Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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.

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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.

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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.

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If a person is injured in a car accident in Tennessee, he or she will often file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the driver that caused the accident. If the driver was engaged in the course and scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident, the injured party may be able to recover damages from the driver’s employer as well. Recently, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Knoxville explained when an employer can be held liable for harm caused by its employee, in a case arising out of a car accident. If you were injured in a Tennessee car accident by a driver engaged in the course and scope of his or her job duties it is critical to meet with a seasoned Tennessee car accident attorney to discuss who may be held accountable for your harm.

Factual Background

It is alleged that in August 2016, the plaintiff was driving on a road in Greene County, Tennessee, when a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and struck her head-on.  The plaintiff sustained permanent and severe injuries in the accident. She subsequently filed a lawsuit asserting negligence claims against the defendant driver’s estate and the defendant driver’s employer, arguing that the defendant driver was engaged in the scope and course of her employment at the time of the accident.

It is reported that the plaintiff further alleged that the defendant driver was liable for negligent hiring and supervision. The defendant employer denied that the defendant driver was engaged in employment-related activities at the time of the accident, and filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed, arguing that the court erred in ruling that the defendant driver was not acting in the scope of her employment at the time of the accident and that the defendant employer could not be held liable under a theory of respondeat superior.

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Most people purchase car insurance with the expectation that the insurance will provide coverage in the event of a car accident. If a car owner fails to comply with the terms of the policy and is subsequently injured in an accident, however, he or she may be denied any coverage or benefits pursuant to exclusions under the policy. Recently, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee analyzed policy exclusions in a case in which a car accident was caused by an unlicensed driver who was intoxicated at the time of the accident. If you were involved in a car accident in Tennessee and your insurance company is attempting to deny you coverage you should meet with a skillful Tennessee car accident attorney to discuss your options for recovering benefits.

Factual Background

It is alleged that the car owner was involved in an accident in which he rear-ended another driver. At the time of the accident the car owner did not have a valid license. Additionally, he admitted to the investigating officers that he had been drinking and failed multiple field sobriety tests. He was ultimately charged with and convicted of driving under the influence.

It is reported that the other driver filed a lawsuit against the car owner, seeking costs, and compensatory and punitive damages for the harm she sustained in the accident. The car owner was insured by the plaintiff insurer. The insurer subsequently filed a declaratory judgment action and a subsequent motion for summary judgment, seeking an edict from the court that it was not obligated to provide the car owner coverage under the terms of the policy. Continue reading ›

Driving a car is generally safe but it is not without risks and being involved in a car accident can cause substantial injuries and, in some cases, death. Although many car accidents are caused by other drivers, unexpected hazards in the roadway can cause collisions as well. While many roadway hazards are caused by natural conditions, in some cases a hazard may be caused by a person’s negligence. In a recent Tennessee case, an appellate court addressed the issue of what constitutes sufficient evidence of a defendant’s responsibility for creating a hazardous condition that caused an accident, to avoid dismissal of a case. If you suffered harm in a Tennessee car accident due to a hazardous condition that was created by another person you should speak with a trusted Tennessee car accident attorney as soon as possible regarding your options for seeking recourse.

Alleged Facts Regarding the Accident

It is reported that the plaintiffs’ decedent was driving his car on a roadway, when he hit a bull that was standing in the middle of the road. The impact caused his car to veer off the road and flip upside down in a nearby creek. The decedent subsequently drowned. The plaintiffs, the wife and children of the decedent, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he owned the bull and was negligent in failing to control it. The defendant denied that he owned the bull. Following the completion of discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted.

Allegedly, the trial court stated that due to the lack of direct evidence that the defendant owned the bull, the defendant was entitled to summary judgment. Further, the court stated that there was not sufficient evidence that the defendant testified falsely at his deposition as to his ownership of the bull. The plaintiffs appealed the trial court ruling, which the appellate court reversed.

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The law affords parties injured in car accidents the right to pursue claims against anyone that may be liable for their damages. Even if the injured party does not know the identity of the driver that caused the accident, any action to recover damages must be filed in the proper time and manner, to avoid waiving the right to recover. This was illustrated in a recent case ruled upon by the Court of Appeals of Tennessee, in which the plaintiff’s case was dismissed due to the failure to join an essential party and the failure to file the lawsuit within the time required by the statute of limitations. If you were injured in a Tennessee car accident with an unknown driver it is critical to engage a capable Tennessee car accident attorney who is proficient in pursuing uninsured motorist claims.

