur unexpected medical bills and other such expenses. Working with a lawyer may help them understand their rights for pursuing financial compensation for their resulting losses, as well as determine how best to proceed given their unique circumstances.
People can stay avoid accidents with propane products by understanding some important tips for safety and maintenance.
People in Tennessee use propane gas canisters all the time for various different activities. In the summer, they are used to power many gas grills, while colder months sometimes demand the use of outdoor heaters that use propane. While it is generally safe to use, it is important to realize that propane is a flammable gas contained in a pressurized container, and it needs to be handled safely.
Safe practices with gas grills
Unwanted accidents happen in a lot of different ways, and many of them could be prevented if everyone were aware of the following list of guidelines for operating propane gas grills:
· Gas flow should be turned off in the case that a burner is not igniting. The grill user should check the instructions of operation. After a period of five minutes with the grill’s lid open, the user may try to light it again.
· When checking for gas leaks, a flame should never be used. A mixture of water and soap is much safer and more effective. Before any use, hoses should be inspected for leaks, abrasion, and wear.
· When maintaining a grill, the owner’s manual is the first line of defense against any accidental injury. Before inspecting for faulty parts or general wear, gas should be turned off at its source.
· A good way to protect the propane canister from getting rusty is to regularly paint it.
· A propane canister should never be stored near or on an appliance or grill. It is not safe to leave the canister in any area where the temperature will be greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Canisters should always be left upright.
· Also, indoors is not the place for large propane containers. It should be stored outside, and always disconnected from any appliance.
Furthermore, never ask a supplier to fill a canister more than it is regulated to be filled. 80% is an amount that allows the liquid within some expansion room.
General propane care
Manufacturers make propane to have a smell like rotten eggs. It is important for people to leave the area and contact their local fire department when smelling an intense odor. Only propane containers of one pound or less are safe to operate indoors. Most accidents happen as a result of either leaks, part failures, or the use of open flames.
If someone in Tennessee has been injured as a result of a defective propane gas product, he or she may be able to receive financial compensation to pay for the cost of medical care and for the pain and suffering involved. A local attorney who is experienced with personal injury law may be able to help.
Tennessee motorcyclists deserve to know the facts about the dangers that other drivers pose to them on area roads.
The joys of riding on two wheels are almost hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced it. Tennesseans that ride motorcycles have many beautiful areas in which to ride, especially during the long days of summer. Sadly, the presence of cars, trucks and other vehicles can get in the way of enjoying a motorcycle trip.
Do motorcycle crashes happen often?
While there may be no way to quantify how often a motorcycle crash occurs, it takes only a few moments online to get reports of these tragic incidents. Take, for example, a hit-and-run accident the day before the Fourth of July. According to The Leaf Chronicle, a 29-year-old motorcyclist was hit and killed by a driver in a passenger vehicle who then fled the scene. The at-fault driver was later found and arrested. Alcohol is suspected to have been a factor in the wreck.
Just a few days before that, a 24-year-old driver went onto the wrong side of the road and hit a biker, ejecting him from his bike. The 40-year-old motorcyclist died and the vehicle driver now faces vehicular homicide charges. The Tennessean indicates that drugs or alcohol may have been involved.
How many bikers die in Tennessee each year?
In looking at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a tragic pattern of motorcyclist deaths emerges. Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 649 riders died. The year with the fewest fatalities was 2011 when 115 bikers lost their lives. The year with the most fatalities was 2012 when 139 people died.
Does wearing a helmet help?
Certainly there is research that shows the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike. However, the NHTSA data makes it clear that even this valuable safety item cannot always protect riders. Each year between 2010 and 2014, the vast majority of bikers who died were wearing helmets at the time they crashed. Detailed data shows the following:
- In 2010, 126 out of 137 killed riders were helmeted.
- In 2011, 97 out of the 115 bikers who died wore helmets.
- There were 127 helmeted riders who killed out of 139 who died in 2012.
- The next year a total of 138 motorcyclists died and 126 were wearing helmets.
In 2014, helmets were worn by 109 bikers and a total of 120 bikers were killed that year.
