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After a Knoxville car accident, victims and their loved ones may face an immeasurable amount of psychological, emotional, and financial harm. While recovery entails more than just financial compensation, monetary damages are often the first step to rebuilding after an accident. In Tennessee, the law allows for three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Damages refer to the money a liable person pays to an injury victim after an accident. These compensations are available through insurance settlements, negotiations, or trials. However, the type and amount of damages depend on various factors primarily, the circumstances surrounding the accident and the ensuing losses.

Under the law, economic damages refer to payments to a plaintiff to compensate them for quantifiable monetary losses. These damages typically include medical expenses, pay stubs, and repair bills. Non-economic or non-monetary damages often called general damages, include subjective losses that are harder to quantify. Common examples include pain and suffering damages, payments for emotional distress, and loss of companionship or consortium.

Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to punish and deter the defendant. Courts rarely award these damages, and they are available in a narrow set of circumstances. Under Tennessee Statute § 29-39-104(a)(1) (2014), punitive damages are only applicable when a plaintiff establishes by “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted maliciously, intentionally, fraudulently, or recklessly.” The statute provides caps on the number of punitive damages a plaintiff can recover. However, there are certain exceptions to the cap, including;

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Good Samaritan laws protect those who provide safety to others during dangerous situations or necessary rescue. Tennessee’s Good Samaritan Law protects people from liability if they meet certain conditions. These laws stem from public policy considerations that those who voluntarily perform care in emergencies outside of a medical setting should be immune from liability in most situations. Generally, the law protects from negligence lawsuits against good Samaritans; however, these individuals still maintain their right to sue for personal injury or wrongful death in most scenarios.

Tennessee good Samaritan law protects those giving aid in an emergency without financial gain and so long as they act in good faith. Good faith generally includes situations where a person holds a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of situations requires them to render aid or care. The law does not define precisely what constitutes an “emergency.” However, in most cases, life-threatening situations fall under that umbrella. The law applies to the general public and certain medical providers providing emergency care at an accident scene.

Good Samaritans often put themselves in precarious positions to provide care, safety, and rescue to those in imminent danger. In some situations, these helpers can sustain serious injuries or even death in their effort to aid another. For instance, national news reports described a tragic accident involving a Tennessee good Samaritan. According to reports, the 22-year-old man was on his way to church when he stopped to help a driver involved in an accident. The man parked his vehicle and approached the car accident victim. While rendering aid, another driver slammed into the man’s unoccupied vehicle, which was pushed into him. Tragically the man died from his injuries, leaving behind a one-month-old daughter and wife.

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Head-on collisions do not occur as frequently as other types of accidents; however, they tend to result in the most serious injuries. Tennessee head-on or frontal collisions refer to instances when two vehicles traveling toward each other collide. Although many cars have safety features designed to lessen the impact of an accident, the protections may not be enough to shield occupants from a head-on collision.

Tennessee head-on collision lawsuits typically fall under the theory of negligence. As such, the victim must establish that the at-fault party failed to use reasonable care in preventing the accident. Specifically, the claimant must prove that the other party had a duty of care to the victim; they breached the duty of care, and that breach caused the victim’s injuries and damages. While head-on collisions may seem straightforward, at-fault parties often purport theories to avoid liability and pay compensation.

Defendants in Tennessee frontal crashes may blame their actions on inclement weather, road conditions, incorrect traffic signals, or even the victim’s conduct. While the Tennessee law allows claimants to recover even if they hold some fault for the accident, the law bars recovery if the victim was 50% or more responsible for the accident. As such, it is crucial that accident victims consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that they recover the damages the law entitles them.

