Nashville Injury Attorneys Blog

As some of you may know my wife Megan has suffered from RSD/CRPS since August of 2012 after a surgery. We encountered doctors that do not understand this disease. We struggled to understand it ourselves. Luckily, we found some great physicians and therapists who went out of their way to help Megan. Unfortunately, many people struggling with CRPS do not have the understanding, diagnosis, resources or connections to fight it.

Megan has joined a national effort to make November 2, 2015 “Color the world orange day.” The color orange is a reference to the fire-like burn that CRPS patients feel. She asked the Governor to proclaim, like in other states, November 2, 2015 “Color the world orange day” to spread awareness of this poorly understood disorder. Today we received this proclamation from Governor Haslam.

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We encourage everyone who knows about RSD/CRPS to spread the awareness of this painful disease so that we can be better trained to fight it and find a cure.

Here is a quick reminder from Nashville car wreck and injury attorney Jonathan Williams of what to do if you are involved in an automobile accident.

1. Call the Police-Get an accident report from the police even if it seems minor. This can be critical to scene recreation if necessary. It also helps identify witnesses and is helpful for the car insurance companies and attorneys to get your claim started quickly. The Metro Nashville Police Department non-emergency line is 615-862-8600.

2. Medical Attention- If you are able, ask if the other parties are okay. If you are injured, seek immediate medical attention for yourself or call 911. Don’t wait. Untreated injuries may get worse over time. Make sure you tell the Doctor about all possible injuries.

3. Document- Take a picture of the other parties Insurance card and get their cell number. Take pictures at the scene of both cars if possible AND the surroundings of the accident. If you believe the other party was not properly obeying street signs or traffic lights, document the signs or lights with a photograph.

4. Do no call – Do not talk to the insurance company for the other party until you have first talked to a lawyer. If you are injured; call Jonathan Williams for FREE advice. If you receive a call, tell them limited personal info only. Let your car wreck attorney deal with the insurance company.

Remember – Your phone or in person consultation with Nashville car wreck attorney Jonathan Williams is always FREE. Call 615-256-8880 to find out more.

The last thing you want to do on a snow day is talk to a Nashville injury attorney. We have all seen the news warning us not to drive and pictures and stories of car wrecks all over Middle Tennessee. Since you should not drive on ice, remember, when you walk, “Walk Like A Penguin!”

According to the National Safety Council, slip and falls are the second leading cause of un-intentional deaths at home. So, if you have to walk on ice, do your best penguin impersonation.


Wear proper footwear, widen your foot base, keep your arms close to your body, turn your feet outward, take small steps, and watch for any curbs or steps that may cause a fall. Concentrate while walking. Don’t text and walk.

Remember your animals need protection as well. If you have a dog, go for short walks during bad weather. Ice can freeze in between their paws and injure your pet so wipe their paws with a warm washcloth and dry after being outside. Use a short leash and do not let your dog go out unattended. Remember that your dog probably cannot “Walk like a Penguin.” If it can, send me a video and I will post it here.

The short answer is yes, but it wasn’t always this way in Tennessee. For many years Tennessee was a contributory negligence state. That meant that if an accident was even 1% your fault you could not recover any damages through the Tennessee legal system. Thankfully, in 1992 Tennessee adopted a modified comparative fault system in the landmark case of McIntyre v. Balentine. Rather than completely barring someone from recovery if they are partially at fault in car wreck in Tennessee, comparative fault allows a person to recover damages depending on their percentage of fault in the accident.

Under pure comparative fault a person can recover damages in a car accident even if they are mostly at fault. If Jack and Jill are in a car accident and Jack is 95% at fault, Jack could in theory sue Jill for damages. However, it is likely that Jill would also file a lawsuit against Jack and whatever award Jack was granted would be minimal compared to that which Jill would be granted since the accident was almost entirely Jack’s fault. In the grand scheme it is really quite pointless for Jack to even file a lawsuit in this situation. For that reason Tennessee adopted the “modified” comparative fault system.

