Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Accident injuries are fatal to 17-year-old recent graduate

The tragic death of a teenager in a car crash is always an overwhelming emotional loss to a family. It is often also devastating to schoolmates, friends and a wide slice of  the community that the victim inhabited and enriched. In Bradley County, a 17-year-old high school graduate who was excitedly looking forward to starting college in the fall, fell prey to a careless driver who caused her fatal accident injuries by going through a red light and crashing into her vehicle. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the driver of a logging truck went through the red light going north on Highway 11 at the intersection of Tasso Lane.

The decedent had been stopped for a red light at Tasso Lane, waiting to turn left onto Highway 11. When the light turned green, she proceeded to turn left only to be hit by the truck that barreled through the red light without stopping, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The 20-year-old logging truck driver is now facing pending charges, the THP reports.

When a vehicle goes through a red light and hits another vehicle that is innocently and properly in the intersection, the red light violator is negligent per se. The violation of a traffic regulation that constitutes a substantial factor in causing the accident and the personal injury or death to the victim is generally held to be sufficient support for a finding of negligence per se. Negligence per se is a negligence doctrine that is generally applied in Tennessee and all other jurisdictions.

It relieves the plaintiff from having to prove negligence in a personal injury claim that has been filed in court. In this case, the family will probably file an estate in a Tennessee state court to pursue a claim on behalf of their beloved child. The estate will pursue the claim for compensation of the fatal accident injuries. The claim can be for medical expenses, permanent loss of earnings and earning capacity, loss of life's pleasures, and pain and suffering. The fact that the truck may be owned by a logging company increases the prospects that the child's life will be compensated, at least on a monetary level.

Source: wrcbtv.com, "UPDATE: Logging truck crash claims death of 17 year-old girl in Bradley County", May 20, 2015

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