Ponce Law

Tennessee Working Toward Zero Holiday Drunk Driving Fatalities

by Keith Adkins | December 17th, 2014

Drunk driving accident numbers tend to swell around holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and statistics from the National Safety Council show 42 percent of traffic fatalities around New Year’ Eve are caused by intoxicated motorists. Furthermore, 35 percent of deaths resulting from car accidents on Christmas are the result of drunk driving.

To help reduce Tennessee drunk driving accident totals, the month of December has been named as Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month. As part of the campaign, law enforcement across Tennessee will be working to educate the public about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, as well as taking inebriated motorists off the road.

Reports from WGNS News Radio state that the Governor’s Highway Safety Office recently announced it’s partnership with local law enforcement offices in their goal to have zero fatalities due to traffic accidents in the last few weeks of this year. Officials urged citizens to celebrate responsibly by never getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming anything that could impair your judgment. Instead, establish a designated driver or utilize a taxi to get home safely.

At Ponce Law, our team of Goodlettsville car accident attorneys has seen the devastating results that drinking and driving can have. That’s why we urge you to heed the advice being given by state officials not to drink and drive. Doing so will help to ensure you and your family have a safe and happy holiday!

New Regulations on Savings Considered for SSD Recipients

by Keith Adkins | December 15th, 2014

If you’ve been approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you may think that your financial troubles are behind you. However, a majority of Social Security Disability recipients continue to struggle financially after being approved for benefits.

The Social Security Administration’s archaic laws regarding how much in income and assets a Social Security Disability recipient can acquire. Currently, a disability recipient can have no more than $2,000 at any given time. They must also adhere to strict limits on the amount of income they can earn per month. These laws prevent the disabled from paying off medical bills, buying transportation, and saving for an education or housing.

Federal officials are working to address these issues by proposing a bill that would revamp these laws to meet today’s income standards. The newly proposed law would allow disabled Americans to establish a tax-free savings account with a $100,000 limit. Deposits of up to $14,000 could then be made to the accounts at no penalty to the account holder, thus allowing the disabled to begin saving for the future. The Huffington Post reports a vote to approve the new law is expected to come soon.

At Ponce Law, we understand the struggles disabled Americans face on a daily basis. That’s why our Nashville personal injury attorneys are hopeful this new law is approved and those who are having a hard time getting back on their feet can do so swiftly.

Record Low Number of Tennessee Car Accidents Over Thanksgiving Weekend

by Keith Adkins | December 12th, 2014

The holidays can be a busy time on the highways of Tennessee, and this year is no exception. Thanksgiving was expected to be one of the busiest travel periods of the year, with millions of motorists taking to the road. Despite the increased traffic volume, the Tennessee car accident total was lower than at has been in many years.

Clarksville Online reports that data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security shows there were only four fatal Tennessee car accidents over Thanksgiving weekend. This was the lowest number of traffic-related deaths over during this particular time period since 1983, when seven people were killed in traffic collisions.

Law enforcement report that none of the fatal crashes were considered drunk driving accidents, and two of the victims were wearing seatbelts.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s participation in the I-40 Challenge may have been part of the difference, considering none of the fatal accidents occurred on the Interstate during the campaign. The challenge had troopers patrolling for motorists violating speed limit, seat belt, and distracted driving laws every 20 miles along I-40.

At Ponce Law, we’re happy to see Tennessee highway safety improving. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers would like to encourage you to continue practicing safe driving habits by:

  • Slowing Down- Obey the posted speed limit—it’s there to keep you safe.
  • Buckling Up- Wearing a seat belt will drastically reduce your chances of being harmed in a crash.
  • Driving  Defensively- Obey all traffic signals, avoid aggressive driving habits, and never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.

Guardrails May Put Nashville Drivers at Risk of Serious Car Accident Injuries

by Keith Adkins | December 10th, 2014

Guardrails are designed to protect motorists in the event of a crash, but new research has shown that the design of guardrails used across the country—including here in Nashville—may put drivers at risk of car accident injuries or death.

Studies have shown the ET-Plus End Terminals designed by Texas-based company, Trinity Industries, are several inches shorter than the models submitted for approval. This difference in length prevents the guardrails from properly crumbling when struck by motor vehicles, which can cause them to penetrate vehicles and harm drivers and their passengers.

These failures have led to several wrongful death lawsuits against the company, including one stemming from a Tennessee car accident.

The guardrails in question are in use on roadways around Music City. An article from WSMV News says Metro officials have noted at least 20 of the faulty rails around the city.

As of now, nothing has been done about the problem. Four states have already banned the use of the faulty equipment, but Metro officials say they are waiting on the results of new crash testing before deciding whether or not to replace the guardrails.

