Child Passenger Safety & Restraint Use: a State-by-State Analysis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for a child passenger in the United States.

child passenger seat belt safety statisticChild safety seats are required in every state because they’re proven to maximize safety for a child passenger in the event of a car accident. Using a car seat reduced the risk of death to infants by 71% and to toddlers by 54%. Sadly, child restraint systems are often used incorrectly, or sometimes, not at all.

There’s a reason car manufacturers are required to display warning labels regarding airbags because the airbag deployment zone is extremely dangerous for young passengers. Airbags deploy with tremendous force and speed, which can cause serious injury or death to a child.

This is why it’s recommended that most children, 13 years or younger, sit properly restrained in the back seat of a vehicle.

Child Car Seat Laws in Louisiana

Age and size-appropriate child restraint use is the most effective method for reducing injury and death among child passengers.

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) regulates our state’s child passenger safety laws. More specifically, Louisiana state law requires:

  • Children less than 12 months old, or less than 20 lbs., must be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Children aged 1 to 4, or 20-40 lbs., must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children 4 and 5 years old, or 40-60 lbs., must be restrained in a booster seat.
  • Children age 6 to 13, or more than 60 lbs., must be restrained in either a booster seat or a seat belt regardless of seating position.
  • When the passenger side front airbag is active, children younger than age 6, or less than 60 lbs., must be in the rear seat, if available.

Child car seat laws are not suggestions. Violations of the child restraint laws are standard offenses. Drivers with child passengers can be ticketed and fined for breaking child safety laws; in Louisiana, fine amounts increase with subsequent violations.

Fortunately, Louisiana offers extensive help for drivers in need of assistance with their child safety seats and restraints. There are numerous technicians available to provide education and instillation assistance should it be necessary.

Vital Statistics: A National Overview

While all states have child safety seat laws, these laws are not the same state-to-state. This is also the case with mandatory safety belt laws; some states have secondary enforcement of such laws, which means a driver can’t be pulled over simply for not wearing his seat belt; and some state laws don’t cover passengers sitting in the back seat.

primary seat belt laws definitionFor example, New Hampshire is the only state without a mandatory safety belt law. Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana, among others, have secondary enforcement laws.

Louisiana, California, Texas, and Florida, to name a few, utilize primary enforcement, meaning the driver may be cited solely for belt law violations, and the law covers all passengers in a vehicle.

According to the CDC, restraint use among children often depends on the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were themselves unrestrained.

In other words, children who see their driver buckle up are more likely to do so as a passenger.

The CDC also notes other disparities in seat belt use among children: black and Hispanic children are more likely to not be buckled up compared to other groups; older children (8-12 years old) are more likely to be unbuckled compared to younger children (4-7 years old).

See the chart below for state details regarding enforcement of safety belt laws and at what age a child must be in a child restraint or booster seat:

State Enforcement Type for mandatory seat belt laws (all ages) Age of child for mandatory use of restraint or booster seat
Alabama Primary 5 and younger
Alaska Primary 7 and younger
Arizona Secondary 7 and younger
Arkansas Primary 5 and younger
California Primary 7 and younger
Colorado Secondary 7 and younger
Connecticut Primary 6 and younger
Delaware Primary 7 and younger
District of Columbia Primary 7 and younger
Florida Primary 5 and younger
Georgia Primary 7 and younger
Hawaii Primary 7 and younger
Idaho Secondary 6 and younger
Illinois Primary 7 and younger
Indiana Primary 7 and younger
Iowa Primary 5 and younger
Kansas Primary 7 and younger
Kentucky Primary 7 and younger
Louisiana Primary 5 and younger
Main Secondary 7 and younger
Maryland Secondary 7 and younger
Massachusetts Secondary 7 and younger
Michigan Primary 7 and younger
Minnesota Primary 7 and younger
Mississippi Primary 6 and younger
Missouri Secondary 7 and younger
Montana Secondary 5 and younger
Nebraska Secondary 5 and younger
Nevada Secondary 5 and younger
New Hampshire No Law 6 and younger
New Jersey Primary 7 and younger
New Mexico Primary 6 and younger
New York Primary 7 and younger
North Carolina Primary 7 and younger
North Dakota Secondary 6 and younger
Ohio Secondary 7 and younger
Oklahoma Primary 7 and younger
Oregon Primary 7 and younger
Pennsylvania Secondary 7 and younger
Rhode Island Primary 7 and younger
South Carolina Primary 5 and younger
South Dakota Secondary 4 and younger
Tennessee Primary 8 and younger
Texas Primary 7 and younger
Utah Primary 7 and younger
Vermont Secondary 7 and younger
Virginia Secondary 7 and younger
Washington Primary 7 and younger
West Virginia Primary 7 and younger
Wisconsin Primary 7 and younger
Wyoming Secondary 8 and younger

* Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Jan. 2017

Thousands of people die every year because they don’t buckle up. Children watch our behavior behind the wheel, so it stands to reason that despite the particulars of your state’s enforcement, buckling up is a good way to instill these important safety precautions in a child passenger, who will eventually become a teen driver.

The CDC, in combination with state agencies and other organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), are developing strategies to increase seat belt and child restraint use in Louisiana, and across the board.

This includes adopting primary seat belt laws in all states, incentive and education programs for parents, and seat belt checkpoints, to name but a few.

Child Passenger Safety

Tony Tramontana - Medical Malpractice AttorneyChild passenger safety is everyone’s responsibility. If you have any questions about an auto accident or injury caused by a negligent driver or defective child restraint, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call us directly at (888) 982-1290.

Louisiana Accident Laws and How They Differ from Other States

If you were injured in an auto accident in Louisiana, your personal injury case is subject to a different set of rules than had you been in another state. Louisiana is a direct action state, which means parties injured in a car accident can name an insurance carrier in a lawsuit. This is not something that’s allowed in other states. Here we explain Louisiana accident laws and how they may affect your case.

Louisiana Accident Laws

Direct Action: What Does it Mean?

Because Louisiana is a direct action state, an injured party can name an insurance carrier directly in a court case. This helps the injured party because a judge overseeing the case will know that there is an insurance company available to cover any damages. Usually, judges and juries will award more damages if an insurance company is named to pay the claim, instead of the individual who caused the accident.

Juries Can Be Sympathetic to Drivers if No Insurance Carrier Is Named

always name insurance carrier in lawsuitOften, juries are sympathetic to drivers who cause accidents, if there isn’t an insurance carrier named in the lawsuit. This is because the jury perceives that the negligent driver will need to come up with all of the damages out of pocket, which can be difficult or impossible to do.

Juries sometimes feel hesitant to penalize drivers and hold them responsible for huge judgments. For example, if a driver for a small mom-and-pop company caused an accident, an award against the little company could devastate it. The same holds true for an individual or person with a family.

Many cases are tried in which the defending attorney appeals to the jury to use compassion when awarding damages. Best practices for a plaintiff’s attorney, then, is to always name the insurance carrier in a lawsuit. This makes it clear to the jury that the defendant is not being asked to pay any of the award.

One-Year Statute of Limitations

Another difference in Louisiana accident laws than other states is that Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations. There aren’t any kinds of pre-lawsuit requirements in terms of claim processes, so the injured party is expected to file a suit any time from one day after the accident until exactly one year after.

If too much time passes after a crime occurs, the Louisiana Statutes of Limitations will prevent you from pursuing restitution for loss or damage.

Comparative Negligence

Because Louisiana is a comparative negligence state, an injured party who is at fault for an accident can have damages reduced by the determined percentage of fault.

Lower Insurance Limits

$10,000 bodily injury minimumLouisiana’s required insurance minimum amounts are very low compared to other states. As an example, the state has a $10,000 bodily injury minimum for driver insurance policies. There are unfortunately many cases that go through litigation where the negligent party only has the minimum coverage. This effectively limits the injured party’s recovery of damages to just $10,000.

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in the state of Louisiana, there are many elements to consider should you want to file a personal injury lawsuit. Tramontana Law has years of experience trying auto injury cases in the state of Louisiana. We know how to work within the various areas of the law to properly try your case, so that you get the maximum amount of damages awarded to cover your medical expenses and other losses.

Fill out the form on this page and an attorney from the Law Office of Tony Tramontana will be in touch with you shortly. We want to hear your story and help get the justice you deserve.

