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.

NYC

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.

Orlando

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.

Memphis

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.

Houston

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.

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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.

Common Injuries From Rear End Accidents

When you get into any accident, it’s important to take stock of what’s really important: you and the people you care about. That can be hard to do after you’ve been rear-ended in an accident that almost always isn’t your fault. It can be especially hard to do since even these collisions, the most common of all traffic accidents, can still result in terrible injury in the worst cases. Big vehicles leave behind big damage. Here are some of the most common injuries that result from the fender bender.

Common Injuries: Upper Body

Injuries that result from glass in the eye are common in any car accident, and you’re not exempt just because you were struck from behind. On congested streets, it’s likely that your car will be forced forward from the power of the rear impact, which could leave you squashed in between two vehicles. When your side or front windows shatter, tiny shards of glass can lodge themselves in your eyes. This damage can lead to diminished eyesight.

When involved in any high-speed impact of sufficient force, you’re likely to suffer from whiplash and concussion. Whiplash occurs when your head whips forward and back with great speed. This can lead to damaged tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your skull, neck, and back, not to mention fractured bones. In addition, the same motion can damage the most important organ of all: the brain. You might suffer from mild to severe amnesia, blood clot, or bleeding. These injuries don’t always present immediately, so be sure to keep your doctor on speed-dial if you notice any new symptoms.

Disfigurement of the face often occurs in the same situation. Although airbags can prevent a lot of the damage, you might still sustain severe bruising in the face. Sometimes lacerations or broken bones require the light touch of a plastic surgeon to fix completely.

When your body shoots forward against your seatbelt, the most common injury is the broken clavicle or collarbone. This can be extremely painful, and takes weeks or months to heal.

Common Injuries: Spinal

When your body senses an impending impact, the spine subconsciously braces itself. So do the muscles and tendons that protect it. If you get rear-ended, then you can’t see it coming and your spine doesn’t brace itself the way it normally would. This situation leads to spinal damage. You might sustain shattered vertebrae in the worst cases, or painful slipped or ruptured discs. Any of these injuries can take months to heal, and leave you in debilitating pain.

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If you were involved in any car accident, it’s important you seek qualified legal help as soon as possible. You may require representation to fight charges, or you may be able to seek compensation for your own injuries if another driver was at fault. Contact Memphis Law Firm, our experienced attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

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.

Common Neck Related Car Accident Injuries

When you’re in a car accident, it’s likely your life will change forever. Not only is there the possibility of a serious injury that could follow you around wherever you go–potentially leading to permanent disability and a reduction in earning potential–but if the accident was your fault, then you’ll have to live with that as well. The consequences are real. It’s important to have a working knowledge of common injuries that result from the tens of thousands of serious car accidents every year, as they can make the difference between a safe driver and a reckless one. Here are some of the most common neck-related car accident injuries that might be sustained.

Injuries to the neck and back area can result in changes throughout the body. If you’ve been in a car wreck recently, be sure to keep a close eye on your recovery in order to ensure that no new injuries develop over time.

Common Neck Injuries

Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury sustained during any high-speed impact. This occurs just after the moment of collision. The hit will force your head forward, and then back again. Even after this movement stops, your brain will continue to bounce back and forth in your head. This saw-like motion can result in permanent damage to blood vessels in your head, neck, and back. In addition, you might experience pain or damage to the muscles and ligaments present in your neck and back.

In more serious impacts, bones can be fractured or shattered. When an occupant wears his or her seatbelt, the collarbone is frequently chopped in two. When a seatbelt is not worn, the occupant can see more severe bone breakage. The skull might fracture, and so might the neck, leading to death or disability. If an occupant is thrown from the vehicle, the extent of the damage can be catastrophic if survival is ensured. Even if the vertebrae remain intact after an accident, there is the possibility of a slipped disc. When a disc ruptures or herniates, the pain can be excruciating even when back pain was present before the accident.

More lifelong back pain can result when joints and discs or vertebrae are moved out of place and result in damage to the soft tissues in between.

Other secondary injuries from car accidents include difficulty focusing, headache or migraine, or vertigo. The victim might experience numbness, prickling, burning, or the sense that creepy crawlies are running rampant on your skin. You might not have the full range of mobility you once did, or you may notice that a joint is slightly out of place. Your shoulder or arm might sag. Any of these symptoms might be the result of a neck or back–or brain–injury, and you should seek additional medical evaluation immediately.

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If you have been in a car accident and suffer a neck injury, whether it was mild or sever, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney. The team of attorneys and former medical professionals at Memphis Law Firm will dissect your case and determine the amount of compensation you deserve.

Common Brain Related Car Accident Injuries

Most of us are inured to the statistical probability that we’ll get into a serious car accident at some point in our lives, and because of this fail to see the likely consequences of many actions we take while driving every day. We should acknowledge the mistakes we make, whether they might be caused by distracted driving due to mobile phones or noisy kids, or simply driving too fast in order to get to work on time. Of the 1.4 million Americans that endure a brain-related trauma injury every year, 280,000 of them occur in car accidents. These are some of the most common brain-related car accident injuries that might make you think twice about the way you drive.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Most traumatic brain-related injury occurs on impact. Your brain is a delicate organ nestled inside a very tough outer shell, but once that shell is cracked the game is up. Serious bruising and bleeding can occur when a vehicle impacts an object at high speeds, and your brain bounces around inside that shell. If your cranium hits another object during the collision–like a steering wheel–the stress of the hit can lead to more serious life-threatening injuries.