Facts Regarding the Accident

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a hit-and-run accident in November 2015. The plaintiff suffered significant injuries due to the accident and required extensive medical treatment. In July 2017, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, his automobile insurance carrier, seeking uninsured benefits under his policy. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the lawsuit did not name the other driver involved in the accident or issue a summons against the other driver, as required by the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. Further, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the one-year statute of limitations for pursuing personal injury claims in Tennessee. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion. The plaintiff subsequently appealed, arguing that the six-year statute of limitations for breach of contract actions applied when an insured sues his insurer for uninsured motorist benefits.

Pleading Requirements for Pursuing Uninsured Motorist Claims

On appeal, the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument and held that the one-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims governed the subject case. The court noted that the Tennessee code provides that a plaintiff who is injured in a hit-and-run accident with an unknown driver and subsequently files a lawsuit for uninsured motorist benefits must issue a John Doe warrant against the unknown driver in order to qualify for coverage under his or her policy.
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In any civil case, including lawsuits arising out of car accidents, procedural errors can be costly. While most people are aware that a lawsuit may be dismissed if it is not commenced within the statute of limitations, many people do not understand the nuances of what this truly means. This was highlighted in a recent Tennessee car accident case in which the Plaintiff’s lawsuit was dismissed as untimely, due to the fact that it was filed but not issued within the statute of limitations. If you were involved in a car accident in Tennessee and you wish to pursue damages from the responsible party, it is integral to your case to retain an attorney with ample experience litigating car accident cases.

Reportedly, in the subject case, the plaintiff sustained injuries in a car accident on January 25, 2013. The plaintiff filed a civil warrant on January 24, 2014, against the defendants, the other driver involved in the accident and his employer, in which the plaintiff alleged the defendants were negligent and therefore liable for his injuries. The warrant was filed after normal business hours. Five days later, the plaintiff was informed he owed a filing fee, which he paid. He filed an amended warrant in May 2014.

It is alleged that the case was removed to a circuit court, where the plaintiff filed a complaint in May 2017. Subsequently, the defendants filed an answer and affirmative defenses in response to the plaintiff’s complaint. One of the defenses set forth by the defendants was that the plaintiff’s claim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The defendants then filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which the court granted. The plaintiff appealed and on appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court decision.

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If a person is involved in a car accident that is caused by another driver’s negligence, the person has a right to seek damages for any harm caused by the accident. While proving some damages, such as the cost to repair a car or obvious injuries such as broken bones and lacerations is a straightforward process, proving other damages requires an expert opinion.

The court of Appeals of Tennessee at Jackson recently analyzed the proof needed to establish loss of earning capacity in a Tennessee car accident case. If you were involved in a Tennessee car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it is prudent to retain an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney to assist you in pursuing compensation.

Allegations Regarding the Accident and Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident with the defendant in January 2016. It was undisputed that the defendant caused the accident. Following the accident, the plaintiff was treated for sciatica, disc bulges, and other back issues. He eventually underwent back surgery, after which his surgeon advised the plaintiff that he should not lift objects weighing over thirty pounds or bend or twist. The doctor also stated that the plaintiff had reached his maximum improvement medically speaking.

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Tennessee law imposes time limitations for pursuing certain claims. For example, a personal injury lawsuit has to be filed within one year of the date of an accident. In some cases, even if a plaintiff initially files a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, his or her claim may nonetheless be time barred, if he or she fails to comply with other procedural requirements.

This was illustrated in a recent case decided by the Court of Appeals of Tennessee, where the plaintiffs’ case was dismissed due to the failure to have an administrator appointed to the tortfeasor’s estate within the statute of limitations, despite filing the initial complaint in time. If you were injured in a Tennessee car accident, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.

Factual Scenario

Reportedly, the plaintiffs were involved in a car accident with the tortfeasor on May 11, 2015. They filed a lawsuit against the tortfeasor on March 30, 2016, which was within the one year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury action under Tennessee law. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiffs received notification from the tortfeasor’s insurance company that the tortfeasor passed away after the accident. The plaintiffs then filed an underinsured/uninsured motorist lawsuit against their own insurer, to seek benefits for the damages caused by the accident. The insurer objected, arguing that the plaintiffs had not provided proper notice.

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