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& Pemerton PLLC
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Chattanooga Tennessee Legal Blog

Should you file a lawsuit after a drunk driving accident?

Tennessee readers know drunk driving is an irresponsible and completely preventable type of negligent and reckless driving. There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving can greatly increase the chance of a serious car accident.

If you suffered because of a drunk driving accident, you may know you have grounds to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. You have the right to pursue legal recourse for your injuries and financial losses, as well as hold the liable driver accountable for your pain and suffering. 

The importance of prenups

When couples in Tennessee get engaged, they do so with the intention of being married for life. Unfortunately, things don't always work out, and a marriage may end in divorce. This is always a difficult time, but the process of unraveling marital finances can be even more complex when one or both spouses come from a wealthy family.

At the time of a divorce, both partners and their attorneys will have to consider a number of factors when determining things like division of assets and support payments. If one partner has significant assets, he or she may be expected to pay ongoing spousal support or, in some cases, may not be able to receive a favorable divorce settlement.

Distracted driving's dangers aren't limited to cellphones

Many Tennessee drivers are aware of the dangers of being distracted on the roadways. Whether the distraction is a mobile phone or an advanced entertainment system, anything that draws the eyes and mind from the road ahead could spell disaster in case of a car accident. While device-oriented distracted driving has received substantial publicity and awareness campaigns, one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is also the simplest: daydreaming behind the wheel.

In fact, daydreaming while driving can cause far more motor vehicle accidents each year than infotainment system use or texting while driving. In one study, Erie Insurance examined a national database of accident statistics to look at police determinations of the causes of crashes. In the past five years, 172,000 people were killed in traffic collisions; of those, about 10 percent lost their lives in crashes linked to distracted driving. The most common cause of distraction listed in the report was simply daydreaming or intrusive thoughts; about 61 percent of fatal crashes that involved distracted driving were attributed to an inattentive, bored driver. In comparison, only 14 percent of the fatal crashes were attributed to distraction caused by cellphone usage.

Things parents should and should not do in a divorce

Parents in Tennessee who are getting a divorce can help ease their children's transition by talking to them about the divorce and ensuring that they do not believe they are at fault. They can also watch their children for signs of depression and anxiety. They might want to ask their children's friends and teachers about their adjustment. Parents should also keep in mind that these emotions may manifest as acting out in some children who do not express them verbally.

Parents should encourage the child's relationship with the other parent. This includes letting the child know it is okay to love the other parent and avoiding making the child feel it is necessary to choose between parents. Parents should not share conflicts with the other parent with the child or put the child in the middle as a messenger. Furthermore, if parents do not present a united front, children may use the knowledge of disputes about parenting styles as a way to manipulate their parents. Parents should not feel they have to relax their discipline or buy the child gifts from a sense of guilt.

7 types of car accident injuries that don't appear immediately

For many Tennessee drivers, the injuries they receive in a vehicle accident manifest immediately. Cuts and broken bones are visible surface injuries that frequently occur. However, other injuries don't always show up right away. These seven types of injuries can take hours, days or even weeks to develop.

Headaches are one such injury. A headache isn't outwardly visible and often doesn't occur immediately after the accident. In addition, headaches can often be a sign of a more serious condition such as a concussion or a blood clot.

Splitting 401(k) accounts during a divorce

If 401(k) assets are divided between the two parties of a divorce in the wrong way, there could be very expensive penalties as well as a large tax bill. One ex-spouse may also receive more of the funds than the holder of the account intended. Divorcing couples in Tennessee can avoid ending up with these results by taking time to learn about the rules that govern their particular type of retirement account.

Workplace retirement plans, which include traditional pensions and 401(k) accounts, have to be divided using a qualified domestic relations order. Using this legal document is the only avenue through which an ex-spouse will be able to obtain the portion of the funds to which they are entitled.

Understanding the basics of child support

Perhaps the most complex issues to settle during a divorce involve the care of the children. When parents cannot reach a balanced plan for custody, the court may grant physical custody to one parent and require child support payments from the other.

You obviously understand your obligation to provide financial support for the needs of your children, and when your family was together living under one roof, you may not have given a thought to how much you spent on your children. However, if you understand the formula set by the state of Tennessee to calculate the amount you will pay each month, you may have begun to wonder where the money will go.

What to do after a hit and run in Tennessee

You’re driving down the street on morning, on your way to work. You enter an intersection on a green light. Suddenly, a driver from across the street speeds through a red light and plows into your passenger-side door. You’re stunned. When you get your wits about you, you look around to find that the driver has sped away.

So-called hit-and-run accidents are illegal. Under Tennessee law, if the driver of any vehicle hits another person, the driver must stop the vehicle and render aid for injuries, if necessary. The driver must stay at the scene of the crash until law enforcement arrives.

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