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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

Let us help find who to hold accountable in malpractice suit

When Louisiana residents go to the hospital to receive medical care, they often end up interacting with many different medical professionals-from attendants and nurses to surgeons and doctors. If these medical professionals do not adhere to the medical industry standard in providing medical care to their patient, they may end up giving their patient a worsened condition, or in a worst case scenario mentioned last week, a patient's death.

What many may not know is that everyone's liability in the hospital may end up being different-a surgical error by a visiting surgeon with different privileges may not be as straight cut a case as a medical malpractice case against negligent operating staff. When Louisiana residents are already struggling with worsened injuries or the loss of a loved one, dealing with these technicalities may seem overwhelming.

Do I need to give notice to employer about workplace injury?

As hardworking employees, Louisiana residents leave their houses in the morning intending to put in an honest day's work at their office. Though they understand that their jobs may cause them some possible harm-slip and falls at the office or construction site accidents-they rarely give them a second thought because they may be taking necessary precautions. However, they may still get injured in a workplace accident due to their employer's negligence and this can come at a financial and emotional cost.

First of all, the injury must have arisen out of and in the course of employment. A later post will discuss what falls under this category, but according to Louisiana laws, an accident is an event that happens suddenly and unexpectedly, can also happen violently, and must be an actual identifiable event either with or without human fault that directly produces an injury that is more than a general deterioration. This means it must be possible to identify the event as the accident that caused the injury and it must be unexpected. Human fault does not factor into the elements of an accident for workers' compensation claim.

Possible medical mistakes cause wrongful death of new mother

The birth of a child is the culmination of not only the past nine or so months of the parents' lives, but also of their loved ones. They await and pray for the healthy birth of the new born and when it happens, the whole family rejoices. But if the medical staff commits a medical mistake that puts the newborn and mother at risk, confusion and tragedy can often be the result.

Louisiana residents may have watched the show Judge Hatchett, but probably were not aware that the TV judge's son was expecting a child with his wife. The expecting mother delivered a healthy son through a c-section and was wheeled out of the operating room around half an hour later, where she enjoyed some bonding time with her baby. According to court documents, however, within a couple of hours there were signs of a problem as urine tinged with blood began appearing in her catheter and the doctor was notified of active internal bleeding before the end of the day. She was taken into surgery around midnight, where court documents claim surgery revealed around 3 liters of blood in her abdomen.

Alcohol increases chances of fatal boating accidents

Louisiana residents may have heard of the term DUI and know it refers to driving under the influence, but they may not be familiar with BUI-boating under the influence. According to the Coast Guard, a boat operator who has as much alcohol as a vehicle driver is likely to become more impaired faster than the driver.

First of all, it is both state and federal law that operating a boat while intoxicated is against the law across the country. Many people may think that this law only applies to certain boats and not others, but this is not the case-the law is the same for all boats from small rowboats to the largest ships. The criminal penalties for violating this law are very stringent.

Rear-ended? Whiplash injuries can be a real pain in the neck

Serious injuries from a car accident can create various challenges in life, whether temporary or permanent. Some injuries might present immediate symptoms, while others may take time to develop. If injured in an accident, you might want to hold off on accepting a settlement until you are aware of all your injuries to avoid missing out on compensation to which you might have otherwise been entitled.

Perhaps while stopped in traffic, another car rear-ended you, and several days later you began experiencing neck and/or back pain. You could be suffering from whiplash, which is a common injury following a rear-end collision. Even if the other vehicle wasn't travelling at a high rate of speed prior to the collision, a whiplash injury can still occur and cause you a great deal of pain and suffering.

Never events: a fatal surgical error?

Louisiana residents, like others across the country, go to their doctors when they are at their most vulnerable. In pain and without any expertise, they turn to medical professionals to guide them through their illness and help them recover as much as possible. To achieve this end, they expect the medical professionals treating them will act with the utmost professionalism and to the highest standards of care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In some instances, patients come away with a worsened medical condition than what they had originally gone to the doctor for. This can happen if they have become a victim of a 'never event'. Coined by a former CEO of the National Quality Forum in 2011, the term refers to a medical mistake that is particularly shocking and should not have occurred in the first place-thus known as a never event as they are completely preventable. Over time, these events have come to signify events that are ambiguous, serious and usually preventable.

How does Louisiana rank in phone use while driving?

Louisiana drivers who have been getting the nagging feeling that their roadways are no longer as safe as they used to be may feel vindicated when they hear the results of a new study comparing driving habits across the country. According to the study, around 92 percent of American drivers admit to using them while in the car, with a third admitting that they had either typed a text or an email during the last month. Louisiana received the worst score in this regard in the country, coming in at 50.

This demonstrates that many people across the country and most drivers in this state believe they can remain in control of the car while using their smart phone, however their complacency has contributed to the increasing number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents in recent years. Eight people are killed daily and more than one thousand injured in crashes involving a distracted driver across the country.

Surviving spouse and children bring wrongful death claim

This blog recently discussed the elements of a wrongful death claim for damages. The surviving spouse and children of a woman recently brought a medical malpractice wrongful death claim for damages in Louisiana against a health care facility. The lawsuit asserts that the health care facility breached its standard of care when treating the woman.

According to the lawsuit, the woman visited the health care facility in the fall of 2013 because of a cyst above her right breast. Without explanation, a breast ultrasound was postponed by the nurse practitioner she visited at the health care facility and the woman was told to follow up 6 months later. The woman died in the winter of 2016 due to metastatic disease. The family is seeking $5 million in damages.

Protections for workers injured in a maritime accident

It is important for injured seamen, oil rig workers and dock workers to be familiar with the remedies available to them if they have been injured in a maritime accident. Injured workers on land have workers' compensation and personal injury protections not available to workers injured on offshore rigs, vessels, docks and waterways. Different remedies are available to injured seamen, oil rig workers and dock workers that help protect them, their livelihoods and their families.

Workers injured in a maritime accident have important rights and protections through the Jones Act and Longshore Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), as well as other resources available to them. When a worker has suffered oftentimes serious and disabling injuries in a maritime accident, legal resources can help them obtain medical care and replacement of lost wages, referred to as maintenance and cure; compensation or coverage for future medical care needs and costs; compensation for lost earning capacity; compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement; and damages for pain and suffering.

Elements involved in wrongful death cases

Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences a person in Louisiana can go through. There are many emotions that can result when such tragedies occur. Of course, a deep sense of sadness is often prevalent. But in cases where there was another party involved, and that party acted in a way that directly contributed to the cause of a loved one's death, it is understandable to feel anger as well. If it was someone else's negligence that lead to their loved one's death, the victim's survivors may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death cases can involve many different elements. Sometimes, they may result from an automobile or other fatal accident. In other cases, they may result from a doctor failing to take certain steps in order to prevent patient injury. However, in all cases, there must be certain elements that must be met in order to prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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