The Nashville personal injury lawyers with Ponce Law encourage you to speak to an experienced law firm if you were injured in a crash caused by a guardrail. Our team is ready to help 24/7—just call (888) 977-9912.

 

Tennessee Bans Big Rig Traffic on “The Dragon’s Tail”

by Keith Adkins | December 8th, 2014

Commercial tractor-trailers can be difficult to operate on narrow, winding roads. That’s why Tennessee has decided to ban big rigs from traveling on a stretch of highway known as “The Dragon’s Tail” in the eastern part of the state.

The Leaf-Chronicle reports the Dragon boasts a total of 318 sharp turns in an 11-mile stretch, making the roadway popular for both motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts. However, these curves can turn deadly gauntlet when 80,000-pound trucks enter the picture.

This particular danger was made apparent when a motorist died along the stretch of road after a Tennessee truck accident. Officials say the risks posed by an accident are only compounded by the traffic that can ensue after a pile up.

Most truck drivers are unaware of these dangers and only opt for the route to avoid a 100 mile trip around it. Officials feel the ban will better protect all drivers. In fact, it’s these dangers that forced North Carolina to ban truck travel on their side of the highway several years ago.

At Ponce Law, we recognize the risks truck drivers can pose on mountainous roads. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers are hopeful the ban helps reduce Tennessee truck accidents.

 

Pharmacy Responsible for Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Facing Criminal Penalties

by Keith Adkins | December 5th, 2014

Manufacturers of medications in the United States must adhere to strict hygiene and safety regulations when creating their products. Otherwise, they could face both criminal and civil penalties.

The owners of one Tennessee compounding pharmacy recently pleaded guilty to charges of making and distributing a contaminated drug last year that resulted in a fungal meningitis outbreak. The medication was responsible for sickening as many as 26 patients who received the tainted steroid injections from the pharmacy.

According to reports from The Tennessean, the owner of Main Street Family Pharmacy in Newbern, Tennessee, and his wife pleaded guilty in a Memphis courtroom to violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which states that companies cannot put unsafe products on the market. The convictions came after U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulators inspected the pharmacy’s compounding facility in May and June 2013. The pharmacy failed to properly sanitize and disinfect the rooms and equipment used to compound drugs. Furthermore, the pharmacy failed to properly test their products for safety.

As a result, both the owner and his wife were sentenced to 12 months probation and as much as $50,000 in fines. The pharmacy also isn’t allowed to operate until it meets state and federal health standards.

At Ponce Law, we recognize the importance of creating accountability among drug manufacturers. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers encourage you to speak with an attorney if you or a loved one have been harmed by a drug. Contact our 24/7 legal team today—just dial (888) 977-9912.

FDA Working to Protect Unborn Children and Pregnant Women from Drug Injuries

by Keith Adkins | December 3rd, 2014

Pregnant women must consider the effects of the medications they take on their child, but determining the risks isn’t always simple. One example is the risk of antidepressant birth defects among many popular prescription depression treatments.

A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that women who take Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)—a type of antidepressant—after the 20th week of pregnancy have a six times higher chance of having babies who suffer from persistent pulmonary hypertension. This can cause problems with blood flow that can prevent the child’s body from absorbing enough oxygen.

To help pregnant women better understand which drugs are safe for their children, WKRN 2 News reports the FDA is making changes to medication labels. Beginning next summer, drug manufacturers will have to include information on the safety of a medication during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This will include data whether the drug was tested on humans or animals.

This could significantly reduce the number of children who suffer birth defects caused by medications, considering women take an average of three to five prescription drugs during pregnancy.

At Ponce Law, we’ve seen the devastating results some medications can have on unborn children, and we’re here to help if you or a loved one has suffered such harm. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers are here to help protect your legal rights. To learn more about how we can assist you, feel free to call us anytime at (888) 977-9912.

Are Traffic Signals Putting Tennessee Motorcycle Riders at Risk?

by Keith Adkins | December 1st, 2014

Traffic signals are designed to keep motorists safe, but one particularly dangerous intersection in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has many local citizens up in arms.

The intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Sonya Drive was the location where a 9-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle and suffered a brain injury while attempting to cross the street where there was no crosswalk.

According to WSMV News, the incident resulted in new signage and traffic signals, but some say this has created a whole new set of problems for those on motorcycles. The traffic signals change based on weight readings collected by sensors in the road. When traffic backs up, the lights change—but the lights often don’t change for motorcycles because they’re only a fraction of the size of a car or truck.

This causes motorcyclists to have to pull into moving traffic, putting them at serious risk of  motorcycle accidents. Officials are working to address the problem, but no solutions have been pinpointed.

At Ponce Law, we recognize the dangers motorcyclists face on a daily basis. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers are hopeful a solution to the issue is implemented soon.

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.