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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Alleged reckless driver causes deadly crash in Louisiana

A crash in Gonzales, Louisiana, claimed the life of one man, and the other driver is now facing charges for alleged reckless driving. The crash happened out on Interstate 10, and it took place on Feb. 22, 2015, which was a Sunday morning. The man who died was 66 years old, and he was from Baton Rouge.

According to reports, the impact of the crash was so violent that the SUV that the older man was driving flew into the air when it was smashed by a smaller sedan. That happened at about 5:15 in the morning, and police shortly arrived at the scene to find the SUV in the median, forced off of the roadway.

Boat safety in Louisiana is everyone's job

As weather gradually turns warmer, Louisiana boaters are increasingly likely to hit waterways. Keeping each other safe in rivers, lakes and offshore waters is the job of every boater, which is one reason Louisiana requires many boaters to take a boating safety course to operate any boat or water vessel powered by a motor with over 10 horsepower.

The boater safety course requirement does not cover all boaters, since the law grandfathered boaters of a certain age in. Any person born in 1984 or later must take the safety course. Though safety courses are offered by a range of vendors, the course chosen must be approved through the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators to qualify.

A defective product may be partially to blame

Have you always thought that defective product cases pin the blame for the accident and injury directly on the product and nothing else? If so, you are not alone, as many people make the mistake of thinking that the blame has to go wholly on the individual or on the product. The reality, though, is that a defective product in Louisiana may only be partially to blame.

For example, take the case out of Minnesota where a man was driving his Toyota Camry when he was involved in a crash. He was simply leaving the interstate, and he said that the brakes on the car went out. Unable to stop, he plowed quickly into another vehicle, killing two people and leaving a third with life-altering injuries.

Are all workers covered by Louisiana workers' compensation?

Although most traditional employees in Louisiana are covered by some type of workers' compensation plan, not all individuals performing work for others are covered. Volunteers are definitely not covered by policies, and freelancers and independent contractors are not always covered. The law also exempts certain workers, even though they may appear to be full-time, traditional staff.

Some exemptions include public officials and some non-profit directors. Domestic workers -- those that work part-time or full-time in someone's home and who do not do so through an agency such as a maid service -- are not covered. Uncompensated organizational offices and real estate agents are also exempt. In some cases, compensation in case of injury is provided under different measures for these individuals. In other cases, individuals injured during the course of work may have to seek a personal injury claim to possibly receive any type of compensation.

Checking the logbook after an accident in Louisiana

If a truck driver in Louisiana is involved in an accident, the first thing that the authorities are going to do is to check the logbook. Often, the information within this book can shed light on why the accident occurred.

The initial information found is just going to be useful in connecting a specific truck and a specific driver to the accident. The book can provide the name of the driver and the truck's identification number. It will contain the date, which can also be used to link the vehicle to that specific incident.

Exterminator claims sheriff's office employee caused car accident

One of the first things most Lake Charles residents do when dealing with a car accident is call authorities. Law enforcement officers usually come to accident scenes to record details and assist individuals as needed. In one case, however, an exterminator is claiming that an employee of a local sheriff's office is the one who caused the accident.

The exterminator has filed suit against the employee in question as well as the sheriff's office. He says that the accident, which occurred on Dec. 23, 2013, was caused because the sheriff's employee failed to yield. According to the plaintiff, the other driver was operating a sheriff's office vehicle. The employee reportedly made a left turn without appropriately yielding. The vehicle then hit the exterminator's vehicle.

Finding responsibility in a product recall

While you may think that a product recall in Louisiana clearly puts the responsibility on the company that made the product, it is not always as simple as that. When products have to be fixed or updated -- or when injuries occur -- who is really responsible for all of the costs?

As the owner of the product, you don't have much to worry about as long as there has been a recall. It is more about determining which company has to pay.

Louisiana third on list for fatal oil and gas industry injuries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the oil and gas industry grew nationwide by 71 percent between 2003 and 2011. Surprisingly, fatal occupational injuries in the industry didn't sustain an increase throughout those years, with injuries peaking in 2006 before trending down through 2011. Downward trends don't mean workers in the industry are 100 percent safe from injuries, however, and statistics from the BLS indicate Louisiana is among states leading the nation in fatal oil and gas accidents.

From 2007 through 2011, Louisiana reported 62 fatal oilfield accidents, trailing behind only two other states. Our neighbor to the west topped the list with 199 fatal accidents in the industry. While some accidents occurred on oil platforms or drilling rigs, the BLS reports that around half of the workplace fatalities reported tend to take place during transportation. Other leading fatal injury causes include being hit or otherwise contacted by equipment or objects and being involved in or near an explosion or fire.

Tennis elbow in the Louisiana workplace

In many ways, the assembly line idea revolutionized modern manufacturing. If you simply have every worker perform the same simple task over and over again, he or she becomes incredibly good at it, and it streamlines that production. You can create more products, sell more products and make more money. In that sense, it's a great idea.

However, it's not that great for workers, particularly when looking at repetitive stress injuries.

What happens when workers' compensation benefits are denied?

Workers' compensation benefits are different than compensation that may be awarded in general personal injury cases. Employees who are injured on the job in Louisiana may be entitled to benefits, which include coverage for medical care, rehabilitation, disability or lost wages. Not every claim for benefits is approved, however.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, when a workers' compensation claim is denied, some options exist for the worker. One option is filing a dispute through the state. The dispute is put on record via Form LWC-WC 1008, which is called a Disputed Claim for Compensation form. According to LWC, the process of appealing a decision in this manner could take between six and nine months. Continued appeals could stretch the matter even longer.

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Lake Charles, LA 70601
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