The Deadly Connection Between Holidays And Drunk-Driving Crashes

Despite widespread knowledge of just how dangerous it is, a car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN knows that drunk driving remains a persistent problem in the United States. National statistics from the early 2000s show that there was an average of 36 fatalities per day due to drunk driving accidents during that time period.

As unacceptably high as that number is, it pales in comparison to DUI accident death rates around major holidays. During the holidays there are more cars on the road, with many drivers having just spent time with their families and drinking alcohol. Drivers are distracted and may not realize how much they have had to drink, putting their life and other people’s lives at risk. If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident either during the holidays or at another time of year, it’s important to understand that you don’t have to navigate the legal aftermath of your collision alone. Working with an experienced Memphis, Tennessee car accident lawyer from Patterson Bray can help you make an informed decision about whether to hold the drunk driver who caused your injuries accountable for their behavior. 

The ‘holiday season from late November through early January

During this short period, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve. And most adults celebrate with alcohol. During Christmas and New Years’, for instance, some 40 percent of traffic fatalities involve drunk driving. In recent years, an average of 300 drunk driving-related deaths occurred annually in just the final week of the year.

One of the busiest nights each year for bars is the evening before Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as “Black Wednesday.” And because Thanksgiving is a major holiday for car travel, DUI arrests and car accidents surge during this time. It is one of the busiest days for holiday travel, so the likelihood of accidents increases. If you have been struck by a drunk driver, having a lawyer to assist you with your case is strongly recommended. Handling a car accident claim is not an easy task, especially if you are not familiar with the law or the claims process. Navigating the aftermath of a DUI crash is always disorienting. But trying to come to terms with your legal situation during the craziness and emotional holiday time can be particularly jarring. Luckily you do not have to deal with the stress of filing a claim during the busy holiday season alone. Know that an experienced Memphis, TN car accident lawyer can help. 

Summertime and summer holidays

Summer is seen as an especially deadly time for teen drivers because most teens are on summer vacation and might be drinking as well as driving more often. Teenagers, especially ones who have just gotten their driver’s licenses, are more likely to get into a car accident because of their inexperience and inclination towards risky behavior. During the summer when more teenagers are on the road, it is even more dangerous, and the chances of accidents spike. Memorial Day and Labor Day are two dangerous holidays for drunk-driving crashes because both days typically involve a three-day weekend. But the period between these two holidays remains especially dangerous for younger drivers. The Fourth of July is another summer holiday associated with an increased risk of DUI accidents. Many DUI accidents impact victims who are traveling on summer vacation. If you have been injured after being involved in a DUI accident, you can receive legal help from a trusted lawyer. An experienced car accident lawyer has worked on many different types of cases and knows exactly how to handle yours. Know that whether your crash occurred in Tennessee or not, a Memphis, TN car accident lawyer can help you sort out your options. 

Other holidays and celebrations

There are certain occasions that are primarily about alcohol for most Americans who observe them, including St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and the weekend of the Super Bowl. During these more relaxed holidays, it is customary for many Americans who observe them to host large parties or celebrate at bars or restaurants. As a result, serious and fatal drunk driving accidents significantly increase during these holidays. According to federal statistics, one-third of all fatalities that occurred on St. Patrick’s Day 2010 were due to alcohol-related crashes.

Driving Safely In Harsh Weather Conditions

Driving on a normal day comes with plenty of obstacles, but when you are driving in harsh or unique weather conditions you need to take further precautions. Each day drivers and pedestrians become victims of accidents that involve weather-related factors. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers don’t always pay attention to the weather conditions or are not mindful of how it affects their driving. Making the right choices at the right time if you are driving through harsh weather can mean the difference between minor or major injuries, as well as a smoother claims process. Here are things you should remember whenever you are driving in difficult weather conditions. 

Check Weather Reports 

Before you head out on a trip, regardless of the distance, make sure to check your local weather reports. If the weather is especially severe, you should review routes that are safe to take. If there is no possible way of safely driving on the road, you may want to consider driving on a different day or time. 

Drive At A Safe Speed 

One of the easiest ways you can drive more safely at night is by monitoring your speed limit. Reducing your speed and driving more cautiously can drastically minimize your chances of getting into a car accident. This is especially important during times when the weather is not ideal, such as during rain, fog or snow. It is not worth getting a few seconds faster to your destination. 

