The Most Common Types Of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that there are a far greater number of motorcycle accident injuries than automobile accident injuries. Bikes aren’t nearly as safe as motor vehicles or trucks, and that can only be compounded by the thrill-seeking personality of most motorcyclists. Insurance premiums for these vehicles are often more expensive not only because of the number of accidents, but also because of how catastrophic they usually are.

Here are a few of the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries:

Road Rash. Have you ever had a really bad rug burn? A terrible noogie? Well, road rash is indescribably worse. When your bike tips and slides at high speeds, you’ll suffer from road rash. At that point you may have been flung away from the bike and started to rub against the pavement all by yourself. No protective gear or clothing is enough to prevent the skin loss that results.

The injury is often made worse by subsequent irritation, inflammation, and infection. Hopefully you won’t need skin grafts.

Muscle. Doctors and surgeons will often notice muscle damage after motorcycle accidents. If an accident leaves you paralyzed, your muscles will start to wither away. Any major injury will require physical therapy in order to build you back up to where you were before the accident.

Don’t forget about the loud sounds of the roadways–wear earplugs or buy a helmet that protects your ears in order to prevent bursting eardrums of an increased chance of deafness later in life.

Legs and Arms. When you fall–this is after the road rash but before the muscle damage becomes permanent–you’ll likely experience damage to the leg and arm on the side of the impact. Broken or shattered bones are commonplace, or perhaps you’ll be fortunate enough to experience only scrapes and lacerations.

Biker’s arm occurs because of the instinctual reaction to being flung from a high-speed vehicle. When you place your hands and arms in front of your face, you won’t just suffer from broken bones–you’ll suffer from nerve damage.

Other. You’re also prone to permanent disfigurement, amputation, paralysis, and traumatic brain injury (or TBI). About ten percent of individuals who experience TBI cannot live on their own after the accident because of permanent neurological damage. Be sure to wear a helmet when you’re on the road!

What Kind Of New Technology Can Help Prevent Car Accidents?

New technology is saving lives, but you might not have heard about it. Part of the reason is because a lot of the new technologies involved aren’t as flashy as Tesla’s autopilot or the full automation that Google and Uber are beginning to employ in new vehicles. A chief research officer at the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, David Zuby, thinks that these systems might do more to prevent injuries and deaths than seatbelts or airbags ever could. Here are a few of the newest systems.

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This system is now mandatory in Canada because it helps stop out of control vehicles even in inclement weather. ESC slashes engine power and brakes individual wheels one at a time rather than all at once. The technology has resulted in a nearly 50 percent fatality rate reduction since it was implemented.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). This system can prevent the common fender bender, which we’ve probably all experienced at least once by the time we’re a few decades old. They’re the most common type of car accident, but AEB prevents nearly half of them from occurring. When it fails, it still blunts the impact enough to slash injury rate by another half.
  • Blind Spot Warning. Most newer cars will alert you when another vehicle enters your blind spot. The warning light usually flashes red on your side mirrors. Other blind spot warning systems will send a vibration through your steering wheel when a car is detected–but only if you’re trying to make a lane change. The technology cuts accidents by about 14 percent.
  • Other Warnings. Some vehicles will let you know when your car is drifting out of its lane by vibrating the steering wheel or flashing a light. Some will automatically steer you back into the right lane. Other systems will alert the driver when another car is to the side or behind them when backing out of a parking space.

While these new systems certainly help reduce the number of dangers we face on the streets, they don’t eliminate them. In fact, there is some evidence that suggests some drivers will drive more recklessly because of these new safety systems. Be wary while on the road!

Who’s Liable If An Open Car Door Is Hit?

True story: I was driving to work this morning when the truck in front of me took off the door of a car parked next to the sideway. This made me curious. Who is at fault? I can’t believe the woman opened her car door when there was clearly a huge truck heading in her direction but I also can’t believe the truck hit the door – he didn’t even attempt to slow down. He then pulled over and got out of the truck while I continued forward and went to work. But now I’m wondering how does one even put in a claim for this type of accident.

The answer is a resounding “it depends.” Most of the time it is the person opening the car door who is the one who is at fault. The person driving was following all traffic laws (maybe he was speeding but so was everyone else on the road). He could not have been aware that the person would open the door, therefore, he cannot be responsible or any damage sustained to her car door or to his car. There a ton of traffic laws that state a variation of the following: no person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so.

