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Lafayette Personal Injury Law Blog

Fight back against negligent truck drivers

We see them as we rush past them on the way to work or to the mall, and we don't think twice about the big rigs or commercial trucks passing us by on Louisiana's interstates and highways. We also see a number of truck accidents and the traffic backup caused by them, but rarely do we give a second thought to the destruction that must have resulted from the crash. The reality is that when someone's vehicle crashes with a construction or concrete truck or other similarly heavy truck, it is almost certain they have suffered serious and even debilitating injuries.

These injuries have the potential to affect the rest of the accident victim's life. They may have to take time off from work or even become unable to work the same type of job ever again, at the very time when they need to cover lengthy medical mills to get treatment for their injuries. Accident victim's families also suffer in the process, as they may rely emotionally and financially on the accident victim and are now deprived of both.

Can truck drivers get fired for taking breaks?

We all get tired and exhausted in the workplace. So why is there so much of a fuss surrounding truck driver fatigue? Most likely because the drowsy and tired truck driver is operating a heavy vehicle that has the potential to severely injure or kill someone in a truck accident. This is why there are so many federal and state regulations regarding the hours a truck driver can drive without taking a break and how long each break must last. Without them, truckers could end up spending days on the road without sufficient sleep. Since they are the backbone of our economy, truck drivers are encouraged by their companies to drive longer and faster than ever.

This is perhaps why Louisiana truck drivers, companies and residents should all keep an eye on a recent case regarding a truck driver who has claimed he was fired because he was taking rest breaks. As per the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, taking breaks when a driver becomes too tired to drive safely is a protected activity. This means an employer cannot discharge the employee from his job for refusing to operate a vehicle for safety or health reasons. According to the truck driver, his employer violated the Act when they fired him.

Suspected drunk driver causes death of one in crash

A car accident is devastating for anyone involved in it, but if the motor vehicle accident involves a motorcycle, the results can be even more tragic. Where car drivers and passengers are protected by seatbelts and air bags in addition to the actual heavy, solid structure of the vehicle, a helmet and protective clothing, if worn, are the only devices to protect motorcyclists. This is perhaps why they suffer more severe injuries. They are more likely to die in a crash, and if they survive, they may suffer from head or brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and even something as minor as road rash.

The result was tragic and fatal when a motorcyclist collided with a motor vehicle in Louisiana recently. According to the police, a 31-year-old motorcyclist was traveling on his bike when he collided with a car driven by a 68-year-old man. Based on reports, the driver was backing his car out from a private residence onto the road when the crash took place. The motorcyclist struck the rear of the car, and the impact caused him to eject from the bike.

Transvaginal mesh can leave you in a medical mess

Transvaginal meshes are flexible patches that implanted on vaginal walls to strengthen their structure. If a doctor implanted this type of mesh on your vaginal wall, it is likely because you suffer from stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.

Whereas stress urinary incontinence refers to losing control over your bladder when you laugh, exercise, sneeze or cough, pelvic organ prolapse refers to pelvic muscles weakening, which prevents your organs from staying in place. The issue with the transvaginal mesh in Louisiana and elsewhere is that it has been associated with numerous medical complications.

Common causes of medication errors

The scenario plays out often enough. Louisiana residents visit a doctor for some ailment, getting a prescription for medicine that they fill and ingest without another thought. But sometimes, the medicine that has been prescribed does not mix well with another medicine a patient s already taking. For example mixing certain depression medicine with migraine drugs could cause the person taking them to become agitated and confused, increasing their body temperature. These medication mistakes have the potential to cause adverse events, which is probably why they are known as potential adverse drug event. But when the medical mistake does cause harm, then it is known as preventable adverse drug events.

As the name suggests, medication errors are most often completely preventable. They take place because of inappropriate use of medications, which means the appropriate use of medicines would prevent the situation. Yet thousands of people are injured due to prescription mistakes or errors in dispensing and giving medication.

How dangerous is distracted driving?

Everyone gets distracted from completing a task they are performing at some point or another. But when the task is driving, one of the most dangerous activities people engage in on a daily basis, then a simple distraction can mean the difference between life and death. In fact, around 9 people are killed and more than one thousand are injured in accidents involving a distracted driver each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving takes place when the person driving performs another activity that takes their attention away from driving. Though many Louisiana residents may think that distractions are only visual, meaning taking one's eyes off the road, it could also be cognitive, which is taking one's mind off the road. Additionally, it can be manual, which occurs when a driver physically takes their hands off the steering wheel. Though we only equate texting and driving as distracted driving, it could even include eating while driving and using a navigation system.

How long do I have to bring a medical malpractice suit?

Last week's post discussed one of the areas of medical negligence-birthing injuries. However, that is just one example of negligence on behalf of a medical professional. Failure to diagnose and inappropriate surgery are other common examples. Basically, when the professional has not acted according to the standard of care, they may be held accountable through a medical malpractice suit.

It is important to note, however, that there are time limits for bringing a legal suit against the responsible party. Known as the statute of limitations, it limits the amount of time for filing a lawsuit. Suits filed after that time can be dismissed as being time barred. Louisiana is unique in that it has a one-year statute of limitations for most civil actions, including medical malpractice.

Common birth injuries linked to negligence

Expecting a baby is one of the most exciting times of a New Orleans' couple's life. Couples spend months preparing for the arrival of their newborn, and to ensure their delivery happens as smoothly as possible, many make frequent visits to their doctor. This helps parents trust their doctor who will deliver their baby. This is why it may come as a shock to them when their medical professional has acted negligently, causing birth trauma to their child.

One common type of birth injury takes place when a doctor does not properly assess the situation and respond accordingly. As result of this negligence, the infant becomes injured during childbirth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found some injuries are more common than others.

Injured in a motor vehicle crash? You can seek justice

You are on your way to work on a Friday morning, listening to the radio and sipping a coffee as you happily brace for your final work day before the weekend. However, your happy morning quickly takes a turn for the worst when another motorist on the road turns into your lane and strikes your car. Your head shifts back and forth, and you begin to feel pain as a result of the accident.

People report millions of traffic accidents involving cars every year throughout the United States, including in Louisiana. Getting into a motor vehicle crash is never a pleasant experience. Understanding what to do at the crash scene is critical for protecting your legal rights following the accident.

Speed catches drunk driving

Unfortunately, the roadways are home to much tragedy and upset. The fast pace in life tends to keep everyone in a rush, causing some drivers to travel much faster than they should. Speed is only second behind drunk driving as being the cause of a fatal accident in this country. The National Transportation Safety Board reached this conclusion in a study released in July covering car accidents from 2005 to 2014.

According to this recent study, the NTSB found that excessive speed was related to 112,580 passenger deaths. Drunk driving, by comparison, was involved with 112,948 traffic deaths over the same period. This is a mere 0.32 percent difference. The connection between speeding and auto accidents was complex, according to the NTSB. However, it said that excessive speeds raise the odds of an accident occurring and compound the severity of injuries suffered in a car crash.

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Tauzin & Lorio, Attorneys at Law
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Lafayette, LA 70508

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