Another tragic loss of human life occurred in Tennessee on Friday, May 22, when an SUV driven by a 31-year-old Walland woman crossed into oncoming traffic and caused an accident that killed two people on a motorcycle. The SUV hit a total of four oncoming motorcycles, injuring several other riders, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. It appears that the families of the decedents have personal injury claims for wrongful death damages against the SUV driver.
The appropriate type of civil lawsuit to file against a negligent driver for causing death in a traffic accident is called a wrongful death action. The family of the deceased must file an estate in the person's county of residence, and it is the estate that files against the person or persons who are liable to pay compensation. Death claims in Tennessee and elsewhere can be significant, particularly where there may be an extended amount of lost wages or lost earning capacity over the lifetime of a younger victim.
In Tennessee and elsewhere, it is unfortunately true that accidents involving an out-of-control vehicle are common events. When a driver loses control and crosses the highway, then enters into the oncoming lanes of traffic, that driver will virtually always be considered to have been negligent. Generally, any accident that occurs will be that driver's fault, and any personal injury suffered by innocent victims will be his or her legal responsibility.
The tragedies involving death and personal injury that occur when people drive carelessly on the highways bring untold human suffering that could have been prevented with some common sense and a measure of attention. A recent car crash in Tennessee on Interstate 24 is another heartbreaking tragedy that severed the joy of a close family in a split second. A 33-year-old female from Murfreesboro was reportedly speeding on the interstate near Smyrna when she lost control of her vehicle, crossed the center lane and crashed into and killed a 13-year-old boy who was helping his mother change a flat tire, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
A driver does not have to make actual physical contact with the victim's car in order to be found negligent and liable for the victim's damages. Sometimes, the negligent driver can set a chain reaction in motion so that another car strikes the victim's car during the course of a car crash. This scenario appears to have happened recently in Tennessee in the course of a fatal three-car accident that occurred in Wilson County.
When a motorist loses control of his or her vehicle on an icy roadway that does not mean that he or she is off the hook for liability to others injured in the accident. For example, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported an accident recently in which a 29-year-old man was killed when he lost control of his vehicle on an icy road, crossed over into the oncoming lane and struck another vehicle. After investigations are completed and the facts fleshed out, it may be established that the driver acted negligently by driving too fast for conditions or otherwise failing to exercise due care under the circumstances. Such findings may make a deceased driver's estate liable for a personal injury sustained by another person as a result of his or her negligence.
Two people were killed in a three-car collision in Tennessee on December 23rd. The accident occurred just before 4:30 a.m. in Columbia. A Ford truck traveling east on Bear Creek Pike struck a black sedan before hitting a van. The drivers of the truck and the van were initially trapped inside their vehicles by the wreckage. Emergency workers were able to free them, but both drivers were pronounced dead at the hospital later.
A multi-vehicle accident has left one person dead and another person severely injured on Nov. 26 just before midnight. The accident occurred on the on the I-24 eastbound, heading towards Chatanooga, and Sam Ridley Parkway. The driver of a 2007 Chrysler 300 had pulled over to the far right lane at the eastbound exit near the merge lane. His vehicle was rear-ended by a 1989 Honda Accord. The driver of the Chrysler exited his vehicle to inspect the damage but was then struck by a 2004 Ford Escape, which had attempted to swerve out of the way to avoid colliding with the Accord. The driver of the Chrysler died at the scene. The driver of the Ford Escape then proceeded to slide across the remaining lanes and collided with the median barrier. The number of vehicles involved increased by two when the Ford Escape was struck by both a 2008 Hyundai Sonata and a 2005 Ford Focus.
The safety of anyone in a moving motor vehicle is often in the hands of the other drivers on the road. Accidents can happen when a driver is reckless, intoxicated, high on drugs, experienced or distracted, but sometimes they just happen because a good driver had a momentary lapse of judgment. No matter what the root cause of a car crash is, it can have an absolutely devastating impact on everyone involved.
Many of our Memphis readers may have already seen or heard about the study grabbing national attention this month regarding elderly drivers and their perceived safety behind the wheel. For several decades, researchers have believed that accidents caused by elderly drivers would increase as the Baby Boomer generation continued to age. But a new study seems to suggest that this might not be true, even going so far as to say that aging Baby Boomers are less of a safety threat than we thought.