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Recently, an appeals court issued an opinion stemming from injuries a minor suffered on playground equipment. The minor child’s parents filed an action in front of the Tennessee Claims Commission, arguing that the State was liable for negligence, gross negligence, and gross negligence per se. While climbing on the equipment, the girl fell and fractured her arm. The family argued that her injuries occurred because of inadequate mulch and padding on the playground. Among several claims, they argued that the girl’s injuries arose because the State was negligent in maintaining its property and warning of dangerous conditions. The government denied liability citing Tenn. Code 9-8-307(a)(1)(C) and the Recreational Use Statute. The commissioner found that the Recreational Use Statute provided the State with immunity as a landowner and that the gross negligence exception was not applicable.

Tennessee’s Recreational Use statute provides the State with immunity for injuries occurring on state property during recreational use. The statute provides an exception in cases where the State acted with willful or wanton conduct or gross negligence. However, the statute is a high burden to meet, and the court has previously concluded that after-the-fact concerns about dangerous conditions are insufficient to establish a conscious indifference.

In this case, the plaintiffs concede that the Recreational Use statute provides immunity but argued that the gross negligence exception should apply.

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Establishing fault and determining liability after an accident can prove to be a challenging and daunting process for many injury victims and their loved ones. These cases become more complicated when there are multiple parties and theories of liability present. This is most frequently seen in Tennessee chain-reaction and multiple-vehicle crashes. Multiple vehicle or impact accidents refer to crashes that encompass more than one impact. These types of crashes often result in “pile-ups.”

Tennessee pile-up accidents typically occur on moderate to high-speed roadways, like highways and freeways. After an initial collision, the vehicles following may be unable to reduce their speed to avoid the initial crash. The subsequent impact may result in a series of impacts that may cause the vehicles to pile upon each other. This differs from a chain-reaction accident which may cause subsequent impacts; however, those impacts may cause vehicles to change directions.

Pile-up accidents can result from various negligent and reckless conduct. Some common causes of Tennessee multiple impact collisions include driver distraction, recklessness, fatigue, impairment, and general carelessness. This conduct can have devastating and costly consequences to anyone in the vicinity of the incident.

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Tennessee provides several picturesque boating opportunities throughout the state. The state’s numerous lakes, rivers, and temperate weather make boating a popular leisure activity for residents and visitors. In addition to leisure boating, over 50 million tons of products are transported on the state’s waterways every year. Naturally, the crowded waterways lead to more Tennessee boating and watercraft accidents.

While Tennessee law imputes liability on vessel owners for damages that their vessel causes, regardless of whether the owner is present, an exception exists when the vessel is used without the owner’s permission or consent. Moreover, the law requires vessels within 300 feet of commercial boat docks to reduce their speed, even when an area is unmarked. Although these laws are essential to reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries, the most critical laws involve boating under the influence.

Despite the widespread knowledge of the dangers of boating or driving under the influence, people continue to engage in this harmful behavior. Tennessee prohibits individuals from operating a powered or sailing vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those who fail to abide by these crucial laws may cause significant injuries and property damages. Further, boating under the influence can result in civil and criminal penalties. In addition to collisions, boating injuries may stem from onboard carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical accidents, and equipment defects.

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After a Tennessee truck accident, the party responsible for the accident is generally one of the drivers. However, in cases involving large tractor-trailers, more than one entity may be responsible for the accident and ensuing injuries. Injury victims and their families should consult with an attorney to determine all potential avenues of relief against any liable party.

For the most part, motorists need to share the road with various types of vehicles, including large SUVs, trucks, motorcyclists, and cyclists. In most cases, claims against a negligent driver involve that driver, their insurance company, and possibly the vehicle owner. However, in claims against a truck driver, the lawsuit may include claims against the truck driver’s employer, truck manufacturer, shipping company, or other parties responsible for the care and maintenance of the truck. For those reasons, Tennessee accident claims involving tractor-trailers and large trucks tend to pose many challenges to injury victims.

One of the first issues is determining the cause of the accident. Truck accidents in Tennessee often result in chain-reaction accidents, and pinpointing an exact cause can be challenging. However, most truck accidents involve driver fatigue, driver distraction, impaired driving, and speeding. Most truck claims involve jackknife truck accidents, tire blowouts, unsecured loads, hazmat accidents, and underride accidents. However, because of these vehicles’ sheer size and strength, any slight error can result in devastating consequences.

