Se Habla EspaƱol
Frischhertz Poulliard Frischhertz & Impastato LLC

New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

School bus accident leaves several children injured

An accident in Greensburg, a small town in Louisiana less than two hours from New Orleans, ended with a school bus being turned onto its side. There were 38 children on the bus at the time of the accident, and 11 of those children reportedly suffered injuries, some of which authorities described as "moderate." Thankfully, there were no fatalities.

According to reports, the school bus driver was trying to make a left turn at an intersection in which the driver was permitted to do so. In the process of the turn, someone driving a pickup truck behind the bus decided to use the left lane to pass several vehicles. The driver trying to pass apparently either did not notice or did not have time to yield to the school bus and hit it, forcing the bus onto its side. The driver of the pickup truck has been cited for illegally passing and also for carelessly operating the vehicle. The exact nature of the children's injuries and their prospects for a full recovery are not available.

Taking fatigued truck drivers to task

As a previous post on this blog discussed, fatigued truck driving is a terrible habit that endangers the other motorists on the roads in and around New Orleans. In many cases, a seriously fatigued truck driver will behave similarly to drunk or drugged drivers.

Obviously, then, someone who is too tired to be driving such a large vehicle has the potential to leave a trail of destruction in his or her wake. Because they do not have the best reaction times, fatigued drivers may not to be able to stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision with the vehicle in front of them.

We will hold overly tired drivers responsible

Last week's post on this blog discussed how on too many occasions, fatigued truck drivers are traveling on the roads in and around New Orleans. As the post discussed, fatigued truck driving is extremely dangerous, as a fatigued truck driver can exhibit the same loss of coordination and judgment as would a drunk driver.

Many accidents likely happen because of truck driver fatigue. Of course, a driver can, in the worst cases of fatigue, simply fall asleep behind the wheel. In other cases, a driver is overly tired and therefore makes a mistake, such as failing to stop, that he or she otherwise would not make. Sometimes, the tiredness is not from lack of sleep so much as it is from staring out on a highway for hours on end. In other cases, a driver may take energy drinks or other supplements, or even drugs, in order to stay awake.

How common, and dangerous, is fatigued truck driving?

A previous post on this blog touched on the federal regulations that require many truck drivers on the roads in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, to take periodic breaks and longer rests in order to prevent a truck accident due to a fatigued truck driver. The question might arise, and in fact has arisen among some politicians, as to whether fatigued driving really is such a huge problem among truckers that these rest rules, and particularly certain new modifications to them, are really necessary.

Even the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which promulgates the rest rules, acknowledges that most truck drivers and trucking companies do not push the envelope when it comes to fatigued driving and stay well within the Administration's rest rules. The Administration's own research suggested fatigue remained a common problem in the trucking industry. Unfortunately, there are several "bad apple" trucking companies out there where safety takes a back seat to getting goods delivered on time.

A fatal car accident could result in a wrongful death claim

Whether in Orleans Parish or elsewhere, traveling in a car can be a dangerous undertaking. Automobile travel is one of the most dangerous modes of travel, statistically more hazardous than traveling by airplane, train or riverboat. For example, over 3,100 deaths in 2014 were in crashes blamed on distracted drivers.

Many automobile-related deaths can be attributed to the negligence of a person other than the victim. Depending on the circumstances, a driver at fault in a fatal car accident may be guilty of a criminal offense. Are there any other options for a victim's survivors to hold the at-fault driver accountable? There may be. The at-fault driver could be held liable to the victim's loved ones in a wrongful death case. If found liable, the driver could be ordered to pay compensation to the victim's family. Damages could compensate for funeral expenses, pain and suffering and more.

Federal regulations govern towboat safety measures

Towing vessels are an important part of the transportation and logistical infrastructure of the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans. More than a few Orleans Parish residents go to work each day aboard a towboat. The federal government has promulgated regulations that govern general health and safety requirements aboard towing vessels. This blog post will give a brief overview of these regulations.

First, vessel owners or managing operators must put procedures in place to report unsafe conditions. They must also keep records of health and safety incidents that happen on their towboats, and they must provide incident reports and crew members' own medical records to crew members upon request.

Nearly 30,000 strollers are affected by a product recall

In the wake of the holiday season, many parents in Louisiana may take the opportunity to go for walks with their children. They put their child in a stroller and head out. Some disturbing news involving a product recall may prompt people to check the label on their stroller before using it this week.

Aria Child, Inc., a stroller manufacturer, has reportedly recalled nearly 30,000 strollers as allegedly defective products. According to news reports, there is a danger that the strollers in question could fold up while being used. Reports indicate that either the child or the person pushing the stroller could fall if the stroller folds up while in use. There is also reportedly a danger that the person pushing the stroller could suffer lacerations if the stroller folds during use.

Proving driver and truck company liability for an accident

As people in New Orleans can well imagine, getting into an accident with a truck can be far more injurious than getting into one with a passenger car. The average passenger car weighs 3,000 pounds, while a large truck can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. That's over 25 times the weight of the average passenger car. The chances of suffering a serious injury are dramatically increased when a semitrailer truck is involved in an accident.

With this size differential, it is very important for truck drivers to exercise caution while driving their big rigs. For the most part, truck drivers do exercise caution and let their professional training and experience inform their driving. Sometimes, however, they fail to exercise due care, and an 18-wheeler accident with injuries happens. Other times, the driver's trucking company shares some of the blame.

Orleans Parish car crash victims deserve answers

Large numbers of people in Orleans Parish have had their lives negatively affected by car crashes. They are a major cause of death and injury, and in many cases they could have been prevented. Car accidents can take a heavy toll on drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike. Both innocent victims and negligent parties can be casualties.

Not too long ago we told you about a tragic auto accident in which one driver was killed and another suffered moderate injuries and had to be hospitalized. The driver of a passenger car was killed when her car crossed the centerline and collided with a sport utility vehicle. The driver of the SUV was the driver who was transported to the hospital with injuries.

How are damages computed in a wrongful death case?

When a Louisiana family successfully proves liability in a wrongful death lawsuit against a party responsible for the death of their loved one, the family is entitled to an award of damages, to be paid by the defendant or the defendant's insurance company. What factors go into calculating the amount of the damages awarded? This question may seem a bit too direct for someone still recovering from the loss of a loved one; still, it is an important question. This blog post will be a quick attempt at an answer to the question.

The main determinant of the amount of damages awarded is the financial loss suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of the victim's death. Lawyers refer to this financial loss as pecuniary injury. When assigning a dollar value to pecuniary injury, judges and juries take into account factors such as the loss of support and services suffered by the plaintiffs, funeral expenses, medical bills and any lost prospect of inheritance.