Lang Wiseman Named Vice-Chair of TSC Rules Commission

business litigation attorney memphis tnWiseman Bray PLLC is proud to announce that the Tennessee Supreme Court recently named Lang Wiseman to the prestigious position of Vice-Chair of the Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

The Advisory Commission meets periodically to study, and to advise and make recommendations to the Supreme Court, regarding the various rules of practice and procedure in the trial and appellate courts. Commission members are appointed by the Supreme Court pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §16-3-601.

Common Challenges When Pursuing a Slip and Fall Injury Case

Most personal injury attorneys understand from experience that slip and fall injury cases can be challenging for several reasons. Their success is usually dependent on the material case facts and potential problems when establishing the negligent party.

Injuries that occur in remote locations can be particularly problematic when an owner or property manager cannot be located. Many times the accident investigation will include searching property tax and ownership records to pinpoint a responsible party. In addition, remote location injuries also still require a police report to establish the fact of where the injury occurred and establish a timeline of what actually happened. When you add the fact that slip and fall injuries are also usually defended strongly, each juncture of the negotiation process can present challenges.

Establishing the Facts

Personal injury attorneys have a standard requirement in the first stages of any injury claim.

  • They must establish by documentation or testimony that an accident happened resulting in injury to their client and that the accident was the fault or responsibility of the respondent.
  • That alone can be difficult in some instances, but injuries that occur in public businesses or urban residences will usually be easier to establish.
  • Police reports can help as can medical documentation. But, not having solid documentation makes it much easier for the defense.

Some states also allow personal injury attorneys to file “John Doe” lawsuits while attempting to locate a negligent party who could be pursued for damages. This allows the claimant access to the court system before the statute of limitations expires. However, in the absence of establishing who is at-fault, recovering damages is next to impossible.

Proving Liability

Once a respondent is identified, Long Island work injury lawyers and personal injury attorneys can begin negotiations with the respondent and their insurance provider. In the event they do not have insurance or assets that can be liquidated, attempting to collect damages may be futile.

When an insurance company is involved, the company normally provides the legal counsel for the respondent. It is important to remember that insurance companies have significant input regarding proving liability because they have several defenses at their disposal, including claiming the injured plaintiff was personally responsible for the accident. This negotiation is centered around the legal concept of comparative fault, and depending on the state, the case can actually be dismissed if the injured plaintiff has made any contribution to the accident through unreasonable assumption of personal risk. Many times in slip and fall injuries this can only be accomplished through testimonial depositions from witnesses, which can also be contested.

Going to Trial

Another significant challenge for a slip and fall attorney is when a case is defended completely to the trial phase. Going to trial can be requested by either party in a slip and fall injury case. Many times this process presents difficulties with respect to choosing a jury and presenting the case effectively. When insurance companies take the case to trial, they are banking on the jury accepting their argument that they are not liable.

When the plaintiff’s legal counselors take a case to trial, they are banking on the hope that the jury will issue a financial award and in some instances, a punitive damage award in cases of gross negligence. The plaintiff’s lawyer has the charge of proving gross negligence, which can be particularly difficult in slip and fall cases. Most slip and fall injuries are accidents and rarely occur due to an intentional act, although that can happen. The amount of evidence required can matter greatly in a trial where potential gross negligence is a factor.

Slip and fall injury claims can be the most challenging of all civil claims to win because evidence can be difficult to uncover. It is never a good decision to attempt handling a slip and fall claim personally. Always get an experienced slip and fall attorney who knows what to expect for a defense and understands how to craft a solid case.


PSRThanks to our friends and contributors from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen P.C. for their insight into common challenges when pursuing a slip and fall injury case.

Who Can Be Held Liable In A Truck Accident?

Commercial trucks travel the highways every day, delivering goods we need to states all over the U.S. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were over 500,000 accidents involving commercial trucks in 2016 alone. One reason for these high numbers is the fact that drivers must stick to very tight schedules and often drive while fatigued. The following is an overview of personal injury law and how it may help those hurt in a commercial truck accident. If you have been hurt in a collision with a large, commercial vehicle contact a truck accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts to find out who can be held liable for your damages and medical expenses.