Doctors Are Ignoring Contraindications for Anticoagulant Drugs

645 general medical practices

If your doctor is prescribing anticoagulant medicines for you, like Xarelto or Eliquis, beware. A recent study suggests that physicians aren’t following proper safety guidelines when prescribing these drugs. The 2 medications, along with similar anticoagulant drugs, come with safety warnings that doctors should know to follow.

Surprisingly and alarmingly, they’re not heeding these warnings; now, the doctors and drugs are increasingly subjects of personal injury lawsuits around the United Kingdom. Are American physicians being negligent as well?

The study, which the British Journal of General Practice published in June of 2017, includes data from 645 general medical practices that contribute to a large U.K. records database, the Health Improvement Network. Researchers’ examination of the data asserts that doctors might not be responsibly considering at-risk populations when they prescribe Xarelto and Eliquis, among other anticoagulants.

Contraindications for Anticoagulant Medications Should be Top Priority

contraindication definition

Studies have found Xarelto, Eliquis, and other anticoagulant drugs to increase risk of bleeding excessively. Some people, due to their age, health condition, or even nationality, are more at risk for excessive bleeding than others. Therefore, they need careful attention. The new British Journal of General Practice study hints that doctors might be ignoring contraindications when it comes to prescribing Xarelto, Eliquis, and other anticoagulants.

Identifying Patients Who May Have Been Improperly Treated with Anticoagulant Drugs

Researchers studied data of patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF), which is a condition the FDA has approved to treat with anticoagulants. These patients were 35 years or older, were prescribed anticoagulants, and had contraindications for those drugs. This means that the patients had a medical condition, or another factor was present, that rendered a certain line of treatment undesirable or improper.

percentage of patients with contraindictions given anticoagulant drugsResults of the study showed that between 2004 and 2015, the percentage of patients having contraindications who were still given these medications increased. It actually bumped up from an already too-high 40% to an almost unbelievable 67.2% of patients.

As a note, prescriptions given to those without contraindications increased from 42.1% to 67.7%. Of the patients who experienced recent major bleeding in 2004, 44.3%, were prescribed anticoagulants. This number increased to 71.1% in 2015.

The study pointed to the unfortunate fact that the absence or presence of recorded contraindications had little to do with physicians’ decision to prescribe anticoagulant drugs. The study notes that roughly 38,000 patients with the AF condition get treatment in the form of anticoagulants each year.

Louisiana Residents and Anticoagulant Drug Safety

The U.K. study gives patients reason to question whether or not their physician in the United States is paying proper attention to contraindications when prescribing anticoagulants. Improper prescription practice has major implications for the safety of patients in the U.S. and here in our state of Louisiana.

Consider that:

  • There are more than 18,000 pending lawsuits against the manufacturers of Xarelto to date; patients who took the drug and claimed to bleed excessively afterward have filed these suits.
  • Federally filed lawsuits in the United States have been centralized in Louisiana, in the state’s Eastern District.

If you’ve been prescribed Xarelto or another anticoagulant drug, and you believe your doctor has failed to provide adequate safety warnings or has ignored safety warnings, contact us. Fill out the form on this page and someone from the law offices of Tony Tramontana will be in touch to discuss personal injury lawsuit options if you’ve been hurt by physician negligence.

North Carolina Woman Accuses Louisiana Doctor Of Malpractice

It’s a 15-hour drive from Louisiana to North Carolina, a long way home for Teresa Harmony who suffered a tibia fracture in Louisiana during the spring of 2013.

attaining legal counselAccording to Harmony, after a surgery that included an intramedullary rod and screws adjoined to her tibia, she traveled back home to North Carolina. Upon her return, Harmony suffered extreme pain and sought treatment. It was at this time that North Carolina physicians informed Harmony that the rod and screws had been incorrectly placed. Harmony went through several subsequent procedures to correct her previous surgery.

Late in 2016, Harmony filed a complaint against the Louisiana doctor that performed her surgery along with the hospital where the surgery took place.

Harmony is seeking more than $75,000 in damages to cover the cost of medical procedures, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering, all of which, she alleges, occurred after the first surgery in Louisiana.

Medical Malpractice in Louisiana

Medical Malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes harm to a patient as a result of incompetence or negligence. Medical malpractice cases may be filed against doctors not residing in a plaintiff’s home state.

