Injured by a USPS driver? You might be able to sue the USPS.

Injured by a USPS driver? You might be able to sue the USPS.

Claims against the postal service can be tricky because the law with respect to these types of claims is unique.  Unfortunately, injured parties cannot simply file a lawsuit against postal service like you would against any other negligent driver.  Instead, you must comply with the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”).  Running afoul of the FTCA might negatively affect your rights.  As such, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer Memphis trusts to help you navigate this unique area of law.

United States Postal Service delivery vehicle

A brief history on suits against the federal government

Years ago, people could not even sue the federal government based on the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, which is basically lawyer-talk for the notion that the government has to give you permission to sue it.  Stated differently, the federal government has to waive its sovereign immunity and consent to being sued.  Thankfully, Congress did just that by passing the Federal Tort Claims Act in 1946. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680.

Specifically, the FTCA allows suit against the federal government:

[F]or money damages . . . for injury or loss of property, or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1).

As you can see, the FTCA is broad in that it allows injured parties to bring suit for the negligence of a government employee.  However, there are several unique aspects of the FTCA that can be tricky.

What’s different about claims brought under the FTCA?

  1. Administrative process

The most significant difference between filing a claim against a private individual and bringing one against the federal government for its employee’s negligence is the pre-lawsuit administrative process.  For claims brought under the FTCA, claimants must file a claim with the appropriate federal agency before filing their lawsuit. 28 U.S.C. 2675(a).  If the claimant does not comply with the administrative claims procedure, he or she cannot file suit in federal court and risks losing his or her rights altogether.

  1. Statute of limitations

Another notable difference is the statute of limitations for FTCA claims.  The FTCA replaces the state statute of limitations with a federal statute. See Chomic v. United States, 377 F.3d 607, 610 (6th Cir. 2004).  FTCA claims are subject to two (2) different limitations periods under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b)(1):

A tort claim against the United States shall be forever barred unless it is presented in writing to the appropriate Federal agency within two years after such claim accrues or unless action is begun within six months after the date of mailing, by certified or registered mail, of notice of final denial of the claim by the agency to which it was presented.

As you can see, the FTCA essentially has two (2) different statutes of limitations.  One for the administrative claim and another for the eventual lawsuit if the claim is denied or ignored.

  1. Attorney fees

Another significant difference is that the FTCA establishes a cap for attorney fees of 25% for litigated matters and 20% for claims resolved during the administrative process. 28 U.S.C. § 2678.

Exceptions to the waiver of sovereign immunity

Under the FTCA, there are several types of claims for which the federal government retains its sovereign immunity and does not let individuals file suit regardless of whether a federal employee was negligent.  This is commonly referred to as an exception to the waiver of sovereign immunity.  One notable exception is for discretionary functions.  Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a), injured parties cannot sue the federal government for “[a]ny claim based upon an act or omission of an employee of the Government, exercising due care, in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether or not such statute or regulation be valid, or based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an employee of the Government, whether or not the discretion involved be abused.”  Application of the discretionary function exception can be complex.  At its core, though, the discretionary function applies (meaning the government cannot be sued) when a government employee is exercising permissible policy judgment. Stated differently, the exception does not apply when there is a violation of a mandatory policy. See United States v. Gaubert, 499 U.S. 315, 322-325 (1991).

The discretionary function exception along with several others can be difficult to analyze and tricky to navigate.  If you have been injured in an accident with a USPS employee, you need an attorney that understands the unique requirements for bringing claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

If you need help with a potential FTCA claim, call us today at (901) 372-5003 for a free consultation.

Tow Truck Driver Shot at Eden at Watersedge Apartments and Townhomes in Memphis, TN

Tow Truck Driver Shot at Eden at Watersedge Apartments and Townhomes in Memphis, TN

apartment crime lawyer memphis tnCrime at Memphis apartment complexes continues.