One of the most common injuries sustained in any car accident is loss of consciousness. The force of impact can leave victims out of the loop for a period spanning from moments to days. The longer one is unconscious or even comatose, the more damage the victim is likely to have sustained.

Concussion

Another common injury is the concussion, which occurs when your head slams against an object and moves rapidly back and forth. This is the whiplash effect and can have serious consequences. Symptoms include memory loss or alteration, confusion, dizziness or drowsiness, blurred vision, headache, nausea, vomiting, balance reduction, and slowed reaction.

Secondary Brain Injuries

Traumatic injuries can sometimes lead to amnesia, a terrifying condition for both the victim and friends and family of the victim. This amnesia can have both physical and legal consequences. The victim might fail to remember events directly before and during the accident, which means he or she won’t be any help to law enforcement or insurance adjusters who will need to investigate whether or not a crime has taken place. When someone is suffering from amnesia, it’s important for friends and family to help keep an eye on progress throughout recovery.

Other secondary injuries that may result from the accident can include hematoma and edema. A hematoma is when injuries blood vessels fail to recycle properly, leading to a buildup of blood inside the skull. Edema is swelling inside the brain as a result of pressure. This leads to a change in circulation that can be treated with medication.

If you think you’ve suffered from any of these injuries, seek medical treatment immediately. Afterward, be sure to consult with an attorney from Memphis Law Firm. Our attorneys specialize in car accidents and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Injured From a Tire Blowout? Who is Responsible?

Imagine this: You’re driving on the highway after a long day at work, when suddenly you hear an explosion. Your car begins to swerve, and you can’t seem to get in control of your vehicle.  You slow down to a stop on the shoulder of the highway and find your tire has blown out. During the incident, you’ve injured your knee from the impact as well as what appears to be a sprained wrist. What now?

Who’s Responsible For a Tire Blowout Accident?

Tire blowouts typically fall under the sector of law that deals with product liability. If you’ve found that your blown tire had been improperly installed or defective, you can hold the tire manufacturer or installer accountable for the incident and receive compensation. Additionally, if the tire blowout resulted in an injury and the tire has been proven defective or improperly installed, you may file a personal injury claim to those responsible parties for medical compensation. To prove that the tire had been defective or improperly installed, a professional will need to be on retainer to determine how the blowout occurred.

Let’s say that the tire of the vehicle driving next to you blew out, and subsequently caused that car to crash into yours in the chaos. You find yourself injured as a result of the collision. Typically, this would be treated as any other auto accident and you may be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s negligence, as all drivers have a responsibility to check tires for wear. However, if the other driver is seeking compensation for their defective or improperly installed tire, the liability becomes slightly more convoluted. Legal advice should be taken here by all parties.

If a tire blowout accident involves a truck, liability can fall to the driver, manufacturer, installer and/or retailer. Truck drivers have even more of a responsibility to check their tires for wear than passenger drivers, as well as monitor any changes in tire pressure. Yet, truck drivers are not the only parties that can be held responsible, as trucks are subject to routine inspections. An inspector who failed to detect a defect in the tire may be held liable. As in the aforementioned cases, installers or manufacturers that sell or install defective tires may also be held accountable in these cases.

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Given the conditional and often situationally specific types of personal injury/product liability cases, it’s imperative you contact an experienced attorney for your tire blowout case. Our team of experienced attorneys at Law Firm Memphis specialize in tire blowout and car accident cases and can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today!

What is “Pain and Suffering”?

Woman pain and sufferingIf you’ve ever been injured or involved in a car, on a property, or on a train accident, you know that collateral damages can be quite devastating. Seeking compensation for a personal injury is a good way to recoup some of the damages accrued during the incident. You may also be entitled to receive compensation for the emotional or non-economic burdens acquired during the accident, otherwise known as “pain and suffering” damages.

Pain and Suffering in Tennessee

In Tennessee, personal injury law establishes that you may be able to receive pain and suffering compensation if your injury is the result of medical malpractice, a slip and fall, a car accident, a dog bite, defamation, and many other types of personal injury cases. Personal injury cases also have a limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation that can be received. Typically, pain and suffering compensation caps off at $750,000. In more severe circumstances, the cap may be pushed to $1,000,000. The cap can be disregarded, however, if the negligent party is proven to have acted intentionally, tampered with evidence, was intoxicated, or committed a felony.

As with all legal cases, there exists a statute of limitations that dictates the amount of time someone has to file for pain and suffering compensation.  In personal injury cases, noneconomic damages must be filed within 1 year that the accident occurred. Property damage cases can be filed within 3 years of an accident. Construction, construction defect, and warranty breach cases can be filed within 4 years of an incident.