What factor does age play in motorcyclist deaths?
There is a common misconception that young riders are more likely to be killed in crashes. This stems from the belief that is the recklessness of riders that causes these accidents and that recklessness is often associated with younger riders.
However, the NHTSA data shows that motorcyclists in their 40s had the highest number of deaths between 2010 and 2014 than any other age group.
What should injured riders or their families do after a crash?
Contacting an attorney should be one of the first things that Tennessee accident victims or loved ones should do. When these accidents happen, compensation is important for victims. A lawyer may be able to advise on the best way to seek this compensation.
It’s crucial for drivers to know the risks and nature of cognitive distraction, which can divert focus from driving and cause severe performance deficits.
Over the past few years, distracted driving has taken a devastating toll in Cleveland and other parts of Tennessee. According to The Tennessean, in 2013, the state had the highest proportion of fatal auto accidents involving driver cell phone use of any state. In 2015, over 1,300 crashes reportedly involved this activity. Not surprisingly, state lawmakers are now weighing banning drivers from using handheld cell phones. However, similar measures have not yet been proposed for hands-free technology.
To many people, the risks associated with looking at and physically handling an electronic device seem greater than those that come with using a hands-free device. However, hands-free technology can still create a dangerously high level of mental distraction. It’s important for drivers to understand the nature of this cognitive distraction and the factors that can make it so dangerous.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broadly defines distraction as any activity that diverts a driver from controlling the vehicle and responding to changing conditions. Cognitive distraction essentially is any activity that demands mental attention and takes a driver’s focus away from the road. Under this definition, using a voice-activated infotainment system, listening to a hands-free phone conversation and following directions from a GPS can all produce cognitive distraction.
NEED FOR MULTITASKING
Cognitive distraction can endanger drivers because it necessitates multitasking. The National Safety Council explains that, despite what people may think, the brain lacks the capability to simultaneously handle multiple cognitively demanding tasks. Instead, the brain must rapidly switch between tasks. This switching can result in less effective performance at each task, along with delayed responses to new information or changing conditions.
Based on a review of over 30 studies, the NSC reports that cognitive distraction can have various adverse effects on a person’s driving skills. Research shows that one common form of cognitive distraction, talking on a hands-free cell phone, can cause drivers to experience all of the following issues:
- Slowed response times. In one study, drivers who were legally intoxicated actually showed quicker reaction times than those who were mentally distracted.
- Decreased brain activity. In another study, drivers showed less activity in regions of the brain that are essential during driving once they started engaging in a task that required listening and critical thinking.
- Effective blind spots. Further research suggests that cognitively distracted drivers only take in about half of the stimuli or information in their immediate environments.
These findings suggests that mentally distracted drivers may be more prone to react late to hazards and look over important stimuli, such as traffic control devices. These impairments may put drivers at much greater risk for unnecessary distraction-related accidents.
HOLDING DISTRACTED DRIVERS LIABLE
Unfortunately, even people who recognize the risks of cognitive distraction may still be vulnerable to accidents involving less prudent motorists. People who have suffered harm in such accidents should understand that they might be able to seek recompense from the at-fault driver, regardless of whether a distracting activity was expressly outlawed. An attorney may be able to offer further advice on assessing liability and, if necessary, filing a personal injury claim.
In 2014, CNBC reported that truck accidents have increased to the point that nearly 11 fatal truck accidents occur every day in the U.S. According to the same source, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows that large truck crashes kill about 4,000 people and cause 100,000 injuries yearly. Given these trends, many people in Cleveland might expect lawmakers to enact stricter trucking industry regulations. However, legislators are currently considering changes in the opposite direction.
According to USA Today, federal lawmakers are weighing changes to truck driver rest requirements and maximum double trailer lengths. Earlier this year, a temporary rule change regarding the required number of weekly overnight driver rest periods went into effect. Now, a federal proposal could formalize this rule change and also override state limits on maximum tractor-trailer lengths.
