Are High-tech Dashboards Safer For Drivers?

There has been a lot made about improving safety in automobiles over the last 60 years. From seat belts to air bags to side-curtain airbags to crumple zones to rear-view cameras, there have been many advancements in car design to improve safety and reduce car accidents and accident severity.

There has always been a push to make driving safer by developing software that allows drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel while adjusting the radio, the temperature or setting cruise control. With buttons on the steering wheel or various voice controls, on the one hand, drivers have been able to maintain more physical control of their vehicles.

50% of Driving is 90% Mental

While there is a lot of advancement so drivers keep their hands on the wheel, much of effective driving is a mental process, including processing visual cues in observing traffic, weather and the presence of pedestrians. Distracted driving can occur even if a driver has both hands physically on the wheel. Having a mind distracted can have just as much an effect on accidents as removing hands from the wheel.

Eyes that move from the road to a high-tech dashboard, for example, in order to access certain buttons or actions for the vehicle can still lead to accidents, and they have. Studies recently have found that several automakers have created high-tech dashboards that are the most distracting to drivers, and thus are the ones that might actually put drivers more at risk for accidents.

A Focused Mind and Body

One of the recent studies, conducted by researchers at the University of Utah, has found that the more “infotainment” is placed in easy reach of a driver, the higher the risk for that driver to be distracted. A driver’s hands may be on the steering wheel, but he or she may be accessing GPS, a hands-free phone device, the radio, the heating/cooling or some other aspect of driver comfort, instead of keeping the mind on the road. With so many possible distractions, it is easy for a driver to lose focus and get in an accident even with both hands firmly on the wheel.

Block Out the Noise

The hope is that this research will eventually lead automakers to scale back their high-tech dashboards and simplify a driver’s experience. A driver needs to have both hands on the wheel and mindfully engaged with the road and traffic to ensure safety. These studies are hopefully revealing that automakers may be working too hard on the physical and further taxing the mental part of driving. Find out more about the effects of distracted driving when you contact one of our Memphis personal-injury attorneys to discuss the circumstances surrounding your recent auto accident. It is time to know that hands-free does not mean mind-free.

Car Accidents: See A Doctor Even If I Don’t Feel Injured?

One thing is true about auto accidents – they can often leave their marks days and weeks afterward, even if it’s a minor fender-bender. Whether the marks are physical, mental or emotional, virtually no one gets away from an accident unscathed.

It’s like a good football or basketball coach who hardly loses a game – they remember every loss. The same thing is true with auto accidents for most of us; they happen so infrequently in our lives that we have very distinct memories of them.

The Hidden Injuries

If you go into an accident on the basic presumption that every accident will leave a mark in some way, then you will understand that even if you bump a car at 2 mph and you immediately get out of the car and feel no physical pain, it is always a good idea to take precautions because the body will sometimes have a delayed reaction to a quick trauma like a collision.

There are some physical injuries that won’t manifest themselves right away, especially in a more violent collision, where adrenaline is pumping and is distracting you from the injuries you have suffered. In any and every event, it is a good idea to have medical personnel evaluate you at the scene of an accident. Something like whiplash or other muscle or joint injury may be present and you may not be immediately aware.

Get Full Disclosure

Don’t assume that because you feel fine, that you actually are fine. Every accident needs to have a full accounting, and that includes any injuries to yourself as well as drivers and passengers in the other vehicles. If you refuse medical attention at the scene because you feel “fine,” then if and when you decide to file a claim for damages, your claim will be less-regarded if you delay in getting treatment.

Possible brain injury, whiplash, and internal bleeding are three serious conditions that may not manifest right away, but if they go unchecked or undiagnosed, could lead to serious problems later. For these reasons alone, get checked out to rule out these time-release injuries so you can have an accurate picture of the results of the accident and have everything ready in case you need to file that legal claim.

Take No Chances

Even if you feel perfectly OK following an accident, do not miss out on a chance to protect your health. You trust a professional attorney to secure your legal health in an auto accident; you should then protect your physical health by getting evaluated by a doctor to head off any “hidden” injuries that may impact you later. Don’t take unnecessary risks, especially if you are considering a legal claim. Your physical right to health is just as important as your legal rights!