Truck Accident Injuries

The vast majority of those traveling in passenger cars suffer very serious or debilitating injuries when involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle. This is due to the large size and heavy weight of the truck. Some of the most common truck accident injuries are:

  • Closed Head Injuries
  • Injuries to the Spinal Cord
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Severed Limbs
  • Burns
  • Neck and Back Injuries
  • Crush Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Internal Organ Damage

Common Truck Accident Causes

While driver fatigue is certainly one of the primary causes of truck accidents in the United States today, some others also occur such as:

  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Road Rage
  • Distracted Driving
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Speeding
  • Improper Lane Changes
  • Tailgating
  • Driving Under the Influence of Prescription or Illegal Drugs

Who Can Be Held Liable?

There are several people that may be held liable for your injuries after a commercial truck accident. Some common examples are:

  • The Trucking Company
  • The Truck Driver
  • The Manufacturer of the Truck or Defective Parts
  • The Shipping Company

Proving Negligence

One of the most difficult aspects of personal injury cases is proving who was negligent and caused the accident. In order to be awarded a settlement, you must be able to show the truck driver, owner, or loader knew a danger existed or ignored safety protocol that lead to the accident. Because this area of personal injury law is complex, it is usually best to speak with a lawyer before moving forward.

How Can a Lawyer Help Accident Victims?

While nothing can change the severity of your injuries after the fact, a lawyer can protect your rights and help secure a financial award that may help you in the long run. After an accident, some things a lawyer can do to help you include:

  • Speaking with Witnesses
  • Asking For a Copy of the Police Report
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company
  • Talking with Medical Experts to Prove Your Case
  • Filing Court Documents Related to Your Lawsuit
  • Represent You If a Trial Is Necessary

Contact a lawyer today for an examination of your case. Once your lawyer has spoken with you and obtained all of the facts, he or she will recommend how you should proceed. Hiring a lawyer to help you through this difficult time is one way to maximize your results as you recover.


LMThanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona | Mead for their insight into truck accident cases.

Accidental Gun Shootings – How a lawyer helps victims and their families.

Despite what we read about in the papers and hear across the airwaves, people today in the United States of America, generally speaking, are safer now than they were in years past. The one exception to this fact concerns accidental gun shootings, both those that involve injuries and death. These incidents have continued to increase for the past many decades.

Many of these victims, and many of the shooters themselves, are children. Every day, somewhere we hear stories of young children coming across an unsecured gun, and accidentally discharging it with horrific, life changing, consequences. As an attorney who has dedicated his practice to helping victims of accidents, I have learned that much can be done to compensate these victims and their families. In most situations, after such a tragedy, there is no consideration for what can be done for the victims and others affected by bringing a civil claim, but virtually always, hiring an attorney to represent the interests of the family and the child is of utmost importance, and can do a lot of good to help. While different states’ criminal courts vary as to the penalties and punishments that can be given to those who leave their guns where they are easily obtained by children, or for those people who use them in unsafe ways – causing injuries to innocent people, such as by creating dangerous, makeshift shooting ranges, or recklessly handling a gun, the civil courts always allow for the victims to be compensated for their medical expenses and other financial losses. This is where hiring a personal injury lawyer Houston TX trusts can be of real help and value. These cases can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, and while often there is not enough insurance money to cover all expenses, as my clients affirm, every little bit helps.

Hiring an attorney who specializes in personal injury law, and advocates for the victims of accidental shootings, must be considered any time something like this happens. Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay them anything in advance, instead – they share in the recovery they obtain their clients, providing an incentive for us to strive to get as much money as possible for our clients.

However, that is only the beginning. The attorney’s job is to then negotiate all medical expenses to ensure that the money obtained does not go entirely towards medical expenses and that some is set aside to assist the victims of these tragic cases in their recovery.

Every day, these things happen across our country, and this trend will continue until there are stricter gun control laws. If someone you know has suffered an accidental gunshot injury, please encourage them to visit with an attorney. There is absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to be gained.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec for their insight into accidental gun shootings.

Is there a difference between DUI and DWI?

One of the easiest questions one can ask a skilled Louisville KY DUI lawyer and certainly one of my favorites to answer. If this was all I had to do all day I would be a happy lawyer and very wealthy in both happiness and money!

The easiest answer in the world is – there is no difference!
DUI is an acronym that stands for Driving Under the Influence (of alcohol or other intoxicants), while DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated (usually just refers to alcohol, in most cases).