The modified comparative fault system allows a person to recover damages for an accident as long as their fault is less than that of the opposing party. So, if you are in an accident that is partially your fault you may still be able to recover damages for your medical bills, property damages, pain and suffering, etc. An injured person is not entitled to any recovery if the person was 50% or more at fault for causing the damages. Ultimately, a jury and not an insurance adjustor makes this finding.

You may be asking, “what if I’m not sure who was more at fault in my accident?” Car wrecks are determined on a factual case by case basis. Even if you think that an accident was 50% your fault, you may want to at least consult an experienced Tennessee injury attorney. In Tennessee, if a jury or judge finds that you are 49% at fault or less, you are still entitled to a fair recovery but your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

It is important to understand the principal of fairness that is at the heart of comparative fault. The goal is to create a system that is much more reasonable than contributory negligence. Under comparative fault, a person is only entitled to the percentage of the damage that was not caused by their own negligence or irresponsibility. For example, if at trial it is determined that you were 20% at fault in your accident, then you are entitled to 80% of the damages you incurred as a result of the accident.
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Tennessee Social Security Disability attorney Ann Tycer is often asked to prove cases of disability involving COPD. This is a respiratory (lung) condition characterized by loss of pulmonary function making it very difficult to breath, which in turn makes working difficult if not impossible. Emphysema is a name frequently given to one type of COPD. Common symptoms are difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue and sometimes chest pain. A chest x-ray or other imaging studies are required for proper diagnosis. Pulmonary function studies may be ordered to determine the severity of COPD.

COPD is most frequently seen in people who smoke or have been regularly exposed to air pollutants, but the condition may also appear in non-smokers. Those with COPD frequently suffer from lengthy “common colds.”

COPD is a common and significant cause of disability. Millions of people worldwide are diagnosed with COPD. It ranks as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Currently doctors have no cure or anyway to reverse the damage to the lungs. Exercise is important and stopping smoking is essential for better health and to show disability judges a good faith effort to follow your doctor’s orders.

If you have COPD and need help with a Social Security Disability appeal, call attorney Ann Tycer today at 615-256-8880 for a free informative consultation.

Fibromyalgia is a complex disease (syndrome) with widespread symptoms. Muscle pain and weakness lasting more than three months is one of the foremost factors, but a number of other abnormalities are usually present. Some studies indicate that 1 out of every 73 people in the United States suffer from this disease. The website Fibrocenter has a good article (found here) addressing myths and common misconceptions about Fibromyalgia.

The American College of Rheumatology lists nine pairs (18 total) of specific tender points associated with Fibromyalgia. These are found along the neck, shoulders, chest, elbows, lower back, hips, and knees. Having tenderness to pressure along eleven of these eighteen specific tender points is considered essential to the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Joint pain and stiffness as well as numbness and tingling in the extremities may be present.

A common symptom of Fibromyalgia is fatigue. People with Fibromyalgia sometimes suffer from significant fatigue and, due to exhaustion, are frequently unable to complete routine tasks, drive more than short distances, or focus on simple issues.
Cognitive dysfunction (“fibro fog”) may impair memory and concentration. Likewise, insomnia, depression, and anxiety plague victims of Fibromyalgia. Dizziness, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath may be severe factors in their lives.

The Social Security Administration has recognized Fibromyalgia as a medically determinable impairment that may be considered in evaluating a claimant for disability and SSI benefits. However, many people with Fibromyalgia are denied when they apply for Social Security disability benefits. Our Social Security Disability attorneys have years of experiences winning these tough cases. If you need assistance, call us for a free consultation at 615-256-8880.

The Tennessean reported today that Nashville is one of the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. You can read the article here. It includes the following report:

A report released this week identified the Nashville metro area as one of the most dangerous for pedestrians. The study by Smart Growth America, an advocacy group on pedestrian and urban design issues, looked at the number of pedestrian deaths and how often people are walking in those cities.

The Nashville metro area — with 210 pedestrian deaths between 2003 and 2012 — ranked 15th most dangerous out of the 51 areas studied. Memphis was fifth worst, behind four metro areas in Florida.

As Nashville grows, city planners and motorist must be conscious of people on sidewalks and bicycles.