If you have been in a car accident and suffered a car accident injury it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.  Contact us today for a consultation.

Defective Airbag: Who Is At Fault?

If you are looking for a clue, look no further than what is going on in the auto industry these days.

We have a reasonable expectation that the airbags in our cars will work properly when deployed in an auto accident, and for the most part they have over the last couple of decades. However, a major crisis of safety has come to the fore that has forced many automakers to recall their vehicles at a hefty price tag – in the billions (with a “b”) of dollars in repairs.

The Takata Recall

Takata has been the world’s leading airbag manufacturer for a wide swath of automakers, foreign and domestic. There are very few airbag systems on the roads that are not made by Takata. So when Takata’s airbag started malfunctioning and having design defects that appeared in 2016 and into 2017, it became a major safety concern.

Millions of vehicles were impacted by Takata’s airbags, which either did not inflate properly or (in the majority of cases) expelled shrapnel into the faces of drivers after the airbag deployed, usually causing scratches and other injuries to the eyes and face. The shrapnel apparently came from inflators that disintegrated inside the bag.

Legal Claims for Defective Airbags

Should your vehicle have an airbag that does not deploy properly, if at all, or has some other defect that causes injury, you may be able to file a claim even if you are not in an accident – especially if the airbag causes injuries that result in time lost from work or causes damage to the vehicle. There is a reasonable expectation that all equipment in a vehicle will be in proper working condition.

If the airbag does not work as expected but you are not injured, take the vehicle to a mechanic or the dealership to get the airbag fixed. If the defect is noticed in an auto-accident situation, make notes of any injuries that may have stemmed from the airbag and work with a local personal injury attorney to consider placing liability on the automaker and the manufacturer of the airbag system when it can be determined that the airbag can be deemed a factor in some of your injuries, if not the accident itself.

A Right to Safety

While owning and driving a car is a privilege, you do have a right to expect safety with the vehicle you have the privilege of owning. If that right to safety is compromised in some way, you should fight for your right to be whole and demand accountability for the compromising of your safety. Have a personal-injury attorney conduct a thorough investigation of your auto accident and determine the role that a defective airbag may play in the accident, and ensure that liability is placed at the feet of the right entities so you can be compensated for the breach of trust.

If you have been involved in a car accident ad the airbags in your vehicle did not work properly resulting in an injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The team of attorneys at Memphis Law Firm specialize in car accident injuries. Contact us today to find out more information about your case.

Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Maybe some auto accidents are foreseeable, and others may certainly be preventable, but even foreseeability and preventability do not necessarily reduce the trauma associated with an auto accident.

Most auto accidents, even minor fender-benders, are traumatic in their own ways. It would seem to be common sense that the more violent the accident, the more traumatic the experience might be to us,  especially if we see dead bodies in vehicles or on the street.

The Reality of PTSD

In extreme trauma, the events that cause the trauma can affect us psychologically for years afterward – even to the point of flashbacks to the event (this is especially common among veterans who return from a war zone). Much of this can be placed along the lines of a post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

In the course of our lifetimes, most of us will be involved in at least one motor-vehicle accident, and about 25 percent of us will be involved in one that will result in serious injuries or deaths. That is millions of people over the next 50-60 years, and that means millions of people who would be at risk of post-traumatic episodes.

Car Accidents and PTSD

Granted, not everyone who is involved in a serious auto accident will get PTSD or be at risk for it, but whenever a traumatic experience happens in our lives, symptoms of post-traumatic stress may manifest – whether it’s from being a war zone, an auto accident, watching a relative get killed, or having a near–death experience yourself.

Any of these events can cause great trauma and affect us emotionally and mentally, and it can be debilitating to us. Potentially millions of people already have some form of PTSD, and millions more may succumb to it during their lifetime. And it is possible for a person to suffer from PTSD as a result of a car accident that is particularly heinous and violent, especially if the person was close to passing away. It’s similar to those who survive a war zone, where they could have been killed but instead lost compatriots just feet away.

