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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

How courts determine liability in a car accident

A car accident can potentially turn someone's life upside down, whether they live in Lake Charles or elsewhere. Victims of car accidents are interested in holding the person who caused it responsible for their actions. If the victim decides to file a civil lawsuit against the driver they believe was responsible, the court will have to determine liability. If the court finds the driver to be liable, he or she may have to pay for any damages caused by his negligence,

In order to determine whether a driver is liable, courts will analyze whether he or she behaved negligently behind the wheel. While it may seem obvious who was careless, it is not always easy to determine whether a rule was violated. Courts will consider whether the driver was disobeying traffic signs, speeding, disregarding weather or traffic conditions and whether other factors played a role when making their decision.

Clark's Level IV Superficial Spreading Melanoma goes Unfound and Untreated due to Misdiagnosis by a Pathologist

Our client, a 40 year old woman with two children, presented to her family physician with complaints of an atypical skin lesion on her back. Her family physician did a biopsy of this "mole" and sent the sample to a pathology laboratory. At the pathology lab the lesion was examined by a pathologist and was misdiagnosed as a compound nevus, which is a benign melanocytic mole. Research shows that lesions like these should be monitored and checked frequently for any changes because these they can progress into skin cancer. Months later the atypical lesion was checked again, and this time there were noteworthy changes in the size, contour, and color of the mole. Due to these changes, a second biopsy of the mole was ordered and performed. From the results of the biopsy, it was determined that our client had a Clark's level IV superficial spreading melanoma, stage III. Our client was then referred to MD Anderson where she underwent numerous surgical interventions and treatments. During her treatment process, it was determined that the first biopsy that was taken had been read incorrectly by the pathologist and was erroneously interpreted as a compound nevus. The initial pathologist should have diagnosed an atypical compound melanocytic proliferation suggestive of invasive melanoma. In the medical review panel process, the panel ruled against the pathologist who performed the initial analysis and found that he should have identified that original specimen as melanoma, not a compound nevus. Our client had to undergo vast amounts of treatments and had to endure pain and suffering due to the treatments she received. Moreover, she now must also live with the realistic fear that she will die from the cancer because of its progression that was allowed by the delay in diagnosis. Through a settlement, Todd Townsley was able to make a just and favorable recovery for this client.

Supply vessel seaman files suit after accident

Every day, Louisiana seamen put their lives at risk while on-the-job. Fortunately, the Federal government has implemented the Jones Act to help protect sea vessel employees who get injured or killed while carrying out the duties of his or her job.

A Jones Act seaman recently filed a complaint against his employer, Offshore Logistical and Transports LLC, after an accident on a supply vessel. The man was working on the vessel when the accident occurred, injuring the man's knee. This required him to undergo surgery.

Sleep medication may increase risk of car accidents

By now, most of us have been made aware of the dangers of negligence behind the wheel. Whether it be distracted driving or driving under the influence, negligent drivers in Louisiana are responsible for a number of serious car accidents every year. In some cases, drivers may not even be aware of their impairment.

A recent study by the American Journal of Public Health shows that people who take prescription sleep medications at night are twice as likely to have a car accident in the daytime. According to this study, sleeping pills stay in the body for a longer period of time than many people realize. Those in charge of the study say that driving under the influence of these sleeping pills is similar to having a blood alcohol level of 0.06 to 0.11 percent.

Families who have lost loved ones can file wrongful death suits

Losing a family member in an accident can be devastating for many reasons. Learning how to live without that person can seem impossible. In addition to the emotional pain you feel, you may be struggling financially, drowning in medical bills and funeral costs. If the person you lost was financially contributing to the household, you may have a tough time finding ways to make up for that lost income.

In Louisiana and other states across the nation, you can file a wrongful death suit against those responsible for the accident. If your suit is successful, you may recover compensation that will give you some financial relief and allow you to focus more on grieving the loss of your loved one.

A Man's Hand is Rendered Useless after an Unauthorized and Negligent Surgery for Wrist Pain and Negligent Follow-Up Care

Our client, a millwright and machinist by trade, worked each day with his hands using the tools of his trade. He began to notice pain in his right hand, especially when he was turning wrenches. Our client pursued treatment and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon that specialized in hand surgery. In our client's first visit to the specialist hand surgeon, he was given injections to provide some temporary relief, but the pain in his wrist persisted. About nine months later, our client returned to the specialist's office where a proximal row carpectomy surgery was recommended as a long term solution for his wrist pain.

Study finds increase in spinal cord injuries among older adults

Each year, many people suffer serious injuries in accidents all across the country. Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating injuries in that they can lead to permanent disability and long-term medical care, paralysis or even death.

A Woman Post-Surgery Suffers a DVT and Pulmonary Embolus that was Misdiagnosed and Untreated due to a Radiologist's Error

Radiological studies can play a very large role in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient. When studies are not done or are incorrectly read the consequences can be detrimental to the patient. In this case, the patient suffered a DVT, a type blood clot that often occurs after surgeries. The DVT was missed by a radiologist in a Venous Doppler Study. Due to the radiologist's error the client suffered a pulmonary embolus. A pulmonary embolus is a blockage of blood flow in the lungs by a blood clot. Due to her suffering both a DVT and a pulmonary embolus the client now suffers from shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pains; the client also now has a greater likelihood of suffering from another DVT. The misread radiological study constituted a breach in the standard of care, and Todd Townsley was able to make a recovery for the client.

How a careless surgeon can be held accountable for damages

Louisiana surgeons are some of the best in the nation and have treated thousands of patients successfully. Patients go to these doctors regularly, trusting them with their health and their lives. However, in rare cases, surgeon negligence has caused patients serious injury and sometimes even death.

When a medical professional is negligent, it is referred to medical malpractice. When medical malpractice occurs, the patient may file a lawsuit against the doctor or surgeon in order to recover damages for their injuries. In order to file a successful lawsuit, there are certain elements that must be present. First, the physician must owe a duty of care to the patient. Typically, when a doctor voluntarily agrees to treat a patient, a doctor-patient relationship is established. The doctor then owes the patient a duty of care and is required to treat the patient with the degree of skill, care and diligence required of a reasonably competent physician under the same circumstances.

Auto accidents severely impact society and its economy-Part I

Motor vehicle accidents are a sad reality. Auto accidents continue to occur in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and elsewhere and many are injured or killed as a result. An auto accident can have lasting and devastating effects on accident victims or a victim's survivors. Additionally, these accidents also impact the whole of America's society and its economy.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently updated a report, which puts the national economic loss due to motor vehicle accidents at more than $240 billion for the year 2010 alone. According to the report issued last month, this figure is based on the present value of lifetime economic costs of nearly 33,000 fatalities and almost 4 million non-fatal injuries that occurred in 2010. In addition, the report also factored in the costs associated with 24 million damaged vehicles.