DRIVER REST REQUIREMENTS
For most of 2014, truck drivers were required to complete a 34-hour reset period between workweeks that included two consecutive overnight rests. These rests had to last from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. However, in late 2014, this rule was suspended. Now, truckers can take a 34-hour reset period with just one overnight rest.
Research suggests that this change could be dangerous because it could promote more fatigued driving. The Washington Post states that drowsy truckers may be less focused on driving and less able to assess their own fatigue. Additionally, the suspension of the rest rule essentially increases the total weekly driving hours that truckers can log from 70 to 82. With more tired truckers spending more time on the road, the risk of serious or catastrophic accidents may rise even further.
TRACTOR-TRAILER LENGTH LIMITS
According to USA Today, the new proposal also seeks to increase the maximum permitted length of double-trailer trucks. If the proposal succeeds, it will supersede state laws and allow truck tractors to haul two 33-foot trailers. Here in Tennessee, this would represent a significant change over the current length limit for double trailers, which is 28.5 feet per trailer.
The use of longer double trailers would increase efficiency and reduce costs for shipping companies, but it could have detrimental effects on roadway safety. This is due to the following issues:
- Double trailers and longer trailers can be unstable and more difficult to control.
- Longer and heavier tractor-trailers generally require more time and distance to stop.
- Infrastructure in many areas was not designed to accommodate such large commercial vehicles.
All of these factors could raise the risk of accidents even under ideal circumstances. In cases when truck drivers are inattentive, intoxicated or otherwise acting negligently, the results could be catastrophic.
ONGOING ACCIDENT RISK
This particular proposal may not succeed. USA Today notes that President Obama has stated that he intends to veto one version of this federal legislation if necessary. However, even if these potentially dangerous changes aren’t made, statistics show that truck accidents will likely still affect thousands of motorists.
Depending on the circumstances, recourse may be available to the victims of these accidents. Anyone who has sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a large truck accident that may have involved negligence should consider seeking further advice from an attorney.
Despite fall in fatalities, DUI-related crashes are up in Chattanooga region
Tennessee officials are saying that increased law enforcement efforts have helped drive the state’s traffic fatality rate to one of its lowest levels in decades, according to The Tennessean. Officials say that 961 people were killed last year in car accidents, down from 995 deaths the year before. A greater focus on seat belt use and DUI enforcement has helped drive the fatality statistics downwards. However, while fatalities have also declined in the Chattanooga region, DUI-related accidents themselves are up.
Second-safest year since 1963
Officials say the 961 deaths recorded in 2014 is just the fifth time since 1963 that traffic fatalities have remained under 1,000 and was also the second-lowest number of fatalities recorded since 1963. As a result, 2014 was the third consecutive year that saw traffic fatalities fall in the state.
The decline is largely being attributed to increased law enforcement efforts. Police say they have been cracking down on dangerous driving in the past few years, particularly by increasing the number of failure to wear a seat belt citations they hand out and by targeting drunk drivers. Police are also using new technology to help identify potentially dangerous areas where previous accident data suggests crashes are more likely to occur.
DUI deaths down in Chattanooga
The downward trend was also felt in Chattanooga, where alcohol-related accident fatalities declined 60 percent last year. Troopers there say they have increased DUI arrests by 20 percent and are working closely with bars in the city to ensure that people aren’t driving while impaired. In cases that go to court, the police also note that they have achieved a conviction rate of over 90 percent. In 2014, five people died in DUI-related accidents in Chattanooga.
The news, however, is not all good. In the Chattanooga region as a whole, accidents caused by drugs and alcohol have increased dramatically, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Furthermore, while the five DUI-related deaths recorded in 2014 was an improvement over 2013, when 14 people were killed, it is largely unchanged over a five-year period.
Drunk driving accidents
While Tennessee’s roads overall are getting safer, the threat posed by dangerous drivers remains high, particularly in the Chattanooga area. Reckless driving behaviors, such as drunk driving, remain a threat to countless motorists and their families. When an accident does happen, the victims are often left feeling helpless and confused.
Help is available to such victims, however. A personal injury attorney, for example, can advise accident victims about what their option are. In many cases, concerns about how to pay for medical bills and lost wages will be at the forefront of many victims’ minds, and an experienced attorney can help clients with any claims for compensation they may have following an accident.
