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

State seeks to change medical malpractice laws

Louisiana residents deserve to feel confident in the quality of care they receive from doctors or other health care professionals. When concerns about care quality surface, it is equally important that people know they have the right to seek help and compensation. That is what medical malpractice suits are all about.

Current Louisiana law puts limits on how much money a patient can receive in damages from a medical malpractice claim. The law also outlines very strict parameters as to when a case may be filed or must be filed by. Details about who is allowed to participate in a medical review panel for these cases are also dictated by the current law. All of these things may be changed if state lawmakers approve two bills currently making their way through the legislature.

Highlighting the BAC standards for commercial truckers

No matter how skilled of a driver you may be, driving next to a commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck on any of the roads in or around Lake Charles can be intimidating. Given the sheer size of these vehicles, irresponsible actions by their drivers can produce devastating results. Some who have come to us here at the Schwalben Law Firm following a truck accident share the concern that the drivers who hit them displayed actions that seemed to imply that alcohol or other substances may have present in their systems. This prompts the question of whether or not the operators of commercial vehicles are held to higher standard when it comes to drunk driving.

Like many other states, Louisiana sets the legal blood alcohol content limit at .08 percent for drivers. Should one test any higher, he or she may end up facing criminal penalties. However, for commercial vehicle drivers, that limit is lowered to .04 percent. For an average 180-200 pound man, it may only take 2 12-ounce cans of beer or 10 ounces of wine to reach that limit.

Delayed diagnosis subject of new suit

Louisiana residents who put their lives on the line and serve in the United States military should be able to expect that they will be appropriately treated and cared for when they face health problems. That level of respect and trust should actually be there for anyone including veterans. However, too many veterans today face problems when it comes to receiving quality health care. This leaves many people facing worse problems than originally faced and wondering what they can do.

One man from Louisiana's St. John the Baptist Parish sought care roughly two years ago when his lower extemities were weak. The weakness in the region kept getting worse and he was seeking an explanation and treatment. Reports indicate that the man was eventually found to have had an abscess. However, this abscess was not discovered early on and therefore he did not receive the appropriate type and level of treatment in a timely fashion.

Filmmaker’s family sues after man lost at sea

Few people in Lake Charles likely ever intend to be negligent to the point of endangering another. However, oftentimes unforeseen circumstances arise that force people into action. Those who happen to be supervising an activity or excursion often accept the responsibility (whether stated or implied) for keeping participants safe. When doing so, they agree to extend equal consideration to all of those involved. If and when an emergency situation does arise, their decision on how to act regarding all participants could mean the different between responsible action and accusations of negligence.

Such accusations are currently being made by the family of a documentary filmmaker who died while on a diving excursion in Florida. The man had been diving near a shipwreck as part of a group. Upon surfacing, panic ensued after another one of the divers lost consciousness after getting back onto the dive boat. In a wrongful death lawsuit recently filed on behalf of the deceased filmmaker, it is alleged that the crew of the boat focused all of their efforts on the unconscious man (who also happened to be the owner of one of the companies sponsoring the dive). No one kept eyes on the man still in the water, and he was eventually lost at sea. His body was found three days later.

6 things to know about fatigued truckers

As you travel down I-10, you are likely going to see 18-wheelers. It is imperative that these truckers have their wits about them when they drive. If they don’t, other people who are in the interstate might suffer because of a semitruck crash. One cause of big rig crashes that all drivers should know about is fatigued driving. 

Common injuries resulting from head-on crashes

The possibility of getting into an accident exists no matter how careful Louisiana drivers are, unfortunately. Drivers who get into head-on collisions with other vehicles can face several unique and specific types of injury.

Onto Orthopedics states that there are five branches of common injuries that result from head-on collisions. This includes:

  •           The joints or extremities
  •           Head and brain
  •           Back and neck
  •           Internal organs
  •           Psychological distress

Distracted drivers force insurance increases

Louisana residents who work hard and take care to be safe when on the road, including carrying good auto insurance, deserve to know that their efforts are recognized and that they will be protected if an accident occurs. While that may happen, it appears that the cost of that protection may well be higher today due in large part to the choices made by many negligent drivers.

Car insurance companies evaluate many factors when setting prices. Past payouts and accident trends are among those factors. From 2011 to 2015, the number of crashes in Louisiana jumped by more than 12 percent. Data from the Louisiana State University Highway Safety Research Group adds that from 2014 to 2015, the accident rate increased seven percent despite the fact that Louisianans drove fewer miles in that time.

Should you get a second opinion for cancer?

Have you been told that you have cancer by a doctor in Louisiana? Maybe a close friend of family member of yours has recently been diagnosed with some form of cancer. In either situation, now may be a very good time for you to seek a second opinion. Why is this the case?

As WebMD explains, second opinions can be valuable for a couple of different reasons. For starters, getting the view of another provider may help to corroborate an initial diagnosis. It may also correct a diagnosis. Certainly you do not want to embark down a treatment path for a disease that in the end you never even really had. However, a second opinion can be useful in other ways as well.

Were you poisoned on the job?

Each person has the right to a safely maintained workplace, and should not have to suffer injuries in order to make a living. However, while some jobs present very real threats, such as those involving large machinery, some workplaces poison an individual through exposure to toxic substances. This might happen quickly in a single incident, but most often it occurs incrementally over time.

If your workplace contains toxins, then you may be facing toxic exposure. Toxic exposure is a serious injury on par with a broken or severed limb, but the variety of symptoms it presents can make it difficult to identify and diagnose.