Steps You Should Follow After A Car Accident

Car accidents are a stressful experience and the collision can be terrifying. A car accident can leave you with injuries that range from mild, like a sprain or fracture, to severe, like a traumatic brain injury or paralysis, and in some cases death. Car accidents tend to have long lasting effects, whether it is an injury or emotional stress from being in the accident and possibly having to get a new car. If you are involved in a car accident and are injured you should contact an experienced car accident attorney.

Steps To Take After a Car Accident

After a car accident, there are some important steps you should follow; they are:

  1. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries: Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If you discover an injury, call 911 immediately.
  2. Stay at the scene: It is important that you remain at the scene of an accident until it is appropriate to leave. If you leave the scene early and the other driver suffered damages, injuries, or died in the accident, you may be brought up on criminal charges as a hit-and-run driver.
  3. Get to safety: If you are able to, pull over to the side of the road. Proceed by turning your engine off, turning on your hazard lights, and setting up road flares, if you have any. By turning on your hazards and putting out road flares, other drivers will be able to see you and avoid a collision with your car.
  4. Call the police: Whether you are in a fender bender or a major car accident, call the police. The police will come and file a report. You should ask if it is possible for you to obtain a copy of the accident report. The accident report outlines what happened, often proving fault and noting if any traffic laws were violated.
  5. Exchange Information: When things begin to settle, it is important that you exchange information with the other driver. It is recommended that you do not discuss fault of the accident or any other facts about the accident with the other driver involved in the collision. Some documents you will want to take note of are:
    1. Full name and contact information
    2. Insurance company and policy number
    3. Driver’s license and license plate number
    4. Type, color, and model of the vehicle
    5. Location of accident
  6. Document the accident: In an effort to protect yourself, you should document the accident. Take the following steps:
    1. Identify the officers: Get the name and badge number of all police officers who respond to the call.
    2. Get a copy of the police report: Ask a police officer if you can have a copy of the accident report.
    3. Take pictures: Take pictures of the accident from different angles; try to get the other driver’s license plate in one of the pictures.
    4. Take down a name: Write down names and addresses of every party involved. This includes passengers in the other vehicle.
    5. Talk to witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, take note of their full name and contact information, as well.
  7. Inform your insurance company: Let your insurance company know you were involved in an accident. Be truthful, cooperate with them, and let them know of any injuries you have suffered. If you are not truthful with your insurance company, they withhold the right to deny you coverage of the incident and future insurance coverage. Obtain a copy of the police report for proof of fault.
  8. Keep track of medical visits: Note any doctors visits, physical therapy, or any other medical professional you receive treatment from. Keep a record of all treatments or medications you receive. Request copies of all medical reports and bills in order to help you prove your medical expenses later. 
    Tracking pain and suffering can be difficult. In order to do so, take note of how your injuries affect your day-to-day life. It is important to keep track of any missed work days, a list of any activities you cannot partake in, and describe how the injuries have affected your family life.
  9. Hire an attorney: If you have been in a car accident and you or a member of the crash was injured, you should contact a car accident attorney. A car accident attorney will help you either maximize your recovery for damages or defend you, if necessary.

Accident Statistics Involving Distracted Driving

Distracted driving poses perhaps the single greatest growing health risk to Americans today. Yesterday, it was the danger that results from drinking and driving. Now, it’s the danger that results from driving with a phone in your hand. The statistics show a trend toward increased cell phone use while driving, and the consequences for being caught on your phone are serious. If you cause an accident because of distracted driving, the consequences grow exponentially. Automated vehicles won’t solve this problem anytime soon, so it’s important to know what the statistics mean to you.

Distracted Driving Statistics

There are nearly 330 million people living in the United States, and by 2009 about 210 million of those were licensed drivers. That number experiences an annual increase of over 1.5 percent, and so the number of licensed drivers in 2017 is much higher. About 660,000 of those drivers will be on their phones at any point in the day. That means this: whenever you’re behind the wheel, there are over a half million people in your position but on their phones at that exact moment. That’s a terrifying number.