You Can Be Whole Again

Some car accidents cost more than just the medical bills and replacing or repairing vehicles. The cost may be a person’s mental and emotional health if the auto accident was especially traumatic. And if a person suffers from PTSD as a result of an accident, the person may have a case to file for damages to pay for psychological therapy and lost wages if the trauma from the accident could be seen to be so debilitating as to prevent a person from working or living a normal life.

Contact our Memphis attorneys today to discuss your auto-accident case, and let us help you with getting you the professional help you need to deal with your trauma, and allow us to help you defend your right to be made whole – physically, financially and psychologically.

How Does An Auto Accident Affect Car Insurance?

Auto accidents can be costly experiences. They cost us time off work, repair damage to our vehicles, perhaps the lives of drivers or passengers, and in some instances may cost us time in freedom because of negligent or criminal driving behaviors.

But if you think those costs are limited only to serious accidents, think again.

About Car Insurance

Even in minor accidents – like a bent bumper or fender – auto insurance may be available to a driver, but filing the claim is not automatic for some people. Many people believe that any and every insurance claim will adversely impact their insurance premiums, so they will hold off on filing a claim until they absolutely have to because they don’t have enough money to cover the repair.

Auto insurance is there to repair vehicles and pay out settlements when you are at fault without sacrificing any of your personal assets. Insurance protects your family and your assets. We pay premiums in order for the insurance company to pay for our fault and our damage.

Splashing in the Pool

Insurance companies have a pool of money, where policyholders’ premium payments are placed. This pool is where payouts are made on insurance claims. The premiums that are paid by policyholders are determined based on coverages, driving records, ages, locations, and vehicles of those who are on the policies. The premiums fill up the “pool” by which the insurance company pays on claims in that part of the country. And the actuaries at the company determine those premiums based on the chances of a major payout, accounting for profits and overhead.

If a particular area of the country has a higher rate of claims than expected, then the rates will go up for all policyholders in that area – even if 90% of them have had clean records. Everyone pays into the “pool” model. And the insurance companies often have their own investigators and attorneys either to fight for the policy holder or fight for the insurance company whenever a legal claim is filed in an at-fault accident situation.

Answering the Question

So if we ask, will my single auto accident raise my insurance premiums? The short answer is, it depends. There are many factors that come into play, but more often than not, no single accident raises premiums; it is often a collection of claims over a period of time (at a cost-per-claim rate higher than expected) that will usually raise premiums.

While insurance companies can and do represent policyholders in legal claims, they don’t do it exclusively, and they certainly won’t do it if you are at fault. It is a good idea to consult with one of our Memphis attorneys to get all the information and make sure you have representation to stand up for your specific rights, knowing that the insurance companies’ attorneys will have their own interests at heart first.

Don’t give up defense of your rights to someone else, even if you are on the same side.

If you have been in an auto accident, have been injured, and are in need of a lawyer, do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney today. The team of attorneys at Memphis Law Firm is experienced in car accident cases and will help you get the settlement you deserve.

Who Can Be Held Liable In A Construction Zone Accident?

If you have recently found yourself involved in a construction zone accident, then you likely have many questions regarding the legal claims you can make, particularly if you feel like you are owed compensation for any personal injury you’ve suffered as a result of the accident.

In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at the general subject of construction zone accidents, and you’ll also find a detailed answer regarding who can be held liable in construction zone accidents and why. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look.

First of all, it’s worth defining what construction zone accidents usually involve so you know whether the situation you have found yourself in constitutes as one.

In general, construction accidents can include anything from uneven lanes, open holes, construction debris that’s left on the road, improperly marked lanes, poor construction vehicle maintenance, or even construction equipment malfunctioning in some manner.

However, it’s also safe to say that there are many rules and regulations which construction crews need to follow in order to cause minimal impact on the surrounding population, yet mistakes can and do happen, such as incorrect caution signs, poorly display traffic signage, general negligence, and more. If the proper rules haven’t been followed, then there’s a good chance they may be held liable for the accident in some way.

