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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

How to deal with problems related to workers' compensation

Louisianans who are injured in a workplace accident or suffer a condition or illness related to their employment will undoubtedly be aware of workers' compensation benefits. There might be a notion that these benefits will be provided when the person has proof that he or she is suffering from the illness, condition or injury. However, there are times when a problem might arise in relation to a claim. A worker must know how to handle any issue that comes up through mediation or filing a dispute.

First, the employee should contact the employer or the insurer. In many instances, the problem with workers' compensation can be settled in this way. If this is not possible, the worker or the employer can ask for mediation. Mediation is done via conference with the Office of Workers' Compensation. The mediator will be a licensed attorney who has been trained in the process of settling these matters based on state law. The mediation conference is informal and the mediator does not have a bias in favor of the worker or the employer. The goal is to settle the matter before it goes before a workers' compensation judge.

First steps after medical malpractice

Louisiana residents who seek treatment from a medical professional likely expect to be treated with the utmost care. After all, the reason a person goes to see a doctor or nurse is to get better -- not worse. However, in some cases, it is possible to go to a medical professional and end up with a worsened condition. In such cases, it may be possible to pursue legal action in order to obtain compensation from the party at fault.

But first, some may be wondering where to start immediately after a suspected medical malpractice case occurs. There are some general steps to consider after an incident that may prove helpful in the long run. First, it can help to contact the doctor or medical professional the victim was treated by. This can help the victim gain an understanding of what occurred. In addition, this gives the doctor a chance to determine what went wrong. Sometimes, a doctor may be willing to perform services -- in some cases, free of charge -- that could potentially correct a problem.

After a fatigue-related semi crash, compensation is not a dream

A good location comes with many advantages. For instance, the strategic placement of Lake Charles allows for the flow of commerce in an out of the waterway to the Gulf, via Interstate 10 to and from Texas, and along several state highways. Large trucks play a major role in the local economy here in Louisiana's western gateway, thanks to the excellent infrastructure.

The biggest drawbacks to all these trucks are the unfortunate results when large commercial trucks and small passenger vehicles cross paths. Big trucks frequently overwhelm private vehicles in collisions, leading to sometimes devastating injuries. 

Smartphone use and being a distracted driver go hand in hand

It is an unfortunate reality that there will be a significant number of drivers on the road who operate their vehicles while distracted by a smartphone or some other device. There is an inherent danger with this behavior and it is causing motor vehicle accidents. Research is examining this phenomenon and finding that it is far worse than initially thought. Louisiana residents who are in a car accident should be cognizant of this.

A study by Cambridge Mobile Telematics says that approximately one out of every four drivers in recent accidents was using a smartphone within one minute prior to the car accident. Its research discovered that there was distracted driving in one-third of every trip whether there was an accident or not. A significant distraction is classified as lasting for more than one minute and happened in one of every 10 trips. With the car trips and the so-called significant distraction, 29 percent happened while the vehicle was going more than 56 miles per hour. The issue with looking at a smartphone and trying to focus on the road again is that it takes time to become reoriented with driving safely.

Who is responsible in medical malpractice cases?

Louisiana residents who seek out medical help likely trust that they will be treated with the utmost care. After all, in many of these cases, a person is trusting a medical professional with his or her life. However, medical professionals are human, just like anyone else. It is possible for accidents to occur that can have dire consequences for the patient. If negligence was involved, it may be possible for victims to pursue a lawsuit in order to seek compensation from the responsible party.

However, it is not always clear who to pursue legal action against -- in other words, there are often multiple possibilities as to whom is considered the responsible party. In some cases, the hospital may be considered the responsible party. Hospitals can be private or public, but in either case for legal purposes they are corporations. Sometimes, the hospital can be held directly liable. In other cases, another party is held responsible, but the hospital is considered vicariously liable.

A lawyer can help file a wrongful death product liability case

When Louisianans place their lives and the lives of their loved ones in the hands of others by using a product, they are not expecting that product to have flaws that make it dangerous. However, it is a reality that there are sometimes products made that can be dangerous and cause injury and death. These can range from an automobile, medical items, toys, equipment and just about anything else. Knowing what to do after there has been a death is often the key to a successful legal filing.

As the news has recently shown, any part of a vehicle can be designed and implemented improperly and cause damage and death. A medical device or a medication can cause damaging or fatal side effects. Certain vehicles are prone to roll over and injure the driver and passengers. A child might be given a toy that adults believed were safe and quickly found that it was not. There can be equipment that was not designed correctly, was used at work and hurt an employee or a passerby. Any of these instances can result in a person needing medical care and treatment and having a long recovery. In a worst-case scenario, the family will be confronted with the loss of a loved one and everything that entails.

Louisiana woman sues parish and man after car crash

A car accident in Louisiana can occur in sometimes the most unlikely situations. Many accidents occur when people are at their most comfortable -- driving through their neighborhood, for instance, or on their daily commute to work. Sometimes, too, an accident can occur that involves an unexpected car. Police vehicles, commercial trucks and government cars can all become involved in an accident. In certain situations, this may change the way a legal case plays out.

According to reports, a woman recently filed a lawsuit in Louisiana. The woman claims that a local government vehicle struck hers. She also claims that the accident resulted in personal injury. The lawsuit alleges negligence. According to the claim, the defendant's vehicle, which was owned by the Louisiana parish, struck the rear of the plaintiff's vehicle.

Welders beware - multiple safety hazards on the job

Are you a welder at one of the many industrial plants in the metropolitan areas within and surrounding Lake Charles? Like other welders in industries such as automotive, maritime, industrial construction and more, you probably face life-threatening or debilitating hazards every day. Welding accidents are known to cause severe injuries, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says of every 1,000 career welders, four will succumb to welding accident injuries.

Injuries for which workers' compensation can be awarded

Workers in Louisiana who have been injured or made ill because of their job might be under the impression that they will automatically receive workers' compensation benefits. However, it is important that those who are seeking these benefits understand certain factors. The basic ones are often the most complicated, and that holds true with the injuries that are covered under the law. Before seeking benefits, it is key to know this foundational issue.

Mental and physical injuries that came about from an accident or occupational disease may be covered. With a mental injury, it must come about from a physical injury or a level of stress that was unexpected, extraordinary and is linked to the job. It is required that there be clear and convincing evidence provided to receive benefits. The law defines an accident as an incident that was unexpected and unforeseen. It must have happened suddenly or violently, and can either be due to human error or not due to human error. It must produce the objective assessment that an injury came about, and it was more than a gradual deterioration or degeneration that came about progressively.

What are the legal elements of a medical malpractice case?

When Louisiana residents see a medical professional, they likely expect to be treated with the utmost care. After all, in many cases people entrust doctors and nurses with their lives. Unfortunately, a certain standard of care is not always met -- and in some cases, this can have major consequences. In the worst case scenarios, these consequences can be fatal. Sometimes, a person may wish to pursue legal action following such incidents. But there are certain criteria that must be met to prove medical malpractice took place.

There are generally four elements that must be shown to prevail in a medical malpractice case. The first of these elements is that the doctor must have a legal duty to administer care to the patient. A doctor does not have always have such legal duty, such as when a doctor happens to be near someone experiencing a health issue outside of their care facility.

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