However, that doesn’t fully get the truck driver off the hook. As I said, he might have been speeding which might be held against him. The woman could have thought she had the safety time to open her door but because he was driving so fast she didn’t have as much time as she thought. Also, I just saw the truck hit the door if the door was opened he should have seen it and had ample time to adjust his driving, therefore, making him at fault for the accident.

I will keep wondering what happens…

Product Liability: Takata Airbags

Sometimes, social media curate the news, and sometimes they make the news with various memes and #hashtags that go viral to create news items of general interest of their own.

Sometimes, the news will create its own hashtag, and not in a good way. Why? Because this hashtag actually doesn’t make it into social media; it’s just a PR nightmare.

#Takata is not a thing on social media, but it is a dangerous word in the automotive industry these days. So in its own way, Takata has become a “thing.”

Takata is a Japanese firm that has a contract with many U.S. and foreign automakers for manufacturing the airbag systems in hundreds of models of vehicles on the road. It has been a trusted partner, until about two years ago, when an initial recall was ordered from some defective airbags. Those few defective airbags eventually morphed into the largest auto recall of any kind in automotive history.

How large is it? Well consider that Takata has been manufacturing and installing airbags into model cars for as many as 19 different automakers over 14 model years (2002 to 2015). If you carry the one, that’s an awful lot of cars to be recalled. Over the last year, the recall has tripled in size and now apparently involves as many as 37 million U.S. vehicles.

The recall stemmed from an inflator inside the airbags, which on occasion would ignite and explode. Other airbags would deploy and send shards of metal from a ruptured inflator casing into the passenger cabin, putting all passengers in the car at risk of injury. The recalls have resulted in several class-action lawsuits over the last couple of years, with many of the automakers suing Takata for relief.

The most recent result came in July, when Ford Motor Company settled with Takata with a deal that would put some compensatory damages in the hands of those involved in the class action p plus other Ford car owners who wish to participate; and Ford will give loaner cars while vehicles are waiting for repairs to the airbags. The parts are backlogged by weeks or months, so the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is helping with the delivery of parts by prioritizing areas with high concentration of Takata airbags, as well as those vehicles which seem to have a higher risk of explosion to gain top priority for any new parts delivery.

In the meantime, the NHTSA is asking owners of model-year vehicles from 2002 to 2015 to refer to their vehicle identification number (VIN) and enter it into an online database that can give status updates on any recalls pending for those vehicles, stop ensure that all affected vehicles are found and repaired as quickly as possible, So far, none of the models are deemed undrivable, but extreme caution is urged until the repairs can be made.

What To Do About Motor Vehicle Theft

Motor vehicle theft occurs when one’s vehicle is taken by another without permission. Technically, such theft would be considered a larceny under the law. A larceny, in simplest terms, is any theft of personal property. However, due to the severity of motor vehicle theft, and the frequency that they occur, the government has designated this form of theft its own category. Thus, motor vehicle theft has its own punishments and laws that come with it.

Penalties For Motor Vehicle Theft

Typically, motor vehicle theft is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the state and severity of the crime. However, some states have additional nuanced penalties depending on the type of motor vehicle theft committed. For example, in the state of Alaska, operating the vehicle in “a dangerous way” during the theft increases the potential punishment. In California, if the vehicle stolen was a police car, the level of vehicle theft increases from a misdemeanor to a serious felony. Texas gets even more nuanced — if the vehicle theft was committed in county designated by the governor as disaster area, the penalties are increased. Furthermore, as is typically the case with most crime, repeat offenses increase the severity of the penalties associated with it.

What Do I Do?

Well, if you’re a driver, it is relatively simple to protect yourself from being a victim of motor vehicle theft. There are a few crucial steps to minimize your potential risks. First, always make sure to lock your car doors. Even if you are just going outside your vehicle for a brief moment, this step is imperative. Next, make sure that all of your windows are rolled up completely. Don’t forget the sun roof if your car has one! In addition to these steps, you want to place all valuables out of sight. This means they can go in the trunk, glove compartment, or stay with you. Lastly, you can always opt to put an alarm sticker on your car window, informing potential thieves that you are secure.

If you have been accused of motor vehicle theft, the following steps are not quite as simple. In some cases, this accusation may be truthful, in others, the situation may be far more complex. Regardless, there is one step ubiquitous to all cases: contacting a criminal defense attorney. They can help develop a legal defense to best represent you and your motor vehicle theft case.