A Cheatham County car crash that may have involved speeding and alcohol has killed one person.
Cheatham County crash led to one death and one injury, with charges pending
A single-car crash that occurred in Cheatham County on July 26 has left one person dead and another injured, according to the Tennessean. The police report states that the vehicle went off the road at a curve in the road and hit a tree. The passenger of the vehicle was killed while the driver was injured. While no citations were issued, speed and alcohol may have been factors in the accident. Police say that criminal charges are pending. The story serves as a reminder of how devastating the consequences of unsafe driving can be for people on Tennessee’s roads and highways.
Early morning crash
The crash occurred around 2 a.m. near Pleasant View. The driver of a 2014 Lincoln MKH approached a curve to the right, but went off the road to the left. The vehicle went airborne and flipped multiple times before hitting a tree. According to Business & Heritage Clarksville, blood alcohol tests were taken and the police are awaiting the results. It is known that both occupants of the car had been drinking, although they were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. The police report also states that speed may have been a factor in the accident.
The victim of the crash was a 40-year-old male from Adams, while the injured driver was a 42-year-old woman from Clarksville. Police say charges are pending in connection to the incident.
Speed and alcohol
While it has not yet been conclusively established what roles speeding or alcohol may have played in this crash, the story should nonetheless serve as a warning to all Tennessee drivers of the severe consequences that drinking and disobeying traffic rules can have while on the road. In many cases, what might have been a minor accident is made many times worse when a negligent driver has been speeding.
From a personal liability perspective, as well, speeding and drinking open up negligent drivers to severe personal injury lawsuits. By taking to the road after drinking, drunk drivers show a disregard for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians on Tennessee’s roads.
Personal injury lawsuits
Anybody who has been the victim of a negligent driver should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help his client fight for the compensation that is due for his or her pain and suffering and can help hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.
Keywords: fatal car crash, speed, alcohol, negligent driving, recovery
The problem of driver fatigue is a serious concern when it comes to truck accidents in the United States.
As comedian and actor Tracy Morgan continues to recover from the serious injuries he suffered in a truck accident earlier this summer, he has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
The truck driver purportedly responsible for the collision was a Wal-Mart employee. According to reports, he had almost reached the maximum driving time allowed for truck drivers and had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the truck accident.
The collision resulted in one fatality and many others suffered serious injuries as a result. The question about the truck driver’s alertness has caused some to discuss the need for increased safety measures to ensure truck drivers are not on the road when they are fatigued.
Nevertheless, some lawmakers are pushing to suspend the stricter regulations that were put in place last year. As of July 2013, truck drivers were required to take a 34-hour break, including two nighttime periods, following a 70-hour workweek. Since then, senators have proposed legislation that would put those rules on hold, while further studies are conducted to determine whether they are effective at preventing fatigued truck drivers.
By suspending the regulations, many are concerned that a rising number of truck drivers will drive when fatigued, leading to an increased likelihood of dangerous truck accidents.
THE DANGER OF LARGE TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN TENNESSEE
In Tennessee, the number of people killed in large truck accidents has been on the rise in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 111 people died in truck accidents in the state in 2012. In 2009, just 92 people lost their lives in large truck collisions in Tennessee.
A similar trend has been seen across the country, as fatalities caused by truck accidents are increasing. In 2012, the number of people killed in truck crashes rose by almost 4 percent in the United States, according to the NHTSA. In all, 3,921 people died in such collisions in the country that year.
When a large truck driver causes a motor vehicle accident, the injuries suffered by the occupants of the other vehicles are often the most serious. In such cases, the people responsible for the collision should be held accountable for the damage done. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in Tennessee, talk to a skilled personal injury attorney, who will work to obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Keywords: driver fatigue, truck accidents
Everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous. What many people may not realize, however, is that buzzed driving – driving after one or two drinks, with a blood alcohol content of less than the .08 legal limit – is also a significant danger. Indeed, one recently published study indicates that buzzed drivers are far more likely to be at fault for car accidents than sober drivers.
