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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

A lack of safety on barges can result in serious worker injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration more than 300 barge workers were killed between 1997 and 2006 in on-vessel accidents and explosions. Workers died from drowning after falling off of their vessels without life jackets, suffered fatal injuries when the equipment they were working with shifted due to wakes and became asphyxiated when they were deprived of oxygen and did not have the proper breathing equipment to save their lives.

Practically all of these deaths and the deaths of barge workers that have occurred in the last decade were preventable. The implementation of best safety practices by barge owners and operators could reduce the number of needless deaths in this industry and promote safer working conditions for the men and women who engage in barge work each and every day. Because barges are a common site to New Orleans residents and many find work on them in order to earn their livings, this post will briefly discuss some ways that barges may be made safer for those who work on them.

Hurt in an accident with a semi? Our firm is available for you.

Semis, tractor-trailers and other massive commercial vehicles are a common sight on Louisiana roads and freeways. They can be incredibly frustrating to get stuck behind when drivers wish to operate at higher speeds or when they block drivers from making passes and other safe driving maneuvers. They can be intimidating when they come roaring down the road and appear seemingly out of nowhere in the rear-view mirrors of New Orleans residents.

Dealing with large trucks on the roads is a necessary part of driving in the United States but unfortunately even when the drivers of smaller vehicles make safe and law-abiding driving decisions they can still suffer collisions with big trucks. Big trucks can become unwieldy and when their drivers fail to operate them with consideration and care they can quickly become dangerous hazards on Louisiana roads that put innocent people at risk of injury and death.

Can a fault in a product's design result in a compensable injury?

Products that are released into the stream of commerce are often scrutinized for safety at many levels before they make their way into the hands of New Orleans consumers. The strict review of safety that products are subjected to often catches problems before the products are released and have a chance to harm people. However, from time to time unsafe products slip through and when handled by unsuspecting consumers cause serious injuries due to their inherent defects.

While inadequate warnings and manufacturing mistakes can turn products into dangers for consumers, design defects are also a problem that can result in products liability claims. The producer of a product may be responsible for any injuries the design of the product causes if it was foreseeable that consumers could be at risk and the injured consumers used the products as they were intended.

End-of-life costs can be burdensome after fatal accident

Death is an expected part of life, but for most New Orleans residents death is not anticipated until they have reached a happy and fulfilled old age. Unfortunately, not every person is able to live out their days, and some perish in accidents when they are young. Regardless of a person's age, if they lose their life in an accident or incident caused by another person's negligence, their family may have a host of unexpected end-of-life costs to cover to provide their lost loved one with an appropriate funeral and burial.

Traditional funeral services can involve the following services. It is important for readers to know that costs and services can vary and their funeral-related damages may be different. A funeral will involve fees for the staff of the facility that hosts the service, transportation costs for moving the decedent, embalming and body preparations, costs associated with the casket and crypt or plot space, costs for services at the cemetery, and vehicle rental costs.

Wrong-way crash kills one, sends one to hospital

An early morning collision in New Orleans claimed one life and sent another person to the hospital in critical condition. The deceased party was the driver of a vehicle that was traveling the wrong way on Pontchartrain Expressway. That individual crashed their car into another vehicle in a head-on collision that caused serious injuries to the other driver.

The injured victim in this story was taken to University Medical Center where their current status is unknown. As they fight to recover, their accident-related costs will likely mount as their medical bills add up and their income diminishes from being out of work.

Dangerous pharmaceutical drugs can cause injuries and illnesses

Over the last year, news about the pharmaceutical industry has made headlines. From stories about the skyrocketing prices of life-saving medications to developments in new medicinal treatments, New Orleans residents are able to glimpse into the world of the drug industry. While for the most part individuals who must take prescription medications benefit from their use of pharmaceuticals, there is a small portion of the population that suffers harm when taking medications developed by the drug industry.

These individuals are victims of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. People who have bad reactions to properly made and labeled drugs generally do not fall into this category as these individuals may be allergic to the drugs or otherwise may be unable to tolerate them unlike the majority of others. Dangerous pharmaceutical drugs are drugs that are improperly made or improperly labeled that can hurt the people who take them to improve their health.

Do truck drivers need special licenses to operate their rigs?

Prior posts on this New Orleans personal injury legal blog have discussed truck accident topics such as truck driver fatigue, distracted driving, and trucker log books. How a truck driver approaches the important task of driving their vehicle can play a huge role in whether that rig makes it to its destination safely or if it is involved in a life-threatening incident. One way that state and federal regulators seek to keep truck drivers on task and safely performing their important duties is through requiring them to hold special drivers' licenses to operate large vehicles.

Truck drivers must pass a specialized skills and knowledge test in order to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The examination includes a written portion that ensures drivers understand important safety and operational rules and also requires them to pass a driving test that evaluates their handling of a large vehicle. Drivers who are required to drive even more specialized large vehicles, such as those with multiple trailers, those hauling tanks or hazardous substances, and those that carry passengers must pass additional evaluations to hold license endorsements.

Brain injuries can result from motor vehicle accidents

Modern automobiles contain many safety features that are designed and manufactured to provide drivers and passengers with fewer chances of sustaining injuries in the event their vehicles are involved in crashes. While seatbelts can help stop Louisiana residents from flying out of their seats and through windshields, air bags provide motor vehicle accident victims with inflatable padding that can help cushion the blows their bodies may sustain if their vehicles are collided into by other vehicles.

At present, though, no vehicle manufacturer can guarantee with complete certainty that a rider within the cab of one of its automobiles will walk away from an accident injury free and without any harm. Despite the many advances in safety that automobile makers have embraced, individuals are harmed in car, truck and sport utility vehicle crashes each and every day.

What are my options when a relative dies from a doctor's mistake?

Doctors and other medical professionals proclaim oaths that they will do no harm in the diagnosing and treating of their patients. However, as many New Orleans residents know, medical professionals are not infallible, and they can make devastating mistakes when providing their expertise and care. Sometimes when a doctor makes a grievous error in the treatment of a patient that they serve, the patient may succumb to their ailments or die from the treatments prescribed when their condition may have otherwise been remedied.

Doctor errors are generally addressed through medical malpractice cases but when a patient dies due to the negligence or reckless acts of a doctor then the claim may be based on wrongful death. As with wrongful death claims that arise from vehicle accidents, products and premises liability cases, and others, medical malpractice-based wrongful death suits must fulfill the legal elements of the wrongful death claim.

Offshore oil rig accidents result in significant fatalities

Between the years of 2003 and 2010, 128 individuals died in offshore oil and gas operation incidents. This figure divides into an average of 16 deaths during each of the included years. All but one of the fatalities occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, the body of water that New Orleans residents enjoy using for its beaches and water sports. The fatality rate for workers in this incredibly dangerous industry is around seven times higher than the fatality rate of workers in other industries and the work presents individuals with serious dangers that do not exist in other fields of employment.

Many of the oil rig and gas extraction deaths included in these figures occurred because of accidents in transportation; both vessel and helicopter accidents contributed to deaths for workers in this industry. Other deaths result from explosions on rigs such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, exposure of workers to equipment or machinery on the rigs, or exposure of workers to dangerous or hazardous substances.