Ponce Law

Tennessee Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips

by Keith Adkins | November 26th, 2014

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family or friends. The holiday is also one of the busiest travel times in the state, often resulting in an increased number of Tennessee car accidents.

Last year, Tennessee state troopers investigated 29 collisions on the day before Thanksgiving and another 36 on the Sunday following the holiday. That’s why law enforcement across the state is vowing to ramp up efforts to keep motorists safe throughout the weekend.

According to an article from WGOW News Radio, the Tennessee Highway Patrol plans to have troopers stationed every 20 miles along I-40 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today, Nov. 26, and again on Sunday, Nov. 30, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Troopers will be watching for infractions such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Tennessee personal injury lawyers at Ponce Law would like to remind travelers that you can take the following steps to stay safe on the road this Thanksgiving weekend:

  • Service Your Vehicle- Changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking the brakes, and fixing broken lights are all tasks that should be completed before taking your vehicle on the road for the holidays. Doing so can significantly reduce your chances of accidents.
  • Buckle Up- Wearing a seatbelt can also reduce your chances of injury or death in the event of an accident.
  • Be Vigilant- Watch for other drivers who may not be paying attention to traffic signals and patterns.

We hope these tips help you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and fun Thanksgiving!

How to Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial

by Keith Adkins | November 24th, 2014

When illnesses or injuries strike, they can leave you permanently disabled. In some cases, Social Security Disability benefits may be available as a resource for income. But it’s important to carefully prepare your case, as an estimated 60 percent of initial claims receive Social Security Disability denials.

This leaves many citizens wondering what steps should be taken after a denial. The Social Security Administration (SSA) explains the first thing you should do is file an appeal. If you wish to appeal your Social Security Disability denial, the necessary paperwork must be submitted within 60 days of the decision being issued.

Once your appeal is filed, the SSA will reconsider your case. They will then either award you benefits or issue another denial. If the latter occurs, an administrative judge will then hear your case.

If the judge rules in your favor you will be awarded benefits. If not, the Appeals Council will then review your case. Having your case heard by the federal courts is the only other option available.

While the process may seem simple enough, the Nashville personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law explain the laws regulating Social Security Disability denial appeals can be complex. That’s why we urge you to speak with an attorney about your claim. They will help answer any questions you may have about getting the benefits you need.

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, our legal team is available to speak with you by calling (888) 977- 9912.

Are Illegal Immigrants Entitled to Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

by Keith Adkins | November 21st, 2014

Most employees in Tennessee have a right to file for workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured on the job, but what about illegal immigrants? Do they have the same right to these benefits as legal workers? The Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers with Ponce Law explain a recent court decision says yes.

A recent report from HR.BLR.com states the Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled illegal immigrants have the same right to file a workers’ compensation claim as any other worker.

There are four reasons for the decision. First, there’s an exception to the state’s at-will employment laws that prohibit employers from firing employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. Undocumented workers are also not excluded from the definition of “employee” outlined in state workers’ compensation laws and these individuals are allowed to file suits in other courts.

The court was also concerned that a ruling prohibiting illegal immigrants from filing workers’ compensation claims could lead to increasingly dangerous work environments.

So where should you begin if you’ve been injured on the job ? Hiring an attorney is a great first step.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping injured workers and can do the same for you. Call us at (888) 977-9912 to speak with our legal team.

Nashville Lawmakers Pass Proposal to Regulate Metro’s Ride-Sharing Industry

by Keith Adkins | November 19th, 2014

Ride-sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft have really taken off over the last several years in the Nashville area. These unique business models allow citizens to utilize those in their area who drive for the companies for rides that can be significantly cheaper and faster than a cab or taxi. However, ride sharing has stirred quite the controversy here in regards to who should be liable in the event of a Tennessee car accident.

Taxi companies and other opponents of the businesses say ride-sharing companies should be required to hold the same certifications and insurance that they are required to have. The ride-sharing companies argue their drivers purchase their own insurance and that the companies’ business models exempt them from other licenses and certifications that taxi companies must acquire.

It seems as though Metro legislators believe ride-sharing businesses should be regulated. According to WKRN 2 News, a bill was passed earlier this week that would impose several strict rules on the ride-sharing industry in Nashville. If the bill is approved, it would require:

  • Ride share drivers to be licensed by the city and meet insurance standards.
  • Vehicles to be inspected annually.
  • Drivers to pass a background check conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation each year.

At Ponce Law, we want everyone to be safe on the road. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers hope any regulations that are enacted for the ride-sharing industry are effective in achieving this goal.

 

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

by Keith Adkins | November 17th, 2014

If you live in Middle Tennessee, it’s likely you woke up to sleet and or snow this morning. This winter precipitation not only means a season change is upon us again, but also that it’s time to begin preparations for driving in slick or snowy conditions.

At Ponce Law, our team of Goodlettsville car accident lawyers offer these tips for safe winter driving:

  • Stay Home- If road conditions are deteriorating, stay off the roads if possible and wait for the weather to clear.
  • Do Your Homework- If you must get out in bad weather, know the conditions of the roads and highways you’re planning to travel. In Tennessee, you can use the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s SmartWay maps to find this information.
  • Prepare Your Vehicle- Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and your brakes are working properly before driving on snow or ice. Be sure to check that your windshield wipers and lights are working properly as well.
  • Prepare Yourself- When traveling in bad weather, it’s wise to prepare for the worst by bringing along cold weather gear and supplies in case of emergency. This can include blankets, flashlights, food, and water.

The Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law hope these tips help keep you and your loved ones safe throughout the winter.

Two Benefits That Are Available to Disabled American Workers

by Keith Adkins | November 14th, 2014

While we do our best to prepare for the unexpected, accidents and illness can strike at anytime. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what options are available to offer you assistance in the event you become disabled due to a mishap or disease.

Social Security Disability Benefits

These payments are made available to Americans who are suffering from a long-term or terminal condition. The Social Security Disability attorneys with Ponce Law explain that there are complex regulations that can make it slow and difficult to be approved for the program. Luckily, the Social Security Administration has another type of resource that may be easier for a disabled citizen to receive.

Supplemental Security Income

The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows anyone who is 65 years of age or younger, blind, or disabled to qualify for Supplemental Security Income. Recipients must also have limited resources and income.

Getting Help

The processes to receive either of these benefits can be arduous and may require you to seek legal assistance with your claim. In fact, SSA reports show an estimated 60 percent of initial Social Security Disability claims are denied.

At Ponce Law, we’re here to help if you’re disabled and in need of assistance. We can answer any questions you may have regarding your case and can assist you with the paperwork that’s necessary for filing. To speak with a member of our legal team, give us a call at (888) 977-9912.

Is Using a Hands-Free Device Behind the Wheel Still Distracted Driving?

by Keith Adkins | November 12th, 2014

What Constitutes Distracted Driving?

Most motorists are aware of how dangerous distracted driving can be. That’s why many Americans have adopted the use of “hands-free” devices while behind the wheel; but is this technology effectively preventing car accidents from occurring or is it equally as distracting? One recent study found the latter to be true.

How Distracting Are Hands-Free Devices?

According to a story from AAA Living, research has shown voice-activated command technology that is used to operate car stereos, GPS units, and cell phones are just as distracting as attempting to use these devices with fingers and hands. Those using voice-activated systems were found to show suppressed brain activity in areas that are needed for driving and also displayed effects in performance while behind the wheel. The teams found that the less motorists had to manipulate their hands-free device to complete a task, the less distraction it posed.

Eliminating Distracted Driving

These findings leave many drivers wondering what they can do to reduce their chances of being involved in a distracted driving accident. At Ponce Law, our Nashville personal injury lawyers urge motorists to simply not use any sort of electronic device in your vehicle while the car is moving. Input any data into a device or change any settings prior to putting your vehicle into motion. If you must use a device while driving, be sure to pull over.

Tennessee Motorcycle Accident Prompts Highway Safety Concerns

by Keith Adkins | November 10th, 2014

One of the most preventable contributing factors to crashes today are faulty roadways. Recently, a defective road here in Tennessee has not only led to numerous accidents, but is also causing local and state officials to face public scrutiny for failing to address the issue.

Just last week, a Tennessee motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 109 and Academy Road in Lebanon, Tennessee. The fatal collision occurred just days after two local teenagers died in a crash along Highway 109 in Gallatin. Now, many local citizens have come forward saying the roads have heavy traffic on a daily basis and need updating. However, local officials are saying that the state is responsible for any maintenance that needs to be done.

The Wilson Post reports the Tennessee Department of Transportation has stated that plans to widen Highway 109 in the problematic areas are being developed, but no timeline has been created for the completion of the project.

This news leaves many wondering what to do after accidents caused by defective roadways. At Ponce Law, our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers would suggest discussing your legal rights with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.

Our legal team is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week—just dial (888) 977-9912.

First Responder Training Facility Opens in Nashville

by Keith Adkins | November 7th, 2014

Being a first responder is one of the most dangerous jobs one can have. From the risks posed by rescuing others to the chances of being struck by vehicles, emergency crews face a plethora of hazards on a daily basis.

Our state is dedicated to offering the best training available to first responders so they can better help those who’ve suffered auto accident injuries. That’s why a new facility was opened in Nashville.

According to Clarksville Online, the new facility is located off of Stewarts Ferry Pike and is home to a connected system of short roadways that allow emergency crews to train for nearly any situation they could find themselves in. The roads range in size from two-to six-lanes and are equipped with guardrails and intersections as well.

During the grand opening ceremony on October 20, the new facility was dedicated to the dozens of men and women employed by the Tennessee Highway Patrol or Department of Transportation who lost their lives in the line of duty.

At Ponce Law, we understand how better training for first responders can help lead to less on-the-job accidents, as well as better care and treatment for accident victims. That’s why our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers would like to applaud state officials for making the new facility at top priority.

Tennesseans Working To Reduce Auto Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving

by Keith Adkins | November 5th, 2014

Distracted driving poses a serious threat to anyone on the road, but  teen motorists are at the greatest risk of injury or death. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show as many as 20 percent of teenage drivers admit to texting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Teens in Tennessee are beginning to fight back against distracted driving though, with many joining or creating groups focused on raising awareness of the problem within their communities. One of those teens, a junior at Cookeville High School, explains the auto accident injuries her sister suffered at the hands of a distracted driver inspired her to join TEST Club.

The group was founded by the Cookeville Police Department and is now more than 500 members strong. Participants spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving through campaigns and the sharing of information at a grassroots level.

According to the Herald-Citizen, the TEST Club was recently awarded the Gold Safety Award from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office for their work with the “Reduce TN Crashes” program.

At Ponce Law, we recognize the need to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers congratulate the TEST Club on their latest achievements. We would also encourage others who wish to fight against distracted driving to get involved with a group like the TEST Club.