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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

One dead, driver arrested after hit and run crash

A Caddo Parish man has been arrested and is in jail in connection with a hit and run crash that killed a man from Natchitoches Parish. According to reports released by Sheriff's Office, the crash occurred on Louisiana Highway 117 near Vernon Wester Road in Provencal.

Preliminary inquiry indicates that the alleged driver was driving a 2008 Toyota Tundra pickup truck on Louisiana Highway 117 at a high rate of speed. His truck struck the rear end of the victim's 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. The crash was so severe that it caused the Chevrolet S-10 to veer into the southbound lane, hit a bridge guardrail, go flying, move through a trench, go flying again, hit a tree and then coming to a rest overturned. The victim was rescued from the vehicle and then transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, he was declared dead upon arrival.

Workers' compensation per the provisions of the LHWCA

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is a workers' compensation program for workers employed in U.S. navigable waters or in a U.S. harbor. The federal Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers this program across the country. This blog will help our readers in Lake Charles and nearby areas in Louisiana to understand the provisions based on which compensation under the LHWCA is determined, both in case of a disabling workplace injury and in case of a workplace death.

Per the provisions of the LHWCA, a disabled worker receives two-thirds of average weekly wages as long as the effects of an injury continue, subject to weekly minimum and maximum rates. Compensation is also provided for certain permanent injuries. In the event of a worker's death, a surviving spouse receives half the deceased worker's weekly average wage as compensation. Also, if the deceased worker and the surviving spouse have children, an additional one-sixth of average weekly wages is paid as compensation. In addition, the LHWCA makes injured workers eligible to receive support for vocational rehabilitation.

Can I recover compensation if I was partly at fault?

In many personal injury cases involving car accidents, it's apparent that the defendant acted negligently while the plaintiff did nothing wrong. In many other cases, both parties did something wrong. Can injured plaintiffs recover compensation even if they were partly at fault in their accident?

The answer is yes, it's possible. Louisiana's comparative negligence law does not bar recovery to plaintiffs who were partly at fault in their accident. However, the amount of damages they can recover is reduced in proportion to their share of negligence.

Tow truck driver injuries are often caused by third parties

There is typically an underappreciation for the roles tow truck operators play in keeping others safe. They put their lives on the line at crash scenes or to help stranded motorists. If you are one of the thousands of tow truck drivers in Louisiana, you will work at all hours. You will brave adverse weather conditions to be the lifeline for broken down or crashed trucks and cars.

Inconsiderate and reckless drivers of other vehicles bring about most of the dangers you face daily. However, the fact that you must be available to rush out to help others 24/7 can cause fatigue, which is a safety hazard on its own.

Researchers find misdiagnosis a huge, hidden threat

We all know that doctors are under pressure to see as many patients as they can, but when medical care providers are not thorough enough in checking what is wrong with their patients, they can miss the real problem. Sometimes, they can prescribe treatment for one condition, while completely missing a more serious condition. As a result, this undetected condition goes untreated and gets worse. Sometimes, the patient doesn't know about this condition until it has grown extremely serious and difficult to treat.

Two recent studies looked closely at these cases of misdiagnosis. A study published in the journal Diagnosis found that misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis was a factor in 34% of all medical malpractice claims involving a patient who died or suffered permanent disability. Researchers called on the federal government to provide more funding for research into misdiagnosis, saying it could save lives.

Damages in unseaworthiness actions

When most Louisiana workers are injured on the job, they can receive benefits through the state's workers' compensation system. The benefits should cover their medical expenses and lost wages during the time they are unable to return to work. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system, so the injured workers don't have to prove that their employer did anything wrong; they just have to show that they were injured in the course of their employment.

The situation is different for Louisiana's many maritime workers, who are covered under a different system. Under the rules for maritime law, set forth in the Jones Act, maritime workers who are injured on the job generally must argue that their employer was negligent in some way. Maritime employers have a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel to their employees. One way for an injured maritime worker can recover benefits is to argue that the vessel was "unseaworthy."

Calculating damages in wrongful death

One of the key concepts in personal injury law is known as restitution. The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to make someone whole again after they have suffered a loss. This is why part of a personal injury claim consists of calculating damages: The injured must show how much the injury has cost them, and if they are successful, the defendant must reimburse them for those costs, including both the purely economic costs, such as the victim's medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as the victim's pain and suffering.

This principle works differently in cases involving a fatal accident or killing. In these cases, the family of the victim may file a specialized form of personal injury suit known as a wrongful death claim.

Workers' compensation benefits for mental injury

Accidents can happen in all kinds of workplaces, and they can lead to all kinds of injuries. Many workers may not know that the Louisiana workers' compensation system can provide benefits for mental as well as physical injuries that happen in the course of the worker's employment.

What is a mental injury? Under Louisiana's workers' compensation law, a mental injury is caused by mental stress. A worker may be able to collect benefits for the treatment of a mental injury that is the result of a sudden, unexpected and extraordinary stress related to the worker's employment. A mental injury or illness that is caused by a physical injury to the employee's body in the course of employment may be compensable as well.

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