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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Drunk driving statistics and prevention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that out of every 140 miles driven, a drunk driver is behind the wheel for one mile. While 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010, that number only makes up one percent of the drives taken while inebriated each year, according to self-reporting studies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's factsheet on impaired driving notes that younger individuals are more prone to accidents while driving under the influence than are their older counterparts at the same blood alcohol content. A third of drunk drivers involved in deadly car crashes in 2012 were between the ages of 21 and 24, and more than a quarter were between 25 and 34. Curiously, while accidents under the influence tend overall to skew toward younger drivers, nearly half the drunk motorcyclists who die annually in accidents are over the age of 40.

Louisiana teen killed, sisters hurt in head-on crash

A Prairieville high school student was killed, and her two sisters injured, when another vehicle struck their car head-on as they were driving to school early Dec. 9. The 19-year-old man who hit them was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, according to Louisiana State Police.

Authorities said the three sisters, who attended Dutchtown High School, were traveling west on Louisiana Highway 74 in a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic around 7 a.m. when an eastbound 2006 Dodge Charger swerved into the westbound lanes, colliding with them head-on. The two girls in the front seats, ages 16 and 17, were wearing seat belts and were taken to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge with moderate injuries. The 15-year-old girl in the rear seat was reportedly only wearing the lap portion of her safety belt, having tucked the shoulder strap behind her back. She was killed in the crash.

Fatal Walker South Road crash in Louisiana kills 2

According to the Louisiana State Police Troop A, a two-vehicle crash caused two fatalities shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. The accident occurred on Highway 447 south of Interstate 12 in Livingston Parish. The victims were a 50-year-old man from Jackson and a 76-year-old man from Denham Springs. Police say the man from Jackson was driving a 1994 GMC pickup truck and traveling northbound on the highway, and the other man who was involved was driving a 2006 Lincoln Town Car traveling southbound on the highway.

The GMC crossed the center line on a curve and entered oncoming traffic, resulting in the head-on collision with the Lincoln. Neither passenger was wearing their seat belts. Police suspect that impairment of the GMC driver may have been a factor in the accident but do not believe the Lincoln Town Car driver was impaired. The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab is analyzing toxicology samples that were taken from each driver.

New study shows scooters are most dangerous toy

Louisiana parents may be surprised to learn that the most dangerous toy on the market is the popular, sleek foot-powered scooter. A new study published in Clinical Pediatrics in December found that the rate of toy-related injuries spiked 40 percent between the years of 1990 and 2011, with a sharp increase immediately following the release of the Razer foot-powered scooter in 2000.

According to the report, scooters and other ride-on toys, such as bikes, wagons and tricycles, were the number-one cause of toy-related mishaps for children between the ages of 5 and 17, causing 42 percent of all reported toy injuries. Children who played with ride-on toys were also three times more likely to suffer dislocations and broken bones than kids that played with other toys. The study reported that 77 percent of all injuries from riding toys were caused by falls.

Louisiana accident leaves 1 dead, 1 injured

Authorities reported that a two-vehicle collision occurred in St. Martin Parish just before 9 p.m. on Nov. 23. St. Martin Parish officials pronounced one driver dead at the scene of the accident. The other driver suffered minor injuries.

According to the Louisiana State Police, the accident occurred on Louisiana Highway 352. That is where a 39-year-old man driving a westbound Chevrolet pickup truck rear-ended a 2005 Mercury driven by a 54-year-old woman. The impact caused the Mercury to skid across the eastbound lane before leaving the roadway and overturning in a ditch, authorities said. Reportedly, an accident investigation is ongoing.

1 dead after crash Louisiana Highway 40

Louisiana State Police reported that a two-vehicle accident in Livingston Parish on Nov. 29 has resulted in the death of a 39-year-old man from Independence. The crash involved a car and a pickup truck that collided head-on.

As of Nov. 29, the crash remained under investigation, with no charges yet filed. The authorities took toxicology samples from both men and sent them off for analysis at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Louisiana woman killed in head-on crash

Authorities reported that a 44-year-old woman lost her life in a traffic accident involving three vehicles in Red River Parish on Nov. 18. Law enforcement officials have charged one of the drivers involved in the wreck with careless driving.

The motor vehicle accident took place on U.S. Highway 71 in the vicinity of Louisiana Highway 784 at approximately 8 p.m., reportedly. According to Louisiana State Police, a northbound sedan on U.S. Highway 71 rear-ended a stationary car that was waiting to turn into a private residence. The force of the impact propelled the car into the path of oncoming traffic, where it was struck head-on by a southbound pickup truck, authorities said.

What is the Louisiana lemon law?

Like many other states, Louisiana has a lemon law in place to protect consumers who purchase vehicles in the state. Covered vehicles include passenger and commercial vehicles that require registration, watercraft and all-terrain vehicles, and the drive train and chassis of motor homes that are sold in the state and are still under warranty.

Consumers who are protected by the lemon law include those who purchase or lease a vehicle, excluding those who purchase a vehicle for the purpose of reselling it. Consumers to whom a vehicle is transferred are also protected as are any others who are entitled to enforce a vehicle warranty.

Louisiana head-on collision kills 3

Three men were killed in a head-on collision involving two pickup trucks. The accident took place on Nov. 10 around 6:30 p.m. According to police, a 19-year-old Houma man was speeding on La. 24. The vehicle was traveling in the northbound lane when it encountered an S-curve. The driver lost control in the curve and crossed the median, and his vehicle flipped.

Another pickup truck being driven by a 30-year-old Patterson man was traveling in the southbound lane when it collided head-on with the overturned car. Both trucks burst into flames, killing both drivers and a passenger in the southbound vehicle, a 54-year-old man. Everyone involved died at the scene.

How the LHWCA applies to Louisiana workers

Longshore and harbor workers in Louisiana may benefit from understanding the workers' compensation laws that apply to their position. Many of these individuals are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. This piece of legislation financially provides for the needs of these workers in the event that they are injured while on U.S. waters or doing work on land that is related to these duties. The act also gives survivors' benefits to the next of kin of a person who died while performing these duties.

The LHWCA provides other legal protections for the workers under its umbrella. For example, the act stipulates that no employee can be fired or otherwise punished for challenging a workplace policy or fighting the institutional environment in any way. When a worker has a complaint, they will be offered mediation services to deal with the matter. In the event that the worker or the next of kin of a deceased maritime employee do not agree with the findings of a mediator, their dispute may be taken before an administrative law judge. Other legal avenues could be available if the findings are still not palatable to the employee.

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Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC
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