Researchers at the University of California at San Diego examined information from a national database that includes data from approximately 570,000 car accidents that occurred in the U.S. between 1994 and 2011. Data from fatal accidents indicates that when it comes to ensuring safe driving, there is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol in a driver’s blood.
The authors of the study, which was published in the journal Injury Prevention, specifically examined drivers’ measured BAC at the time of their accidents and whether there were clear indicia of blame. Indicia of blame might include, for example, whether one driver had switched lanes unexpectedly or had disobeyed a traffic signal.
Surprisingly, researchers found that people who had a .01 BAC, which represented the lowest blood alcohol level recorded in the database, had about a 46 percent greater chance of being the sole cause of a car accident than sober drivers. According to the authors of the study, an adult man would register a .01 BAC after having only six ounces of beer. Unsurprisingly, the data indicated that as drivers’ BAC levels increased, so did the probability that they would be responsible for a serious accident.
This study is the first to offer an analysis of nationwide data on buzzed drivers, but its findings are not likely to surprise many safety experts. More than anything else, the study shows that the .08 BAC level, set by every state as the threshold for most DUI offenses, is really rather arbitrary. Driving with a .07 BAC is significantly dangerous, even if it may be, strictly speaking, legal.
It remains to be seen whether lawmakers are likely to take action on this issue, although some have suggested that states make efforts to set the BAC level for DUI to .05 percent.
If you have been injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For more information, talk to an attorney today.
As children head back to classes after summer break, Tennessee drivers need to be aware as they drive in both school zones and around school buses to protect students as they walk and ride to school. According to news.tn.gov, State Troopers issued more tickets for school zone violations during the 2012-2013 school year than for the 2011-2012 year. There were approximately 1,400 more citations given during the last school year, including over 750 speeding violations and two violations by motorists passing a stopped school bus. With one school bus accident having happened in the state since the 2013-2014 school year started, parents are hoping their children are safe on their way to and from school.
School bus crash in Chester County
A minor traffic incident involving a school bus occurred in the town of Henderson during the first week of August. The bus was carrying over 40 students at the time. School officials say they support the driver, who has never been involved in a major accident. Parents are less enthusiastic about the bus driver, whom they say has driven in an unsafe manner in the past. One mother of a student on the bus reported that she received a call from her daughter after the incident. In an interview on wbbjtv.com, the woman stated that her daughter called to tell her that the driver took a curve too fast and ran into the side of a log truck. Although no students were hurt and no charges were placed against the driver, the accident highlights that no vehicle which transports children can ever be totally safe.
At least one Tennessee school district has decided to add buses with seat belts for every child to their fleet. In Kingsport, there are three-point safety belts on all seats, which is a change from last year when their buses all contained lap belts. Only six states require seat belts on all school buses, and Tennessee is not one of them. The National Transportation Safety Board believes that more lives could be saved if more buses were equipped with safety belts.
School buses are actually a very safe mode of transportation for children. Statistics gathered by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration and the American School Bus Council show that children are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they take the school bus rather than driving or riding with friends. School bus travel is even safer for a child than riding to school with a parent. However, it is not a perfect form of transportation. When you are driving in a school zone or see a school bus on the road, be sure to drive safely.
If you have been injured in an accident and wish to seek compensation for injuries, property damage and lost wages, contact an experienced attorney in your area. A lawyer can inform you of your rights under the law.
A recent report on traffic fatality statistics from the Tennessee Department of Safety shows that while distracted and impaired driving has decreased since 2007, plenty of work still remains to be done. The figures from the report suggest that teenagers in particular may need to be educated on the risks of driving while distracted, including talking on the phone and texting while driving. Further, more sobriety checkpoints may need to be implemented to further prevent drunk driving. Both initiatives would likely help reduce fatal and serious car accidents in Tennessee.
KEY FINDINGS OF THE TRAFFIC FATALITIES STATISTICS REPORT
The Tennessee traffic fatality figures showed an increase in all vehicular fatalities between 2011 and 2012. However, 2012 still represented the third lowest annual incidence of traffic deaths since 1963. The 2012 figures also show a nearly 24 percent decrease in fatalities since 2004, showcasing a significant downward trend in recent years. However, according to Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons, the state still has plenty of work to do.