2.35 million people are injured each year in these accidents. How many years would you have to drive in order for it to be statistically likely that you’re one of that number? Do the math. Of those 2.35 million injuries, 330,000 are the result of distracted driving. Nearly a quarter of all accidents in the United States are the result of a driver texting behind the wheel. That’s not a surprise, because every time you try to send a text from the road, you’re increasing the amount of time that your eyes aren’t on the road by a staggering 400 percent.

These numbers are even more appalling when you acknowledge how many people believe there should be a national ban on texting while driving: 94 percent. 74 percent believe that you shouldn’t even be able to have access to a cell phone while you’re driving. These are common sense numbers until you accept how many people decide to use their phones because the laws aren’t actually in place. If you believe something is for the greater good, then act like it!

Every day, 11 teenage drivers die because of distracted driving. In a direct parallel to the number of drivers who believe there should be a ban on texting while driving, 94 percent of teens agree. 35 percent do it regardless.  

37,000 people die in traffic accidents every year. An enormous chunk of these deaths were caused by distracted drivers who knew the risks, but did it anyway. Don’t be just another statistic; be safe. If you were affected by a distracted driver, contact specialized legal counsel as soon as possible. You have rights.

What is Whiplash?

If you’ve been in a serious automobile accident, then it’s likely you know what whiplash is. Even so, whiplash can result from any severe impact at high speed. If your head jerks forward and back again, the strain can be extremely painful. The muscles and tendons inside of your head, neck, and back can be stressed to such an extent that they stretch or tear, leading to excruciating pain and sometimes permanent damage. Athletes often suffer from neck strain, which is itself just another name synonymous with whiplash. If you think you’re experiencing this condition, then you should probably know a little bit more about it and how it can be treated.

What is Whiplash?

It’s important to know when you do indeed suffer from whiplash, as opposed to a sprain. Whiplash concerns any damage done to muscles or tendons in the aforementioned areas, while a sprain results when the ligaments are torn. You might not know the difference since the symptoms of a strain or sprain are similar or the same, and many people believe that tendons and ligaments perform the same function.

Actually, tendons help connect muscles to other structures inside of your body. Ligaments primarily hold bones together.

Symptoms of Whiplash

If you have whiplash, you’ll likely experience a reduced range of motion. This limitation can affect your ability to carry out daily tasks. You might also feel a distinct tight sensation in the muscles within your neck. If a sensual neck rub doesn’t help alleviate the knots, then you might have whiplash.

In addition, these strange sensations can be accompanied by pain when you try to move your neck in any direction. You may also experience headaches unlike those you’ve felt before. This pain is unique in that it will radiate from the base of your skull toward your forehead.

Just because you don’t experience any of these symptoms in the minutes and hours directly following a brute force impact such as that of a car accident or sports injury, it doesn’t mean you don’t have whiplash or some other injury. Sometimes symptoms can take days to fully develop. Following any accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Another common medical condition in any car accident is concussion, and there is a strong possibility you may have both.

In order to find out for sure, a doctor will order X-rays, CT scans, and likely perform a number of other standard tests. If you do have whiplash, then the best therapy is icing the neck and taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. The doctor may also provide a neck brace in order to keep your head steady. After a few days of icing, you may apply a warm, moist towel to the affected area.

Contact Us

If you are in a car accident and suffer from this type of neck injury, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injury. The experienced car accident attorneys at Memphis Law Firm have tried many whiplash cases. Contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

Top 5 Cities Where Hit and Run Accidents Occur The Most

Fleeing the scene of an accident is a serious crime, and the legal consequences for doing so are further compounded if you’re the one responsible for the accident. One of the most commonly provided reasons for hitting and running isn’t a surprise: no insurance. Not having insurance is almost always illegal, and it certainly isn’t a legal excuse for running from an accident. Almost 20 percent of children killed in traffic accidents under the age of 14 were killed while walking. You don’t always have to be in the vehicle to suffer the consequences of a serious car accident. Here are five of the cities where hit and run accidents occur the most.

Los Angeles

It’s difficult to find accurate statistics on the problem at hand, but we know enough to know there is indeed a problem. Although Los Angeles is pretty far down the list as far as the pedestrian danger index is concerned (coming in at number 27 with an index of 66.91), there is a hit and run problem within the city because of the aforementioned lack of insurance. Almost half of all accidents are hit and run, which is far above the national average of only 11 percent. According to LA Weekly, there are about 20,000 hit and run accidents each year, and 4,000 of those result in serious injury or death.


