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Memphis Personal Injury Law Blog

Car damage

As an injury attorney handling car accidents every week, I hear clients' concerns about how their cars are repaired.

While my focus is on getting them to the proper medical professionals and getting them fully recovered from the accident while still protecting their legal rights, the discussion about their car damage usually does come up.

Sometimes insurance companies have an approved list of select body shop providers that they prefer that you use. It's important at this point to realize that you have the freedom to choose where your car is repaired.


Most of us consider phone scams a mere annoyance, but it cost one Tennessee gentleman his will to live.

The incessant phone calls congratulated the aging grandfather on his luck in winning millions of dollars, if he would just pay $1,500 in taxes. Dementia sometimes clouded his memory. His generation kept their word. The man on the phone sounded sincere. The caller would insist that all this remain a secret until the promised millions were delivered. Again and again, the victim would withdraw the daily limit from his ATM and send it Western Union.

Passed out behind the wheel

As an injury lawyer I read some pretty unusual cases. There are some cases where someone is passed out at the wheel and causes an accident.

The most common involves drinking and drugs. Clearly the person is negligent in taking medication that causes intoxication. As a result they are generally negligent if they rear-end someone or cause other types of injuries.

However, many other forms of passing out at the wheel may not cause liability.

In the case of a Miss Higdon, she had gone without eating all day and had just finished a long shopping trip when she felt hungry. She got a couple bites of a burger and drank some of her Coke but then suddenly passed out at the wheel. The occupants of her car were powerless to help before she rear-ended a car injuring the man in it.

Decided for you

As an injury lawyer I deal with insurance companies in terms of accident cases. Many times these cases wind up going through a process known as mediation. Mediation is based on the idea that another person who does not have a dog in the fight might help parties see where they agree and disagree and move them toward resolution. As a trained mediator myself, I think I can say that we put too much faith in our ability as a mediator. I think the main role of mediation is to get the insurance company to take the case seriously enough to have a claims adjuster and an attorney focus on it and put all their best offers on the table. It's been my intent to get more than they intended to bring if I can If--and only if--that will resolve the case fairly. When they offer enough money that you cannot turn it down and go to trial, then they know they're successful. Some people call this the "sweat factor". That is the place where you will begin to sweat if you turn down that money and then later on fear that you've made a mistake, especially if the jury comes back with a frown at your client instead of a smile.


Sometimes the most basic advice is the advice that no one seems to listen to. It's been said that insanity is to continue to do the same thing you've always been doing yet expect a different result.

I am always surprised how many people tell me that they are continuing to try the same thing and it's just not working. I'm not surprised that whatever they're trying is not working. Rather, I am surprised that they continue to try it.

Take for example paying off debt. I'm always surprised how many people continue to pay minimum payments on some credit cards for years but never seem to get ahead. Could it be that maybe that course of action is not designed to work? In other words you could continue to do exactly what you're doing not just for a year or two but also for decades and have nothing to show for it?

Logic has left the building

We need to teach logic in schools.

I know as an injury lawyer who argues for a living, I rely on logic every single day. But I find the ability to structure reasonable arguments and rebuttals in the average person has just about gone by the wayside.

As an example, there are logical fallacies that no one who has studied logic would try to fall into. However they are so commonly used even on news media, that they become commonplace.


We've all heard the saying "the Large print giveth the small print taketh away"

And as a principal of contract law, that is pretty accurate.

But there's another thing that takes away and that is the largest print: The headline.

Let me give you an example. John DeLorean is known for his pioneering style in creating the DeLorean DMC 12 automobile. While underpowered, it's stainless steel construction in going doors made it unique among all automobiles.

Insurance offers to settle

Many times a client will be offered something by an insurance company prior to hiring me.

The other day I met with a new client who had been offered $1000 pain and suffering for an accident that happened only about six days before.

The client was still hurting and had not even had a full complement of tests yet. But the insurance company pushed and said they could deposit the money directly in the person's account within 72 hours. I imagine having $1000 you may not have been expecting deposited into your account could be tempting for the average person.

Injuries at Work

Work can be very dangerous. The deadliest job is to be an Alaskan crab fisherman. And nobody is surprised when people are injured being a firefighter or police officer. But even in fairly routine environments, injuries are quite common.

Distracted employees tend to be the cause and often the victims of workplace injuries. The fellow on the forklift listening to his earphones is dangerous to himself and others. The man who found out his wife left him last night does not have his "eye on the ball" today running the sheet-metal press. Here are the most common mechanisms of injuries. Check your place of work to see if it can be made safer.

Driven to Distraction

As an injury attorney, I see many accidents caused by distracted driving. Here are some of the biggest distractions:

•1. Passengers. Passengers are distracting, especially to teens who sometimes tend to look at their passengers as they talk. Teen distraction by other occupants is the reason why they are limited under the current Tennessee graduated driver's license scheme. Children seeking attention are particularly distracting to parents driving.

•2. Cell Phones. However used, some amount of attention is diverted, if only momentarily, to the phone. In Tennessee, it is not yet illegal to talk on the cell phone while driving. Dialing a hand held is akin to texting. Some states require hands-free usage only. This still requires mental attention.

•3. Texting. Texting while driving is among the most dangerous activity. This is thought to be because it requires your eyes, your fingers and your mental attention. It is thus impossible not to look away from the road on a non-hands-free system. On average, a person looks away about four seconds per text. At 60 miles per hours, this takes you down the road a football field length or so!

•4. Grooming. Lipstick application, grooming and mirror-checking is best left to stop lights.

•5. Eating and drinking. It takes some attention to grab and dip each fry. I have even seen a guy eat a large bowl of cereal on the interstate.

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