There are many time deadlines in the law. In Tennessee, attorneys know that the statute of limitations (a type of deadline) for injury claims is different that for contract claims. However, for claims involving negligent construction or design of an improvement to real estate, there is another important deadline called a statute of repose.

While a statute of limitations can be extended under certain circumstances, a statue of repose is more strictly enforced and creates an absolute barrier to claims brought after that date. For the construction or design of improvements to a home or other property, the legislature passed Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-202 which states:

All actions to recover damages for any deficiency in the design, planning, supervision, observation of construction, or construction of an improvement to real property, for injury to property, real or personal, arising out of any such deficiency, or for injury to the person or for wrongful death arising out of any such deficiency, shall be brought against any person performing or furnishing the design, planning, supervision, observation of construction, construction of, or land surveying in connection with, such an improvement within four (4) years after substantial completion of such an improvement.

The four year statute of repose begins to run on the date of substantial completion as opposed to the date of the injury or damage. Caldwell v. PBM Properties, 310 S.W. 3d 818, 823 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2009)(permission to appeal denied Mar. 15, 2010). The statue of repose is “‘substantive … and extinguish[es] both the right and remedy…'” Id. “‘Thus, the effect is to prevent what might otherwise be a cause of action from ever arising… The injured party literally has no cause of action.'” Id. Moreover, “the traditional three-year statute of limitations for injury to property found at Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-105 (2000), cannot extend the existence of a cause of action outside the ceiling “superimposed” by Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-202. Id. at 823-24 (citing Watts v. Putnam County, 525 S.W. 2d 488, 491 (Tenn.1975).

Substantial completion is defined as the date upon which the improvement could be used for that which it was intended. Counts Co. v. Praters, Inc., 392 S.W.3d 80, 86 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2012). The fact that someone attempted repairs after completion of the project does not change the date of substantial completion. Id.

As a result, it is important for people with claims involving poor design, whether it be a breach of contract or an injury claim, to consult with an attorney as soon as the defect is found.

One of the most common claims our Nashville Social Security disability attorney encounters is for degenerative disc disease (DDD). DDD is a painful condition often described as an aching, burning, stabbing or stinging sensation. Many people with DDD feel “pressure” in the lower back. The symptoms may radiate to other areas of the body including the hips, thighs, calves, or even the feet, depending on which discs are involved. DDD can greatly affect a person’s ability to function at work or in their daily activities. People with DDD find that standing, walking, sitting, lifting, bending and twisting are all painful. Simple tasks such as housework or sitting at a computer can become difficult or unbearable.

DDD may be caused by an injury, the aging process or for no apparent reason. It is frequently seen among people who have a work history involving manual or heavy labor.

Most physicians initially treat the pain caused by DDD with conservative measures. These may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), physical therapy, chiropractics, or spinal injections. If these measures fail, and if the nature of the problem is treatable with surgery, an orthopaedic surgeon may choose a surgical option.

DDD may be severe enough to prevent a person from performing their past work, but still allow someone to perform less exertional jobs. In order for DDD to be found disabling under the Social Security rules, it must prevent you from not only performing past work, but it must also be severe enough to prevent work at other less stressful levels, depending on the claimant’s age, education and past work experience.
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Larry Williams and Jonathan Williams are proud to announce that attorney Ann-Douglas Tycer has joined the Nashville injury firm of Larry R. Williams, PLLC and will manage the firm’s Social Security Disability practice.

Ann brings more than 23 years of experience representing Tennesseans applying for Social Security Disability benefits. She previously worked for Attorney William M. Stephens and developed one of the earliest law firms in Middle Tennessee dedicated to helping people overcome the challenges of a Social Security disability applications and appeals.

Ann has tried hundreds of Social Security appeals. She is a compassionate and zealous advocate. Ann’s commitment to her clients is based on her desire to pursue a legal career so that she could help everyday people. She understands that serious medical conditions can lead to life changing disabilities that affect the entire family.

Ann graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 1991. She has been in private practice, solely devoted to Social Security benefits and appeals since graduating from law school. She and Garrett have three adult children. Away from the office, Ann spends her time with her two cats and two dogs and in the garden.

You can email Ann at or you can call 615-256-8880 for a free consultation about the Social Security disability process.