March 2011 Archives

Nashville car accidents may cause serious knee injuries

Victims of careless drivers in Nashville sometimes have knee injuries from a car wreck or motorcycle wreck. The injuries can include broken bones, torn knee ligaments and may even lead to a total knee replacement. An experienced Nashville injury attorneys, we know how to show the real damage done.

In a recent Nashville motorcycle wreck case I handled, the knee injury was severe. There were several broken bones. My job was to show the claims adjustor and ultimately the jury the actual injury so that that they ccould see how severe the injury was. Obviously we can't see the inside of his knee. Jurors are not radiologists so the Xrays were not too helpful by themselves. The doctor testifying that there was a "broken knee" doesn't paint the picture too well either.

So I hired a medical illustrator that I have used in many cases to color in the Xrays so that everyone could see what actually happened. In the Nashville motorcycle crash case, we showed rthe illustration to the doctor who said it was accurate and testified that this is what the injury looked like. Remember, this is done from the actual Xray films.

We also had the illustrator draw the surgical procedure done to fix the broken knee bones and another drawing showing the actual plates and screws in the knee. This let everyone involved in the case see what the careless driver did to the client and what was done to fix the injury. This is an expensive endeavor and not appropriate for every case. But in my opinion, in this case, it added thousands of dollars to the claim.

I have uploaded the broken knee illustration below and I have removed the patient's name.

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City of Brentwood ordered to pay landowner after condemning land in Williamson County

Some people don't know that our Nashville law firm represents landowners in middle Tennessee condemnation cases. Here is an example of a recent case:

The City of Brentwood condemned .76 acres on the hilltop of George Cawthon's Brentwood property for the purposes of constructing a 2.5 million gallon concrete water tank. The land was vacant hilly property covered with trees. I had the pleasure of representing Mr. Cawthon and we adamantly disputed Brentwood's calculation of damages.

Brentwood hired an appraiser to determine the value of the land taken and whether there were any incidental damages. That appraiser determined that the hilltop property in Brentwood was less valuable than surrounding flat properties and valued the portion of land taken at $36,000. He also decided that there were no incidental damages because there was no market research or data to support the allegation that a water tank caused aesthetic damages and decrease in value to the remainder of the property.

I hired an appraiser William "Bill" Parrish who testified that buyers in Williamson County pay a premium for hill side and hilltop land for large homes and therefore it is worth more than lower lying property. Mr. Parrish testified that the value of the land taken was $43,200. He also testified that the water tank caused aesthetic damages to the remainder causing $194,850 in incidental damages.

The case proceeded to a jury trial. Both experts conceded that there was no market research or data that proved incidental damages from water tanks. However, only our expert had a method of calculating damages to the remainder of the Brentwood property next to the water tank.

After several hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the landowner in the amount of $238,050, the exact amount of damages we sued for. $35,706 in interest was added to the verdict.

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GM Workers Compensation Claims - follow up

Thursday I wrote about handling GM work comp claims. Yesterday morning I saw again why it is so important to hire an experienced and aggressive Tennessee workers' compensation attorney.

GM workers' benefits are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, even after retirement. With the stroke of a pen, disability, health care and other benefits can be reduced or eliminated. I often meet with GM workers' who tell me they were injured years ago but never pursued their rightful claim. Everything seems fine until the injury gets worse or benefits are reduced. Then, many times, it is too late.

Here is why it is important to make sure you pursue your claim and have an attorney who knows how to properly secure every benefit you are entitled to. The Flint Journal reports that injured GM workers' in Michigan are seeing a reduction in benefits due to an agreement with GM and the UAW.

For years, GM and the UAW agreed not to do that, but in the wake of the company's financial crisis last year, the UAW and GM came up with an agreement to cut workers' compensation, consistent with state law, said Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesman.

In Michigan, "1,800 retirees saw some reduction in their benefits because of this," Wilkinson said, adding the number could be higher nationally.

GM wants to make sure injured workers aren't making more per month with their disability pension, Social Security disability payments and workers' compensation payments than their average wage at GM when they were hurt.

This is why it is crucial to hire a Tennessee work comp attorney who knows the GM/UAW collective bargaining agreement and the workers' compensation law so your rights are preserved and won't later be cut.

General Motors Workers' Compensation Claims

My father and I have represented hundreds of Saturn and GM employees in their workers' compensation claims since 1993. Spring Hill is fortunate to be the home of one of the largest automotive assembly plants and other automotive component assembly facilities. We hope GM will commit to bringing another product here soon.

The Spring Hill manufacturing facility provides thousands of jobs to hard working Tennesseans. Unfortunately, the physical work involved in automotive assembly, mainly at or above chest level, can cause permanent injuries that affect an employee's ability to perform hard labor. We know how to properly present a case against GM.

Given the trends of the national economy in this field, it is important that injured automobile assembly workers secure immediate and lifetime medical benefits, temporary wages while out of work, and all other compensation owed to them.

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