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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

Legal help is imperative after a watercraft accident

While Louisiana's waterways provide economic benefit to workers, attracts tourists to the state, and fun activities for people young and old, there remains the potential for a watercraft accident, a boat collision, serious injuries and fatalities. For those who have been affected by being injured themselves or have lost a loved one in this type of incident, having legal assistance to pursue compensation is imperative.

When people are having a fun day on the water, there are numerous things to look out for. Part of the day on the water often includes adults having alcoholic beverages. There is nothing wrong with that provided they are not operating a watercraft. Unfortunately, people might not realize they are impaired, could be under the impression that the laws when drinking and boating are dissimilar drinking and driving, or make a mistake leading to an accident. Given the number of people who are swimming, jet skiing, and taking part in other activities on the water, this is the recipe for disaster. Injuries and fatalities can happen if there is a boat accident and these can result in huge medical costs, the inability to function normally and other issues.

Important points about workers' compensation medical services

Louisiana workers who suffer workplace injuries or have a medical issue due to the type of work that they do will undoubtedly understand their eligibility for workers' compensation benefits. When receiving medical treatment, however, there is frequently a gap between knowing that they can get it and what kind of treatment they are entitled to. Such factors as doctor selection, a disagreement between medical professionals regarding the condition, medical bills and anything else that comes up can cause fear and worry when the worker should be thinking about getting well. Having a grasp of these issues is important.

Workers can choose the treating physician they want. They are also accorded the option to change from one specialist to another without needing to receive approval from the employer or the insurance company. The worker is required to have approval to change from one doctor to another if they have the same specialty. Although the worker can select his or her own treating doctor, the doctor must receive approval from the employer and/or the insurance company to continue providing treatment if its cost goes beyond $750, except in cases in which it is an emergency. The employer and insurer must have a viable reason for denying consent. An employer might eventually want the worker to be examined by a doctor of their choosing. Failing to agree to the examination could cause a suspension of workers' compensation benefits until the examination is taken.

What constitutes medical malpractice?

If you feel as if you have been injured at the hands of an incompetent doctor, you may be wondering what your options are. Is the injury you received an actionable medical negligence claim or is it an honest accident? Is the injury directly traceable to the physician or could it have been brought about by a number of causes? These are the questions you may be asking yourself as you consider what steps to take next in your potential medical malpractice lawsuit.

Arming yourself with knowledge beforehand can help you determine which claim, if any, you can file against your medical professional. You can bring a medical malpractice claim against doctors, hospitals, nurses or any medical professional. These claims can fall in a few broad categories, including medical error, failure to diagnose, prescribing the wrong medication, infection and medical battery.

Understanding workers' compensation and who is covered

Sometimes the most basic aspects of an issue are glossed over. This does not make them any less important. Workers' compensation benefits are one such issue. Understanding what workers' compensation is and who is covered by it is vital for when Louisiana workers have a situation that requires use of these benefits.

Workers' compensation is a legal solution for an employee to receive various benefits after suffering workplace injuries, being diagnosed with an occupational disease, and if there is subsequent loss of wages. There are multiple benefits that are provided through workers' compensation. The employer is obligated to provide them and, unless the employer is exempted, must pay for medical treatment and cover wage benefits. This is paid by the employer or through an insurer.

Drunk driver injures law enforcement officer in car crash

A car accident can affect anyone in Louisiana, even those whose job it is to help others. This applies to first responders like law enforcement, emergency technicians, tow truck drivers and more. Car accidents do not discriminate and the aftermath can have the same issues for all. Anyone who suffers injuries or loses a loved one in a collision should be aware that they have the same rights as others to file a claim to receive compensation.

A car accident in which a vehicle was sideswiped in a hit-and-run was being investigated by a law enforcement officer not long after 5 a.m. when another accident occurred. In the first accident, a Toyota Corolla had been hit and the other driver fled the scene. The officer was helping the injured driver and had returned to his cruiser to get a medical kit when another vehicle, a Kia Optima, hit a car that was stopped behind the officer's cruiser. That vehicle was pushed forward and hit the officer's car.

Boating accident statistics are rising in Louisiana

Louisiana state and governmental authorities understand that there are many people who enjoy the warm weather of the summer on the water with boating activities. While most people are cautious, they also know there are dangers involved with the activity and boat accidents will still occur. A boating accident can cause serious injuries and even death. With the summer a busy time for boating, the National Safe Boating Council is encouraging people to be safe.

Statistically, July is the worst month for fatal boating accidents. Data from the U.S. Coast Guard says that the number of recreational fatalities on a boat rose in 2016 in Louisiana and across the U.S. This is happening concurrently to a reduction in the number of boats that are registered in the state and throughout the U.S. In 2015, there were 22 fatalities. In 2016, there were 24. The total number of boat accidents rose to 112 from 87. That is an increase of 29 percent. There were 23 fatal accidents compared to 20 the year before.

Doctors working longer hospital hours could cause serious injury

When a Lake Charles resident goes to the hospital for treatment of an illness, condition or injury, there is an expectation that the medical professionals there will not only be competent and knowledgeable, but that they will not be hindered by long work hours and these will negatively affect their abilities. However, those work hours could present a problem as a recently implemented set of rules allows medical professionals to work for a far longer period than they did in the past. Patients who have suffered serious injury or a worsened condition and the loved ones of those who might have been severely harmed must be aware of this new rule to determine if there was a connection.

Doctors who have just graduated from medical school will now be able to work for 24 consecutive hours instead of the previous 16. In the past, some doctors who felt they could continue working were limited to those 16 hours and viewed this as a negative. The exchange of information from one doctor to the next was another limitation in the 16-hour rule. The idea is that the more information that is passed along and the increased frequency of it happening lends itself to errors.

Cancer misdiagnosis is common

When a person goes to the doctor for a checkup the last thing they want to hear they have is cancer. One immediately thinks the worst when they get this bad news. But, occasionally a cancer misdiagnosis occurs which can be a medical malpractice situation and cause serious problems for a patient.

Every year, over a million people are diagnosed with cancer. Usually this cancer is diagnosed from samples that are analyzed by a pathologist. A recent study showed that one out of every 71 cancer diagnosis were actually misdiagnosed. The biopsy was actually labeled as cancer. Another 20 percent of biopsies were misclassified. The mistakes occurred more often on biopsies taken from the skin, prostate, breast and female reproductive system.

Large number of nursing staff suffer on-the-job injuries

Many Lake Charles residents work in the healthcare industry. There are thousands of good nursing and nursing assistant jobs in the area that are well-needed. But, on-the-job injuries are common for nursing staff and can lead to these injured employees needing workers' compensation insurance.

Nurses and nursing assistants are valuable members of the healthcare field. They provide amazing care for their patients. But, because of their dedication to patients they often suffer serious back injuries. There are more than 35,000 back and other injuries suffered by nursing staff each year. Nursing assistants suffer injuries more than any other occupation. The reason that so many nursing staff are injured each year is because of the need to move patients.

What is the process for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit?

When a health care provider's care is below the industry standard of care and injuries result, this is known as medical malpractice. For Louisiana residents, this means they go to their healthcare providers for treatment or diagnosis of a problem, and end up instead with a worsened condition-misdiagnosis, wrong dosage of medicine or even operations on wrong sites, all fall within the purview of medical malpractice.

A healthcare provider is a person who has been licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, allowing them to perform medical services on patients. Physicians, their assistants, clinical laboratory personnel, and private radiological technologists are examples of healthcare providers. When these healthcare providers fail to fulfill their duties, it may be possible to bring a medical malpractice claim against them, but it important to understand some of the applicable laws first.

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