In some instances, a person injured in a car accident will be not only able to pursue claims against the driver that caused the accident but also against other parties that negligently entrusted the driver with the vehicle involved in the accident. If a plaintiff fails to produce sufficient evidence to prove negligent entrustment, though, the defendant may be able to request that a court grant judgment in its favor via a directed verdict. In a recent opinion, a Tennessee court explained a defendant’s recourse when a court denies a defendant’s motion for a directed verdict and the defendant fails to file a timely appeal in a case arising out of a collision. If you suffered injuries due to a car crash, you could be owed substantial damages, and it is advisable to speak to a capable Tennessee car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Facts and Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant driver struck the plaintiff while she was jogging. The plaintiff suffered significant injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant driver, setting forth negligence claims. She named the driver’s mother as a defendant as well, arguing that she negligently entrusted the driver with the vehicle he was operating during the accident and that she was vicariously liable for the harm he caused. The court dismissed the vicarious liability claim against the defendant mother via summary judgment, and the remaining claims proceeded to trial.

It is reported that, at the close of the plaintiff’s case, the defendant mother moved for a directed verdict on the negligent entrustment claim. The trial court denied her motion, and the court ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff. She did not file a post-trial motion but later appealed the court’s judgment against her, arguing it erred in failing to grant her motion for a directed verdict. The plaintiff argued the defendant mother waived her right to appeal.

Continue reading ›

Many car dealerships provide customers with loaned vehicles to use while their cars are being serviced. Drivers of loaned cars are as likely as other motorists to be involved in accidents. Still, if they are, the issue of who is ultimately responsible for any damages caused can be a convoluted question. This was demonstrated in a recent Tennessee ruling in which the court affirmed that an insurer of a dealership was not liable for damages caused by a person driving a loaned SUV. If you were hurt in a crash involving a rented or loaned vehicle, it is prudent to meet with a dedicated Tennessee car accident attorney to assess your options.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant took his vehicle to a dealership to have it serviced. The dealer provided him with an SUV to use in the interim, and he executed a rental agreement. He then saw another SUV that he wished to drive instead. Thus, a dealership employee crossed out the information in the agreement for the first SUV and wrote in the information for the second SUV, after which the defendant signed the agreement.

Allegedly, while the defendant was driving the SUV, he was involved in a collision with the plaintiff that caused the plaintiff to suffer significant injuries. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, and a jury returned a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor. The plaintiff then filed a second action seeking a ruling from the court that the dealership’s insurer was required to pay the damages awarded in the verdict. The court found in favor of the insurer, and the plaintiff appealed.

Continue reading ›

It is not uncommon for a car accident to be caused by multiple factors. For example, in many instances, a crash will be brought about by a combination of inclement weather and reckless driving. When a collision is caused by the injured party’s negligence, however, it can preclude the recovery of damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Tennessee car accident case in which the court upheld a verdict in favor of the defendant due to the jury’s finding that the plaintiff was sixty percent at the fault for the crash.  If you were injured in a collision, it advisable to consult a skillful Tennessee car accident attorney to determine whether you may be owed compensation.

Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff and the defendant were involved in a collision in the parking lot of a shopping center. The plaintiff sustained injures in the accident, after which he filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging a claim of negligence. The case was tried in front of a jury, who found that the plaintiff was sixty percent at fault for the accident. Thus, pursuant to Tennessee’s comparative negligence law, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which the court denied. The plaintiff then appealed, arguing that the jury’s finding was against the weight of the evidence. On appeal, the jury’s verdict was affirmed.

Comparative Fault in Tennessee

Under Tennessee law, allocation of fault is an issue of fact to be determined by a jury. Thus, when a jury’s finding of fault is called into question, a court reviewing the matter will only set aside the jury’s verdict if it finds a complete lack of material evidence in support of the verdict. In determining whether such evidence exists, a court will take the strongest view of the evidence that supports the verdict and assume it to be truthful. The court will also allow all reasonable inferences to sustain the verdict and discard any evidence that disfavors the verdict. Continue reading ›

