Many types of sports today have an option for a competitor to challenge a ruling made on the field, and to have that ruling analyzed again. Appeals of court rulings are not exactly like that. In the law, a lot of rulings by trial courts are entitled to a certain degree of deference, meaning that many appeals can only be successful (and the underlying ruling overturned) if that lower ruling was clearly unreasonable. What this means for you is that it is of paramount importance to be sure you are putting on your strongest possible presentation and arguments when you appear in the trial court, because it is a lot easier to argue for affirming your successful result than to argue to an appeals court for the reversal of an unsuccessful result in the trial court. To be sure you are making that strongest possible case, be sure you have representation from a skilled Louisiana injury attorney.
The problem of distracted driving is a massive one that, each year, takes a major toll on people traveling the country’s roads and highways. Although the number of people killed in distracted-driving deaths dropped from 2015 to 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded more than 3,400 such deaths in 2016. A major cause for distracted-driving wrecks is cell phone usage. If you have been hurt due a driver who was distracted by his/her cell phone, the law may allow you to recover substantial damages. Be sure you have an experienced New Orleans injury attorney on your side to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
Back in June, yet another fatal vehicle accident allegedly caused by distracted driving occurred in Louisiana. Police arrested a Terrebonne Parish man in connection with a fatal head-on accident on Highway 659 in Terrebonne, according to nola.com. At around 2:00 A.M., B.M. and R.N. were traveling in opposite directions on the highway when B.M.’s full-size pickup truck crossed the center line and slammed head-on into R.N.’s sedan. The accident caused minor injuries to B.M., moderate injuries to R.N.’s passenger and fatal injuries to R.N.
B.M. was arrested after law enforcement searched his cell phone. The search held “evidence of distraction,” according to the report. The report did not indicate if the proof showed B.M. to be texting while driving or using some other app or feature on the phone when the fatal crash took place.
UNINSURED & UNDER-INSURED (“UM” & “UIM”) MOTORIST COVERAGE IN LOUISIANA
One of the most beneficial types of auto insurance coverage to have in Louisiana is uninsured motorist coverage. You can call on this coverage in your auto insurance policy when you are not at fault for the accident and have sustained damages caused by another driver who has no insurance, or whose insurance limits are insufficient to cover your damages. You can also use your uninsured motorist coverage if you are the victim of a hit and run accident or if you are injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian. Uninsured motorist coverage and under-insured motorist coverage is the same thing in Louisiana, so if you have uninsured motorist coverage you also have under-insured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is abbreviated as “UM” or “UIM” insurance. Any claim made under this insurance is known as a nonfault claim.
Since Louisiana law considers a left-hand turn at an intersection one of the most dangerous moves a driver can attempt to make, and since “an oncoming driver has a right to assume that the left-turning motorist will… yield to her right-of-way,” the law establishes a very strong presumption that an accident involving a left-turning driver is legally the fault of the left-turning driver. Even if you were the left-turning driver, however, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries in some situations. The key is, if you’ve been hurt, to consult an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney and find out more about the options available to you.
A real-life example from St. Tammany Parish, reported by nola.com, illustrates just how dangerous left turns can be. The collision took place at the intersection of Louisiana Highways 22 and 1085 near Madisonville. According to the report, a 16-year-old who was driving south on 1085 made a left-hand turn onto 22. While the girl fully stopped at the stop sign, she failed to yield to oncoming traffic when she pulled out and made her turn onto Highway 22. A full-size pickup truck slammed into the girl’s car on the driver’s side. The impact caused the truck to spin into another lane of traffic and hit a third car.
The driver of the third car and the driver of the truck were not hurt. The girl driving the turning car, along with her mother, who was riding alongside, died from their injuries. All involved were wearing seat belts, and none of the drivers was suspected of driving while impaired, according to the nola.com report.
Each type of auto accident case comes with its own unique set of challenges. Multi-car accidents that cause injury can be especially tricky when it comes to asserting your legal rights. It may take skillful investigation to assess which driver was at fault and, therefore, liable to you for the harm you suffered. An experienced New Orleans injury attorney can help you collect the information you need and then apply it to pursue compensation for your damages.
A recent accident case from Lafayette was an example of how these factual differences can influence who is liable for your injuries. The accident involved a three-car rear-end crash where G.M. was the driver of the lead vehicle. T.S. was operating the second vehicle and B.G. was the driver of the third.
If you’re injured in a multi-car accident, it is very important to retain counsel quickly so that your lawyer can get to work on your case. If you were in a three-car rear-end crash (as G.M. was) and the third car crashed into the second and that impact slammed the second car into you, then that may create a situation where the driver of the third car is 100% at fault. Alternately, if the driver of the second car crashed into you first, and then the third car crashed into the rear of the second car, that may create a situation where the driver of the second car bears 100% of the blame. It is also possible that the two drivers share legal liability.
There 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.
In 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.
Picture 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.
Wearing your seat belt is required by law and has been since 1968 when the Motor Vehicle Safety Standard was passed, enforcing all car manufacturers to build seat belts into their vehicles. That being said, driving without one on is reckless and can lead to serious injuries.
At the Cardone Law Firm, it is not our aim to point the finger at anyone’s mistakes. Instead, we aim to share over 40 years of knowledge with you about car or truck accidents. Even if you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, that does not mean that you completely forfeit your right to compensation.
The title of this blog is misleading because I don’t believe people can get more money for their auto accident without hiring an attorney. I am a prime example of this. When I just started my legal career (less than 6 months after being licensed), I was working at an insurance defense firm and I was involved in an auto accident that was not my fault. I only had minor soft tissue injuries. Being a young attorney, I was advised not to file a lawsuit since I only had minimal injuries, and if I did file a lawsuit, I was advised it may look bad since I would be suing insurance clients our law firm did business with at the time. I opted to not file a lawsuit, or hire a private attorney and I tried to handle my own claim individually and under the radar in the claims process, since after all – I was an attorney!
I’ve learned a lot since that time and I am going to share with you my true and real experiences and my unbiased advice.