In particular, state officials pointed out that impaired driving statistics still remained distressingly high. In 2012, 246 people were killed in crashes involving alcohol impairment. However, this number represents a nearly 30 percent decrease in the past five years, showing that recent efforts to combat drunk driving have succeeded. The report notes that Tennessee State Troopers had made about 25 percent more DUI arrests than they did in 2011.
TENNESSEE’S PLANS FOR IMPROVING SAFETY
A colonel with the Tennessee Highway Patrol remarked that efforts to reduce drinking and driving will only increase going forward. Sobriety checkpoints and “no refusal” enforcement campaigns will be implemented to combat impaired driving and help prevent traffic fatalities. In addition, more than half of all Tennessee traffic fatalities in 2012 involved drivers who were not wearing their seat belts. With this in mind, Highway Patrol officers will ramp up checks for seat belts as well as those for drunk or distracted driving.
In remarks about the 2012 traffic statistics, the director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office said that distracted driving was the primary killer of teenage drivers. Driving while talking or texting falls under this category. In Tennessee, teenage traffic fatalities went up by 10 percent between 2011 and 2012. To combat this rise, officials plan on improving responsible driving education efforts in schools and through general outreach.
SEEKING JUSTICE AFTER AN ACCIDENT
When fatal accidents occur, it is important for victims’ families to understand they have rights. If the death was caused by another person’s negligence, Tennessee law allows the victim’s survivors to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. Wrongful death lawsuits allow the family to pursue compensation for losses including medical care, loss of the victim’s income and loss of the victim’s care and companionship.
If your loved one has been killed in a traffic accident, a Tennessee personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine the best options for moving forward.
Most new parents try to do everything in their power to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, some products marketed for use by babies end up posing hidden dangers. When parents use these products, they could unknowingly be subjecting their infants to the risk of serious injury or even death.
In one such recent case, the Nap Nanny Generations One and Two as well as the Chill model infant recliners were recalled due to design defects that the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests could have been avoided if the manufacturer had paid better attention to safety. The CPSC reports that between 2009 and 2012, there have been five infant deaths and numerous reports of infants nearly falling out of the recliners in spite of the children being properly strapped into the product according to directions.
The CPSC issues recalls of products when the product and its design have been shown to pose a risk of injury or death even with proper use. In issuing the recall, it said that the Nap Nanny’s warnings and instructions were not clear enough to avoid risk to infants.
When a manufacturer produces a product that is reasonably considered to be a danger to consumers, the manufacturer may be subject to product liability laws.
WHAT IS PRODUCT LIABILITY?
Manufacturers have a responsibility to provide consumers with products that can be used without unreasonable risk of injury or death. When manufacturers fail to uphold that duty, they may be deemed negligent and liable to injured consumers.
An investigation into potential product liability begins with an evaluation of the safety of the initial concept and design of the product, continues with a review of the manufacturing process to ensure there were no shortcomings and ends with an examination of safety warnings, instructions and other labels for clarity and ease of use.
When a product is considered defective and injury ensues, everyone who has had a hand in producing and distributing the product may potentially be held liable. Some of these potentially liable parties include the manufacturer as well as the retail seller or wholesaler. However, one common exception to this rule occurs when a product is not sold in the ordinary course of business, such as at a yard sale or garage sale.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF PRODUCT DEFECTS?
The types of defects that can cause injury and make the product hazardous include:
- Design defects that existed from inception, before the product even hit manufacturing lines
- Manufacturing defects that occur during assembly or production
- Marketing defects where the labels, instructions or safety warnings are inadequate
WORKING WITH AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY
The injured party or plaintiff in a products liability case has the burden of proving that the product was defective. Even if the injured party proves his or her case, the defendant responsible for the defective product may have a defense. Because product liability suits often involve complex regulatory standards, state law and the knowledge of expert witnesses, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney experienced in products liability to enforce your rights and understand your potential right to recovery.