Who Is Liable For An Accident Due To Brake Failure?

Being in a car accident is scary, especially when its due to brake failure. Losing control of the car and crashing into something can cause serious injury to you, passengers and other drivers. When this happens to you, it might seem like you are liable for any damages. However, that’s not the case.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) survey on motor vehicle accidents, around 2% of accidents are caused solely by issues with the vehicle itself, such as brake failure. This figure encompasses two primary categories: manufacturing defects and design defects. The former refers to an automotive defect resulting from a poor manufacturing job in the factory. Typically, this will be a more isolated incident than one stemming from a design defect. Contrarily, if there is an issue with the car’s design, all of the cars matching that model and year are likely affected.

In order for an attorney to demonstrate that the manufacturer is liable for the accident, the issue with the brakes must be proven unreasonably dangerous. Further, this defect must be shown to be a direct cause of the injury. Often, such defects result in rear-end collisions with another vehicle. One important factor in determining liability in such accidents is driver negligence. Were the brakes really defective, or was the driver distracted and not paying attention to the road? Was the driver aware of their vehicle’s poor condition, or was it a surprise failure?

If the brakes can be shown to be faulty by an impartial mechanic shortly after the accident, an attorney can likely help you sue the vehicle’s manufacturer. In some cases, the car dealership or a mechanic can be liable as well. However, if the driver is proven to have been distracted, these claims are no longer viable and they must assume liability. Similarly, if the driver was aware of the poor condition of their vehicle before taking it on the road, they will be liable a result of negligence.

Often, in collisions due to brake failure, the liability is split between both parties. It is common for both drivers to have been acting recklessly and even illegally before the accident occurred. For example, one driver may have been going over the speed limit when crossing an intersection, failing to hit the brakes in time and hitting another car who was running a red light. Both drivers were acting unsafely, and thus would both share the liability for this accident.

In any regard, accidents involving or claiming to involve vehicle defects are complex situations centered around product liability law. To best protect yourself, contact an experienced auto accidents attorney to assist with your case.

Will I be Held Liable if my Car was Stolen and in an Accident?

Unfortunately, car accidents happen every day. They can be a tragic event involving fatalities or as small as a tiny dent on a bumper. Regardless, all car accidents should be reported to the police and the respective drivers’ insurance companies.

The only thing worse than being in a car accident yourself, is if your car is stolen and involved in an accident. Not only do you have to deal with the stress that comes along with a stolen vehicle, but you have to deal with the stress of your car being in an accident.

What Are Your Responsible For?

Well, first off, when you discover that your car was stolen, you should:

Call the Police: Tell the police all about your car. Let them know that it has been stolen, the make, model, color, license plate, and any other important information.

Call your insurance company: After you call the police, the next step is to call your insurance company. In case anything happens with the vehicle, you should document that the vehicle was stolen.

Are You Liable?

If your car has been stolen and has been involved in an accident, you will not be held liable. The reasoning behind this ruling is that you did not willfully lend your car out to someone.

Tips to Prevent Vehicle Theft

The first step to avoiding a situation like this is to take steps to ensure the security of your vehicle. Some tips to prevent auto theft are:

  • Have a security system installed
  • Try not to park in high crime areas
  • Avoid dark, shady areas
  • Purchase auto theft insurance

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

If you, or your vehicle, has been in a car accident, the next best step after alerting the authorities is to contact an experienced car accident attorney. A car accident attorney will investigate your case and decide whether or not you will be held liable. In the case that you are injured in the said crash, a car accident attorney will file a lawsuit.

 

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.

Car Accidents Deaths By State

The number of deaths that have been a result car crashes in the United States has increased over the past few years by around 6%-7% a year. In 2014, the total number of deaths due to crashes was 32,744, in 2015, the number of crashes was 35,092 (+7.2%), and in 2016, that number rose to 37,461 (+6.3%). The total number of injuries also increased from 2014 to 2015 4.5%. The overall goal every year is to have the rate of deaths by car accident go in the opposite direction than they have been in recent years. Drivers can take a number of preemptive measures to prevent death in the occurrence of an accident. For example, wearing your seatbelt, following traffic laws, and practicing other various defensive driving techniques.