There are many elements that a plaintiff in a lawsuit arising out of a car accident must prove to demonstrate that damages should be awarded. In other words, the plaintiff must not only prove that the defendant’s acts led to the accident, but also that the accident caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm; otherwise, the plaintiff may be denied compensation. This was demonstrated in a recent Tennessee case in which the defendant conceded liability, but the jury declined to grant the plaintiff any damages, finding that she had not established causation. If you were hurt in a car accident, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Tennessee car accident attorney to assess what you must prove to present a winning case.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, a 70-year-old widow, was driving to work when she was struck from the rear by the defendant driver. The plaintiff, who suffered from degenerative disc disease, alleged she suffered back and neck pain following the accident and filed a negligence claim against the defendant. Prior to the trial, the defendant conceded liability but argued that the crash was minor, in that the two cars barely touched and his airbags did not deploy.

It is reported that during the trial, the plaintiff presented the testimony of a medical expert, who stated that the accident had aggravated the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition. The expert admitted, however, that her opinion was based on subjective evidence. The jury found in favor of the defendant, denying the plaintiff damages. The plaintiff then appealed, arguing the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

Continue reading ›

Many parents rely on bus drivers to safely transport their children to school. If a driver does not arrive at a designated stop at the scheduled time, though, a child may have to seek alternate means of traveling to school, which could ultimately lead to a car accident that causes the child to sustain significant harm. Whether the driver will be deemed liable for the injuries suffered depends on whether any other parties contributed to causing the accident, as demonstrated in a recent Tennessee case in which parents were denied recovery for their child’s harm due to their comparative negligence. If your child was injured in an accident, it is prudent to confer with a dedicated Tennessee car accident attorney to discuss your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the driver for the defendant school district arrived at the plaintiffs’ child’s stop seven minutes early, and left when the child was not present. The child later went to the stop, and after he realized the bus was not coming, he returned home, retrieved his bicycle, and told his father he was riding the bicycle to school. The child was struck by a pickup truck on the way to school and suffered severe injuries.

It is alleged that the plaintiffs, acting on behalf of their child, filed a lawsuit against the driver and the defendant school district, alleging claims of negligence. A jury ultimately found that the driver and defendant school district were negligent, but attributed fifty-six percent of the fault for the accident to the plaintiffs. Thus, the plaintiffs were denied recovery of damages. They appealed.

Continue reading ›

Many people’s jobs require them to drive regularly, and therefore many employers provide people with company cars. As such, in many instances in which a person driving a company car causes an accident that injures another party, the injured party may not only pursue claims against the driver but also against the company that employed the driver on a theory of vicarious liability. Recently, a Tennessee appellate court discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence to impose vicarious liability on an employer in a case in which a person was killed in a collision with a driver using a company car. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident involving a car owned by the driver’s employer, it is advisable to speak to a proficient Tennessee car accident attorney regarding what claims you may be able to pursue against the parties responsible for your harm.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s wife was involved in a car accident with the defendant driver, who was both the son and employee of the defendant vehicle owner. The plaintiff’s wife ultimately died due to the injuries caused by the accident, and the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, alleging a vicarious liability claim against the defendant vehicle owner. Specifically, the plaintiff argued that the defendant driver was acting in the scope and course of his employment during the accident, and therefore the defendant vehicle owner should be held accountable for the harm caused by the defendant driver.

It is reported that the defendant vehicle owner filed a motion for summary judgment, setting forth evidence that the defendant driver was acting outside of his employment at the time of the accident and asking the court to dismiss the claims against the defendant vehicle owner. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Continue reading ›

A person seeking compensation for harm suffered due to a car accident in Tennessee must not only establish liability, but he or she must also prove the damages caused by the accident. The consequences of the failure to adequately establish the economic and noneconomic harm caused by an accident were recently highlighted in a Tennessee appellate court case in which the court rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the defendant owed the plaintiff the damages she sought, despite the fact that she did not set forth any evidence supporting her damages claim. If you suffered harm in a car accident, it is prudent to consult an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to present a winning case.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant driver rear-ended the plaintiff’s car, causing the plaintiff to suffer injuries. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth a negligence claim and requesting $125,000 in damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The defendant did not answer the plaintiff’s discovery requests, and the plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment and a request for admission against the defendant. The defendant did not reply to either pleading.

