Queener Law had a major win for against a corporation that let snow and ice on a sidewalk get in the way of safety for a slip and fall client with permanent injuries! Our client worked and rental space at the building pictured here. She ran her own small business and depended on her business to pay her bills and support herself. Since buying the building, the corporation – which owned buildings all over Jefferson County, Colorado – did no upgrades to the building when it was purchased in the 1970s… or since.
The rain drainage downspouts were not only in disrepair, but they are no longer up to code. They pour water across the sidewalk, allowing it to freeze and cause a very dangerous condition for guests and renters. The downspouts and drains also froze over in the winter, causing them to burst and leak. Burst and leaking pipes pour water onto the sidewalk and create huge patches of black ice. In addition to failing to do any upkeep or maintenance on the downspouts and drains, the property owners also did nothing to take care of the lighting on the building. The lights on the south side of the building were out, making the sidewalk extremely dark at night, the same sidewalk with black ice.
Our client was walking to her car after a long day of work on an evening in February, came around the corner by the leaking, frozen downspout, and fell. Even laying on the icy sidewalk in the dark, she knew her wrist was badly fractured. Unlike my client who faithfully paid her bills and rent, the property owners who spent decades ignoring their building refused to pay their bill. They dragged our client through four years of litigation before a Jefferson County Jury finally held them accountable. While nothing will give our client her career back or the ability to use her wrist the same way again, having a jury award her a six-figure verdict showed her that the corporation was finally being held responsible for their decades of negligence waiting for a victim.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic across the country with Tennessee leading this unfavorable distinction. A recent study identified Tennessee as having the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the nation, suffering nearly five times the national average of collisions due to distraction. Even with fewer drivers on the road during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tennessee reported over 9,000 distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving is not only texting while driving. It could also be setting your GPS, talking on your phone, eating or even applying makeup. Any activity behind that wheel that takes your attention away from driving is a distraction. A two second text could result in a serious crash causing injuries and fatalities. April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It’s a great opportunity to take a minute to evaluate our driving choices and responsibilities. NHTSA has provided drivers with helpful tips listed below.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Need to send a text? Pull over and park your car in a safe location. Only then is it safe to send or read a text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not scroll through apps, including social media, while driving. Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
Tennessee has taken steps to educate drivers and curb distracted driving by passing legislation in 2019 called the “Hands Free Law”. According to Public Chapter No. 412, it is illegal for a driver to:
- (a) hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of their body
- (b) write, send, or read any text-based communication
- (c) reach for a cellphone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt
- (d) watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device
- (e) record or broadcast video on a cellphone or mobile device
Texting while driving is considered a “primary” offense in Tennessee, meaning law enforcement officers can pull you over without having to witness any other violation if they see you texting. Furthermore, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security has stated that the District Attorney’s Office has the authority to check phone records if distracted driving is suspected after a serious injury or fatal crash. Distracted driving is dangerous, irresponsible and most importantly, preventable. The consequences can be deadly or leave those involved with serious lifelong injuries to deal with. If you were hurt in a crash by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact our office for a free consultation or live chat with us today.
Lives are being lost as our government continues to ignore simple safety solutions.
Fatal truck crashes are among the most consequential on the road. Because trucks are so large and powerful, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to a number of regulations and restrictions, including hours-of-service regulations, rest requirements, and prohibitions on texting while driving.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Overloaded trucks
- Unsecured truck loads
- Truck driver fatigue
- Improperly maintained trucks
- Truck defects
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Improper or inadequate truck driving training
- Truck driver negligence
As Journalist, Johnathon Salant investigates, the obvious stalling of legislatures to pass meaningful regulations seem apparent and very worrisome. Salant states, “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2016 issued a rule setting standards for driver training. Then the rule was delayed to 2022.” If a truck accident happens because the trucker or trucking company violated trucking regulations, liability can be assessed against the trucking company and/or truck driver. Additionally, the violating party may also be subject to hefty fines and other penalties. If you are on the road, you should be concerned. Over the last decade, deaths in crashes involving large trucks has risen by 36% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
Over the years, Queener Law has amassed an in-depth understanding of trucking accident liability cases; as well as, knowledge of the rules and regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This combination allows Queener Law to better advocate for clients and families involved in fatal truck crashes. Contact Queener Law at (615) 933-9000 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in a big truck wreck.
Slip and Fall Injuries
If you slip and fall on black ice in Colorado and are injured, it is your own fault… Right? Slip and fall injuries are climbing in Colorado as mild winters fade into history and the population grows in our state. According to the Denver Post, in 2019, injuries due to slip and falls on black ice soared due to residents simply letting their guard down. But is that because the pedestrian is letting down their guard? To the contrary. Slip and fall injuries account for over one million hospital visits in the US annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of this Colorado not only has local ordinances about snow and ice safety, but our legislature saw fit to draft an entire Premises Liability Act to protect slip and fall victims.
Black Ice Law
City and county ordinances mandate that property owners, both commercial and residential, clear sidewalks and entryways of snow and ice quickly. But that is not where they duty to protect the community ends. In addition to those mandates, the Premises Liability Act requires that property owners consider measures like pre-treatment, continuous treatment, and post-storm treatment. The most common injuries sustained by our clients as a result of slip and fall incidents on ice are serious fractures, including to the wrists and spine. We have also represented multiple fall victims with traumatic brain injuries who sustained their trauma due to a fall on ice. Property owners must have a plan in place to take action to prevent, treat, and eradicate snow and ice dangers. And when that does not happen, and a person is injured as a result, the property owner must be held accountable for that injury.