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Recently, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from an incident where a man totaled his vehicle when a trench underneath a road split and caused the asphalt to crumble. The man and his wife filed a lawsuit against the City, alleging personal injuries and property damage and loss of consortium. In response, the City purported that the Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA) provided them with immunity from the lawsuit. The plaintiffs averred that the Tennessee Code section 29-20-203 removed their immunity. However, the trial court found in favor of the City, reasoning that the plaintiffs did not establish that the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the road’s dangerous condition.

In this case, the inquiry focuses on whether the City maintains immunity through the GTLA. Generally, local governmental entities are immune from Tennessee injury lawsuits, except in cases defined by statute or explicitly permitted by the General Assembly. The dispute at issue arises from section 29-20-203, which removes immunity for injuries resulting from a “defective, unsafe, or dangerous condition” of roadways owned and controlled by the governmental entity. However, plaintiffs asserting this exception must prove that the defendant had “actual or constructive” knowledge of the condition.

In this case, the plaintiffs presented evidence of a work order that shows that the trench at issue was inspected a day before the accident and that the City determined that it needed to be replaced. However, the City argued that regardless of the work order, the plaintiffs did not present any other evidence that the road was defective or dangerous. On appeal, the plaintiffs contended that although they did not present opposing affidavits to the City’s motion for summary judgment, procedural rules do not demand this. Instead, when responding, the plaintiffs must present evidence that could lead a trier of fact to find in their favor.

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The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TNSH) works to serve, secure, and protect people in the state. A part of their duties includes compiling statistics and data regarding the rates of accidents in Tennessee. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that road traffic accidents are a leading cause of death. The TNSH addresses these safety concerns and implements measures to mitigate the dangers to people in the state.

While 2020 saw a .3% decrease in accidents, there has been a nearly 11% increase in Tennessee crashes from 2020 to 2021. According to data, the summer months, specifically July and August, show the highest rate of crashes. The majority of accidents involve a senior driver between the ages of 65 and 99 years old. Further, other leading causes of accidents in the state include drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs and distracted drivers. Moreover, an overwhelming number of Tennessee car accidents involve unbelted occupants.

It is no surprise that these accidents can have a devastating toll on accident victims and their families. Accident victims are often left with significant medical bills related to the incident. At the same time, being unable to work during the recovery process makes it even harder to cover these expenses. While insurance may cover some costs, the coverage rarely covers the extent of an accident victim’s damages. As such, it is critical that Tennessee car accident survivors and their loved ones recoup the compensation they deserve.

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Patients rely on physicians, nurses, and pharmacies to appropriately prescribe, administer, and dispense medications. Tennessee medication errors at any point in this process can have deadly consequences to consumers. Many healthcare providers are taught to double-check medications to ensure that they have the right patient, dose, time, route, and medication before providing it to the consumer. However, despite this training, over a million people suffer medication errors every year.

For example, a nurse’s medical error at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) took the life of a 75-year-old patient. The patient checked into the hospital to receive treatment for bleeding in her brain. Two days after her admission, the patient’s condition began to improve, and the staff was preparing for her release after a final scan. The nurse at issue was supposed to administer a sedative before the scan; however, she accidentally administered a paralyzing medication. The drug left the woman brain dead, and she was taken off life support a few days later.

The nurse explained that while she is responsible for the mistake, the hospital’s procedure made the event more likely to occur. She explained that the hospital permitted nurses to override the medication cabinet safety prompts. As such, since it was a regular practice, the nurse overrode the safety prompts that appeared on screen when she was gathering the medication. The mix-up occurred because the woman searched for the medication’s brand name, but the cabinet was set to search for generic names. Authorities reported that the bottle contained a warning label that indicated that the medication was a “PARALYZING AGENT.” The nurse

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