Just this morning, a tow truck driver was shot in the head through the window of his truck at the Eden at Watersedge Apartments and Townhomes near Fox Meadows on South Mendenhall Road. According to the news we’re reading, witnesses heard four gunshots ring out before calling 911. When police arrived, they found the driver inside of the tow truck unconscious. Officers had to break out a window of the truck to get inside. According to WMC Action News 5 in Memphis, the victim was identified as 28-year-old Darrell Adams and he was checking for parking violations at the apartment complex when he was shot.

Does the Victim (Tow Truck Driver, Darrell Adams) have a claim against the apartment complex where he got shot?

Maybe. There are many factors to consider. In Tennessee, apartment complex owners and managers must take reasonable measures to protect tenants and guests from foreseeable criminal attacks. Whether Mr. Adams would be able to recover against the Edens at Watersedge depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the facts of how the incident occurred, security measures provided at the apartment complex, and crime levels for the apartment complex and surrounding neighborhood.

Are you the victim of an apartment crime or apartment shooting? If so, call the apartment crime lawyer Memphis,TN knows and respects.

If you are the victim of a serious injury due to apartment crime, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003. We’ve helped other crime victims like you, and we can help YOU recover your damages if apartment management failed to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks. Wiseman Bray PLLC is an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN  knows and trusts. We will meet or speak with you and discuss whether you might have a case at no charge.  Call us today.

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

memphis personal injury lawyerTips for Personal Injury Victims From Wiseman Bray

It 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.

Misinformation about malpractice litigation in Tennessee

personal injury lawyer memphis tnMisinformation about malpractice litigation in Tennessee

Our 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

Mall Security in Memphis- Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Mall Incidents

mall security lawyer, crime victim lawyer memphis tn

Malls in Memphis Should Add Private Security, Says Memphis Police Director Rallings

Do you ever shop at shopping malls in Memphis?

According to the Commercial Appeal, Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings, said that malls in Memphis depend too much on the short-staffed Memphis Police Department and should instead add private security. Director Rallings also issued this warning to parents who drop off unsupervised children and teenagers to roam about at malls: “It’s not our job to raise your children. That’s your job.”

Our firm handles negligent security cases, and what Director Rallings speaks of is absolutely in line with what Tennessee law requires of commercial property owners. In our state, a commercial property owner, like a store or shopping mall, must provide reasonable security to its customers. What is reasonable? That’s ultimately up to a jury to decide after hearing evidence about crime history, neighborhood statistics, etc., but it sure sounds like Director Rallings believes that Memphis shopping malls can and should provide better security that what presently exists.  For the sake of the citizens of Memphis, we hope area shopping malls heed Director Rallings’ recommendation to increase security levels.

Crime Victim Lawyers

We represent victims of crime in the civil court system, because remedies in criminal court do not adequately compensate the crime victim. We may be able to help a crime victim recover compensation for injuries and financial losses due to the failure of a business, shopping mall, store, or apartment complex to provide reasonable security measures in accordance with Tennessee law.  If you or someone you know needs our help, please call us today at 901-372-5003.

WISEMAN BRAY PLLC

8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103

Memphis, TN  38018

Phone: (901) 372-5003

www.WisemanBray.com

More Resources for Crime Victims

Visit our Crime Victim page here.

View our previous BLOG POSTS about negligent security cases below:

Cordova Apartment Shootings: Was there security?

Apartment Managers Can’t Turn a Blind Eye to Crime

Windgood Manor Apartment Shootings in Memphis

Deadly Shooting at Madison Cypress Lakes in Memphis

Apartment Complex Crime- Memphis Attorneys

Cordova, TN Apartment Shootings: Was there security?

style=”text-align: justify;”>apartment shooting lawyer memphis tnViolent crime isn’t limited to urban centers, or run-down properties. Areas in eastern Shelby County, including Cordova, TN are experiencing violent crime, often at what many people would consider to be luxury apartment complexes.