According to Tennessee’s negligence laws, individuals who are 49% or less at fault for their own injuries may file for pain and suffering damage compensation. Basically, this means that in Tennessee, it must be proven that a victim’s injury must be proven to be at least slightly more the result of another’s negligence than their own. Moreover, if a victim received $15,000 in their personal injury case and were proven to be 49% responsible for their own injury, they would receive $7,650 for pain and suffering damages.

While financial compensation can help ease the stress and trouble involved in a personal injury, money can sometimes fall short of the emotional damage an injury can cause. Depending on the severity of the injury, permanent damage to health and well-being can occur, affecting quality of life for years to come. While the compensation received during the personal injury case can cover medical bills and expenses, pain and suffering compensation give victims peace of mind during the recovery process. Knowing that financial issues are one less thing to worry about during this stressful time is priceless.

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If you’ve been a victim of a personal injury due to the negligence of another party, contact our team of attorneys at Law Firm Memphis today. We are able to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your personal injury.

Common Spine-Based Auto-Accident Injuries

Not to be cliché, but the spine is quite literally the backbone of our entire body. While it is a very complex part of the body – being the foundation of both the musculoskeletal and the central nervous systems – the spine is actually pretty fragile and exposed to trauma.  

The spine does not take very much force before being compromised, and that can lead to very serious injuries, paralysis or death. Recent statistics note that spine-based injuries make up about 40 percent of all injuries suffered in car accidents, by far the most for any body part. It is a little secret that neck and back injuries are common in car accidents, so let’s take a look at a couple of the most common injuries.

The Backbone of Car Accident Injuries

There are two main kinds of spine-based injuries that result from the lion’s share of auto accidents, and thus are the main injuries that are sought for compensation in many auto-accident cases.

A Pain in the Neck

While there may be actual damage to the structure of the spine in the more severe auto accidents, most accidents will result in some kind of neck pain from a common effect known as whiplash. Most neck pain is damage to tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the neck and shoulder area, as the head bounces forward an back and puts strain on those muscles to keep the head from popping off the body.  Pain can occur even if there is no structural damage to the neck, and the pain can be so severe as to keep people out of work or force them to wear neck braces for a period of time to ensure the tendons and ligaments heal.

Back It Up

The lower back, also called the lumbar region, is also another prominent source of pain and structural injuries to the spine. Lumbar injuries are those to the muscles and tendons around the spine and will often present pain that will last for several days or weeks. The tailbone can suffer injury due to the force of an auto accident possibly breaking the bone or causing a herniated disc in the lower region of the spine. A violent crash may break the vertebrae of the lower back and threaten the spinal cord, which may cause numbness or paralysis in the lower extremities.

Delayed Pain

Because of adrenaline that flows in the aftermath of an auto accident, it is possible to have injuries that you may not feel for several hours to a couple of days after the accident. It is always prudent to get checked by medical personnel as soon as possible after an accident to determine the extent of your injuries. After that, consult with one of our personal-injury attorneys to discuss your accident, your injuries and start the process to protect your right to live your life healthy and to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

I Hit A Parked Car – What Do I Do Now?

In some ways, if we are driving a moving vehicle and we hit a parked car, we have a tendency to be embarrassed. After all, the parked car didn’t move and you hitting it could easily have been avoidable and preventable. Believe it or not, hitting a parked car is much more common than you think, so you are not the only “bad” driver in town.

A Parked Car Gets In Our Way!

A recent study revealed that almost 7 in 10 “hit-and-run” accidents in America involve a parked car. Should you find yourself hitting a parked car because it jumped out in your path, there are things you can do to ensure that the accident is handled properly.

The accident itself is not a crime, but fleeing the scene can put you in criminal crosshairs. Even if the car is parked, much of what you need to do is similar to you getting in an accident with another moving vehicle – it’s all about collecting information.

What to Do If You Hit a Parked Car

If the owner of the parked car is not readily available, wait by the vehicle for a period of time, and prepare a note.  It is always best to try to make direct contact with the owner when you can so you can explain everything. While you are waiting, take some photos of both vehicles, especially in the area of impact, and take photos of the license plates.

While it may be embarrassing, it is important to locate witnesses and have them put down brief statements as to what they saw, and get names and contact information. If there is significant damage to either vehicle, it would be wise to call the police and file a report of the accident.

If the owner of the parked car does not appear after a certain period of time, leave a note on the windshield with only this information – your name, contact information, your address and a brief explanation of the accident (do not go into the circumstances of the accident, just state what happened). You may leave insurance information if you like, but you are not required to do so.

Contact your insurance company and report the accident, with as much detail as possible – date, time, the location of the accident, the description and/or the license plate number of the car you hit, etc. Do not get into causes or reasons for the accident, just focus on the accident itself and what happened.

Don’t Leave Your Rights Parked

Just because you might be embarrassed by hitting a parked car, does not mean that your fault implies that you give up your rights. As long as you are forthcoming in noting the accident and you either make contact with the driver or leave a note,  your local Memphis personal-injury attorney should be by your side to consult you on your rights and responsibilities so you have a reasonable settlement of liability. Don’t put your rights in park just because you’re at fault. Contact us at Memphis Law Firm today.

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.