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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

Daughters sue Louisiana hospital where their father passed away

Medical malpractice refers to acts of negligence and a deviation from the accepted standards of medical practice on the part of medical professionals. Recently in Louisiana, the daughters of a man who passed away filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital where their father was a patient.

The 85-year-old man was admitted to the Ochsner Clinic Foundation after complaining of chest congestion. The patient was already suffering from pneumonia and a high fever, and was also diagnosed with a heart ailment. Parkinson's disease and hypertension were also diagnosed and there was an infection on his toe. The man's daughters claim that after their father was admitted to the hospital, his condition worsened. He had trouble breathing, his kidneys were not functioning properly and there was fluid buildup in the man's lungs.

Claiming insurance benefits after a spinal cord injury-Part II

Sustaining and living with a spinal cord injury can be very difficult. Understandably, the victim bears the physical and emotional burden of the injury, but the issues are compounded by the huge expenses that a victim and his or her family will need for treatment and rehabilitation. Obtaining benefits from the insurance carrier of any responsible parties will help, because treatment and rehabilitation for a spinal cord injury is often expensive.

While filing an insurance claim may look simple on paper, when interacting with insurance companies and their representatives, the victims and the victim's family often realize that the claims process may not be so simple. However, if the accident victim and the victim's family have a systematic approach, they may be able to deal with insurance company and representative effectively. An earlier blog post discussed the basic steps that spinal cord injury victims and their families should take in order to ensure that a claim proceeds smoothly.

Offshore injuries bring about significant challenges

Many workers who work in the marine industry, shipping industries and other maritime jobs can suffer injuries during the course of their employment. That is true all over the United States, including in Louisiana. In some cases, the worker may even succumb to his or her injuries or even be lost at sea. The attorneys at the Townsley Law Firm have represented numerous clients, as well as relatives and dependents of such workers who have sustained injuries or died at sea while working.

Workers' compensation benefits do not strictly cover maritime workers for offshore injuries. Federal laws, however, do cover most types of offshore injuries, including maritime fatalities, which can happen on the job. General maritime law and more specific laws, in the form of the Jones Act, and The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act were specifically created for longshore and harbor workers. There is also The Death on the High Seas Act that applies in the case of any offshore injury suffered by a maritime worker.

Claiming insurance benefits after a spinal cord injury-Part I

Residents of Louisiana's Calcasieu Parish would acknowledge that treatment and rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury often requires a considerable amount of money. For most patients and their families, the main source of funding is their medical insurance coverage. Sadly, obtaining this insurance is often a challenge because insurance companies tend to offer smaller payouts so that they are able to maximize their profits. As a result, the patient's difficulties are often increased instead of being resolved.

However, there are certain ways in which a spinal cord injury patient can resolve insurance-related issues effectively. First of all, the patient and the patient's family members should be aware of all of the benefits that are provided under the insurance policy. In addition to the covered expenses, it is also important to understand what is excluded from the policy. If the spinal cord injury is supposed to be covered by workers' compensation, it is important to understand all of the provisions of Louisiana's workers' compensation laws.

How does a worker apply for benefits under the LHWCA?

While most workers in Lake Charles, Louisiana, are covered by state workers' compensation laws, there are certain workers engaged in Louisiana's maritime industry who are covered by a number of federal laws relating to offshore injuries or injuries that occur at docks and harbors. Among those is the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, which compensates workers injured on United States waters or while performing their duties on the shore. The basics of the Act were discussed in an earlier blog post.

According to the LHWCA, an injured worker must notify the employer of an injury or illness immediately in order to claim any benefits. If that worker needs medical treatment, the person should ask the employer to provide Form LS-1, which authorizes treatment. After obtaining the necessary medical attention, an injured worker or the person's representative must send a written notice to the employer within 30 days. In cases of fatalities, the notice still needs to be sent within 30 days. The notice uses Form LS-201.

Death due to lack of care at Louisiana hospital, lawsuit claims

When a loved one becomes sick, people depend on hospitals and other health care facilities to provide the person with the best possible medical care. In fact, laws in Louisiana and in the rest of the country make it mandatory for medical facilities to provide a certain standard of care. If a medical facility fails to provide that standard of care, it may face consequences in the form of citations by regulatory authorities or medical malpractice lawsuits.

Recently, a hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, was named in a lawsuit that alleged that a hospital failed to provide adequate care, which led to the death of a 49-year-old man in 2011. The lawsuit was filed by the deceased victim's family. Reportedly, the lawsuit is claiming undisclosed damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of companionship, among other things.

Basics of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

Louisiana has long coastline dotted with numerous ports and harbors. Many state residents, such as those residing in Lake Charles, are employed at maritime facilities. Unlike employees covered by state workers' compensation laws, dock and harbor workers receive benefits from different federal acts, such as the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act or LHWCA. Information about the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act can be found in our earlier blogs posts.

The LHWCA is administered by the federal Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. According to the LHWCA, workers injured while performing duties on navigable waters belonging to the United States or in a U.S. harbor or port while loading, unloading, repairing, building or dismantling a vessel are entitled to workers' compensation. The LHWCA also provides benefits to certain survivors and dependents, if the injury to the worker was development of an occupational disease.

Lake Charles motorcycle crash victims may need legal advice

Residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana, might remember one of our previous posts about an accident involving a motorcycle and a car resulting in death of a couple riding a motorcycle. The accident occurred after a car, driven by a 62-year-old Calcasieu, Louisiana, resident suddenly turned in front of the motorcyclists on a local highway. The motorcycle driver could not stop and the couple was ejected from their bike.

Thousands of Louisiana residents ride motorcycles and this accident was just one of many motorcycle accidents that occur across Louisiana every day. Another person's negligence can result in a motorcycle accident victim suffering serious injuries, permanent disability and even death.

Texas motorcycling couple killed in Rapides Parish crash

Many Louisianans know that motor vehicle accidents can be devastating to motorists no matter what types of vehicles are involved. People can be injured, sometimes leaving them permanently disabled, or even killed.

Motor vehicle accidents and their causes are continuously being studied by federal, state and local government agencies and law enforcement officials to find ways to minimize the chances of accidents and the level of destruction. Several findings suggest that motorcycle accidents are significantly worse on victims and their families because of the increased likelihood of serious injury and death.

Taking precautions can help prevent spinal cord injuries

Louisiana residents would probably agree that a spinal cord injury is serious. Approximately 11,000 spinal cord injury accidents occur every year across the United States. While motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries for people aged 65 and younger, falls lead for people aged 65 and older. According to statistics, sports and other recreational activities are responsible for the most spinal cord injuries under 29 years.

Spinal cord injuries may impact a person emotionally and financially. The person may have difficulty with routine tasks. Many people with spinal cord injuries may need long-term medical care and may not be able to work. The disability can create financial difficulties for everyone involved. However, certain precautions may help to prevent a spinal cord injury.