According to the NYPD, there were 38,000 hit and run accidents in NYC in 2015. While this is a much higher number, so is the population. Proportionally, Los Angeles still beats out NYC as the city with the most. Most of these accidents involved some form of property damage, 4,000 involved injuring another person, and 48 involved serious injury or death. NYC is not high on the list as far as pedestrian danger index is concerned.


While all of Florida saw 92,000 hit and run accidents in 2016, the cities of Florida are noteworthy for being some of the most dangerous for pedestrians. Orlando scores a much higher pedestrian danger index than any other city on the list (at 244.28). Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa trail distantly at 190.13, which still represents a high score.


For cities outside of Florida, Memphis scores especially high on the pedestrian danger index as well, coming in at 131.26. Even so, the size of the city results in a much smaller number of fatalities inside of city limits when compared to other cities on the list. There were around 130 fatal accidents in 2016–but that was 20 percent higher than in 2015.


This city scores a 119.64 on the pedestrian danger index, and is number seven on the list. In 2012, there were 3,399 fatalities reported as a result of traffic accidents in Houston, which represents about one person every two minutes and seventeen seconds.

Contact Us

Hit and run accidents can take you by surprise, cost you money, and leave you injured. In some cities, hit and run accidents occur more than others. In Memphis, the rate of hit and run accidents is particularly high. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you can seek compensation for your damages. Contact us to schedule an appointment so we can discuss and evaluate your situation.

Top 5 Cities With The Worst Traffic Jams

Sitting in traffic can eat away at both your time and sanity. Although urban centers are doing what they can to alleviate the problem, it won’t go away anytime soon. The U.S. population is expected to swell from about 330 million people today to at least 438 million people by the year 2050. Many of these people will move to our fastest growing cities, and we may be in for trouble if we haven’t fixed the problem by then. Here are the top five cities with the worst traffic jams.

San Jose, CA Traffic Jams

San Jose has a congestion score of 32 percent, up from 30 percent in 2016. The score means that an average trip to or from anywhere in San Jose took an unfortunate 32 percent greater travel time than the average city based on a congestion score index that navigation company TomTom compiled for nine years prior to 2017.

Seattle, WA Traffic Jams

Seattle came in with a score of 34 percent, up from 31 percent in 2016. Seattle wants to implement a game-changing, innovative approach to the problem: smart traffic lights that adapt to congestion paradigms that evolve throughout the day. If a big football game is just ending, for example, you might expect to see more green lights on the way out.

New York, NY Traffic Jams

It’s probably not a huge surprise that the biggest city in the United States is high on the list for untenable congestion. New York has a score of 35 percent, up from 33 percent in 2016. Leave it to NYC to come up with a solution that places more of a burden on the people who need to get from point A to point B: more tolls. The idea aims to reduce the vehicles on certain streets at certain times while funneling the money to public transportation programs. Good luck, New York.

San Francisco, CA Traffic Jams

San Francisco comes in second place with a score of 39 percent, up from 36 percent in 2016. San Francisco is also just a fifty minute commute to San Jose, the city with the fifth worst congestion index. The good news is that the Bay area might be getting a transportation update thanks to Silicon Valley. The plan envisions new trains with 24 hour service, ferries and autonomous buses along the same highway routes–providing more options than just the slow-going automobile.

Los Angeles, CA Traffic Jams

The city with the worst traffic is none other than Los Angeles. The city scores a whopping 45 percent, up from 41 percent the year prior. SpaceX and Tesla head Elon Musk is taking the city to task, though. He wants to bore tunnels underneath the city to create massive networks that can actually deliver your vehicle underground, speed it closer to your destination, and replace it back aboveground. We’ll see if this one pans out in, oh, let’s say a decade or two.

Car Accident, No Seat Belt: What Happens?

The severity of a car accident is greatly impacted by the use of seat belts. The initial impact of a car accident can do its share of damage to a human body, but in reality, much of the damage to the body comes after the initial impact.

