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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

Two women killed in three-vehicle crash on Louisiana highway

A traumatic fatal car accident in Lake Charles, Louisiana, or anywhere, can be horrific for families who suffer the loss of a loved one. Car accidents claim hundreds of lives and injure many people every year. Therefore, authorities responsible for regulating traffic rules try their best to keep roads accident-free. However, despite these best efforts, a bit of inattention by a negligent driver can lead to the loss of precious lives.

A recent fatal accident on a Louisiana highway claimed the lives of two women, aged 67 and 68 years, and injured two others after a driver, who was driving behind the two women's vehicle, failed to stop his car and eventually hit the women's car. Police said that a person driving a pick-up truck failed to apply brakes after noticing the sedan ahead was slowing down in order to make a left turn. The truck collided with the rear of the car, which then crossed the centerline and collided with a third car, another pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction.

Understanding medical malpractice per U.S. laws

Medical malpractice or medical negligence is referred to any injury caused to a patient due to an act or omission by a medical practitioner who digresses from the standard of care. Thus, a victim or his family may choose to sue the hospital, nursing home or the medical practitioner for damages.

Medical malpractice by definition relies on the tort law principle of negligence. Thus, the burden of proof to prove medical negligence lies on the plaintiff or alleged victim of medical negligence. Under Louisiana law, three elements need to be proved in order to prove medical malpractice.

Louisiana residents should be aware of the Jones Act

Maritime law has been one of the most important pillars of Louisiana trade for centuries. Many regulations are placed on the fleet to make trade and commerce as smooth as possible. While the United States' ships and vessels that travel outside of the territorial waters bearing the American flag have their own set of maritime laws, internal trade and commerce are also subjected to such laws.

Cabotage laws are the set of maritime laws that apply to all vessels that travel along the coastal routes. It may also refer to the laws applicable to the ships traveling inside the territory of the United States from one port to another. The most important and widely applicable cabotage law in the U.S. is The Jones Act. The Jones Act essentially refers to Section 27 under the Merchant Marine Act. Under this law, only American vessels that bear an American flag and are also owned by a U.S. citizen carrying mariners, who are U.S. citizens that can conduct trade and commerce via the sea route in the coastal area within the jurisdiction of the United States of America.

Comparative negligence helps determine fault for a car accident

Car accidents are a common occurrence on Louisiana roads. A significant number of residents are injured every year as a result of car accidents. However, sometimes it may be a difficult task to figure out which party is legally at fault for the accident's occurrence. Therefore, an analysis of comparative negligence may be necessary to establish which party contributed significantly to the events which lead to the accident.

The theory of comparative negligence provides that the responsibility of compensating for damages can be assigned and calculated by establishing to what extent each party involved in a particular motor vehicle accident contributed to the incident. For example, one party may have contributed 70 percent to the accident's cause due to negligent behavior. This theory would then allow the party to possibly recover 30 percent of the total value of damages established by the jury. However, this theory may only hold true for those states which apply the "pure" aspects of theory of fault allocation.

What benefits are available for offshore injuries in Louisiana?

The law relating to injuries sustained by Lake Charles, Louisiana, dock workers or those working offshore in the vast water boundaries of Louisiana is fairly just. It provides for compensation to workers who have suffered serious offshore injuries, to those who have suffered disabilities resulting from such serious injuries and also to the families of those killed by these accidents.

The law also provides for compensation from the day the disability occurred if the injury resulting from a workplace accident culminates into a disability spanning more than 14 days. If the disability is less than 14 days, then workers compensation does not provide payment for the disability for the first three days.

The basics of a medical malpractice claim

Medical malpractice can be defined as a form of professional negligence committed by a Louisiana healthcare professional that may result in the injury or death of an individual in his or her care. A recent statistical study found that every year as many as 400,000 patients die unnecessarily in hospitals alone. Given such an alarming figure, it may be necessary to have a better understanding of what might constitute medical malpractice.

Professional negligence by a healthcare professional may lead to birth injuries. In such cases, improper care may lead to brain injury, palsy or even neonatal death. Survivors may be left severely debilitated and permanently disabled due to birth injuries. Future employment and quality of life may also be affected by such injuries.

Louisiana man struck and killed by dump truck

Reports of motor vehicle accidents are not uncommon in the news. Every year, thousands of fatalities and injuries can be directly attributed to auto accidents. Although Louisiana law enforcement authorities and highway patrol members make attempts to deploy road safety measures and reduce the number of such incidents, tragic incidents may still occur. A case of wrongful death was recently in the news and is an example of an automobile related fatality.

Last week in the afternoon, Lafayette Police responded to an auto accident report. Investigators, looking into the incident, said that the accident occurred when a dump truck struck a pedestrian while it was backing up onto a lot. The victim was walking behind the truck when he was struck down by the vehicle.

What are the criteria for the Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund?

A spinal cord injury may result from an impact on the spine by an external physical force, which can then affect the nervous system. Such impacts can leave a patient a paraplegic or a quadriplegic. A head injury resulting from a similar impact can also cause an altered or diminished state of consciousness resulting in a cognitive impairment or reduced physical functioning.

This kind of impairment may be permanent or temporary in nature and cause complete or partial functional disability, with or without psychological maladjustment. In Louisiana, there is a program for patients suffering from such head or spinal cord injuries. It is called the Trust Fund Program and it can help patients pay their medical bills. The program is sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals.

How punitive damages are awarded in auto accident cases

Car accidents in Louisiana claim hundreds of lives and leave many people injured every year. Even though various highway and byway safety measures are out there, auto accidents keep occurring. The law provides several remedies for auto accident victims, with additional remedies to victims when the defendant is under the influence of alcohol. There are a number of examples that highlight how being intoxicated makes it even more likely that a plaintiff will win additional damages.

Article 2315.4 of the Louisiana Civil Code makes provisions for additional damages when the defendant in a car accident is intoxicated. The Article provides for special damages in addition to general damages when it is proved that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff are a direct consequence of a defendant's intoxicated state and a wanton disregard for the safety and rights of others.

The repeal of Louisiana's Article 1732(6)

There are several laws across the United States that govern the seas. In Louisiana, the Code of Civil Procedure, Article 1732(6), allows plaintiffs in maritime cases, such as, for example, dockworker injuries, to determine if the matter is to be heard and decided by a jury or a judge. As is the case with defendants in other types of legal matters, maritime defendants do not have the option of asking for a trial by jury.

The underlying reason for this law was the fact that federal courts also allowed only the plaintiff to exercise such an option. In federal courts, however, the case would be heard by a judge appointed for life. In addition, federal judges must be approved by the U.S. Senate and all of his or her decisions are subject to review by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.