It is reported that the court granted the request for admission and the motion for summary judgment. The defendant then appealed, but the court denied the appeal. A hearing was then held to determine the plaintiff’s damages, after which the court awarded the plaintiff $5,000, based on the lack of expert testimony supporting the plaintiff’s claim for damages. The plaintiff then appealed.

Continue reading ›

While in many truck accidents, it is easy to determine the parties involved in the accident, in other instances, it can be complicated. For example, if a person is injured in a hit and run accident with a tractor-trailer, even if the person observes identifying information on the trailer, it may be difficult for the person to prove the truck driver or the company that employs the truck driver should be liable. This was shown in a recent Tennessee case, in which an appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims, due to insufficient evidence that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s harm. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, it is wise to speak with a knowledgeable Tennessee truck accident attorney regarding what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was driving on a road in Nashville when the defendant’s tractor-trailer crossed into the plaintiff’s lane and collided with the plaintiff. After the accident, the defendant truck driver fled the scene. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging claims of negligence. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed.

Establishing Liability in a Hit and Run Truck Accident

On appeal, the primary issue was whether the plaintiff set forth sufficient factual evidence to allow a rational trier of fact to determine that the defendant owned the truck involved in the accident. The court noted that the plaintiff and plaintiff’s passenger both testified in their depositions that they saw the defendant’s name on the trailer but not the tractor. The defendant’s representative, however, testified that it regularly exchanged its trailers with other companies, which would use their own tractors and drivers to pull the trailers.

Continue reading ›

Not all car accidents involve two vehicles. Instead, in many cases, a car accident will, unfortunately, involve a car and a pedestrian. In many lawsuits in which a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle will attempt to evade liability by arguing that the pedestrian caused the collision, and if the jury finds the defendant driver’s evidence to be compelling, the pedestrian may be denied compensation. This was shown in a recent Tennessee car accident case in which the court denied a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial after the jury found in favor of the defendant.  If you were struck by a vehicle, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney to help you protect your rights.

Factual Background and Procedure of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff visited Tennessee as a tourist in 2005. During her stay, she jogged along the side of a highway. She decided to cross the highway, and while she was crossing, she was struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim. Following a trial, the jury found that the plaintiff was 80% at fault, and the defendant was 20% at fault for the accident. The plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion, after which she appealed.

The Standard for Setting Aside a Jury Verdict

Under Tennessee law, a court will only set aside a jury’s findings of fact if there is no material evidence in support of the jury’s verdict. A trial judge is tasked with acting as the thirteenth juror and independently weighing the evidence to determine if it is in favor of the jury verdict. If the trial judge finds the verdict to be dissatisfactory, he or she must grant a new trial or set aside the  verdict.

Continue reading ›

Some people who are involved in car accidents are tempted to avoid the expenses of retaining an attorney by representing themselves in a civil lawsuit. Few non-attorneys truly understand the nuances of the law, though, and self-represented parties often receive unfavorable outcomes due to their failure to comply with substantive and procedural requirements. This was demonstrated in a recent car accident case arising out of Tennessee, in which the court dismissed a self-represented plaintiff’s case for lack of prosecution. If you suffered harm due to a collision caused by another person’s negligence, it is prudent to consult a Tennessee car accident attorney to discuss your options for seeking damages.

Facts and Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff sustained bodily injuries, emotional distress, property damage, and pain and suffering in a car accident caused by the defendant. The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging negligence claims. The plaintiff failed to appear on numerous occasions throughout the case and ultimately failed to appear at trial. She was granted a continuance but advised that if she failed to appear again, her case would be dismissed. The plaintiff did not show up for her second trial, however, after which the court dismissed her case with prejudice, for failure to prosecute. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in dismissing her case. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute

Under Tennessee law, courts are obligated to provide equal and fair treatment to parties that represent themselves in lawsuits. The courts are not permitted, however, to prejudice the substantive rights of other parties to be fair to parties that choose to represent themselves. In other words, self-represented parties are not permitted to refuse to comply with the procedural and substantive laws that apply to parties that are represented by counsel. Thus, the plaintiff was obligated to comply with the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure.

Continue reading ›

Contact Information