If the body is restrained by a seat belt, the damage is mitigated, while many of the more serious injuries and deaths tend to come from human bodies that are not constrained by seat belts and are bounced around inside a car after impact.

The Physics of Auto Accidents

In physics, there is a law that says that an object in motion remains in motion until it is stopped by another object. And this is on display during a car accident. If you were to see an accident happen in slow motion, you can see very clearly the difference with a human body that is restrained by a seat belt and one that Is not.

As a car moves, then hits an object (a wall or another car), you can see the momentum of the car stop. All of the human bodies in the car are also moving at that same speed prior to impact and they are separate from the car, so as the car’s momentum stops, the humans’ momentum continues unless they were stopped by a seat belt. However, any humans not wearing a seat belt would continue their forward momentum until they hit some object – the back of a seat, the dashboard, or the windshield.

As you see these take place, it makes reasonable sense that in 99.5% of accidents, injury and death rates in car accidents are greatly reduced thanks to properly functioning seat belts keeping people in place and stopping momentum before a part of the car does.

How important are these physics? Recent statistics show that more than half of all people who died in crashes in 2015 were not wearing their seat belts.  

The Seat Belt Defense

So what if you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of an accident, though the accident wasn’t your fault? Can you still get damages for any injuries? That is actually a trickier question than you might think.

In about 20 states, there is what is called a “seat belt defense,” which lowers the potential award for a claimant if the claimant was not following state seat-belt laws. In this case, the number of damages for which it may be liable may be reduced because it can be reasonably found that at least some of the injuries by the claimant were a result of not wearing a seat belt and were not from the impact of the crash.

Whether you are at fault in an accident or not, make sure to consult with a personal injury attorney from Memphis Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your auto-accident case and the role that seat belts may or may not play. Regardless of fault, your rights and assets should be protected, just as much as seat belts are designed to protect you from more serious injuries.

The Most Accident-Prone Roads In The U.S.

It may be vacation time for you and your family, and maybe you are considering a road trip for your vacation instead of taking to the air.  There are so many things you can see from the road that you cannot see in the air, but there are also more risks to you and your family on the road that are not encountered at 30,000 feet.

Mapping Out the Risks

If you are going to travel by car, one of the things to do before you hit the road is to develop a map of your course, where you pay close attention to the shortest and quickest routes and look out for construction areas and other hazards. And one of the other hazards you should evaluate is the types of roads you will be driving upon during your trip. There is risk everywhere on the roads, but certain roads and highways are riskier than others, for a variety of reasons.

To reassure the safest path, you should locate these risky roads and find ways to work around them – whether they have a number of blind curves, are dark at night or have speed limits that are above what might be safe for the road or weather conditions.

The Most Accident-Prone Roads in America

To help you with your trip planning, we have listed a few of the roads and highways that are considered the most prone to auto accidents, according to data compiled by various agencies. To ensure safety for you and your family, we suggest that you avoid these roads as much as you can.

  • State Route 99 around Fresno, California.
  • Interstate 45 around Houston, Texas.
  • Interstate 12 in Louisiana.
  • Interstate 10, between Phoenix and the California state line.
  • Interstate 26 in South Carolina.
  • Interstate 95 in Florida. (This has its own attorney; more below.)
  • U.S. Highway 2 in Montana.
  • State Highway 550 in Colorado, between Ouray and Silverton.
  • U.S. Highway 431 in Alabama, from Phenix City to Dothan.
  • Dalton Highway in Alaska. (Made famous on the TV series “Ice Road Truckers.”)

A Dedicated Attorney?

These roads are considered the most dangerous in America based on their historical accident rates and associated risks. But only one road is known to have a “dedicated” personal-injury attorney – Interstate 95 in Florida has a law firm that has auto-accident lawsuits on that highway as the significant brunt of its business.

We always encourage safe travels, so please consider avoiding these roads s much as possible, finding appropriate detours to better ensure a safe trip. If you are in an accident, however, make contact with a quality local personal-injury attorney who knows the roads in the area of your accident and can best represent you with the laws of the state so you are protected as a tourist. Even when traveling, your rights don’t go on vacation.

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.

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.