Earlier this month, 18 year old  Eddie McDonald was shot and killed at the Country Squire Apartments in Cordova, TN.

And just this week, a man was shot and killed at the Appling Lakes Apartments in Cordova, TN, while two others were injured by gunfire. The Commercial Appeal reports that the Appling Lakes shooting was the 19th murder in unincorporated Shelby County in 2016–the highest number of homicides ever recorded.

Did you know that apartment owners must provide reasonable security?

In Tennessee, apartment owners are generally required to provide reasonable security measure to tenants and guests of the property. What is “reasonable?” It depends on the circumstances, such as the type of crime committed against a victim and the history of crime on the property and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Every single apartment shooting case is different. We can’t help but wonder if in the Appling Lakes and Country Squire shooting cases, security measures could have prevented the victims’ deaths and injuries.  We do not know enough yet about the cases to make an assessment.

Call us. We are lawyers for crime victims.

We are lawyers for apartment crime victims in Memphis, TN. If you are the victim of an apartment shooting or crime, please call us today at (901) 372-5003.

We have the experience, know-how, and financial resources to properly investigate and prosecute your case. If the apartment complex where you were injured did not provide reasonable security, you may be entitled to money damages to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering.   This is the case even if you weren’t a tenant and were just visiting.

We have helped others like you. Let us help you. Call (901) 372-5003 and ask to speak to the experienced apartment crime lawyers in Memphis, TN.

“Apartment Managers Can’t Turn a Blind Eye to Crime,” says Apartment Crime Lawyer Memphis,TN Knows and Trusts.

As an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN  knows and trusts, I can tell you that in Tennessee, the law requires property owners to take reasonable measures to protect their tenants and guests from foreseeable criminal attacks.  Many apartment managers and owners fail to do this, and in some cases, innocent people living in or visiting apartment complexes or communities are injured as a result.

What is a foreseeable crime?

Tennessee case law states that the degree of foreseeability needed to establish a duty by an apartment owner to protect against criminal acts will almost always require that prior instances of crime have occurred on or in the immediate vicinity of the property. Courts will consider the location, nature, and extent of previous criminal activities and their similarity, proximity, or other relationship to the crime that resulted in personal injuries to an innocent victim.

Assessing Crime at an Apartment Complex

So, what is a property owner or apartment manager in Memphis TN supposed to do? The owner or manager can start by assessing the level of crime within the apartment complex and surrounding neighborhood. How is management supposed to know about crime? Many apartment managers commute to work from some other neighborhood and don’t even live in the apartment complex they manage, so they are disconnected from the community.  Even if a manager does live on site, the manager might claim he or she never observed any crime occurring, and thus had no reason to know security measures were necessary. Good enough? Not by a long shot. There are many tools available today for property owners and managers to use to assess crime as the first step in developing a reasonable security plan for an apartment community.

Reviewing and Monitoring Crime Levels apartment crime lawyer memphis, tn

As an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN counts on, I regularly obtain the following information while representing victims of apartment violence and shootings, so we  know that the same information is available to apartment owners and managers.

  • CAP Index® Reports– According to the company’s website, CRIMECAST Reports are designed to identify the risk of personal and property crimes at a particular location.
  • Crime Analysis Reports. In the City of Memphis, a property manager or owner can submit a Crime Analysis Search Request to the Memphis TN Police Department and receive a Crime Analysis Report.  Information can be requested for a specific address, apartment complex, police district, or radius around an address.  The Report generated identifies the number and types of crimes for the time period requested, the specific location of each crime, and the corresponding incident report numbers for each crime.
  • Review Police Incident Reports. In Memphis, TN, an apartment manager can request copies of police reports in order to understand the types of crimes being committed on or near a property.
  • Calls for Service. In Memphis, TN,  a property owner or manager can request the calls for service made to a particular address or apartment complex.
  • Statistics from Local Police Precinct.  A property owner or manager can also visit the local precinct, discuss crime in the neighborhood, and request and obtain information concerning crime statistics for the area.

