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Lafayette Personal Injury Law Blog

Premises liability and foreseeability

When pursuing a premises liability lawsuit in Louisiana, like most other kinds of civil legal claims, a plaintiff must prove certain legal elements by a preponderance of the evidence before he or she can impose liability. Therefore, it is critical that these individuals fully understand the law that is being applied to their cases. In the premises liability context, this means understanding the legal classifications of those who enter a property, as well as the basic elements of premises liability. However, it also means understanding the applicable standard of care and how it is defined.

Louisiana car accidents can result in serious whiplash

Not all car accident injuries are created equal. Some, like traumatic brain injuries and damage to the spinal cord, can leave a victim permanently disabled. Others, like minor cuts and bruises, may leave no long-term impact on an accident victim. Yet, just because your injuries are not as bad as they could have been does not mean that you should just consider yourself lucky and move on. If you have incurred financial losses as a direct result of a car accident caused by the negligence of another, then you may be entitled to compensation.

One injury that could give rise to such a situation is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck and head are subjected to a quick jerking motion. The injury often results in neck pain and stiffness, as well as headaches. However, more severe cases of whiplash can result in losing range of motion in the neck, memory problems, and even depression. Although many whiplash sufferers are able to heal within a few months merely by resting and taking medication, others need more extensive medical care, which may include a significant period of rehabilitation.

Who is a trespasser for premises liability purposes?

Under Louisiana law, property owners owe certain individuals a duty to keep their premises free from dangerous conditions. A store, for example, owes its invitees (its customers) a duty to keep floors reasonably dry and parking lots reasonably free from ice. If these owners fail to do so, then they could be held liable for any damages suffered by a victim who is harmed by the hazardous condition. There are, of course, exceptions to this general rule.

One of the biggest exceptions is that property owners do not owe a duty to trespassers. Generally speaking, trespassing occurs when an individual intentionally enters onto the land of another without consent. However, to prove trespass a landowner must prove that the accused individual knowingly entered the property of another. Showing that the individual wandered onto the property may not be enough, as the individual in question must have known that the land was the property of another before he or she can be deemed a trespasser.

How can I protect myself legally after an automobile wreck?

You have been in an injury accident reportedly caused by another motorist in Louisiana, and as you try to gather your bearings, your first concern, naturally, is if you and your party are okay. You also worry about how much damage has been done to your main mode of transportation. Amid the chaos that abounds at a car accident scene, it may be easy to forget some important steps for protecting your best interests legally.

Besides seeking medical attention, you need to get in touch with police to make sure that a report is filed on the accident. Obtaining the names as well as the badge numbers of the officers who respond to the automobile wreck can be helpful. Several other steps need to be taken both at the scene and thereafter.

Louisiana bill would seek to lower truck speed limit

Semi-trucks can be seen on Louisiana's roadways every hour of the day. These massive vehicles, which sometimes carry dangerous cargo, often clip along at the same, or faster, speed as other, smaller vehicles. Does this increase the risk that a truck accident could occur?

Yes, according to some, which is why lawmakers are seeking to pass a bill that would require large vehicles like semi-trucks and busses to drive 10 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit. But the evidence isn't in yet. While some lawmakers suggest the number truck accident injuries and deaths would decline with the bill's implementation, others think that slower moving trucks would only increase the risk of an accident.

Hurt by misdiagnosis? Fight to impose liability

Several weeks ago on the blog we discussed the numerous ways through which breast cancer can be diagnosed. With advances in medical technology and ongoing research, medical professionals have more diagnostic options at their disposal than ever before. You would think that this would mean that misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose would be nearly impossible, but the truth of the matter is that many individuals in Louisiana are left susceptible to injury when negligent medical professionals fail to make an accurate and/or timely diagnosis with the information at their disposal.

A failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis can cause extensive harm to a patient, especially when a case involves a failure to diagnose cancer. Oftentimes, these preventable mistakes leave patients with a worsened medical condition and a decreased chance of survival. Additional damages can be suffered, too, including ever-growing medical expenses and lost wages.

'Seaman,' 'vessel,' and the Jones Act's legal elements

Louisianans engage in a significant amount of work offshore. These individuals, like their counterparts who work on land, can be subjected to workplace injuries. When an onshore worker suffers an on-the-job injury he will likely qualify for workers' compensation benefits. By accepting these benefits, an injured worker agrees not to file a lawsuit against his employer. Offshore workers, on the other hand, are provided the right to sue their employers when they are injured on a vessel. The Jones Act, a federal law, provides these rights.

In order to file a lawsuit in accordance with the Jones Act, an individual must fit the federal definition of a "seaman." A seaman is an individual of either gender who works on a vessel to help it achieve its mission or navigate. The individual's tie to the vessel where the injury occurs must be substantial.

If I'm the victim of a defective medical device, what can I do?

Many individuals across the country have a medical device implanted to assist in the recovery of certain medical conditions. Perhaps you have undergone a recent procedure that called for the use of such a device, and now you may have concerns about its overall safety. If your condition was severe, you may not have had the ability and/or the time to fully research the device before your operation.

Defective medical devices can be extremely dangerous, with some cases causing injuries and/or debilitating medical conditions that deteriorate over time. If you were a victim to such harm and you are now suffering after your procedure, you probably want to hold the manufacturer of such a device accountable. The process can be challenging, but the assistance from an experienced attorney can help you recover all restitution to which you are rightfully entitled due to a manufacturer's negligence.

Effects of distracted driving may linger, putting others at risk

If you've driven recently, then you've probably noticed that a vast number of motorists are busy performing other tasks while driving. These individuals are on their cell phones talking and texting, eating, reaching for objects within the vehicle's cabin, and even arguing with their passengers. Regardless of the specific activity in which these individuals are engaged, they are taking their attention off the road and putting others in danger.

Making matters worse, distracted driving may have a longer-lasting effect than many think. According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic & Safety, those who become distracted while driving may experience a "hangover" effect for as long as 27 seconds after cessation of the distracting activity. This "inattentive blindness" is just as dangerous as the distraction itself, which is especially worrisome since a significant portion of the more than 40,000 traffic fatalities last year can be attributed to distracted driving.

Alleged medical malpractice leads to Louisiana man's death

Going to the hospital can be stressful for anyone. After all, we've all heard horror stories about medical treatments gone wrong. We wish that we could tell Louisianans that such gruesome tales are mere fiction, but the fact of the matter is that medical malpractice occurs more frequently than many care to think. Sure, most doctors and nurses perform their jobs competently, but it only takes one fatigued, inattentive, or reckless medical professional to leave an individual with serious injuries. In the worst cases, unsuspecting patients die due to negligence.

This type of inadequate care is at the heart of a recently filed Louisiana medical malpractice case. There, a man apparently died after complications related to a drain that was inserted at his surgical site. The victim, a husband and father, underwent a procedure known as laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, which is utilized to treat colon cancer. The drain was inserted to help drain bodily fluids and was removed the day after the man's operation. When the man complained of pain and nausea the next day, medical professionals conducted exploratory surgery and found hemorrhaging. The man then lost consciousness and passed away due to cardiopulmonary failure.

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Tauzin & Lorio, Attorneys at Law
1228 Camellia Blvd.
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Lafayette, LA 70508

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