Have An Emergency Kit

It is always best to be prepared whenever you are going on the road. In times of extreme weather, this is crucial. An emergency kit is recommended to keep in your car should you encounter difficult conditions, such as a sudden storm. You should purchase or create an emergency kit that contains all of your necessary and essential items, such as food, water, blankets, flashlights, and other equipment you may need in case you get stranded somewhere unfamiliar or far from a town or city. 

Bring The Right Equipment

When you are driving in tough weather, you will want to bring the right equipment. For example, if you are planning to drive on an icy road, make sure that you have snow chains for your tires so that you can have better traction. Your vehicle will be less likely to slip. You should also check that you have paper maps as well in case you lose your phone signal or have trouble navigating with the GPS. 

There are tips you can follow to ensure that you can increase your chances of getting involved in an accident. Taking the time to assess conditions before you head out on the road can save your life. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have been involved in a serious car accident, act quickly so that you can gather the information you need regarding your legal options. If you are in need of urgent legal assistance, schedule a risk-free consultation now. 

Why You Shouldn’t “DIY” Injury Cases

Personal Injury Lawyers

A few years back, the concept of “DIY” made a resurgence in popular culture. The idea that “do(ing) it yourself” approaches are laudable tend to ebb and flow as society’s priorities shift back and forth. Even before the pandemic hit – and a significant fraction of Americans were isolated in their homes for months on end – DIY culture was in a cycle of approval rather than rejection.

Yet, even when DIY approaches are popular, there are some tasks that you just shouldn’t undertake on your own. For example, you shouldn’t attempt to administer your own anesthesia during a surgery, nor should you attempt to extract your own teeth. Why? Some situations require professional knowledge and experience that lay people can’t pick up by trial and error or through application of hard work. Similarly, if you have recently been injured and believe that you may be owed compensation, you shouldn’t “DIY” your own personal injury lawsuit.

Maximizing Your Compensation Is the Goal

As an experienced personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at Davis, Johnson & Kallal – can confirm, it is very difficult for self-represented injury victims to secure the maximum amount of compensation they’re owed. It is often very difficult for self-represented injury victims to simply receive a minimally fair compensation award, let alone the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled.

This is partially because the law is a profession. Like accountants, physicians, and architects, lawyers are considered “professionals” because they spend years in graduate school receiving advance training and are required to complete ongoing educational requirements to remain licensed. The legal system isn’t designed for lay people to navigate it with ease. And although courts will allow you to represent yourself – just as you’re entitled to treat your own medical conditions at home – it simply isn’t easy in the least to achieve the same kind of favorable outcome on your own that an attorney could pursue on your behalf.

You Need to Focus on Healing

It takes a surprising amount of physical, mental, and emotional energy to heal from any kind of trauma. Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident or you took a nasty spill in a retail parking lot, you need to be smart about conserving energy where you can as you heal. Allowing an experienced attorney to haggle with insurance companies, gather evidence for your lawsuit, and generally handle all of the “heavy lifting” that pursuing justice entails will better ensure that you can focus your energy on your recovery process.

Lawsuits Are Time-Sensitive

Gathering evidence, building a case, and navigating all the ins and outs of the legal process takes time. If you’re working, healing, caring for loved ones, etc., you likely do not have the time it will take to achieve a favorable verdict on your hands. Pursuing justice is a lawyer’s “day job.” As a result, they have resources to commit to your case that you likely do not at this time.

5 Steps To Filing A Car Accident Claim

If you have been involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next according to a car accident lawyer at Cohen Legal. It’s important to understand the process of filing a car accident claim, so you can get the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can provide you with the guidance and expertise you need to navigate the system, but here are the basic steps outlined below:

1) Obtain a Police Report

A police report can provide valuable evidence to support your case if you decide to pursue a car accident claim. The police report will include details of the accident such as the date, time, and location of the crash, as well as any other pertinent information. In some states, it is mandatory to contact the police after an auto accident. Regardless of whether or not this is a requirement, it is still highly advisable to contact the authorities and file a police report for your own benefit. This will document all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses that may have seen it happen. It will also serve as an official record of the accident which could be used as evidence in court should your case go to trial.