Top 5 States by Total Number of Car Accident Deaths

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), some states have a higher number of car accident related deaths. The top five states with the highest car accident related deaths are:

  1. Texas – 3,776
  2. California – 3,623
  3. Florida – 3,174
  4. Georgia – 1,554
  5. North Carolina – 1,450

Texas finished in the number one spot for this category, making it one of the most dangerous states to drive in, based on the sheer number of auto accident related deaths. North Carolina rounded out the top five with 1,450 car accident related deaths. Tennessee was not too far behind, rounding out the top ten with a total of 1,041 car accident related deaths.

Top 5 States by Car Accident Deaths Because of Various Factors

According to the records of the IIHS, one of the factors that weigh into the total number of an auto accident deaths is intoxicated driving. The top five states where the largest number of drivers who had died in a car accident and were found with a BAC greater than or equal to .08 are:

  1. Texas – 811
  2. Florida – 636
  3. North Carolina – 531
  4. Georgia – 470
  5. California – 470

Texas finished with the most car accident deaths with an illegal BAC with 811. California rounded out the top five with 470. Tennessee finished with 343 car accident deaths with a BAC result; that was bad enough to rank them 11th in the United States.

Another factor that weighs into the total number of deaths due to car accidents is the use of a restraint. A restraint was defined by the IIHS as a seat belt or a child’s car seat. The top five states with the most non-restraint use related deaths are:

  1. Texas – 935
  2. Florida – 747
  3. California – 587
  4. Georgia – 477
  5. North Carolina – 432

Once again the state of Texas finished first with 1,247 non-restraint use related deaths. Georgia rounded out the top five. Tennessee had the 10th most non-restraint use death (348).

Based on the information given by the IIHS we can conclude that some of the most deadly states to drive in are Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Although those finished top five in a lot of categories, that does not mean that other states are not deadly as well. Tennessee was around ten for most categories, making it on the more dangerous side of the 50 states.

Contact Us

If you are a resident of Tennessee and your loved one has died as a result of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for a wrongful death suit. Contact us at Memphis Law Firm. We have the expertise necessary to get you the highest compensation package you deserve.

Autonomous Driving Car Accidents: Who Is Liable?

We’re entering a new age of automation that will affect all walks of life. The way we work, the way we manufacture, and the way we drive will all be replaced quickly by radically new paradigms. What does that mean for liability on the road? Sooner or later, it will likely be illegal to manually drive a vehicle on city roads. That day isn’t even close, but it’s coming. Sadly, regulations have yet to catch up to the technological reality of where driverless vehicles are today.

Autonomous Driving Cars

Tesla was one of the first automakers to release software for its line of luxury vehicles that even closely resembles a fully driverless capability, and it only works on certain stretches of highway. Although there have been accidents already (of course), the driver was always liable. Although autopilot was enabled for these vehicles at the time of the accidents, the software comes with the stipulation that the driver be ready to take over at any time. In one case, the driver was actually attempting to test the limits of the software when the crash occurred. Since then, Tesla has updated its vehicles to automatically turn autopilot features off when the driver removes his or her hands from the steering wheel.

Who’s Liable?

Because driverless vehicles are allowed on our roadways but don’t have strict regulations governing liability, courts will have to deal with each situation on a case by case basis. If you were involved in an accident with a driverless vehicle, then you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a car accident law firm to determine whether or not you have a case. Basic common-sense regulations govern these newly evolving laws. Negligence will likely determine whether or not someone will be blamed. If the manufacturer didn’t address an obvious technical flaw, then the manufacturer will be blamed. If the driver played around the vehicle’s electronics, then the driver will likely be blamed for any resulting malfunction, etc.

We can look across the Atlantic in order to have a better idea of where our own driverless vehicle legislation might end up. The UK parliament drafted The Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill in order to determine liability for driverless accidents.

Under this legislation, insurance companies will be liable for general death and injury that occurs during driverless operations–so long as the vehicle is insured. If the human driver engaged driverless functionality when it was dangerous to do so, the human driver would remain liable. If the vehicle’s operating system was tampered with, then the insurance company would be freed from liability. If the driver failed to install required updates in a timely fashion, the driver would be liable. Last but not least, a mechanic might be held liable for an autonomous driving car accident if a repair failed or resulted in a defect.

These laws are just a framework, and they will pave the way to a world we’ll see soon enough.