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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

Distracted driving laws lower motorcycle fatal accident stats

Motorcyclists are frequently spotted on the Louisiana roads. While drivers will generally do whatever they can to maintain safety for the rider, some do not pay attention to the road. Distracted driving remains one of the biggest dangers drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will face. While lawmakers try to deal with the issue, it is important to keep track of studies regarding how distracted drivers can cause a fatal accident. With motorcyclists, this is especially problematic. A recent study indicates that the number of fatalities with motorcyclists is worse in states where there is no ban on using cellphones while driving. This could be important for those who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash and want to file a wrongful death claim.

According to the study from Florida Atlantic University, the number of motorcyclists who died in crashes has been declining when states banned cellphones for drivers. Researchers say that it is unclear as to whether laws have lowered overall death rates in traffic accidents. For motorcyclists, there has been a significant reduction. To come to its conclusions, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System from 2005 to 2015 were examined. The number of deaths in general were examined along with motorcycle fatalities. By separating the states based on whether there was a cellphone ban for drivers or not, it discovered that the states with bans had up to 11 percent fewer fatal motorcycle accidents.

Vocational rehabilitation and workers' compensation

Louisiana workers who suffer a workplace injury that they eventually will improve from sufficiently to get back to work might face the problem of being able to work, but not being able to do the job they did before. While workers' compensation benefits are in place to help the injured, people who have lost wages and need medical treatment, it is important to know what rights a worker has when trying to get back to work for the former employer and what alternatives are available in this situation.

Employers are not obligated to keep a job open for an injured worker who is getting workers' compensation benefits if that worker cannot do the job. Nor do they need to find a new job specifically for that person. However, it is against the law for the employer to dismiss an employee just because a workers' compensation claim has been filed.

Accidents involving a distracted driver do more damage

The stories about distracted drivers in Louisiana are heard every day. Simply looking left and right when on the road is not entirely enough these days. Drivers texting and driving, making a phone call, surfing the web, checking social media or doing any one of the innumerable things possible on a cellphone, have only increased the dangers to pedestrians and other drivers. This is a growing danger for people to be in an auto accident with injuries and death. Despite law enforcement and legislators exhorting drivers not to take part in the practice, it continues. Researchers examine the phenomenon as well.

In one recent study, it was found that distracted driving accidents are generally worse than other types of accidents. In addition, road design could play a part in accident severity. The Risk Institute at Ohio State University states that the chances of being in a crash with severe injuries or fatalities is increased in a distracted driving accident when examined in comparison with other accidents. This is especially true when it is a rear-end accident, in a work zone or on the interstate.

What is threatening your safety in the workplace?

No matter what type of job you have, it is likely that you face some risks and hazards in the workplace. From construction sites to office buildings, there are certain things workers should look for and recognize as safety concerns and potential dangers. There may be problems threatening your health and safety every day, and you may not even know it. 

As a Louisiana employee, it is in your interests to know how to protect yourself while at work and what to do in case you experience injuries on the job. If injured, you likely have valid grounds to pursue benefits through a workers' compensation claim. However, it is the responsibility of employers to make workplaces as safe as reasonably possible and work to shield employees from experiencing unnecessary injuries. 

Study shows auto accident dangers near schools across nation

Safe driving is a concern for everyone in Louisiana. This is true no matter where in the state they are and what they are doing. However, schools and the areas in which children are prevalent can be especially worrisome when it comes to risky driving behaviors. Any amount of recklessness, negligence, speeding, being a distracted driver, driving under the influence and other risky activities behind the wheel can lead to serious accidents involving children with injuries and fatalities. Research has shown just problematic dangerous behaviors near schools can be.

The analytics company Zendrive utilized smartphone sensors to assess how drivers behave when near at least 125,000 schools throughout the U.S. In its "School Safety Study," more than 9 million drivers were tracked for the speed at which they drove, how rapidly they accelerated and how often they hit the brakes hard. If these acts took place within a quarter-mile of schools, it was part of the research. Letter grades were given and most schools had C or lower. 30 percent of the schools had a deterioration of driver behavior to a higher level of danger.