2) Take Photographs

After making sure that everyone is safe and medical help has been requested, take out your phone or camera and start snapping photos of the crash scene. Make sure you get shots of all cars involved, the surrounding area, any damage to objects like street signs or guard rails, and any visible injuries to you and your passengers. Photographs can be crucial in proving fault and damages in an accident claim, so it’s essential that you get as many pictures as possible. If possible, try to get close-up photos of any damage to vehicles, as well as wide-angle shots that show the positions of the cars involved. It’s also important to document the aftermath of the accident too. Take pictures of any debris left at the scene and take down the license plate numbers of all cars involved.

3) Get Medical Attention

It is important to get checked out by a doctor, even if you do not feel any pain or symptoms at the time of the accident. Oftentimes, injuries can take time to manifest and you may not be aware that you have been injured until hours or days after the accident. By obtaining medical attention right away, it will ensure that any potential injuries are treated immediately and prevent any further injury from occurring.

4) Hire an Attorney

When involved in a car accident, it’s important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyer. An attorney can protect your rights and interests throughout the process of filing a claim or lawsuit. They will help you understand the legal processes that are necessary to maximize your financial recovery.  Having an attorney on your side can be incredibly beneficial, as they have extensive knowledge about the legal system and will ensure that you have the best chance at getting a favorable outcome in your case. Additionally, they may be able to negotiate with the insurance company to get you a larger settlement than you would be able to get on your own.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact a car accident attorney in your area for help immediately.

The Four Elements of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a legal course of action that occurs when a health care provider causes an injury to a patient through omission or negligence. This can happen during diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. Patients place much of their trust in their medical providers, but these professionals are human too, and mistakes can happen. Even with the inherent flaws that people have and can make, it is no excuse for when a patient suffers. While state laws vary, there are four general elements in proving medical malpractice.

#1 Patient-Provider Relationship

The first thing you must establish is that you hired a provider to offer care and they accepted. This prevents people from suing medical providers for following advice they may have heard on the radio or television. If you had an appointment at a doctor’s office, it is easy to prove that the relationship between the patient and the provider existed. Once they begin treating you, the provider is legally obligated to meet a standard of care. If that is not met, negligence can be established.

#2 Breached Standard of Care

If a provider does not meet the standard of care established within their specialty, they may be found negligent. Ultimately, if another doctor with similar educational background and experience would have known to make the same mistake, then the treating doctor may have committed malpractice. But this can look different for each case depending on the patient, how the doctor made an error, and the severity of harm done to the patient because of it. Some examples may include:

  • Not collecting the medical history of a patient
  • Failing to order tests or misinterpreting results
  • Misdiagnosing a condition
  • Errors performing surgery
  • Prescribing incorrect medication

As a personal injury lawyer explains, proving this can be a lengthy process, with many people wanting to offer opinions to the victim. However, the most reliable insight will be from a lawyer who handles personal injury cases. A patient has the right to expect a provider will provide care consistent with accepted standards.

#3 Injury Due to Negligence

Violating a standard of care is not enough to prove malpractice. An injury must also result from the negligence of the provider. The patient must prove that the injury would not have occurred otherwise. Receiving unwanted medical news or diagnosis is not automatically viewed as medical malpractice, since some conditions are terminal and treatment is meant to keep the patient comfortable. If the case moves towards trial, medical experts may be used to provide testimony during this part of the process.

#4 Damages

Since these cases may require expert testimony, the patient will need to show significant damages resulting from the negligence. Minor damages may not be worth the cost of pursuing malpractice. If you believe you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to contact a lawyer that handles cases like these. You cannot sue for medical malpractice if you can’t prove harm was done. This is known as damages and can include monetary and non-monetary factors such as:

  • Physical or mental harm
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Wrongful death

These claims are detailed and can become lengthy. Having a law firm work on your case, similar to the team at Council & Associates, LLC, can help you recover damages you lost due to a provider’s negligence.

Insurance Companies & Personal Injury - Laptop with medical diagnostic software and stethoscope

Insurance Companies And Personal Injury

Personal Injury Lawyer

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They make billions of dollars every year, and they often put their profits ahead of the best interest of their insured. This can be seen in a number of ways, such as when they refuse to pay out claims or when they increase premiums without justification. In some cases, insurance companies have even been caught cheating their customers. It is important to be aware of these practices and to know your rights as an insured person.