Another possibility is DUII, or DWII which is most commonly used in Oregon – Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (kind of combining the former two), or Driving While under the Influence of Intoxicants.

Different states promulgate different laws and legislatures choose whatever acronym or vernacular that fits their needs or interests that day, week or month, so at the end of the day, it does not matter which acronym you are being charged with, so long as you are being actively charged with a driving under the influence charge.

Such charges are heavy, both physically and psychologically, and can be a burden to bear on the person. The key is to not succumb to the system that is solely going after one thing – getting you to plea guilty to the offense as quickly as possible, and kick you to the curb.

All the courts really want at the end of the day is money. There is no justice at these so called “Halls of Justice.” – They are after your wallet. So even if you have a strong case, they are not interested in helping you defend it. They want you to sign on the dotted of the Boykin, which is the guilty plea form, have you plea guilty to the offense in front of the judge and send you on your way, of course, not forgetting to collect their fees before you leave!

So, it does not matter whether you are charged with a DUI, DUII, DWI, or DWII – the answer is simple – you must hire a DUI attorney who knows what they are doing and help you fight the case. If you fight your case, and you have at least a 1% chance of winning, who knows, you might win! But if you plea guilty… you have a 100% chance of being found guilty!
So, don’t drink and drive, and stay safe my friends.

Until Next time.


larry forman law pllc Thanks to our friends and contributors from Larry Forman Law PLLC for their insight into the difference between DUI and DWI.

Parking Lot Accidents

Parking lots are one of the most common places for accidents. Though these collisions are often at low speeds and lead to minor damages, like scratches and dents, they can also be very serious and expensive disasters.

Many drivers trivialize the damage done in parking lot collisions, and drive away from the scene to avoid getting in any trouble. This can often make the most stressful part of a parking lot accident finding who is responsible. To be clear, striking a parked vehicle with your car and driving away without leaving a note or any other way to find you is a crime. If you find yourself in a situation where you have hit a parked car, the best practice is to take pictures and call the police to report the accident. At the least, you must leave a note with your address, name, phone number and insurance information. Doing this will save you a grave deal of legal trouble in the long run.

If you return to your parked car to find it damaged without a clear culprit, the first step is again to call the police. If the person responsible cannot be found, you will have to rely on your own insurance to fix the damage. Most insurance companies will deny your claim unless there is a filed police report that the accident occurred.

In a moving collision, the same rules apply as on the road. After the accident, you have an obligation to check to make sure that no one is injured in the other car, provide your information to the other driver, call the police and stay until they arrive. Failing to do any of this is also a crime and can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction if there are serious injuries.

Once you have a police report, contact your insurance company and give them your side of the story. Insurance companies settle claims based off the information they have, so it important to give as many details as you can. You should also consult with an experienced car accident attorney Dekalb County GA trusts. An insurance company’s goal is to pay you the least they can, and negotiations with insurance companies can be tricky and time consuming. Without the help of an experienced attorney, you can frequently find yourself facing seemingly endless delays and receiving significantly less from an insurance company than you need to pay for the damage.


AAThanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into parking lot accidents.

Top 10 Social Media Tips for Personal Injury Victims From Personal Injury Lawyer Memphis, TN Counts On!

memphis personal injury lawyerIt seems that everyone is on Facebook or some other type of social media these days. Many people are even addicted to it. If you have a Memphis, TN car wreck or personal injury claim, you should carefully consider the impact your social media posts could have on your case and the ultimate settlement or verdict you receive.  As an experienced personal injury lawyer Memphis TN knows and trusts, I can tell you that insurance companies and defense attorneys, as part of their evaluation of you and your case, perform social media account investigation. They will pull up your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts to see if they can gather useful information about you, your activities, and the extent of your injuries.  We at Wiseman Bray PLLC put together the following social media tips for personal injury victims.

Personal Injury Social Media Tips

  1. Archive the content of current accounts. Destruction of potential evidence may create bigger problems than the information itself, so it is important that you do not delete any current content on your social media accounts.  Most social media sites include directions for archiving.

 

  1. Ideally, stop active use of social media. Consider stopping active use of social media altogether. Use it purely for passively looking at content posted by others, and do not post content of your own.