One dead, two injured in head-on fatal accident in Lake Charles

When drivers are following all the laws and adhering to good safety practices, they stand a better chance of getting to their destination without being in an accident and suffering injuries and wrongful death. However, even when people are behaving responsibly, motor vehicle accidents can happen without warning. Sharing the road with others is a necessity and there is an unspoken expectation that drivers will try to be safe not just for themselves, but for others on the road. Unfortunately, distracted driving, recklessness, driving under the influence and negligence can lead to a crash with injuries and death. Those who have been hurt or suffered the loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident must think about their future and consider a legal filing for compensation.

A head-on collision between a 2005 Ford Expedition and a 2013 Nissan Altima led to the death of the passenger in the Altima. The accident occurred at shortly before 10 p.m. The Altima was heading east and being driven by a 22-year-old woman. The Expedition, heading west, was being driven by a male. He lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons and it went over the center line, hitting the Altima. The driver of the Altima was seriously injured and hospitalized. The male passenger, 22, was killed. The driver of the Expedition suffered minor injuries. Toxicology tests are being done to determine if impairment was a factor. The investigation is continuing.

Car accident study says ride shares could raise fatality rates

Not a day goes by when there is not an advertisement, a discussion or a reference to the relatively new phenomenon of ride-sharing services. This is a part of daily life in Louisiana and across the nation. It is clearly here to stay with positives and negatives. One potential negative has come to light from research that indicates there has been an increase in auto accident fatalities as Uber, Lyft and other services have grown to prominence. And, those who have been in an auto accident should be aware of this phenomenon and consider it as a factor if they seek compensation after an accident through a legal filing.

From 2011 to 2016, there was a 2 to 3 percent increase in the number of deaths for people riding in vehicles and pedestrians. Prior to this increase, there had been a drastic reduction in fatal auto accidents from the 1980's to 2010.

Fatal accident kills Louisiana worker

It is a difficult situation to deal with when any Louisianan suffers the loss of a loved one in an unexpected way. This is true if it is a sudden illness, a medical error or if it is an accident. These accidents can happen in any circumstance, but when it occurs while a person is at work, it is especially hard as it is often due to negligence or mistakes on the part of another worker or because there is faulty equipment. When a person has died while on the job, the family will have a lot to consider and it is imperative to have legal assistance to think about a wrongful death lawsuit.

A 24-year-old plant worker died when he was pinned by a blade. The accident happened in the early morning hours at about 3 a.m. when the man had just gotten to work. The area on which they were working was an area of the plant that had been shut down. The workers were replacing the blade on a machine that rotates to perform various functions -- known as a lathe. It was routine maintenance on the plant. While changing the blade, it swung and pinned the worker.

Truck accident kills 1, injures 18

Any auto accident in Louisiana carries with it the risk that people will suffer severe injuries or death. There can be a reasonable debate as to which kinds of crashes are the most dangerous, but regardless of the actual incident, those who were injured and the family of a person who was killed will want answers as to the cause. This can be key to pursuing compensation in a legal filing.

While head-on crashes, highway accidents, and rear-end collisions can all be classified as exceedingly dangerous, one type of crash that will inevitably cause injuries and fatalities is if a large truck fails to stop and crashes into vehicles stopped in traffic. An 18-wheeler truck driven by a 56-year-old man failed to stop for traffic in front of him and caused an 11-vehicle crash. The accident happened at around 9 p.m. According to law enforcement, the crash occurred near the roadway exit. There was a chain-reaction accident in which 10 other vehicles were hit.

Workers' compensation and supplemental earnings benefits

When a Louisiana worker is injured in a workplace accident, there are various workers' compensation benefits available. These can help with medical care, cover lost wages and help them make ends meet and take the time they need to recover without needing to rush for fear of no longer having a job. There are various subsets for workers' compensation that should be understood and whether they will be important or not depends on the situation. One is supplemental earnings benefits.

When the worker has suffered an injury that results in not being able to earn wages that are equal to or more than 90 percent of the wages they made at the time of the injury, they can get supplemental earnings benefits. This will be 66 2/3 percent of the difference from what the average wages were per month when the injury came about and the average wages he or she earns in any month after the injury. It does not matter if it is the same occupation or a similar occupation as the one when the injury took place. Nor does it matter if the job is one in which he or she was trained for or qualified to do when the injury occurred. The average wages will be calculated by multiplying the wages by 52 and dividing it by 12.

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