One way that insurance companies put profits ahead of the best interest of their customers is by refusing to pay out claims. This can be for a number of reasons, such as when the company believes that the policyholder was not actually injured or when they think that the policyholder is trying to fraudulently collect on the policy. Insurance companies also like to increase premiums without justification. This means that they will raise your rates for no reason other than to make more money. Some companies have even been caught cheating their customers, such as by canceling policies without notice or increasing premiums without justification.

Insurance is a way for people to protect themselves from financial loss. It is a contract between the policyholder and the insurance company, in which the company agrees to pay for certain losses or damages incurred by the policyholder. There are a number of different types of insurance, including car insurance, health insurance, and homeowners insurance. Each type of insurance has its own set of rules and regulations. It is important to read your policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not covered. If you have any questions, contact the insurance company and ask them for clarification. It is also important to keep track of your policy status and make sure that you are up-to-date on all payments. If you do not pay your premiums, your policy may be canceled and you will not be covered for any losses or damages. 

When it comes time to file a claim, it is important to have all the necessary documentation handy. This includes copies of your policy, receipts for any repairs or medical bills, and witness statements. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. Contact a personal injury lawyer at Patterson Bray Law Firm if you need help filing a claim.


Types of Injuries That Require a Personal Injury Lawyer

According to a personal injury lawyer at Presser Law P.A., injuries sustained in an accident can happen at any time, whether you’re walking on the sidewalk and get hit by a car or trip over a loose carpet in your own home and fall down the stairs. No matter how they occur, these kinds of injuries can put you out of work, limit your ability to participate in sports, or even keep you out of school. Fortunately, if you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have legal recourse through personal injury law. While there are many kinds of injuries that can make you eligible to take advantage of these laws, here are some of the most common types.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury is just one type of injury that can happen during an accident. These injuries are quite serious and can lead to permanent brain damage, coma, or even death. If you have been injured in any way, then it is important that you seek medical attention and speak with a personal injury lawyer who will be able to help get you the compensation that you deserve.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury often results in paralysis and significant pain. Oftentimes, these injuries can lead to loss of sensation and function below the point where the injury occurred. The best thing that you can do for someone who has suffered from this type of injury is get them immediate medical attention. Medical professionals will use medications and therapies to lessen the chance of long-term damage. Depending on how severe the injury was, it might be necessary for an individual to undergo surgical treatment as well. That means high medical bills and possibly debt to pay them off. Instead of trying to pay for all of this out of your own pocket, contact a personal injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve to cover an injury such as this.


Burns are one of the most common types of injury that people suffer, and they can be caused by anything from fire to scalding water. While most burns heal on their own, they need to be treated by a doctor within 24 hours in order to prevent any further complications such as infection. If you think you have a burn, but it doesn’t hurt or look like anything is wrong, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor before the injury becomes worse. Then, if your burn was caused by someone else’s negligence such as unsafe work procedures, contact a personal injury lawyer for help!


An amputation is the surgical removal of a body extremity by cutting through the skin, fascia, muscle, and bone. This kind of injury often occurs when a limb is crushed in an accident or has been exposed to extreme cold temperatures. Amputations can be partial (removal of part of the finger) or complete (amputation at the joint). A personal injury lawyer can help you find out if you have grounds for a lawsuit and get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. After all, if you lose a limb, it will be extremely difficult for you to return to work, and you should be focused on getting better, not your financial situation if you have faced an amputation.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of the intentional or negligent act of another person. If you lost a loved one and think that their death was not an accident, you may need to speak with a personal injury lawyer about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. While it is not impossible for you to do this on your own, having a lawyer can help make the process smoother and faster; contact a personal injury lawyer in your area today for help!

Patterson Bray Recognized as a Tier 1 Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report

Patterson Bray PLLC is pleased to announce that U.S. News & World Report has recognized our firm as a Tier 1 Municipal firm in the Thirteenth Edition of the “Best Law Firms” rankings. Patterson Bray PLLC was recognized in the areas of:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation – Trusts & Estates
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Municipal Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Trusts & Estates Law

You can read all about our firm rankings here: U.S. News & World Report.

