Lee M. Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC
Personal Injury Law
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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Is distracted driving illegal in Louisiana?

Louisiana drivers likely understand by now just how dangerous distracted driving can be. It has been reported by some news outlets as "the new drunk driving", causing high numbers of dangerous and even lethal crashes every single day. But are these dangerous activities legally limited?

According to USA Today, a number of activities that could cause distracted driving are, in fact, illegal. You could face penalties for distracted driving if you text at any point while driving, regardless of how old you are, what you're writing, or what kind of device you're using. All wireless electronic devices that can allow you to send, read, or write electronic messages and texts are not allowed to be used while you're behind the wheel.

Trucks with older drivers, heavy loads a hazard

Many Louisiana residents spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel in their day-to-day lives, and with this in mind, it is important to stress the safety issues that come being on the road with large trucks. With aging drivers and heavier loads, the hazards posed by trucks are increasing.

According to the Press Herald, 2016 saw 3,852 fatalities on American roads that involved large trucks. This number has been rising since 2009, which had the lowest amount of deaths involving trucks since the 1970s. The weight of the load a truck carries has a large impact on how damaging a crash can be, which is why there are 3.5 million safety checks at truck weigh stations each year.

What should you know about workplace injuries and accidents?

Louisiana workers deserve an environment that they feel comfortable and safe in. Unfortunately, accidents can happen anywhere, and some of these accidents can be deadly. At the Schwalben Law Firm, we work to help you through the difficulties of losing a loved one to workplace accidents.

Certain work environments can be more dangerous than others. Warehouses, chemical plants, and factories all have the potential for large-scale or very harmful accidents, as do many other industrial locations. Specific risks that can occur in areas like these include:

  • Exposure to toxins or chemicals
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Machinery accidents
  • Structural accidents

Boy dies of heat stroke and parents sue

The parents of a Louisiana boy who died of heat stroke last summer are going to court, according to The Advocate, and they believe the National Guard Youth Challenge Program should be held accountable for their son's death. Their son, who is described as "obese" in the filing, was only in the first week of the program when he died on July 16, 2016. 

On July 15, with temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in the upper 90s, the boy was outside doing intense physical activity when he fainted. After coming to and having a rapid heartbeat, chest pain and trouble catching his breath, the boy was seen by a nurse. He explained that he was also feeling nauseous and had lost the feeling in his fingers and toes. The nurse consulted with the program's doctor, but ultimately he was not seen by anyone else.

Things to do if you're injured in an industrial accident

Any type of industrial accident is one that can cause serious injury or even death.

Even though you are aware of the potential dangers of your career, this doesn't mean you should move into another field. Instead, you should do whatever you can to remain safe at all times.

Understanding the Louisiana Patient's Compensation Fund

Citizens of Louisiana want to be able to trust their doctors, but when the carelessness of a medical professional hurts someone, the Louisiana Patient's Compensation Fund is the state's remedy. As The Times-Picayune explains, this $875 million fund comes with its own set of regulations, and it is meant as a way to keep insurance prices low for medical professionals while also providing for those who are victims of medical malpractice.

Doctors, other medical professionals, private hospitals, nursing homes and other private facilities pay into the fund, and members are granted a layer of protection in the form of medical review panels. These panels are the first formal step in bringing a medical malpractice suit, and any complaint will be heard by three doctors, who determine whether or not a patient received care that was outside the standards of good practice. While the findings of the panel are not binding, they do have weight in court. 

Could your pharmacy be wrong about your medicine?

There are plenty of residents in Louisiana who rely on pharmacies to get by, like you. Whether it's for mental or physical health, you likely depend on pharmacists and their judgment for at least one thing in your daily life. At the Schwalben Law Firm, we draw attention to the possible occurrence of error on the pharmaceutical side of things, and what you can do about it.

When people think of medical malpractice, they usually think of doctor's offices, hospitals, surgeons, or nurses who have caused harm through neglect. However, pharmacies can also be a source of medical negligence. As with any other area of practice that has a margin for human error, mistakes may happen. Some common issues can include:

  • Incorrect instructions
  • Incorrect dosage
  • Incorrect medication
  • Defective medication

Pedestrian deaths spike in Louisiana

With pedestrians deaths on the rise across the country, Louisiana has become one of the most dangerous states. According to reports from the Times-Picayune, Louisiana ranked third on the list of of states where pedestrian safety is at the most risk. Only Florida and Alabama were deemed less safe for those who walk.

The data came from a report by Smart Growth America, which measured people who walk to work combined with pedestrian fatality information available. Baton Rouge and New Orleans and Metairie area lead the state for most dangerous areas for those who walk. The reports also indicate that the elderly and people of color were at a greater risk of being hit by a car and killed while walking. The risk also increases for people who have lower household incomes and and for those who are uninsured, which means that the people who are at the greatest risk of being hit by a car are the least able to pay to treat their injuries.

Head-on wreck kills man over Memorial Day weekend

For most Louisiana residents, the Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start to summer and is marked by many a celebration with friends and family. Special recognition is given at this time also to those who have served in our country's armed forces. For others in Louisiana, Memorial Day weekend can have other significance as well.

The family of one person today may always remember this holiday weekend as a time of senseless tragedy and mourning as the 42-year-old was hit and killed by a driver who crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision. At this time the reason that led the driver who caused the crash to drive on the wrong side of the road has not been established. Blood samples have been taken in order to ascertain whether or not drugs or alcohol were involved and the results are pending.

Understanding whiplash

If you have been involved in an automobile accident in Louisiana, you should know about some of the symptoms to watch out for that may signal the development of an injury. As explained by WebMD, whiplash is one such injury that is commonly associated with car wrecks and you may be even more susceptible to it if you have been hit from the rear by another vehicle. This is because whiplash happens after your head and neck have forcibly and suddently been pushed forward and then back again. 

The symptoms of whiplash do not always appear immediately after an accident happens so you will want to pay close attention to how you are feeling for a few days after a crash. When you have a whiplash injury, the nerves, ligaments or muscles in your neck may be damaged. Bone damage is also possible in severe cases. There is no actual cure for whiplash but treatment is important. It generally involves managing any pain you experience and may also require physical therapy.