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Cliff-Cardone-DWI-Checkpoint_Redacted2-1-300x225On July 19, 2018, the court ordered our client’s driver’s license be reinstated because he was improperly arrested at a DWI checkpoint on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. DWI checkpoints on Tchoupitoulas Street are frequently conducted by the New Orleans Police Department, in part, because their station is nearby which makes transportation of the arrested fairly quick and easy.

When clients come to us and have been charged with a DWI, the first thing we do is look into all aspects of the arrest and charge. When a person is charged with a DWI at a checkpoint, an important consideration is the client’s constitutional rights.

In this case, our client was charged with a DWI after entering a checkpoint and his license was suspended. We challenged the DWI and license suspension based on the failure of the New Orleans Police Department to follow proper and necessary protocol for DWI sobriety checkpoints. When a client is stopped at a checkpoint and then charged with a DWI, we turn to the case law and Louisiana statutes to see if appropriate procedures were followed.

car crashThere can be many different elements that go into achieving the legal outcome you need in your auto accident injury case. For some injured people, one of those elements is being allowed to pursue not only the other driver, but that driver’s employer. This option can be very important because many drivers may be individuals with limited assets and an auto insurance policy with a low policy limit. It is entirely possible that the harm you suffered exceeds the driver’s assets and the insurance policy’s limit. However, when your case also names an employer like a major national corporation, you have an improved chance of obtaining the full amount of damages that you proved. A knowledgeable New Orleans injury attorney can help you to provide the court with the proof and argument you need to establish this essential “vicarious liability.”

K.T. was a driver who found herself in this type of situation. She was driving in Lafayette when her vehicle was hit by another vehicle (the latter driven by V.B.). V.B. was headed home at the time of the accident, and she also received a citation for “failure to yield” as a result of the incident.

At this point, you might think that K.T. has a strong case against V.B., but that the only compensation K.T. could obtain would be from V.B. (and her insurer). K.T.’s case is an example of how in-depth legal knowledge can take you (and your case) further. A skilled advocate knows to “dig deeper” and the additional information unearthed may produce an even stronger case. In this accident, V.B. was only her way home from a training course that her supervisor recommended to her. That information led K.T.’s counsel to sue, not only V.B. but also V.B.’s employer (a major nationwide chain of pharmacies).

motorcycleIn the law, negligence exists when someone who had a duty did something they shouldn’t have done (or failed to do something they should have done), and that negligence was the reasonably foreseeable cause of the harm that ensued. All drivers on the road have a duty to everyone else on the road to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. When a driver fails to do so, such as speeding though congested traffic, then a crash with injuries or deaths is a foreseeable result. If you’ve been hurt by the negligence of someone behind the wheel, then you may be entitled to compensation. You should contact an experienced New Orleans auto accident attorney about your situation right away.

An accident from late June was just the latest fatal crash on Louisiana’s interstate highways. According to a wwltv.com report, traffic on eastbound I-10 had slowed in St. Charles Parish one Friday afternoon due to congestion. L.E., who was traveling “at a high rate of speed” according to the report, encountered the congestion but did not slow down in time. His SUV crashed into the rear of a pickup truck driven A. The impact was forceful enough that it knocked A’s pickup into the Harley Davidson motorcycle in front of him. Not only did the truck and the Harley hit, they collided with enough force that the impact pushed the bike into another pickup and it threw 27-year-old S. off the motorcycle, the report stated.

Although S. was wearing a helmet, he died at the scene. The wwltv.com report indicated that speed was “expected to be a factor of the crash.”

courtroomIn many personal injury actions, expert witness evidence can be an essential part of your case. The difference between getting your experts in and having them excluded may make the difference between success and defeat. This is one of many places in which seasoned New Orleans injury counsel can help you put together a strong and persuasive case by helping you ensure that your expert witness evidence gets in front of your jury.

An example of what is (and is not) required in order to get expert opinion evidence admitted was on display in the case of Blake and Courtney. The pair were a couple who had a termite problem in their home. They retained the services of a pest company to deal with their termite problem. After the company treated the home for termites, the couple and their children allegedly began experiencing headaches, nausea, dizziness, and confusion.

The couple eventually sued the pest company for their injuries. The lower court granted summary judgment to the pest company, but the Supreme Court reversed that decision, which meant that the homeowners’ case was revived, and they could resume pursuing the pest company.

cardonelawfirmhealthinsurance-300x200Many people who are involved in auto accidents wonder how their health insurance may come into play if they need treatment, or, if they used their health insurance to pay for treatment relating to an auto accident what will happen to their medical bills. This blog entry will also discuss other avenues available under your auto insurance policy to recoup expenses paid toward medical bills relating to an auto accident. This blog entry is written by attorney Hannah Salter at the Cardone Law Firm. The purpose of this blog entry is to explain some of the basics relating to health insurance and auto accidents and the current state of affairs as they stand in Louisiana today.

AUTO INSURANCE – MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE

Before we start talking about health insurance, I would first like to discuss medical payments coverage in your auto insurance policy. Medical payments coverage in your auto insurance policy pays for medical expenses related to an auto accident even if you were at fault for the accident. In many cases, people are not aware of this important coverage benefit which they have been paying for because auto insurance companies do not bring this benefit to the insured’s attention. However, medical payments coverage is not included in every auto insurance policy. To determine whether you have medical payments coverage, you need to review the declarations page of your auto insurance policy.

garage elevatorA recent report of an elevator accident and the lawsuit it triggered is a reminder that elevator accidents can be seriously harmful events for those involved, and they can lead to a wide array of harms suffered by that person (or people). When those injuries are results of an improperly maintained elevator (or some other form of negligence by the owner), those injured may have a case for compensation. If you’ve been hurt in an elevator accident, be sure to contact a skilled New Orleans elevator accident attorney right away to discuss your options.