In a case like Harmony’s, it is recommended to attain legal counsel in the state where the medical malpractice occurred—medical malpractice laws, statutes of limitations, and damages, vary on a state-by-state basis.

Medical malpractice lawyers in the state of origin will be the ones most capable of navigating their state’s respective laws and regulations.

Although states differ in how they handle medical malpractice cases, these types of claims are challenging to litigate across the board. Moreover, a patient’s displeasure with the results of a surgery or medical treatment doesn’t inherently translate to medical malpractice.

Nevertheless, Louisiana paid out more in medical malpractice cases than any other state in 2015.

Common Medical Malpractice Cases

medical malpractice

Surgical errors are a common type of medical malpractice. Errors during surgery include mistakes during the procedure itself, operating on an unaffected body part, or leaving surgical equipment inside a patient.

Post-surgery mistakes can also result in harm to a patient; this may include prescribing incorrect treatments or medications or failing to give the patient the proper information to ensure their care upon returning home.

More common than surgery errors are medication errors. Medication errors can occur for several reasons including accidentally swapping patient medications in a hospital, poor handwriting on a prescription form, or not knowing how certain medications may interact with others.

It has been estimated that prescription drugs account for more than 200,000 deaths in the United States every year. This number seems high, but not when nearly 70% of Americans are taking at least one kind of prescription medication.

Preparation of a Medical Malpractice Case

If you suspect medical malpractice, there are a couple steps you can take to make assessing a medical malpractice case a little easier.

  1. Obtain any medical records/bills relating to the injury, information on the medical professional that caused the harm, as well as any records pertaining to treatments, surgeries, or medications that were necessary to correct the harm.
  2. Make a complete record from your memory. The sooner you write this down the better, as time can erode one’s memory from important details pertaining to the facts of a case.

Tony Tramontana - Medical Malpractice AttorneyMedical malpractice can have profound effects on a patient’s quality of life, as well as their lives of their family. This is why it’s important to seek qualified legal representation that understands the sensitivity of these cases as much as the laws that determine the validity of a medical malpractice case.

If you have any questions about medical malpractice or injury caused by a negligent doctor or medical professional, we at the Monroe law office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.

A Campaign to Reduce Fatal Accidents in Louisiana

fatal accidents from 2014-2016From 2014 to 2016, more than 90 people were involved in fatal accidents in Tangipahoa Parish. That statistic, according to a campaigner working to reduce the number of avoidable deaths, is too many, and indicates that change is needed in Louisianans’ driving habits.

Donna Miller, Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller’s wife, is a local businesswoman who approached former state police trooper Ron Whittaker regarding the unfortunate number of fatal vehicle crashes. She was particularly concerned with the number of tragedies involving young victims, who are grossly over-represented in car crashes that lead to death.

Whittaker lives in Hammond and he spoke to the Hammond Kiwanis Club recently about Miller’s concerns. He addressed the Stop the Knock campaign, a large campaign in neighboring Mississippi, which would hopefully stop that knock on the door when police officers have to tell a family their loved one has died in an accident.

3 Deaths in 10 Days Prompts Campaign

Miller sought out Whittaker’s assistance in her campaign after hearing of 3 Louisiana residents who died in car crashes, in just a 10-day period. All of the accidents during this short time had alarming similarities. They involved youth driving on 2-lane narrow roads, the drivers were speeding, and 2 of the 3 victims weren’t wearing seatbelts.

Stop the Knock Strives to Educate on Avoiding Fatal Accidents

“We’ve got to stop that knock,” Whittaker told the attendees of the Kiwanis meeting. Miller was supposed to join Whittaker at the presentation, but she couldn’t, ironically. She was at a funeral for former NFL player and Mayor of the Village of Tangipahoa, Michael Dywane Jackson Dyson, who was killed a few days earlier in a fatal vehicle accident.

Two residents of Hammond died earlier that week, in separate accidents; the victims were just 18 and 32 years old. Miller’s campaign hopes to put an end to these types of fatal accidents that result in lives taken way too early.

Stop the Knock involves talking to civic groups and leaders about the top causes of fatal car crashes. It attempts to educate those with the power to pass laws and influence others, teaching them how to help reduce fatalities by an auto accident.

