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Lake Charles Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Blog

Workers' compensation benefits and PTSD

For too long, Louisiana workers who were suffering from the aftereffects of an incident or accident on the job were limited in their workers' compensation claims. Their injuries or conditions needed to be clear and evident to receive benefits. For workers who were suffering from mental and emotional strain due to something they experienced at work, workers' compensation benefits were generally unavailable. In the past, there was nothing they could do.

Specifically, this was problematic for first responders, who could have been impacted by work experiences but simply needed to "accept it" and keep going to work even if they were mentally and emotionally unable to do so effectively. Now, a new law will change that. Beginning in August, public employees who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as "PTSD," will be eligible for workers' compensation. This includes first responders, firefighters and law enforcement officers. The law was written with these workers in mind, as they will frequently have PTSD and have nowhere to turn for treatment and help.

Proposed law seeks to address texting and driving in Louisiana

Distracted driving is a frequent topic of discussion regarding auto accidents in Louisiana.

With the number of people who have cellphones with a variety of features to keep them plugged in with social media, work and more, they are unable to resist the urge to multitask and use their devices when behind the wheel. This puts them and others on the road in danger of a car accident involving injuries and death. Law enforcement and legislators are keenly aware of the issue and are seeking strategies to reduce the risk.

At least one injured as alleged drunk driver hits multiple cars

Louisiana drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking are a menace to others on the road. In some drunk driving accidents, the driver will compound the problem by fleeing the scene making it a hit-and-run.

Recently, a man was arrested for DWI and more after police said he hit several vehicles and fled. According to news reports, the man rear-ended a vehicle that was sitting at a red light. Reports said the man then backed up, drove around the first car he hit, through a red light and, at the intersection, hitting two more vehicles. The man then got out of his car and ran away. One of the other drivers whose vehicles had been damaged pursued him. The man told law enforcement where the hit-and-run driver was hiding, and when police arrived they arrested him. The man faces charges including negligent injuring, hit-and-run, driving recklessly, driving without insurance and DWI.

Understanding time limits for workers' compensation benefits

When a Louisiana worker is injured on the job and needs workers' compensation benefits, there could be a variety of issues and considerations to address during the process of getting the payments they are entitled to. The situation will dictate how to handle it.

One concern that workers must understand is the time limits they face when seeking payments for medical expenses, weekly benefits, and Supplemental Earnings Benefits (SEB).

Doctors frequently misdiagnose colon cancer in young patients

Before you can receive the right treatment, you have to get the right diagnosis. Getting that diagnosis might seem easy enough. You go to the doctor, explain your symptoms, and then the doctor gives you the answers you need. This is not how things work for many patients in Louisiana. Doctors misdiagnose patients quite frequently, including when dealing with serious illnesses like cancer.

Colon cancer is a commonly missed disease. Doctors frequently misdiagnose colon cancer as a number of other diseases, especially when dealing with younger patients. Patients misdiagnosed may face worse outcomes in terms of survival and recovery.

Auto accident statistics for teen drivers spark concern

Teen drivers in Louisiana and throughout the United States are known to be a danger to others sharing the road. Often, this is because of a simple lack of experience behind the wheel. It is inevitable that new drivers will make mistakes. Nevertheless, when there is a car crash, those who have been impacted should be aware of the possibility that a teen caused it and consider steps to recover compensation in a legal filing.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, accidents with teen drivers led to almost 3,500 deaths between 2013 and 2017. This information came from a study of driving incidents during what is known as the "100 Deadliest Days." This is the time-period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Wrongful death in a nursing home requires legal help

One of the more difficult decisions a Louisiana family must make centers around when to put a loved one in a nursing home. If the person has reached an age at which he or she needs supervision, medical care, or are suffering from an issue that requires monitoring but not hospitalization, then placing them in a nursing home is a wise step for everyone's benefit.

However, some facilities are not as cautious with their care as they are supposed to be and the elderly or infirm person can suffer injuries and death while there. For people who believe a loved one suffered a fatal accident because of a medical mistake, negligence or abuse, having legal assistance is imperative to determine what happened and to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Motorcycle and car accidents spur calls for greater safety

Motorcyclists in Louisiana can face many dangers on the road. Because their vulnerability is inherent, even the highest level of vigilance sometimes cannot protect them from motorcycle and car accidents. Injuries and fatalities are common for motorcyclists. Since that is the case, the governor dedicated the entire month of May to motorcycle safety in the state. With Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month, the goal is to help drivers and motorcyclists share the road and be as safe as possible.

Understanding the steps the state is taking and the dangers riders face is crucial to improving safety. Safety instructors are offering tips and information as to how motorcyclists can improve their safety with better mental and physical skills. This is important because of the statistical reality of motorcycle accidents. In Louisiana, there were 86 fatalities and almost 1,200 people hurt in motorcycle accidents in the state in 2018. While these numbers are significant, it was an improvement from 2017. In 2019, there have been 20 deaths and 300 injuries in motorcycle crashes so far.

Fatal accident kills road worker attaching traffic control sign

Accidents can occur with any kind of job, but those in construction, law enforcement, emergency response and others who are in physically treacherous types of employment are more vulnerable. Still, if there is a fatal accident, it is important that the family think about their needs and consider a wrongful death legal filing.

A 48-year-old road worker who was in the process of attaching a sign to control traffic to a pickup was hit by another vehicle. He later died.

Study indicates ADHD is a major factor in teen car accidents

Louisiana residents who share the road with teen drivers will be understandably concerned about their behavior behind the wheel, whether they are safe drivers and that they are not operating the vehicle in a reckless manner. Even when teens are following all the rules and doing their best to maintain safe driving practices, their inexperience is a worry. Other factors are relevant when there is an accident. As a new study indicates, teens who are dealing with attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as "ADHD," are more prone to being in a crash when compared with teens who do not have ADHD. This is particularly a problem immediately after they receive their driver's license.

In the study, nearly 15,000 teens were followed over two years after getting a "graduated license," meaning they could only drive at certain times and in specific conditions. Out of those drivers, 1,769, or 12%, were diagnosed as having ADHD. These teens had a 62% greater chance of being in an accident in the first month after they received their driver's license. In the first four years after getting their driver's license, the teens who had ADHD had a 37% greater chance of being in an auto accident.

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