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mardi-gras-injury-300x200In New Orleans, you don’t need an excuse to parade or party. Mardi Gras is one of the biggest holidays in New Orleans generating an estimated $840 million dollars each year. Mardi Gras draws millions of people, according to the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city’s 37,000-plus hotel rooms are traditionally filled during Mardi Gras. Add the mass amounts of tourists in with the locals, and copious amounts of alcohol and partying – and you are bound to have a few accidents.

This year approximately 2 dozen people were injured when a drunk driver hit two vehicles and then plowed into the Endymion parade crowd at the intersection of Carrollton and Orleans Avenue. This article will discuss our legal analysis of the rights of those injured in the crash and special laws in Louisiana limiting liability of Mardi Gras Krewes under certain circumstances.

PARTY LARGE

Paul-Walker-Crash-300x175Many people have a certain stigma against lawsuits, they believe lawsuits are frivolous and only serve to drive up insurance premiums. And anyone who has been involved in a lawsuit can attest, a lawsuit is often contentious and time consuming. But have you ever taken the time to think about all of the positive aspects of lawsuits? Many haven’t. We would like to expand on the benefits of lawsuits using the recent discovery by counsel for Paul Walker in his daughter’s lawsuit against Porsche.

PAUL V. PORSCHE

On November 30, 2013, Walker was killed after the Porsche Carrera GT, in which he was riding as a passenger, crashed into a concrete light pole and several trees. The photographs of the collision were devastating and showed the mangled car crushed and burned. Because of Walker’s long-time involvement with the racing movie series, The Fast and the Furious, and the severe damage to the car, many assumed the collision was caused as a result of high speed travel and the careless operation of the driver, Roger Rodas. However, Walker’s daughter concluded there was more to the accident than met the eye.

Cervical XrayWhen you have a pre-existing condition and are injured in a vehicle accident, you’ll likely have to overcome the insurance company’s argument that your injuries resulted from your old injury, rather than the vehicle accident. That’s what one person faced, but he secured a favorable verdict at trial, and the Louisiana Court of Appeal upheld that damages award. In this man’s case, the award stood because he had proof that his damages were the result of certain new injuries and the exacerbation of old injuries.

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We are living in a corporate world. Tcocktailoday, more than ever before, employees are working more. And like Donna Summer said they work “hard for the money, so hard for it honey…” Any person trying to climb the corporate ladder knows, if you don’t go the extra mile, be prepared to be replaced by someone who will. It is not uncommon for an employee to work 9-5 and then go immediately to a networking or marketing event after hours for which they receive no compensation.

As a result of the increasing burden and demands on employees, many companies offer employee perks such as cell phones, computers and company vehicles. These perks are a win/win – they come at no cost to the employee, and for the employer, there is an added benefit – the employee can easily maneuver from place to place and be accessible which turns into realized profit. Most companies have policies in place providing an employee can only use a company vehicle, phone or computer when they are “on-the-clock” and that these perks are to be used for “business purposes” only. The mix of company perks and after hours expectations create blurred lines with respect to legal liability.

It’s New Orleans, and we all love the Saints. On any given Sunday, you can walk through the Superdome and see countless suites sponsored by corporate entities flowing with laughter, food and booze. Here’s the scenario, a company salesman hops in his company car on a Sunday to pick up some clients and take them to the game. Upon arriving , they all go to the company suite, drink liquor purchased and provided by the company, and after a big win and one too many rounds of tequila shots and singing “stand-up and get crunk”, the employee drives home in the company vehicle causing a devastating accident. Who is responsible? What rights do the victims have? Is the company on the hook?

accidentreconstruction1While we attorneys believe we know it all, there is a reason why we didn’t’ go to medical school. The great Albert Einstein, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Experts can play a crucial part to a client’s case. This blog post will discuss the importance of a biomechanical expert in an automobile accident.

THE SCIENCE OF THE EXPERT

Auto accidents are not always black and white, when there is a gray area, science may fill in the gaps. As trial attorneys, many lawyers are faced with the all too common qualms of getting ones argument across to a jury. Whether it be a complex medical malpractice case or a three car accident, the law and circumstances can seem so abstract to a lay person. Charts, visuals, and experts are specifically helpful in a personal injury lawsuit.