Of course, the construction zone staff may dispute any claim you have when it comes to mistakes they’ve made, but it’s always worth getting in touch with a qualified attorney who can look into your case directly and use their skills and insight to determine whether you likely have a successful claim on your hands.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to say whether your case is likely to win or not without having an expert look at the details, but there are certainly numerous cases of construction zone accidents occurring, claims being made, and successful compensation fees being collected every day.

If you believe you have been involved in a construction zone accident, then the first thing to do is to note down as much information about the incident as possible, as well as gather any relevant evidence such as photographs of the scene.

Furthermore, make sure to take note of any medical attention you have sought as a result of injuries caused by the accident. It’s also very important to make your claim as soon as possible, as you may be subject to a statute of limitations in some circumstances.

At the end of the day, it’s clear to see construction zone accidents are surprisingly common affairs, and if you have been involved in an accident and incurred injury as a result of the negligence caused by construction zone staff, then you have every right to contact a personal injury attorney and have your claim assessed by a skilled and knowledgeable professional.

One important thing to keep in mind is that construction companies have comprehensive insurance policies in place to protect the crew against legitimate construction zone accidents and the resulting claims they can lead to, so you have every right to claim what you deserve if you’ve been impacted in any way.

If you would like to learn the common causes of some of these accidents, please watch the video below:

If you have been injured in a construction zone accident, please do not hesitate and contact us today.

Your Guide To Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death is a legal term that is used to describe someone’s life being taken because of a negligent or deliberate action by a person or persons. To prove this type of case, it will help to have a team of wrongful death attorneys on your side.

If someone dies because of another person’s wrongful conduct, their family or other beneficiaries have the right to file a wrongful death suit against the responsible party or parties. The statues regarding wrongful death vary from one state to another. These statues primarily define who is allowed to sue for wrongful death. They also place limits on the number of damages that can be awarded.

The original purpose of wrongful death statues was to allow widows and orphans to receive support after their benefactor had died. They were also designed to encourage people to prevent death due to negligence. Wrongful death suits are separate from criminal charges. Criminal cases and civil cases regarding someone’s death won’t impact each other. Because of this, someone can be sued by a victim’s family even after they were acquitted of murder.

You can bring a wrongful death action against someone for either an intentional or an unintentional act. What matters is that the injury the person receives results in their death. For example, a driver that kills someone else in a car accident could be held responsible for their negligence. Someone that violates local laws and fails to enclose their swimming pool could be held liable if a child drowns in that pool. Of course, someone that is accused of intentionally murdering a person could have a wrongful death action filed against them as well.

However, wrongful death statutes do not apply to someone that has not been born. Legal living status only begins after a person is born alive. However, if a baby is born and goes on to die because of an injury they incurred before their birth, wrongful death action could be taken against the person that caused the injury.

Only specific people are permitted to sue for wrongful death. The individuals that are permitted to file suit vary from one state to the next. In most cases, statues allow a surviving spouse, a person’s next of kin, or their children to sue.

Some states allow a surviving spouse to sue even if they had separated from their partner before their death. However, a person is not entitled to sue for wrongful death if their spouse was guilty of desertion before their death. If you are considering filing a wrongful death suit, you will want to look closely at the statues in your state.

The burden of proof for civil cases isn’t as high as the burden of proof in criminal cases. Because of this, a lot of families are able to successfully file suits against someone even if they are found not guilty in a court of law. As mentioned above, the ruling in a criminal trial has no basis on the ruling in a civil trial.

There are attorneys that specialize in wrongful death lawsuits. If you are considering filing a suit like this, you should contact our wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible.

What Do If You’ve Been Injured At A Museum

Think about this: Memphis is the museum capital of the world with over 24 museums located in the area. But what happens when something goes wrong and you sustain an injury? This happens all the time all over the country. Whether it’s an experiment that goes wrong in the children’s museum like the video below or a slip and fall accident from the museum not maintaining their property properly or an injury suffered because the curator didn’t hang the exhibit properly, you have rights. Our Memphis Law Firm will help you seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. We are not afraid to fight for a settlement or go to court to litigate a verdict.

If you’ve been the victim of an injury at a museum in Memphis, then contact our experienced injury attorneys today! And remember we never get paid until we settle or get a verdict for your campaign.