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.


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.

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.

I Was Injured In A Hit And Run Accident: What Do I Do?

It is unfortunate that relatively few people are forthcoming and willing to own up to causing an accident on the roads. There are far too many hit-and-run accidents in America, and these kinds of incidents are difficult to prosecute and pursue when one of the parties to the accident disappears to try to escape accountability.

If you are involved in a hit and run accident and the other driver speeds away, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself so if you suffer injuries you can still file a claim and perhaps locate the other driver in time.

Be Quick

If you can write down anything you notice about the other vehicle – can you get a license plate number? What type of vehicle was it? Did you note the color or make/model of the vehicle? Was the car driven by a male or female? Which direction was it going and on what street? Take down as much information as you can, especially any distinguishing marks (a cracked taillight, a racing stripe, etc.) that can help distinguish it from similar vehicles. Take photos of your damage and any noticeable physical injuries.

Get Help

Call the police and file a police report about your hit-and-run accident. Give the police as much information as you can about the other vehicle, as well as information about your vehicle as well as the date, time and facts about the accident (do not point fingers; just state what happened). When possible, try to get witness statements and add them to the report.

Next, get medical attention. If you file a claim before you know the extent of your injuries, the insurance company will attempt to settle for less money if your injuries are believed to be minor or you do not get checked out within 12 hours of the accident. Some injuries may not manifest for a couple days or more, but they can be observed early on. Make notes of all the injuries that are observed and get treated.

Make the Call

Once you have been checked out and you have the police report and information about the other vehicle, contact your insurance company and a quality Memphis personal-injury attorney. With the insurance company, provide information about the accident, your known injuries, information about the other vehicle and state only the facts of the accident. Then, give much of the same information to the attorney when you meet, and allow for a thorough investigation of the accident and let the attorney work with the insurance company and the police to locate the other driver and protect your right to be compensated for your injuries.

If you have been involved in a hit and run car accident and you suffered an injury, whether mild or severe, contact Memphis Law Firm today. Our team of experienced attorneys and professionals will assess the damages and get you the compensation package you deserve.

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.