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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Building a strong claim after a commercial truck accident

Recovering from a commercial truck accident can take many months or even years. Without a strong legal strategy to help navigate tricky legal issues, victims often find themselves drowning in medical debt or losing income while fighting for justice for their injuries. Because the stakes are often very high for both the victim and the business using the commercial vehicle, a strong claim must include as much evidence as a victim and their legal team can gather.

Like any car accident, the evidence begins to disappear and degrade quickly, especially if rain or other inclement weather is present. It is always wise to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident when it occurs, but for many victims, this is simply not feasible. After all, if a person suffers serious or life-threatening injuries in a collision with an enormous truck, their first concern should be their own safety and receiving proper medical care.

What causes cerebral palsy?

If your child receives a diagnosis of cerebral palsy in Louisiana, you may have questions about what caused it. Similarly, if you are soon to give birth to a child, you may want to know if there is anything you can do to prevent your child from developing cerebral palsy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is a disorder that develops when a child is still in infancy, in many instances even before birth. In cases of cerebral palsy, damage to the developing brain can cause disorder of posture, muscle tone and/or movement. Neurological dysfunction, such as epilepsy, vision/hearing problems, urinary incontinence or psychiatric conditions, may be present as well. Depending on the extent of the brain damage, the severity of cerebral palsy can vary widely; some patients may be completely paralyzed, while others may only have a slight dysfunction of one limb.

3-vehicle crash in Louisiana leaves one dead

Authorities in Louisiana took the opportunity to remind motorists not to drive while impaired, fatigued or distracted, and not to exceed the posted speed limit, after a three-vehicle accident on Monday morning that resulted in a fatality as well as minor injuries. The cause is currently unknown, and the collision is still under investigation. 

The accident occurred in Ouachita Parish on Louisiana Highway 34 near milepost 84 in the community of West Monroe. For unknown reasons, the 19-year-old driver of a westbound pickup truck allegedly struck an eastbound passenger car after crossing over the center line. He then collided with a second eastbound passenger car. The driver of the second vehicle was a 25-year-old man; both he and the 19-year-old driver sustained only minor injuries for which they received treatment at a nearby hospital. However, authorities pronounced the driver of the first vehicle struck, a 69-year-old man, dead at the scene of the accident due to the severity of the injuries sustained.

Why are medical malpractice cases hard to pinpoint?

Louisiana residents like you trust your medical professionals, often with your life. It makes sense that emotions run deep when anything goes wrong. Schwalben Law Firm is here to help explain what medical malpractice is, as well as why it can be hard to pin something down as the result of malpractice.

First of all, medical malpractice is a blanket term used to refer to any action that does not meet the standards of healthcare in a given hospital, city, state, or so on. This is a rather broad definition and encompasses many different scenarios. For example, medical malpractice can be the failure to diagnose an illness in time to properly treat it. It can also be a pharmacist misreading a doctor's handwriting and giving you the wrong prescription.

Truckers and drowsy driving: It remains a problem

Truckers often spend many consecutive hours on the road. While it's all part of the job, it has the potential to result in fatigue. When this happens, the trucker has two options: Stay on the road and hope for the best, or pull over and get some rest.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was responsible for more than 70,000 accidents in 2013 alone. These accidents resulted in approximately 800 fatalities and 44,000 injuries.

Will lowering the driving age for trucks lead to more accidents?

You may not be aware, but our country is suffering a huge shortage in truck drivers. This affects everyone in Louisiana because we need trucks to drive freight. They stock the shelves in the stores. Without enough trucks, store shelves stay empty. Most of these trucks must travel across state lines. This is where some issues occur. According to The Washington Post, to drive across state lines, the minimum age for a trucker is 21 years old.

To help expand the job market, the Trump Administration is considering lowering that age to 18. A pilot program from the Department of Transportation will offer a test group of drivers under 21 to drive interstate loads. The test group is likely to contain military personnel or former military personnel. The drivers will have training before starting.

Complications associated with forceps deliveries

When you prepare to give birth in a Louisiana hospital, chances are, you read up on the traditional birthing process as well as possible alternative procedures you may need to have, such as Cesarean sections. In some situations, however, doctors decide it might be best to deliver your baby using forceps, which are a medical device used to pull your baby out of your birth canal when pushing fails to work. At the law firm of Lee Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC, we understand that forceps deliveries can lead to substantial hardship, and we have helped many people who suffered injury during the birthing process because of medical negligence pursue appropriate recourse.

Though not as common as c-section deliveries, forceps deliveries, per the Mayo Clinic, involve certain risks, and they have the potential to harm or injure not only you, but your child. Your physician may recommend using this method to deliver your baby if your labor is failing to progress normally, or if you have certain health conditions that make pushing in the traditional sense particularly dangerous, among other reasons. So, what types of risks do you face when you undergo a delivery using forceps?

What is loss of consortium?

Should one of your loved ones die in Louisiana as the result of someone’s negligence or misconduct, you have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity you believe caused your loved one’s death. One of the damages you can claim is loss of consortium.

As FindLaw explains, originally, only spouses could bring a loss of consortium claim because the term referred to the loss of the survivor’s ability to enjoy sexual relations with his or her spouse. Over time, however, loss of consortium has been extended to loss of the deceased person’s love, companionship, society, guidance, advice, counsel, etc. Consequently, you usually can file such a claim if you are the deceased person’s child, parent, sibling or other close family member

Drug and alcohol clearinghouse for truckers

People in Louisiana know that the state has strong laws in place regarding drunk or drugged drivers. It can be important for them to also know that the agency that provides oversight to the commercial transportation industry is also developing a program designed to crack down on impaired driving among truckers and other drivers with commercial licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's drug and alcohol clearinghouse centers around the development of a robust database that will house important substance testing, results and violation information for all persons with commercial driving licenses. It also requires anyone applying for a commercial driving job to first take a drug and alcohol test, the results of which will be added to the database.

What errors can cause fatigue among hospital staff?

Louisiana residents trust that hospitals will be there to help them in their time of need. However, accidents and mistakes can happen anywhere, especially in environments where the employees are tired and overworked. Here are some of the ways that fatigue can affect your hospital staff.

The American Nurses Association takes a look at nurse fatigue. Fatigue among nursing staff in hospitals is particularly profound, as they're often working a large number of hours, sometimes with very few breaks. Hospitals can be short-staffed as well, forcing more nurses to take on longer shifts, or to take back-to-back shifts without many days to rest.

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