Se Habla EspaƱol
Frischhertz Poulliard Frischhertz & Impastato LLC

New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Challenges when determining wrongful death damages

There is no amount of money that can replace a Louisianan loved one whose life is cut short by another person's negligence. However, when a tragic loss happens, there are legal options for the victim's surviving relatives to pursue. These options can help them recoup their losses and damages through wrongful death litigation.

Damages refer to the tangible and intangible losses that a person suffers as a result of a fatal accident or incident. They may be pecuniary or financial and can include the loss of the victim's wages, the costs of providing the victim with medical treatment and care prior to their accident-related death and the expenses related to the victim's funeral and burial services.

What is maintenance and cure under the Jones Act?

The Jones Act provides seamen and workers on water-based vessels with legal rights to pursue the damages they sustain while on board such vessels. However, under the Jones Act, victims carry some burdens of proof in demonstrating their rights to claim under the law and the extent of damages that they wish to procure. This post will generally discuss the doctrine of maintenance and cure under the Jones Act, and how it may apply in personal injury cases. But, readers are encouraged to discuss their possible maritime cases with Louisiana-based attorneys.

There are three things that a victim must prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence to successfully bring a Jones Act claim. First, that the victim was a seaman. Second, that the victim was working on the sued vessel when they suffered their damages. And, third, their damages (maintenance and cure) are accurate.

One killed, one injured in head-on car crash in New Orleans

In a matter of moments, the course of a New Orleans family's life was forever changed. Two brothers, one 32-years-old, married and expecting his first child, and the other 20-years-old, and on his way to a soccer game, were driving down Chef Menteur Highway. The older brother was behind the wheel and left work early to deliver his younger brother to his athletic match.

Suddenly, a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction struck them head-on. The other vehicle crossed the median of the road and traveled into oncoming traffic, where it collided with the brothers' car. The older brother died from the injuries he sustained in the crash, while the younger brother is still hospitalized after the fatal car accident.

Defective car parts cause serious accidents and injuries

In the last few years, millions of Americans were affected by the recall of their vehicles due to defective airbags. The source of the defective car parts was a single product manufacturer, and the bad airbags ended up inside vehicles made by nearly 20 different automakers. In a crash, the defective airbags could explode and send metal shards into a vehicle, which in turn, could inflict life-threatening injuries on individuals already the victim of a vehicle accident.

This anecdote highlights one of the biggest auto part recalls in United States history, and it affected the lives of Louisiana residents as well. While some individuals whose vehicles contained the defective airbags never experienced the violent problems the airbags could introduce, others suffered serious injuries due to this major products liability situation.

Are commercial drivers allowed to text and drive?

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles are not allowed to text and drive. In fact, if caught, commercial drivers in Louisiana and throughout the country face the loss of their commercial licenses, significant fines and other penalties. However, the most significant loss is the loss of a life when a driver's inattentiveness causes a fatal truck accident.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a texting commercial driver is 23.2 times more likely to cause a collision, near-collision or unplanned lane change, than a driver not texting. Texting commercial drivers spent almost 5 seconds looking at their texting devices between glances at the road. This can mean that drivers are covering great distances at high speeds without keep their attention on their driving responsibilities.

Wrongful death claim possible after fatal medical mistake

Hospitalizations and in-patient surgeries can be overwhelmingly scary for patients and their family members. Individuals who suffer from ailments must spend time away from their loved ones to undergo treatments and procedures that are intended to make them well. However, not all New Orleans residents who must stay in hospitals get better. Unfortunately, some hospital patients die while under their medical personnel's care, but not all pass on due to complications from their underlying illnesses.

In some cases, hospital patients die because of fatal medical mistakes. There are many ways that doctors, nurses and other hospital staff members can commit deadly errors, but this post will focus on three primary ways patients are fatally impacted by their caregivers: through mistakes in their diagnoses, mistakes in their surgeries and mistakes in the administration of their medications.

How is liability determined in a multi-vehicle crash?

Many Louisiana car accidents happen when drivers are distracted and fail to yield or stop in time before colliding with other automobiles on the road. It is not uncommon for a two vehicle accident to become a three or more vehicle accident when cars, trucks, and vans are driving fast or too close together.

Multi-vehicle accidents present their own challenges when it comes to determining who is responsible for the losses victims sustained in the incident. With three or more drivers involved in a crash it may be difficult to say that only one of them is fully responsible for all of the harm the crash caused. As such, Louisiana has adopted a comparative negligence statute that spreads the liability of accidents to all parties whose negligence led to the vehicle collision.

Filing legal claims under the Jones Act

When a worker is hurt while performing work-related tasks, there are a number of laws that may help them request financial support during the time they are unable to do their jobs. However, not all of the laws that protect and support New Orleans workers apply to those individuals whose jobs take them out onto open water. If a worker is a merchant marine, then his work-related injury claims may be covered by the Jones Act.

Officially called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act covers individuals whose jobs keep them on international vessels tasked with bringing goods to or from foreign nations to the United States. A worker must spend at least 30 percent of his worktime onboard a vessel is importing or exporting goods to the United States. The worker may also serve in any managerial capacity aboard the ship. Workers whose job responsibilities involve in the water-based import or export of goods, but who do not spend at least 30 percent of their worktime on vessels, may quality for compensation under longshoreman laws.

Dangerous products can be on the shelves of supermarkets

Though differences in lifestyle will dictate what individuals prefer, all people have the same basic requirements to survive: food, shelter and access to basic services. When it comes to food though, a New Orleans resident may choose from a variety of products, both fresh and processed, that can serve their physiological needs, as well as satisfy their discriminating palettes.

Although most of the products on grocery store and supermarket shelves have passed rigorous quality control testing and meet rigid safety standards for consumer protection, some dangerous products slip through the cracks. Particularly, products that are generally safe may leave their factories containing dangerous bacteria or other pathogens that may cause consumers to become sick.

Negligent truck driver causes fatal car accident

Obeying traffic signals is an important part of safely operating one's vehicle on Louisiana roads. Whether a person is driving a personal car or a work vehicle it is important that they follow the rules of the road to keep themselves safe and give other drivers information about what they are going to do. When individuals fail to drive in accordance with the legal mandates of the state then dangerous and sometimes deadly accidents can occur.

Recently a woman lost her life in Praireville when her vehicle was hit by a negligent driver. The woman entered an intersection with a green light and prepared to make a left-hand turn when her vehicle was hit by a Mack truck. The truck failed to stop at a red light at the intersection and plowed directly into the woman's vehicle. As a result of the impact the truck pushed the victim's vehicle into three more vehicles that were stopped at the intersection, causing injuries to the drivers of those cars as well.