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Knoxville Personal Injury Law Blog

Car accident victims can get uninsured motorist coverage

Many Tennessee drivers worry about the financial impact of getting involved in a car crash. This is a legitimate concern, particularly for drivers who may get into a car wreck with an uninsured motorist. The good news: States around the nation are starting to offer auto insurance that protects against underinsured motorist accidents.

The fact is that too many drivers go without auto insurance, meaning that they endanger other drivers on the road. You can protect yourself by considering uninsured motorist coverage to reduce the financial impact if you get in a wreck with an irresponsible motorist. This type of insurance is particularly useful if you are unable to successfully pursue financial damages from the at-fault party.

How Long Until My Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Hearing?

People applying for and appealing a denied claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are rightfully concerned with the length of the process. I try to regularly provide an update on processing times and approval rates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims at some hearing offices (ODAR). Please remember that these statistics are only for claims pending at the hearing level or Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The claims at a hearing office have already been through the Application and Reconsideration steps (typically 6-12 months of waiting already).


  • Average processing time: 525 days (up from 444 in May of 2015)
  • 44% cases approved

Knoxville, Tennessee:

  • Average processing time: 521 days (down from 555 in October of 2016)
  • 52% cases approved

Chattanooga, Tennessee:

  • Average processing time: 535 days (down from 567 in October of 2016, but up from 521 days in May of 2015)
  • 60% approved (trending upward)

Kingsport, Tennessee:

  • Average processing time: 512 days (up from 454 days in October of 2016 and 339 days in April of 2015)
  • 64% cases approved

Nashville, Tennessee

  • Average processing time: 491 days (up from 484 days in October of 2016 and 465 days in December of 2015)
  • 50% cases approved

Franklin, Tennessee

  • Average processing time: 521 days (up from 516 days in October of 2016 and 475 days in December of 2015)
  • 62% cases approved (trending upward)

Memphis, Tennessee

· Average processing time: 578 days!

· 52% case approved

Middlesboro, Kentucky

  • Average processing time: 436 days (down from 497 days in October of 2016!!! Still up from 410 in April of 2015)
  • 47% cases approved (trending upward)

Columbia, South Carolina

· Average processing time: 664 days!

· 53% of cases approved

Charleston, South Carolina

· Average processing time: 617 days!

· 49% of cases approved

The hearing office staff work hard and understand the frustrations of the claimants and representatives, but they are hamstrung by the workload and budgetary restraints.

What steps should I take after a dog bite?

How should you respond when you have been bitten by a dog in Tennessee? In the immediate aftermath of this type of personal injury, you probably have a lot of questions. Instead of suffering through the anxiety that can come along with being the victim of a dog attack, consider enlisting the services of a qualified attorney. You can also take some steps to protect yourself and your family after your dog bite injury.

What's the first thing I should consider after a dog attack? The most important step to take is receiving comprehensive medical care. Without a quick response, you could risk further disfigurement or complications from your serious injury. The risk of infection from a dog bite injury is too significant -- you can't leave your health to chance. You should also consider photographing your injuries. Sometimes, your physician can help with this documentation process. Take pictures of any torn clothing and other evidence associated with the attack.

Five tips to avoid winter driving dangers

Weather is a contributing factor to many car accidents. Over 1 million accidents are attributed to weather conditions, and these car crashes are often highest in the winter months. A recent piece by AAA digs into these statistics and finds that weather related accidents translate to 425,000 injuries and 5,100 fatalities annually.

Can I reduce the risk of involvement in a winter car crash? Fortunately, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also has some recommendations to avoid becoming a number in this statistic.

Tennessee workplace injury can lead to PTSD

Would you think of a mental or emotional issue as being relevant to a workplace injury? Research shows that many Tennessee victims of workplace injury may actually be at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder in connection with their on-the-job ailments. This psychological condition can lead to longer-term occupational illness, which is why physicians urge early intervention to protect workplace injury victims.

Post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers experience a diverse array of unpleasant symptoms, from nightmares to insomnia, emotional detachment and social distancing. Additional symptoms include irritability, difficulty concentrating and amnesia. Many of these issues are even more pronounced if the victim suffered a head injury on the job. If these symptoms are not addressed in the immediate aftermath of the workplace injury, they may persist and cause the employee to remain out of work longer than necessary.

Uninsured motorists can now be identified at crash site

Tennessee has launched a new system designed to bring more motorists into compliance with liability insurance laws. About one in five drivers in the state is considered an uninsured motorist, with an estimated 1.1 million vehicles on the road that are not insured at all. Authorities say that a new verification system could improve compliance with state insurance law and provide additional recourse for those who are injured in an uninsured motorist accident.

The new system is fairly simple. It provides real-time access to online systems that will be used both by county clerks and by police officers. Clerks will be able to determine whether a vehicle is properly insured before its registration is submitted; residents will not be able to register a vehicle that is not covered with liability insurance. Similarly, police officers will be able to verify insurance coverage at the scene of an accident or even during a routine traffic stop. Uninsured motorist vehicles will be towed from the scene, and fines will be issued to those who are not complying with the law.

3 factors that can lead to semi truck accidents

Semi truck drivers have to be safe as they transport their loads from one location to another. The safety of themselves and others on the roads depend on this. Unfortunately, semi truck accidents with passenger vehicles do occur. When these occur, injuries or death are likely.

People who are involved in an accident with a semi truck might opt to seek compensation for those injuries. One of the factors that matters in these cases is what caused the semi truck to crash. These three factors are common in semi truck accidents.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - SSA Publishes Final Rule on "Program Uniformity"

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is making final several regulations affecting all claimants at the hearing level seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In July, I blogged about the proposed rules including closing the record five days prior to the hearing. The proposed rules are pretty much becoming final as proposed. The final rule contains the following changes:

    • Claimants, or their representatives, have to submit all evidence or inform the Social Security Administration about the evidence at least five business days from the date of the hearing unless a certain delineated exception applies;
    • Hearing notices will be provided at least seventy-five days before a hearing nationwide (currently twenty days outside of Region 1); and
    • Certain delineated exceptions for good cause to the deadlines for subpoena requests, objections to issues raised under those hearings, and pre-hearing written statements.

The final rule becomes effective January 16, 2017 but the notice does say that "compliance is not required until May 1, 2017."

Take animal bites received on another's property seriously

Most of our Knoxville, Tennessee, neighbors understand premises liability, meaning they know they can pursue legal remedies if injured on another party's property. Most of these injuries occur due to slipping or falling, but an animal bite injury may also be a good reason to pursue a premises liability claim.

Unfortunately, many victims of animal bites dismiss the matter, particularly if the injury does not seem too severe. Perhaps they do not want to cause trouble with a neighbor or a friend. Other times, they may assume the injury will simply heal in a few days. Many times, these injuries do heal well without much effort. However, not taking the matter seriously could be a mistake.

Tennessee protections for workers hurt on the job

If you've suffered a serious injury while at work, you are entitled to receive a number of medical benefits in Tennessee. Your treating physician, a physician who must be authorized to provide the care you're receiving, must sign off on those treatments for them to be covered by your workers' compensation or other benefit coverage. If your doctor agrees, then the benefits could cover items such as eye wear, hospitalization, psychological services and medicine, to name just a few.

As long as you work for an employer who has workers' compensation in accordance with the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act and suffered your injury at work, you are entitled to receive medical care after suffering an injury. In all cases, the workers' compensation provider must approve your injury as one caused by a workplace accident. If you are denied, then you will need to file an appeal to access workers' compensation. This is something you can discuss with your attorney or advocate.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

1356 Papermill Pointe Way
Knoxville, TN 37909

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