When people are seriously injured or lives are lost in a crash here in Louisiana or elsewhere, the families of the victims have the right to file wrongful death claims against the party or parties deemed to be at fault. In a commercial truck accident in which the driver of the truck is considered responsible, the victims and/or their families may include the driver's employer as a defendant in the lawsuit. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to determine what company should be included in the lawsuit.
The primary duty of doctors here in Louisiana and elsewhere is to do no harm. In fact, those words are still contained in the oath they take when they become doctors. At the heart of nearly every medical malpractice claim is the alleged failure of doctors and other medical professionals to follow care guidelines and standards meant to keep patients safe from harm.
Determining the cause of a crash can take some time. Louisiana law enforcement agencies often require more than just the investigation conducted at the scene of a serious or fatal accident in order to determine what happened. Only after that investigation is substantially completed is a determination made regarding whether any charges should be filed against the driver believed to be at fault.
This is where troopers with the Louisiana State Police were at last report in connection with an accident that recently occurred on Louisiana Highway 13. What is known thus far is that a pickup truck headed southbound on the highway veered into the oncoming lane of travel for reasons that have yet to be determined. The pickup slammed into a northbound car.
On May 17 at approximately 11:30 p.m., troopers with the Louisiana State Police responded to the scene of a crash that involved one vehicle. The deadly car accident happened north of U.S. Highway 71 on Louisiana Highway 3225. After months of investigation, officials arrested the man that was driving the pickup truck that night.
The 24-year-old driver was traveling northbound on the highway when he somehow lost control of the pickup. The vehicle then left the road, careened through a private driveway and slammed into a parked semi-trailer. The driver was taken to an area hospital for treatment of the moderate injuries he suffered in the accident.
Three people lost their lives on Aug. 28 in a crash involving a bus, a fire truck and two passenger vehicles. The accident occurred on Interstate 10. Louisiana authorities report that the driver of the bus who is said to be responsible for the fatal accident is illegally in the country and does not have a valid driver's license. He remains incarcerated in a Louisiana parish jail, but he is now speaking out about what he says happened that day.
He admits that he did not have the proper license to drive, but he says that he told his boss as much before he got behind the wheel. He claims that his boss told him to drive the bus despite his protestations. He was told that the bus was checked out and that it was road worthy.
Even for experienced motorcycle riders here in Louisiana and around the country, maintaining control of their vehicles is not always an easy task. When there is a loss of control, the driver and/or passenger could fall off the motorcycle and into the roadway. This eventuality led to a recent car accident in which a man was killed and a woman was injured.
On a recent Saturday night, a 43-year-old man was operating a motorcycle eastbound on Interstate 20. Somehow, he lost control and his passenger fell onto the roadway. As he was helping the 43-year-old woman up and to a safe place, a car came along and struck both of them. The man died from the injuries he suffered in the impact.
When emergency response vehicles here in Louisiana and elsewhere have their lights and sirens on, they are supposed to be given the right-of-way by other vehicles. As they respond to calls, police cars, fire trucks and ambulances routinely go through intersections even if the light is red and use oncoming lanes of travel if they need to in order to get where they are needed. However, simply having lights and sirens going does not allow drivers of emergency response vehicles to completely ignore traffic rules, which could lead to a serious or fatal accident. They are still required to make sure the way is clear and that they will not impact another vehicle as they travel.
At approximately 5 p.m. on a recent Monday, an ambulance was on its way to a call on U.S. 61 with lights and sirens going. Reportedly, the driver of the ambulance drifted into the oncoming lane and struck two vehicles. The second vehicle hit was pushed off the road, and when it came to a stop, it burst into flames.
Long-haul drivers spend several hours behind the wheels of their big rigs. They, too, can get bored and complacent, which can lead them to look for distractions to keep their minds active while they travel. Sadly, distracted driving causes many trucking accidents in Louisiana and elsewhere.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration govern the rules and regulations that are to be followed by commercial motor vehicle drivers, including prohibiting texting and using mobile phones while driving. Texting is defined not only as typing or reading an actual text but also as using the other features of a smartphone, such as accessing email, web pages and instant messaging, among others. Basically, truck drivers are not supposed to reach for, hold or press more than one button on a mobile phone.
The "Fast and Furious" movie franchise has made street racing appear glamorous, which could prompt some drivers to risk partaking in such a dangerous activity on Louisiana's streets and highways. These drivers risk both their lives and the lives of those who unknowingly end up sharing the roads with them. Anyone could become the victim of a fatal accident under these circumstances.
For instance, at the end of June, a 28-year-old man was traveling at excessive speeds on Louisiana Highway 500. As the vehicle approached U.S. Highway 84, it crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic. It then slammed into a bridge railing and careened into a bayou where is came to rest partially submerged in the water. The driver died from the injuries he suffered in the impact.
Of all of the things that can go wrong while driving, one of the last things that many drivers expect is for their doors to come open as they travel. Unfortunately, this is exactly what could happen to approximately 830,000 vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Company. The recall, which most likely includes many here in Louisiana, indicates that a serious car accident is possible due to a defective latch.
The vehicles affected by the recall include the 2014-2016 Ford Transit Connect vehicles, 2012-2015 Ford Focus and 2013-2015 Ford C-MAX, along with the 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC and 2013-2015 Ford Escape. The side doors of these vehicles have a pawl spring tab that can break. If that happens, the door will not latch and could come open while the vehicle is in motion.