Queener Law has been litigating against property owners for black ice slip and falls for decades. Our team has holding property owners accountable down to a science. That said, we also tailor all cases to your specific needs. Each of our slip and fall injury victims is assigned a partner, a paralegal, and a paralegal assistant who will work with them the entire way through the process. No assembly lines, no passing the file along. You and your team will be together from start to finish, every step of the way. We know your name, we know your case, and we know your specific needs. Our team will visit the site, hire the right team of experts for your specific circumstances, and build your case around you. The negligent property owner cannot be allowed to dictate the path ahead. We will keep you in the driver’s seat, with our team riding passenger.
Registered Nurses Aide on Staff
Your injuries and medical bills can feel so overwhelming, complicated, and lonely. You may feel like no one understands you or you can’t even wrap your mind around it all. Our team is uniquely capable of helping you through this. We have a Registered Nurses Aide on staff just for this reason! Sandra Prone, the first point of contact when you call our office, is a Registered Medical Assistant and State Registered Nurses Aide. She has spent 10 years working in medical facilities. She has reviewed medical records and billing, and listened to folks just like you talk about what matters most to them. Now, she is here to listen to you.
Our clients’ injuries range from soft tissue injuries to their neck and back to spinal injuries to fractures and tears to traumatic brain injuries or worse. In our combined decades of experience in working with victims of negligence, we have found that having an ear to hear you and a heart and mind that understand can mean everything to the success of the relationship between our team and our clients. Sandra uses her decade of experience with patients to help our clients navigate their way through their treatment patterns and healing process. Another important part of representing injury victims is collecting and managing their medical history and expenses. This involves everything from past and current medical records and billing, future projections, and health insurance payments. Sandra is also uniquely suited to oversee those aspects of our clients’ journey. Her experience as a Registered Medical Assistant and State Registered Nurses Aide has exposed her to the complexities of the medical records and billing world. She amazes us every day with her ability to get to the bottom of medical billing inconsistencies and missing documentation. It is a incredible relief for our clients to be able to turn over these stresses to Sandra and have faith in her knowledge and understanding, releasing that burden from themselves.
You can have faith, when you call Queener Law, that you are not just in the hands of a team with years of legal experience. You are also in the hands of a team with years of experience in the medical field. We have all your bases covered so we can go to battle for you fully armed and prepared.
WHOA…Stop Right There!
You have just been rear ended by a distracted driver. Your injuries are typical with this type of wreck and you seek medical attention. Fast forward a few days, you start to get phone calls from the at-fault driver’s insurance company offering you a check. You just need to sign a release. What do you do? Take the money? The offer is pretty good and the holidays are just right around the corner… Attorney Henry Queener recently took on a seemingly simple case that went downhill fairly quickly. In the beginning, the client felt competent enough to deal with the insurance company on her own. This is a common mistake that we see quite often at Queener Law. Below is just one example of how “representing” yourself can go wrong.
Case in Point:
“We recently had a very nice lady call our office for help. She was concerned because the deadline for filing paperwork in the courthouse, also known as a statute of limitations, was only one month away. A heating and air-conditioning company truck had rear ended her at a stoplight. This particular business’s insurance company was offering her $25,000 and was really starting to hound her with phone calls, begging her to take the check. She was starting to feel uneasy. She finally called us wanting to know what her case was worth. Should she just take the $25,000 or hire an attorney? I explained to her that first and foremost, we needed to know the total of all the medical services she has received. She did not know, but she had a guess.
I then asked her who had been paying for the medical care she had been receiving. She told me that the at-fault driver‘s insurance company had used $5000 they had available for medical payments and then her own auto insurance volunteered to use $5000. After that Tricare, which is health insurance for those who have been in the military, and Medicare started paying for her medical care. Boy, was she surprised by what I told her next. I explained that she would have to open an account with both Tricare and Medicare to find out exactly how much they had paid out. By accepting the settlement money from the heating and air-conditioning‘s insurance company (you know, the quick check) she would automatically become obligated to pay Tricare and Medicare back. (Most likely this would eat up the initial offer of $25,000. What about future medical costs, loss of earnings, pain and suffering?)
She then had a dawning of realization. She had been getting letters from Medicare asking about the status of her settlement and did not really understand why she was getting them. Now she understood and it was so clear to her! Medicare was asking about the status of her settlement because Medicare was expecting payment out of her settlement. I then told her the news is worse than that. Her own auto insurance company did not do her any favors by using its $5000 for medical payments. Under Tennessee law, she has to pay them back too. She would’ve been better off if her auto insurance had never paid anything at all! She began to realize that she should have hired an attorney earlier in the process. AND, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several other things that have occurred in her case that are not helpful.
Unfortunately, insurance companies ARE NOT obligated to work together for your best outcome. Furthermore, many insurance agents and insurance adjusters often have a very poor understanding of insurance law and even their own insurance policies. She has now hired us. We are diligently working for our client, so that when her case is settled, it will be her money free and clear.” If you are ever faced with the aftermath of an accident, DO NOT attempt to deal with an insurance company alone. Your job is to focus on your recovery, our job is to deal with the insurance companies. Let Queener Law work for you. Contact us for a free case evaluation.