Are you the Victim of an Apartment Crime or Apartment Shooting? If so, call the apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN knows and respects! 

If you are the victim of a serious injury due to apartment crime, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003. We’ve helped others like you, and we can help YOU recover if apartment management failed to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks.  Wiseman Bray PLLC is an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN  knows and trusts. We will meet or speak with you and discuss whether you might have a case at no charge.  Let us get to work for you.

Here are the experienced Memphis apartment crime lawyers at our law firm who will work on your case:

 

2 Dead in Apartment Shooting at Wingood Manor Apartments in Memphis

apartment shooting at wingood memphis crime victim lawyer Well, it happened AGAIN.  There was an apartment shooting at Wingood Manor Apartments this past weekend.

According to news reports, yet another apartment shooting occurred in Memphis over the weekend that left 2 young fathers dead: Irving Guy and Joshua Irby.

Of course, not all crime can be prevented, and not all crime that occurs at an apartment complex is the fault of the property owner.  However, we represent crime victims and their families, and in prosecuting civil cases against apartment complexes for wrongful death and money damages, we often find that large, out of town owners fail to employ reasonable security measures that could have prevented innocent people from becoming victims of violent crime.

 Read about one of our recent Memphis Apartment Shooting cases here.

  • If you or someone you know has been injured or killed at an apartment complex in Memphis, call Wiseman Bray PLLC for help at (901) 372-5003. We are lawyers for apartment crime victims and their families.
  • Visit our page on Apartment Crime Law.  Sign up for our blog posts here.

Deadly shooting at Madison Cypress Lakes apartment complex

shooting at madison cypress lakes, crime victim attorneyUPDATED on 08/08/2016:  Police have now identified the victim as Monique Brown, who is the mother of a young child.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A deadly shooting at Madison Cypress Lakes apartment complex in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to news reports, a young woman was shot and killed in a shooting at the Madison at Cypress Lakes apartment complex.  What makes this shooting especially tragic is that this is hardly the first time the Madison apartment complex has been the scene of senseless violence.  According to News Channel 5, it’s the third incident just this year in which their news crew has reported on a serious criminal incident at the complex.

 History of Crime at the Apartment Complex

Another story reports that “[t]he complex has a history of violent crimes.”  The story also reports that:

In June 2013, a pizza delivery driver was shot during an armed robbery at the complex. In March 2014, one person was shot during another armed robbery. Two months later, in May 2014, a man was stabbed several times by two men during an attempted robbery. Earlier this year, a woman was sexually assaulted by a man who broke into her apartment.

We know the law on Apartment Crime.

Just 8 months ago, our law firm concluded a lawsuit involving yet another shooting at Madison Cypress Lakes in Memphis, involving the senseless robbery and shooting of a pizza delivery driver.  That lawsuit involved allegations of a shockingly low level of security given the Madison’s size, location, and finances.

Unfortunately, though, as confirmed by these local news reports, it appears that residents and visitors of the Madison at Cypress Lakes continue to be victimized by crime.

Obviously, not all crime is preventable.  And not all crime that occurs at an apartment complex is the fault of the property owner.  But all too frequently we find that large, out of town, corporate owners put profit over people, and they fail to implement reasonable security measures that could prevent innocent people from becoming victims of violent crime.

We represent crime victims and their families.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or killed at an apartment complex or other commercial property in or around Memphis or Nashville, call Wiseman Bray PLLC for help at 901-372-5003.

We assist crime victims in the greater Memphis and Nashville areas. Cities covered include: Memphis, Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Cordova, Eads, Germantown, Lakeland, Ashland City, Belmont, Hillsboro, Brentwood, Belle Meade, Forest Hills, Franklin, Greenhills, Hendersonville, Nolensville, Nolan’s Park, Oak Hill, and surrounding towns and cities.