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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Car seats and motor vehicle collisions

When crashes take place, they can be devastating for the people directly involved and their loved ones. Sadly, this is especially true when young children are involved in a motor vehicle collision, which occurs far too frequently. No matter how safe a parent drives and how many precautions are taken to protect their children, it is impossible to prevent every accident. However, there are certain ways that parents can help protect their young children in the event that a collision does occur, such as ensuring that they are using a proper car seat.

As the parent of a baby or toddler, you have a responsibility to make sure that they are seated in the appropriate car seat. Not only should you review the laws in your state, but you should make sure that you have found the best car seat for your child. In the event that an accident does take place, it is imperative for your young child to be properly seated in a car seat that is right for their size. Tragically, some children have not been buckled in fully or have been placed in car seats that do not fit them, which can significantly increase the chances of the child sustaining an injury or passing away.

Prescription medication and auto accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 2 million people sustain injuries and over 32,000 lives are lost in crashes each year. Many motor vehicle collisions are the result of drunk driving, but there are other dangers that lead to a crash as well, such as the use of prescription drugs. When a driver gets behind the wheel after consuming prescription drugs, the chances of an accident could increase, even if they are following their physician’s instructions. Moreover, some people abuse drugs, such as painkillers, significantly increasing the likelihood of a wreck.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drugs can lead to dangerous driving in the same way as the consumption of alcohol or illegal substances. Drugged driving remains a serious problem in the U.S. and those who fail to stay off the road when they are intoxicated, even if the intoxication is a result of drugs they need to take, put innocent lives at risk.

Fallout from Amtrak accident

After the Amtrak derailment on Monday, people in Louisiana and around the country are wondering who is at fault and who will be responsible for the casualties. The accident resulted in deaths and a large number of injuries, not to mention property damage to the tracks and vehicles on the highway. Occurring during the morning rush hour, the derailment made national news and has attracted a lot of interest as well as questions as to what exactly happened.

CNN reports the train, carrying 86 passengers, came off the tracks after going around a curve at 80 mph, which was 50 mph faster than the speed limit in that zone. Thirteen of the cars came off the track, some falling onto the busy highway below. Injuries were reported by at least 100 people, and three of the train passengers were killed. The NTSB is investigating the crash, examining aspects such as the train mechanics, operations, track maintenance and human performance. Questions remain as to whether the engineer was distracted due to another conductor or if the absence of positive train control are factors in the crash.

Accident-prone behaviors that place you at risk for injury

You can't predict what every other motorist in your vicinity on Louisiana roadways is going to do at any given moment. In fact, even if you see potential danger looming nearby, there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid a collision. It's never a bad idea, however, to familiarize yourself with the major causes of motor vehicle accidents resulting in injury because such knowledge may help keep you and your loved ones safe. There are typically five common factors involved in the majority of crashes.

As a cautious and conscientious driver, you likely already do your best to avoid reckless behaviors every time you get behind the wheel. The problem is that someone who has too much to drink, is under influence of a controlled substance, or fails to adhere to traffic regulations may be next to you or behind you on the highway, which places you in harm's way. The good thing is support is available for those who suffer injury because of other motorists' negligence.

Has an accident injury interfered with your travel plans?

When motor vehicle wrecks take place, they can derail the lives of victims in an array of ways. Sometimes, those hit are not able to survive, while others struggle with complications due to injuries that they suffered in the collision. From hospital bills to pain and lost wages, injuries turn lives upside down. Moreover, our firm knows that these crash injuries can also lead to additional problems, such as interfering with travel plans. Whether you have an overseas vacation coming up or need to travel to another state attend a celebration, it is important to look over your situation carefully.

People travel for all sorts of reasons, whether they want to participate in their child’s wedding, explore another country that they have wanted to visit for years, or attend a funeral that is being held for one of their loved ones who passed away. If possible, it is crucial to prevent the injuries you sustained in an auto accident from upending your life further. However, we know that you may have no choice but to cancel your plans due to injuries you sustained in a wreck. Sadly, this can create additional emotional pain and make you even more upset with a negligent driver who may have thrown your life into chaos. This highlights how crucial it is to look at your legal options.

Respondeat superior explained

A majority of the commercial vehicles you see driving in and around New Orleans tend to be much larger than traditional cars, trucks and SUVs to allow them to accomplish their specific purposes. Those that we here at Bruno & Bruno have worked with that have been involved in commercial vehicle accidents can attest to the fact that the added size of makes these vehicles much more destructive. If you have been involved in such an accident, then you are likely facing inordinate expenses (such as medical bills and vehicle repair costs). The question is who should be held liable? 

The first answer that pops into your mind will likely be the driver that hit you. Yet what about the company that employs him or her? A legal principle exists known as respondeat superior, which when translated from Latin means "let the master answer." According to Cornell University's law school, this doctrine assigns liability to companies when their employees are involved in tortious actions. In your case, respondeat superior may allow you to go after the driver's employer when seeking compensation. 

Were you prescribed Actos for Type 2 Diabetes?

The number of people with Type 2 Diabetes here in Louisiana and around the country has increased dramatically in recent years. If you are one of them, your doctor may have looked at prescribing you one of many drugs manufactured and distributed to control this chronic condition.

One of those medications is Actos. It's generic name is pioglitazone. Doctors often prescribe it in conjunction with insulin and perhaps other treatments. The problem is that some serious and life-threatening conditions can develop from its use.

How do you know if you have a valid wrongful death claim?

It is always tragic when a car accident claims the life of an innocent person here in Louisiana. If you lost a loved one in an accident that you believe was the result of the negligent and reckless actions of another person, you may feel both overwhelmed and angry about what your family experienced. It is normal to feel this way, but there could be legal options available to you.

One of the options that could be available to your family is the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim. If another person turns out to be responsible for the fatal injuries suffered by your loved one, you would have grounds to move forward with a civil claim. In order to better understand the possibility of this option, you would be wise to seek a complete evaluation of your case as soon as possible.

Did your baby experience an injury during birth?

The birth process and immediately after should be a time of celebration and joy for your Louisiana family. However, this feeling of elation may be marred when you learn that your child experienced an injury during the birth that could have a serious or permanent impact on his or her life. Birth injuries are tragic, yet you do not have to face the aftermath alone.

If your child suffered an injury during the birth process, it is possible that it was the result of the actions or inaction of the medical staff. A thorough investigation can determine what happened and if you have grounds to move forward with legal action. It is possible that you have a rightful claim to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Halloween and auto accidents

The chances of a motor vehicle accident occurring can be increased in a myriad of ways. For example, someone who takes to the road after drinking alcohol or drives during extremely poor weather conditions may be more likely to find themselves in a crash. However, drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists should be aware of other potentially concerning instances where an accident may be more likely, such as Halloween and other holidays. Our firm realizes that car accidents can be more likely to transpire on Halloween for many reasons, from increased traffic to driving under the influence.

On Halloween, some celebrants drink alcohol at a bar or house party. Tragically, some choose to drive afterward, ignoring the threats posed by drunk driving and even causing fatal accidents. Moreover, an accident may take place on this holiday because of increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic. With people trick-or-treating and driving around, the chances of something going wrong can be even greater on Halloween. Sadly, these wrecks can shatter lives even when everyone involved is able to survive. From hospital expenses to lost wages and immobility, the consequences of auto accident injuries can be very severe.