Leading the Way to Safer Driving

Whittaker’s talk with the Kiwanis club urged leaders of the group to encourage young people to drive defensively, to avoid distractions, and to always wear a seatbelt. She also hoped to reinforce how important it is to never drive impaired. Tangipahoa Parish has several ways for drinkers to get a ride home, including Your Ride, Our Driver, LLC., a company started by off-duty police officers that provides professionally-driven rides through a booked service.

Distracted Driving: One of the Biggest Causes of Car Crashes

Texting, talking, and eating while driving are all forms of distracted driving—one of the leading causes of fatal accidents. Whittaker says that young people who have more than 3 other youths in the car quadruple the odds of getting into a car crash.

What else makes for a dangerous driving situation?

  • Driving too fast on Tangipahoa’s narrow rural streets, or any road, is another top cause of fatal car accidents.
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs – legal or illegal – is extremely hazardous.
  • Distracted driving can lead to death – for the driver and others.

There are serious consequences, personal and legal, for anyone who chooses to drive in an unsafe manner.

If you’ve been the victim of someone who has not driven responsibly and who has caused you injury from a car accident, my team of attorneys at The Law Offices of Tony Tramontana would like to talk with you. Fill out the contact form on this page and we’ll be in touch.

US 90 Through South Louisiana is Named State’s Most Dangerous Highway

A recent study has identified US 90 running through South Louisiana as the most dangerous highway in the entire state, also reportedly the 13th most dangerous highway in the country.

In the study, which business fleet and transportation consulting firm Geotab released to the public, data compiled by the Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was combed through to reveal the most dangerous highways. All highways considered were given a “Fatal Crash Rate” as determined by examining the number of deadly crashes occurring on the road while also adjusting numbers for daily traffic figures.

US 90 Sees Average of 27 Fatal Crashes Per Year

The Geotab study data shows that US 90 sees an average of 27 deadly crashes each year.

Lafourche & Terrebonne parishes crash statisticThis unfortunate number is a bit difficult to break down by parish, but news articles in databug.com archives point to the majority of crashes occurring in Iberia, St. Charles, and St. Mary parishes.

CEO of Gray’s South Central Planning and Development Commission, Kevin Belanger, says lack of controlled access onto Highway 90 is the reason for so many deadly crashes.

He notes that there are access points all over US 90, with people entering the road from all of the points, and most of the collisions are due to sudden braking. Rear-end collisions and side collisions are common as people turn onto and enter the roadway.

Politicians and Businesses Push to Upgrade US 90

Local politicians and businesses have pushed for years to get US 90 upgraded to current interstate standards. They’ve advocated for the revamped highway, which would be called I-49 South, to have limited access in order to ease travel between New Orleans and Lafayette.

CDM Smith and Regional Economic Models recently conducted a study for the Community Foundation of Acadiana that mostly focused on Lafayette; they projected upgrading the stretch of roadway from Raceland to Des Allemandes would cost about $150 million. This proposed highway upgrade is estimated to be completed by 2023. Additionally, a proposed upgrade to Interstate 310 in St. Charles Parish would cost $838.5 million and not be completed until 2021.

Gray section of highway crash statisticAll of these proposals are considered rather optimistic since the United States federal government and the Louisiana state government are currently lacking in source money to complete such projects. Regarding US 90, State Police Troop C reports:

  • Over the past 4 years, the section of highway that runs through Gray has seen about 1 or 2 fatal crashes annually.
  • Within the past 4-1/2 years, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes have seen an average of 7 deadly crashes per year.

Until these sections of roadway are updated, drivers must be careful when entering the highway and while driving on it. Distracted driving must be quelled and all drivers must understand that their concentration on the road is required at all times. Any slip in attention while driving, especially on US 90, can lead to injury or fatality for a driver and others on the interstate.

Any Highway Can Be a Dangerous Highway

If you’ve been a victim of a distracted driver or negligent driver accident in Louisiana, fill out the form on this page to contact the Law Offices of Tony Tramontana. We’d like to hear your story and let you know how we can help.

 

 

Bills Increase Louisiana Malpractice Cap & What It Means To You

Just a few months ago, the Louisiana’s House Civil Law and Procedure Committee sought to take an “all-encompassing look” at laws that govern malpractice in the state. This intended action effectively put a hold on a pair of measures that would increase Louisiana’s $500,000 economic damage medical malpractice cap. For the rest of the state’s 2017 legislative regular session, the bills will not be addressed for passing, instead, they will be reviewed out of session in a broader context.

