August 29th, 2014
To help reduce the number of lives impacted by Tennessee car accidents, the state’s Department of Transportation (TDOT) has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Safety to create the nation’s first motor vehicle incident management training facility.
A video posted to YouTube by TDOT explains the facility’s round track exhibits a majority of road and highway models—from a six-lane interstate to a four-way intersection of two two-lane roads. This allows law enforcement, fire departments, tow truck drivers, and ambulance crews to be trained in almost any highway accident scenario they may experience on the job.
Ground was broken on the project in May and construction on the project is expected to be completed by the end of this fall. A majority of the funding for the estimated $1 million project was provided through federal grants.
At Ponce Law, we understand the serious risks emergency responders face when on the scenes of accidents. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers applaud the efforts being made to offer these individuals the training they need to keep themselves and other motorists safe on the road.
You can also do your part to help keep emergency crews safe by following these precautions:
- If Possible, Move Over- State law calls for vehicles to move one lane over from stopped emergency vehicles. You should also try to apply this rule to crash scenes.
- Stay Focused and Vigilant- When passing an accident scene, avoid taking your eyes off the road and pay extra attention for people and objects in the road.
- Be Patient- Accidents can cause traffic, so slow down and give other motorists around you space.
August 27th, 2014
A lack of crosswalks and signage may be causing confusion about how the rules of the road apply to Nashville’s Metro Transit Authority (MTA) buses, and that confusion may be endangering pedestrians and bus riders.
Take the case of a Nashville bus accident that left a Maplewood High School student seriously injured earlier this week. Reports indicate the crash happened on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 26, on Dickerson Pike.
An article from FOX 17 News states the 16-year-old victim had just gotten off of an MTA bus and was attempting to cross the street in front of the vehicle, when another bus in the left lane of traffic attempted to pass the stopped bus. The driver of the second bus did not see the teenager and struck her as he crossed the street.
The victim is expected to recover, but witnesses who live and work in the area say they have seen an accident like this coming for years. They feel a crosswalk at the intersection may have prevented the accident.
The Nashville personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law know how difficult it can be to overcome injuries from a motor vehicle collision and wish the young girl a full and speedy recovery.
August 25th, 2014
Dog bites can leave victims with bodily injuries, but they can also lead to infectious diseases. One of the most deadly diseases that can be spread by a dog bite injury is rabies.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes swelling in the brain, which can result in:
- Uncontrolled salivation
- Changes in behavior
If an animal suspected of carrying rabies is involved in a dog bite attack, it may be quarantined for up to 10 days. Recently, an animal in Bradley County was taken into custody for evaluation after attacking and seriously injuring a young boy. An article from News Channel 9 states the animal had been a stray, and it is unknown if the canine was vaccinated against the disease.
This is why experts say its so important that you keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date. Rabies shots should be given annually, and clinics may offer the injections for free or at a reduced price.
The Nashville personal injury lawyers with Ponce Law have seen the devastating results of dog bite injuries, and they encourage dog owners to socialize their animals to prevent attacks.
August 22nd, 2014
When a person is killed as the result of another person’s negligence, the family of the victim may seek compensation from those responsible for their loss. But there are certain standards each case must meet before it can go forward.
One of the most important aspects to remember in a Tennessee wrongful death lawsuit is to ensure the claim is filed within the statute of limitations. This is a deadline by which legal action must be taken. Once this time expires, you can no longer file a lawsuit.
In Tennessee, claims for damages in a wrongful death case usually must be filed within one year of the victim’s passing. It’s important to remember there are only a few exceptions to the law that will allow the statute of limitations to be extended.
There’s no amount of money that can bring your loved one back into your life. But having the resources to create stability for your family can be crucial. That’s why its’ so important to speak with a reputable Tennessee personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
At Ponce Law, we know how difficult the days and weeks after a loved one’s passing can be, and we’re here to help you get back on your feet. Call us anytime at (888) 977-9912 to get the compassionate legal representation you deserve.
August 20th, 2014
Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in Tennessee, especially in more populated areas like Davidson County. Data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security shows that Davidson County has the second highest pedestrian fatality count in the state, accounting for 55 deaths from 2004 to present.
One Nashville pedestrian accident has prompted officials in the region to prevent similar incidents. One of the actions taken was the installation of a new crosswalk and signage at the location where a 9-year-old girl was struck and seriously injured by a motor vehicle last year.
The incident occurred at the intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Sonya Drive in Bellevue. A vehicle failed to recognize the girl as she attempted to cross and she was struck. WSMV 4 News says that now, the crossing features a painted walkway as well as lighted directional signs for pedestrians.
The Nashville personal injury lawyers with Ponce law applaud the efforts being made to better protect pedestrians in Middle Tennessee. We also suggest following these safety tips when walking:
- Obey all traffic signals.
- Carry a light when walking before dawn or after dusk.
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothing.
- Look twice in all directions when crossing the street.
- Assume drivers do not see you when walking.
August 18th, 2014
At Michael D. Ponce & Associates, our Nashville employment lawyers point out that most companies in Tennessee are prohibited from firing injured workers for work-related injuries. But what happens if the injured worker is undocumented? These questions are currently being examined in the state’s court system, and the answer seems to be that undocumented workers have the same rights as legal residents who work.