 

  1. At a minimum, be cautious. If you must post information about yourself, think about how posts might be perceived, especially when taken out of context. For example, posting photos of you on a camping trip may leave the false impression that you participate in vigorous physical activity without difficulty or pain.  Social media almost never provides a complete and accurate depiction of life since most people tend to post only the most positive or glamorous aspects of their lives.  You must assume that anything you post – including status updates, messages, and wall postings – will at some point be seen by the other lawyers, judges, and juries. NEVER post information that may relate to your injury claim, even indirectly.

 

  1. Disclose potential problems to a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN counts on. You may have already made potentially problematic posts before reading this. Remember, though, that you should not destroy or delete any information from your social media accounts.  However, do let your personal injury lawyer know so that he or she can avoid any surprises down the road.

 

  1. Turn on the highest privacy settings. Set your privacy settings to the highest level.  Make sure that only friends can see your information, rather than friends of friends, or the general public.

 

  1. Be aware of “friends.” Create “friend lists” so that only certain friends can see your photo albums or status updates.  Remove any “friends” you do not know well, or at all, and accept friend requests and followers only from people you know and trust.  

 

  1. Make yourself invisible to searches. As learned by a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN knows and relies on, you can remove yourself from Facebook search results by selecting “only friends” under the “search visibility” option in your profile settings.  You can also remove yourself from Google in Memphis TN by unchecking the box for “Public Search Listing” in your Internet Privacy settings. You should make comparable changes to privacy settings on all other social media accounts.

 

  1. Preserve all computers, tablets, and cell phones. If you lose or destroy an electronic communication device, the lawyer on the other side could try to portray it as deliberate destruction of evidence.  It is better to fight a battle over access to a device than to have a judge instruct a jury that it may legally assume and conclude the contents of the device would have been unfavorable to you.

 

  1. Don’t send messages or information about your case. Do not send to anyone, except for your lawyers and their staff, any email, text message, or “private” social media message about your claim, health, or activities. Those communications are not privileged and opposing counsel may be allowed to review any and all such communications.  Careless communication can destroy a case.

 

  1. Don’t join websites or web chat groups. You do not own the information you post online, and that information is highly searchable.  Do not enter any information on dating or insurance sites, post on message boards, participate in or comment on social media “private” groups or blogs, or use chat rooms.

Social Media in Other Types of Cases and Claims

These tips are useful if you are involved in any type of litigation or claim, such as apartment crime, negligent security, insurance claim, contract disputes, business litigation, car or auto accident, or premises liability.

Need a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN trusts?

Call us at Wiseman Bray PLLC  today at (901) 372-5003 or email us here.  Let us put our experience as negotiators, litigators, and trial lawyers to work for you.

What Are the Top 5 Most Common Workers Compensation Claims?

Workplace injuries are unfortunately far too common. The causes of these injuries vary depending on the workplace environment and the circumstances of the accident.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which tracks workplace injuries, released its most recent findings for the year 2014. They determined that the five most common types of injuries that resulted in lost work time are:

Common Types of Injuries

33.2 % — Overexertion and bodily reaction

27.4% — Falls, slips and trips

22.2% — Contact with an object or equipment

6.3% — Violence and injuries caused by other persons

5.4% — Transportation incidents

Common Categories of Workers Comp Claims

There are five common categories of workers compensation claims. This determination is based on data maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Liberty Mutual, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. These five most common claims are:

OVEREXERTION is the most common workers compensation claim. These injuries can be caused by a range of physically exerting activities including pushing objects, lifting objects, holding and carrying, or pulling objects. Claims for these types of injuries account for more than 25% of the financial compensation of all workers compensation claims nationally.

A FALL ON THE SAME LEVEL is the second ranking injury claim, and account for 15.8% of the total compensation cost of all claims. These claims are particularly common because they can occur on any surface, especially when there is ice, sleet, or snow present. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2014 there were 34,860 such falls caused by ice, sleet or snow.

FALL TO A LOWER LEVEL is the third most common claim. These falls account for 10.5% of injury compensation claims. Although these accidents account for a smaller proportion of compensation claims than falls to the same level, there is a greater potential for injury and lost work time. As a result, these injuries account for the second highest number of missed work days per fall. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, these falls account for a median number of 19 missed work days per fall.

BODILY REACTION is the fourth most common claim. These injuries account for 10% of injury claims and are caused from reaching, standing, bending, climbing, or sitting.