DriInfographic of % of LA Drinking and Drivingnking and driving occurs all too often, especially in the state of Louisiana. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, more commonly known as MADD, there were 5,339 arrests in Louisiana last year for DWIs. According to a national poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana ranks well above average in citizens who report driving after drinking too much. Impaired driving has become a growing national concern over recent years spawning new legislation increasing the penalties for driving while intoxicated. This article will provide you with a overview on a Louisiana DWI and the penalties you can expect to face if arrested for a DWI.

DWI STANDARD  

A special law in Louisiana governs DWIs: Louisiana Revised Statute 14:98. A person is considered to be driving while intoxicated in Louisiana if their blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) is ) 0.08% or higher. Interestingly, about 7 years ago a court in Louisiana also determined that even an “attempted” DWI is a crime.

surgeon-3-1562055Independent Medical Examination, commonly referred to as an “IME.” Two of the most common, yet significant reasons behind this request can be:

  • Concern is shown by the defending party or the insurance company that the injuries, which you have suffered from, are not as severe as one claims; or,
  • They are trying to find out the exact reasons of your damages.

Recently Tow truck a tow truck rammed into a mid-city parking lot killing three and injuring one.  The tow truck driver was also transported by EMS to a local hospital for injuries he sustained.

According to preliminary reports, the tow truck driver lost control and struck pedestrians waiting at a bus stop as well as four parked vehicles. While investigators are still trying to ascertain what caused the devastating accident, the ultimate question is: Who will be found liable for the damages?

In Louisiana there are two types of damages: 1) compensatory damages and 2) punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and deter certain types of conduct which the law finds to be particularly egregious. Punitive damages are explicitly provided for only in certain circumstances such as: intoxicated drivers, sexual crimes against children, and domestic violence. Punitive damages are the additional damages, which are received over and above compensatory damages. So if for example, the tow truck driver was found to be intoxicated and the intoxicated state was found to be the cause of the collision, the individuals who were injured could potentially recover punitive damages.

bus injury

A parent’s worst nightmare, “Mom we were in a car accident”. Thirty-four parents received that call Tuesday when the bus carrying T.H. Harris Middle School’s track team plunged into the canal. According to WGNO, three students were taken to a local hospital complaining of minor injuries after a Jefferson Parish School bus driver careened into a canal. After the accident, students were forced to exit the bus through windows and the back door. While no reports have been issued stating the school bus driver was impaired, the school bus driver was cited for careless operation by local authorities.

Unfortunate events like this school bus accident occur all too often. Parents and children are left with the visible and invisible injuries. Some parents are up in arms about the numerous open canals along bus routes, but one of the overarching concerns is whether school bus drivers are receiving effective and adequate driving training.

Accidents are never easy, but when employees are in the course and scope of their employment, their employers are liable for damages. According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2320, masters and employers are answerable for the damage occasioned by their servants and overseers, in the exercise of the functions in which they are employed. See full text of Article 2320 here. Our previous blog entry on the theory of Respondeat Superior is a great guide explaining the concept.

Causeway bridge

The Causeway Bridge has been described as long, scary and an engineering masterpiece. While the bridge may be all those things and more, the condition of the bridge has been a concern for years.

On August 8th, the bridge was closed in both directions for hours due to an auto accident. According to preliminary reports, Michael Gibson clipped Joey Leblanc’s truck from the rear during the process of a lane change. After riding the rails, Leblanc’s truck eventually plunged into Lake Pontchartrain. This was a very serious auto accident which could have resulted in severe injuries, however, the Leblanc was fortunately rescued by police officers.

Unfortunate auto accidents like the one Leblanc endured may not have a specific price tag, but Louisiana Tort Law exists to bring some sort of fair compensation to victims of auto accidents. Louisiana law, La. Civ. Code art. 2315(A), provides “every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.” This Article is known as the “fountainhead” of tort liability and we can use this Article to assess the situation involving Leblanc and the Causeway Bridge. As a result of the auto accident, Leblanc sustained injuries which preliminary reports characterize as bruising and “minor.” Often injuries sustained in an auto accident are not felt immediately, in this instance, emotional trauma may also be present. This begs the question, how will Leblanc be adequately compensated, and from whom?