The case stems from an incident in Jan. 2011, when an undocumented employee injured his back while working for a company in Whiteville, Tennessee. The worker received medical treatment from a doctor he was referred to by his employer. According to Business Insurance, he later had trouble getting workers’ compensation benefits and hired an attorney to help with the case.
When the attorney attempted to contact the employer, management became irate with the employee and later fired him. This prompted the filing of a wrongful termination and retaliation claim by the worker.
The case went to trial, and a jury determined the worker had no right to file a Tennessee wrongful termination claim because he didn’t have legal work status. However, the state’s Court of Appeals recently overturned the decision by stating that the previous decision had undermined numerous state laws aimed at protecting workers’ rights.
Ponce Law’s team of attorneys has seen the difficulties that can arise for injured workers who are wrongfully terminated from their positions. That’s why we are hopeful the decision reached in this case will help bring some closure to the incident for the worker who was hurt and his family.
August 15th, 2014
Labor Day weekend is fast approaching and for many, that means a long weekend filled with family, friends, food, and festivities. Unfortunately, the holiday also is one of the deadliest to be on the road due to drunk drivers. Statistics show 147 drunken driving fatalities on Labor Day in 2012. In Tennessee, there were6,500 drunk driving accidents in 2013.
To help reduce the number of Tennessee drunk driving accidents around Labor Day, the state has kicked off an enforcement campaign that is targeting intoxicated motorists.
According to an article from News Channel 5, the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign kicked off today, August 15, and will continue through Labor Day. Law enforcement from around the state will partner to conduct sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to monitor for impaired drivers.
Officials state the hope of the program is to deter drunk drivers from attempting to get behind the wheel.
At Ponce Law, our Nashville personal injury attorneys have seen the devastating results drunk driving accidents can have on victims and their families. That’s why we ask that you do your part to keep our state’s roadways safe by using a designated driver, cab, or ride sharing service to get home safely if you’ve had too much to drink.
August 13th, 2014
Sometimes the prescription drugs we depend on to treat us have harmful side effects on patients. Take for instance a recent study linking the use of sildenafil—marketed as Viagra® by Pfizer, Inc.—to an increased chance of developing melanoma.
Researchers pinpointed the Viagra skin cancer risk by examining the medical records of more than 25,000 men who used the drug. They were able to determine 3,700 users had developed one of three types of skin cancer after using Viagra. Researchers concluded that Viagra users were at an 84 percent greater risk of developing melanoma than men who had never used the drug.
The Journal of the American Medical Association also explained the reason for the increased risk could be due to the fact that the drug impacts the same genes that allow cancer to grow rapidly.
These findings mean as many as 25 million men in the United States alone may face an increased risk of developing melanoma, even after taking only one dose of the drug. Patients concerned about these risks should speak with their doctors.
The Nashville personal injury lawyers at Ponce Law encourage anyone diagnosed with skin cancer after using Viagra to speak with our legal staff about their potential rights to compensation. We can be reached anytime at (888) 977-9912.
August 11th, 2014
Despite a concerted effort to reduce highway collisions involving commercial tractor-trailers, data indicates the number of injuries and fatalities caused by truck accidents is increasing. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that as many as 11 truck accidents happen in the U.S. everyday, causing 100,000 injuries and 4,000 deaths every year.
Some common truck accident causes include:
- Distracted Driving
- Drowsy Driving
- Failure to Properly Maintain A Vehicle’s Equipment
This leaves many people wondering how trucking companies get away with unsafe operations. The Nashville truck accident lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates explain that loopholes in the law may be part of the answer.
Reports from WRCBTV News explains that trucking companies can avoid penalties for violating safety laws by registering with the Department of Transportation under new names and moving their fleets under new company names.
While the government tries to close this loophole, truck manufacturers are also working to reduce accident rates by improving the safety technology on their vehicles.
At Ponce Law, our Nashville personal injury lawyers recognize the dangers tractor-trailers pose on the road. That’s why we’re hopeful better safety equipment and stricter laws will help curb the snowballing number of truck accidents in the United States.
August 8th, 2014
Last year, Tennessee legislators passed a bill that massively overhauled the way the state’s workers’ compensation system operates. That’s why the Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers would like to make you aware of the reforms that went into effect on July 1, 2014.
One of the major shifts is that claims are now decided by an administrative board rather than the civil court system. According to The Chattanoogan, Governor Bill Haslam appointed three judges to the board earlier this month. Their terms will range from 2-6 years.
Other changes were made to the way permanent disability ratings are handed out. Now, ratings will be based on the body as a whole, and workers eligible to receive permanent disability benefits will be eligible to continue receiving payments equal to their disability rating if they return to work. Also, pain will not be considered when assigning an impairment rating.
The maximum amount of time benefits can be paid has been increased to 450 weeks as well.
At Ponce Law, we understand how complex the laws overseeing workers’ compensation benefits in our state can be. That’s why if you’ve been hurt at work and have questions regarding your legal rights, we encourage you to contact our legal staff. Call us anytime at (888) 977-9912 to get in touch with our legal staff.