Knoxville Tennessee Legal Blog

Statistics show the danger of distracted driving

It's no secret that distracted driving is a growing problem across America. In fact, studies have shown that distracted driving accounts for about 25 percent of all car accident deaths. This is staggering considering that more than 3,400 people were killed in distracted driving wrecks in one year alone, 2015, and another 391,000 were injured. Motorists mistakenly think that they can glance down at their phone, a magazine or food without missing anything on the road. Yet, given the speed at which an individual may be traveling when attention is taken off of the road, a significant distance may pass without a driver even seeing it.

There have been a number of public safety and law enforcement initiatives aimed at curtailing distracted driving. Many of these efforts tout the penalties of non-compliance with the law and the danger of failing to remain attentive while behind the wheel. Yet, despite these warnings, far too many motorists still choose to engage in other tasks while they are driving.

Free yourself from a bad executor

The probate process can be complicated and time-consuming, depending on several factors, including the size of an estate and the efficiency of the executor. Settling an estate can be stressful under the best of circumstances, but when the named executor is dragging their feet or becomes untrustworthy, the process can become even more fraught

It is one thing when a beneficiary has an issue with a will. But when the person charged with administering the estate is the one causing problems, then you need to take specific steps to ensure the process gets back on track. 

First steps after a personal injury accident

Car accidents can be very confusing and disorienting for the victims involved. Most car accident victims did not expect to have to deal with the repercussions of a car crash before the crash, so it can seem to them that a number of important decisions must be made in a very short time. There is some basic information that Knoxville residents should know about actions to take immediately after a car accident in which they have suffered personal injury.

The first order of business is to look after one's own health and the health of others as appropriate. Depending on their personal circumstances after the accident, a victim may want or need to pursue compensation from third parties who may bear the legal responsibility for injuries suffered. Evidence may be needed to pursue this compensation, so preserving evidence can be essential.

Helping Tennessee residents with public interest litigation

Water is life, so when government action is damaging or destroying waterways interested parties will want to act quickly to avoid damage to their vital interests. Disputes about these actions can involve private parties, and they can even involve other state governments.

Not long ago, we told you about two states that were involved in a waterway dispute over a river that flows through both. One state contended that the other used too much of the river's water, and it also contended that this harmed the state's economy. The dispute went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was trying to find a resolution to the problem.

Do business owners really need an estate plan?

You are not yet elderly, but you have been hearing a lot about estate plans. Lately, you have been thinking about creating one for yourself. But you are not certain that an estate plan is necessary. After all, you are in good health, your business is going strong and you can’t imagine your family or business partners mishandling your estate in the event of your death.

Currently, you do not believe that an estate plan is necessary. This belief, however, is a big mistake. Everyone needs an estate plan—especially business owners. Read on to learn some important reasons why an estate plan is crucial to protecting your legacy and ensuring your family’s and business’s success.

Driver in fatal crash in possession of heroin

A 32-year-old man from Friendsville, Tennessee, has been charged with vehicular homicide, DUI and possession of heroin after a fatal car crash on September 30.

The Knoxville Police Department received notice of a three-vehicle accident around 6:45 p.m. The location was on Woodland Avenue under the I-275 overpass. Upon arrival and preliminary investigation, it was determined that a vehicle had driven off of I-275, down an embankment and crashed into another vehicle, which was eastbound on Woodland Avenue. The driver of the vehicle on Woodland Avenue, a 65-year-old Knoxville man, was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unclear how the third vehicle was involved, but none of its occupants were injured.

What is the difference in conservatorship and guardianship?

In most states, the terms "guardian" and "conservator" are interchangeable. They each refer to a person who is appointed to make decisions regarding living arrangements, medical care, financial and personal matters of a person, referred to legally as a "ward", who is no longer capable of making such decisions for himself. A guardian or conservator may be appointed by a person who is likely to need their services in the future, or may be court-appointed when the need arises if arrangements have not been addressed.

State laws differ regarding the permission of a conservator. For example, in one state a conservator may be allowed to execute a will on behalf of a ward, whereas another state may not allow such. In addition, one state may allow a conservator to transfer assets out of an estate in order to make a ward eligible for Medicaid, while another state may not.

Personal injury can arise from car part manufacturer defects

Just as pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for defective medical devices or prescription drugs that cause harm, car part manufacturers can be held liable for defects which cause personal injuries.

Car accidents are not always caused by another motorist. They can also be caused by a defective car part which caused the vehicle to malfunction and the driver to lose control. In some instances, these crashes result in traumatic injuries, or even death. Common types of injuries which can occur from these issues in the event of a car accident or fire are wrongful death, lacerations, burns, fractures, traumatic brain injuries and disfigurement.

Oxycontin maker denies responsibility in opioid epidemic

In May of 2018, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery, III, filed a lawsuit on behalf of all Tennessee taxpayers against Purdue Pharma, the maker of the highly addictive prescription drug, Oxycontin. Although initially filed under seal, the records have recently been ordered opened and have become available for public viewing. They contain multiple disturbing claims regarding aggressive sales tactics by representatives of Purdue Pharma, as well as false advertising.

Purdue Pharma has filed a request for a Knox County judge to dispose of the case, claiming no responsibility for the ongoing opioid epidemic. The company, according to its own records, was found to employ a marketing strategy that directed sales representatives to aggressively push the dangerous drug on overworked and under-skilled physicians. Those physicians were allegedly offered misleading prescribing information, thereby causing the drug to be over-prescribed, and leading to multiple fatalities.

Writing a letter of instruction to your executor

The preparation of a last will and testament is of utmost importance in the estate planning process to insure wishes are carried out according to your will. However, once you have secured a party to act as executor of your estate and have the necessary documents drafted by an attorney, there is an additional step to consider, which can make a huge difference for your grieving family. Write an informal letter of instruction to your executor.

Just because someone agrees to act as executor of a will does not mean that he or she has knowledge of the location, or even the existence of, all assets and documents. Many times, parents never think to inform their children of the existence of accounts, such as retirement, life insurance, stocks, bonds or even funeral wishes. Locating and closing these accounts will become the burden of your executor.

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The Hurley Law Firm

The Hurley Law Firm, P.C.
205 Mohican Street
Knoxville, TN 37919

Phone: 865-888-5472
Fax: (865) 546-8121
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