The recent report, published in the Louisiana Record, detailed the elevator accident of a woman named Nekita. Nekita was riding in a parking facility elevator in Downtown New Orleans when the elevator allegedly malfunctioned. According to the woman’s lawsuit, the elevator car began to shake and to move up and down in an abnormal fashion. During the entire period of malfunctioning, Nekita was trapped in the elevator car and unable to leave, according to her lawsuit.

Incidents like the one this woman allegedly underwent are unfortunately not that uncommon. What people may not immediately realize, though (but Nekita’s case potentially points out), is that an elevator accident can have a wide array of damaging impacts on those directly affected.

highway trucksA news story from late May, as reported by the New Orleans Advocate, described a tragic scene arising from a scenario that occurs all too often. Whether due to sleepiness, distractions, controlled substance use, or defective vehicles, too many truck drivers operate under less-than-ideal driving conditions, leading them to do things like failing to notice obviously slowed or stopped traffic ahead of them and crashing into those stopped or nearly stopped vehicles. Because of the sheer force that commercial trucks moving at 55, 65, or 70 mph have, their crash impacts are often massive. The harm inflicted can be life-altering or life-ending. If you have been injured (or a loved one killed) due to the negligence of a truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver, his employer, or both. It is important to reach out promptly to a knowledgeable New Orleans truck accident attorney to make sure that the proper steps are taken in a timely manner.

In the crash from May, the eastbound traffic on Interstate 12 was stopped or slowing to a stop near the La. 21 overpass due to congestion. According to the Advocate report, one semi truck (hauling a load of avocados) did not stop, however. The 18-wheeler proceeded ahead at full speed, crashing into the stopped traffic and triggering a chain-reaction accident that involved nine vehicles, in addition to the truck itself. The semi jackknifed and caught fire. Three other vehicles caught fire too.

In the first impact, the commercial truck slammed into a Lexus sedan. Both people inside the Lexus, a mother-and-son pair from Baton Rouge, died at the scene. The semi also went on to hit a Toyota SUV. The driver of the Toyota, a grandmother of six from Mandeville, died at a hospital. The truck driver was the fourth fatality in the crash. The accident also injured several other people.

mail truckPicture it:  you’re driving along, taking care to comply with the laws and rules of the road when you stop at an intersection. Just a few moments later, a Postal Service letter carrier, who has become distracted, slams into the rear end of your vehicle. Would you know what all of these facts meant for your case and what you needed to do to take your case forward to get the compensation you needed? Make sure your case is handled properly by making sure you have representation from an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney.

The situation described above is not entirely hypothetical. A recently settled case from southeast Louisiana, upon which the Houma Record reported, had nearly identical facts. Evelyn was stopped at an intersection in Thibodaux when she was rear-ended. The driver who hit Evelyn’s vehicle was a man named Charles who was driving a U.S. Postal Service vehicle. According to the lawsuit paperwork that Evelyn filed, Charles looked away from the road in the moments immediately before he approached the intersection, and that period of inattention led to the crash.

There are a few facts in this story that are especially vital in terms of addressing the matter properly. One of these is that the vehicle was a U.S. Postal Service vehicle. This means that, in order to win your case and get compensation, you first must sue the federal government in federal court, following the requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act. (A “tort” is a legal term for several types of legal wrongs that can be addressed in civil court, such as negligence causing personal injuries.)

wet surfaceWhen you go to court in a personal injury lawsuit, you want to make sure you’re giving yourself every chance to obtain a successful outcome. Getting to that point may involve employing many different resources, including the use of an expert witness to provide opinion evidence that further strengthens your case. Whether your case needs an expert and, if so, which kind of expert is needed may be profoundly important questions. By retaining an experienced New Orleans premises liability attorney, you can get the knowledgeable answers you need to these and other questions as you navigate the legal process.

One recent premises liability case from the federal Eastern District of Louisiana (Case Number 2:16-cv-00383) provided a useful example of what you do (and don’t need) from an expert witness. The injured plaintiff, Tobie, was headed to a post office in Metairie when her accident happened. She slipped and fell on the sidewalk, suffering substantial injuries as a result. In fact, the fall was so bad it caused her to suffer a herniated disc, a concussion, and a tear in her shoulder that required surgery to address, according to a Louisiana Record report. These injuries led her to file a federal lawsuit to obtain compensation for her harm.

The key thrust of Tobie’s argument was that the walkway was not sufficiently textured, and this failure to provide adequate texturing caused the sidewalk to be slippery and unsafe (as shown by her slip and fall).

sidewalk cracksAchieving successful results in premises liability cases (like slip-and-fall cases and trip-and-fall cases) requires several things in Louisiana. You have to have proof that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard, and you may have to work to defeat an argument that the hazard was too “open and obvious” to create liability and allow you to recover compensation. In all of these areas, it helps to have a detailed understanding not only of the facts of your situation but of the law as well. This is why it pays to make sure you have legal representation from an experienced injury attorney.

A recent real-world example of a successful Louisiana premises liability lawsuit was the case of Cora, a high school student. Cora allegedly tripped as a result of a flaw in the sidewalk that ran in front of her school. According to the student, the sidewalk shifted beneath her, which caused her to lose her balance and fall. The injury caused the student to experience pain in her right foot, leg, knee, and hip. The student’s parent sued on her behalf.

In premises liability cases like this, many property owners will use as their defense against liability the argument that the hazard that caused the injured person to trip or slip was “open and obvious.” If a hazardous condition is open and obvious, the person using that property is responsible for protecting herself from it, and the property owner cannot be liable for injuries that take place.