The press release is here: Best Law Firms Press Release.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Memphis, TN

When Two Drivers Are To Blame For A Crash

If you have been injured in a car accident, chances are that you are wondering whether any legal or financial opportunities for recourse are available to you. And yet, you may be hesitant to speak with a lawyer because you have a strong sense that you were partially to blame for what happened to you. It is important to understand that even if you were partially to blame for what occurred, you may be in a position to receive significant compensation as a result of the harm you have suffered. Don’t let your sense that you are partially to blame for your accident keep you from exploring your legal options.

If Your Accident Was Work-Related

If you were engaged in work-related activities at the time of your crash, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are generally made available to full-time employees and part-time employees (although not independent contractors) in the event that they suffer work-related harm. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that even if you were totally to blame for your car accident, unless you were drunk, high, engaging in road rage, or purposefully trying to get hurt, you should be entitled to these benefits. Working with an attorney can help to ensure that your workers’ compensation award is fairly valued and paid to you promptly.

Pure Comparative Negligence Model vs. Contributory Negligence

As an experienced Palm Bay, FL car accident lawyer – including those who practice at Tuttle Law, P.A. – can explain, different states treat the concept of partial fault differently. States like California and Florida are known as pure comparative negligence states. If your accident occurred in a pure comparative negligence state, you can pursue personal injury damages against others whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct directly contributed to the cause of your injuries, even if you were also partially to blame.

By contrast, if you live in a contributory negligence state, you may be barred from seeking financial restitution from others who were partially responsible for your crash if your fault exceeds a certain degree. In a tiny minority of states, you’ll likely be barred from seeking compensation at all, if you were partially to blame. In most contributory negligence states, you’ll remain entitled to pursue personal injury damages if you weren’t more than 50 percent to blame for what happened to you.

Pursuing Personal Injury Damages

Under either model, you will need to prove that the defendant in your lawsuit acted with negligence, was reckless, or engaged in intentionally dangerous conduct when they injured you. Also, underneath either model, the amount of compensation that you will be able to recover will be dependent upon the degree of fault to which you have been assigned. Say, for example, the total value of your harm has been calculated to be $100,000. You have been assigned 30% of the fault for your crash. You will, therefore, be entitled to pursue up to $70,000 in compensation from those responsible for the lion’s share of the harm caused.

Car Accident Lawyer for Distracted Driving

If you were injured in a car accident because of a distracted driver, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your tangible and intangible losses. The sooner you ask a car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN to review your case, the better.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving includes a broad range of behaviors that take the attention of a driver away from the road and focus it on something else. Most distracted driving accidents are associated with cell phone usage; however, it is not the only activity that may lead to a collision. A car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN has known of cases to involve other distractions including:

  • Applying makeup
  • Changing the radio
  • Talking on a cb radio
  • Eating or drinking
  • Conversing with passengers
  • Fidgeting with objects

Car accident lawyers in Memphis, TN represent people who have been injured or died because of a distracted driver.

The Dangers of Driving While Distracted

Whenever a driver looks away from the road, removes their hands from the wheel, or loses their focus from driving a vehicle, the consequences of doing so can be significant – even deadly. It takes a split second for a person in front of the distracted driver to hit the brakes, or for an object to fly out onto the road. If the driver fails to see or notice this, they may be unable to react; therefore, could cause an accident.

According to the NHTSA, between 60 and 80 percent of car accidents are the result of distracted driver. The administration also claims:

  • Texting while driving can increase the risk of an accident by 23 times.
  • Reaching for an object can increase the risk by 9 times.
  • Looking at an object outside of the car can increase the risk by approximately 3.7 times.

The latest statistics claim 387,000 people were injured in 2011 and 3,331 people lost their life because of a distracted driver. The biggest tragedy is that distracted driving is preventable. As a car accident lawyer for injuries caused by a distracted driver we find these types of collisions to be unfortunate and unacceptable. Rest assured we will do whatever we can to recover maximum damages.

Proving Distracted Driving

To recover monetary damages in claim or lawsuit, you will need to prove the other driver:

  1. Owed you a duty
  2. Breached that duty – in this case, was distracted
  3. Caused you injury

Today, police are more equipped with the knowledge and equipment to look for distractions as a cause of the accident. Sometimes it will also require an investigation of eye witness reports or surveillance footage to prove distracted driving.