STRUCK BY AN OBJECT is the fifth most common claim. These injuries, which are the result of any object striking a worker and causing injury, account for 9% of injury claim compensation amounts.

Workers who have suffered injuries understand the impact and strain that their jobs can have on their bodies. They also know that recovering from these injuries can be very difficult and can take a long time. In some cases, workers who are injured on the job are not aware of their right to file workers compensation claims. As a result they put more effort into continuing their work than they do in their recovery.

Regardless of the cause of a workplace injury, injured workers deserve a Palm Beach County workers compensation lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience who can inform them and fight for appropriate compensation for their injuries.


F&KThanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation practice.

Navigating the Pre-suit Texas Medical Malpractice Minefield

“The first order of business,” says Steve Harrelson, a skilled Texarkana medical malpractice lawyer, “is to conduct a thorough review of all relevant medical records by a medical professional.”  Once they have provided the valuable green light, says Harrelson, then it’s time to build the case.  Overbuild the case.  Our most valuable benefit as Plaintiff’s lawyers is to have the case ready to go in front of the jury before contact is even made with the defense.

In the event your case is a death case, ensure that you’ve taken the appropriate steps to have someone named as the personal representative of the estate, that you have obtained Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, and although not mandatory, it’s also prudent to obtain an order in probate court authorizing the personal representative to file suit against the tortfesor that caused the decedent’s death.

Notice 

Before you can file a medical malpractice petition in many states, including Texas for example, you are required to provide formal notice to the Defendant.  Failure to do this is fatal to your case.  Check the statute for the required inclusions to this letter, or email the author of this article for an example of a notice letter.

Second, some state codes require that any healthcare provider who is put on notice of a potential claim provide complete and unaltered copies of the patient’s medical records. This language should be included in the notice letter, along with a HIPAA-compliant Medical Authorization.  Recall that by this point, if your case is a death case, you should already have a personal representative appointed with authority by the probate court who can execute a Medical Authorization.

In addition, some state codes require the patient providing the is notice to give the Defendant an authorization to obtain his or her relevant medical records.  As you will see by statute, you will also be preparing (1) a list of all of the patient’s medical providers who evaluated or treated the patient in connection with the claim (with address), and (2) a list of medical providers (with address) who evaluated or treated the patient within five years preceding the incident giving rise to the claim.

While not necessary, it is also prudent to load up a set of the patient’s medical records onto a CD and include these with the notice.  Send the notice before the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations by certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery to all Defendants.

Statute of Limitations

If you’re up against the two-year statute of limitations period, remember that you only have to send the notice out before the statute of limitations runs.  This act tolls the statute of limitations for up to 75 days.  After 60 days have expired you may file the medical malpractice petition in a court of competent jurisdiction.  If the statute of limitations has been tolled due to the mailing of the notice, file the petition immediately after the 60 days have expired.

For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has experience in medical malpractice cases.


SHThanks to Steve Harrelson from Harrelson Law Firm P.A. for his added insight into medical malpractice claims in Texas.

Misinformation about malpractice litigation in Tennessee

personal injury lawyer memphis tnOur friend John Day posted an informative blog post about Misinformation About Malpractice Litigation in Tennessee. John points out:

[an article] purports to list the number of filings per state per 100,000 residents and ranks Tennesseans as the 5th highest filers of malpractice lawsuits – at the rate of 33 per 100,000 people.  That would mean that Tennesseans file about 2145 such lawsuits per year (we have a little over 6,500,000 people living here).

But that number is wrong.  Information compiled by Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts demonstrates that there were 374 medical malpractice suits filed in 2013-2014 and 356 suits filed in 2014-2015. (Data is kept on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year; 2015-2016 data is not yet publicly available). My guess is that the number of suits filed in all of 2015 was down from what it was in fiscal year 2014-2015, but even assuming that it was the same (356), the rate of filed suits was less than 5.5 per 100,000.  That simply didn’t happen.

Lesson: Don’t believe everything that you read.  Some people would like for you to believe that Tennessee residents are “lawsuit happy” and that there are tons of frivolous lawsuits filed against our physicians. And it’s not true.

Need a lawyer in Memphis? We’ve got the perfect one for you.

WISEMAN BRAY PLLC

8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103

Memphis, Tennessee 38018

(901) 372-5003 Office

(901) 383-6599 Fax

www.WisemanBray.com