What Would HB 526 Change for You?

Lawmakers and stakeholders in the 2 bills, including physicians and personal injury attorneys, will look over House Bill 526 and House Bill 51, to determine if the issues raised in the measures justify adjusting the cap on jury awards, which is currently $500,000. The bills raise many questions related to the necessity of changes in terms of a monetary cap and filing time.

What Would HB 526 Change? Raising the medical malpractice cap

HB 526 Would Extend Time to File Medical Malpractice Suit

Right now, plaintiffs have 12 months after the discovery of a medical malpractice incident to file their lawsuit. HB 526 would extend that filing time to 18 months. The measure would also increase the amount of time between the incident and the latest point of allowable filing, from 3 years to 5 years.

New Bill Addresses Cap on Medical Malpractice Awards

The bill would adjust the current cap on recoverable damages as well, getting rid of the cap in place right now of $500,000 with a $350,000 maximum awarded for non-economic damages. The cap would be replaced with a new maximum award that better represents the “actual cost of past and future medical care and related benefits.”

How Would Changes in the Medical Malpractice Cap and Filing Limits Play Out in the Real World?

Minden resident Corey Shadd’s grandmother died due to a misdiagnosis. He testified in favor of the new legislation, stating that the current medical malpractice cap is 43 years old and needs to be changed.

Shadd equates medical malpractice with the need to return something defective from a department store. He reasons that when you bring back a broken product, you’re refunded in full for the actual price you paid. However, there are often far more dire consequences of a defective “product” when it comes to medical malpractice, well beyond the original price of the procedure.

Rep. Tanner Maggee (R-Houma) has concerns about Shadd’s suggestion that there should be no time limits on demanding compensation for what is essentially a faulty service. Maggee questions Shadd’s insinuation that:

  • Time constraints on filing are “stringent”
  • A change to the cap on recoverable damages is needed

HB 526 would also alter the current medical review panel’s makeup. Current law states that the panel’s reviewers must come from the same specialty or class as the defendant doctor. The new measure would limit the panel to just one specialist and it would ensure that no other members are people that the physician went to school with or live near (within a 100-mile radius).

Current Medical Malpractice Cases Aren’t Impacted

Until any bills are passed, Louisiana’s medical malpractice award and filing time caps remain the same. To understand how a change in these caps would affect any litigation that may be currently ongoing should the measure’s pass, it’s best to speak directly with your attorney.

Right now, the introduction of the bills and the Committee’s delay serve to bring attention to matters that many think deserve greater investigation. But, until anything changes, plaintiffs in Louisiana medical malpractice cases are subject to laws that do include strict filing times and award limits.

If you feel you have a medical malpractice case that you would like a Personal Injury Attorney to look into, fill out the contact form on this page and someone from the office of Tony Tramontana Law will be in touch with you promptly.

 

Video courtesy of Nola.com.

New Study Says Louisiana is Stressed Out

Louisiana certainly has its share of leisure and entertainment activities, and it is well-known for its live music and street festivals. However, a new study shows that people who live in the state are generally stressed out.

WalletHub recently ranked all U.S. states according to a stress survey it created, which compiled results and gave a score to each state based on factors focusing on 4 areas: work-related stress, money-related stress, family-related stress, and health and safety-related stress.

Alabama came in first with a stress score of 56.91. Louisiana came in second with a score of 56.22.

Source: WalletHub

What Are People Generally Stressed Out About?

What are People Stressed Out About?

Stress levels reached their lowest in an entire decade in 2016. But, there’s some disturbing news regarding today’s stress climate. This year, we’ve seen stress go back up and it encompasses many areas of life. While 10 years ago stress may have been mostly related to work and money, today it is mostly caused by anxiety over election results, our current social and political climate, fear of violence, and the future of our country.

So, what exactly are people in Louisiana stressed about? The WalletHub survey took 33 elements into account, including but not limited to:

  • average commute to work,
  • hours worked per week,
  • housing affordability,
  • bankruptcy rate, and
  • suicide rate.

Their data showed some concerning information about stressful situations among our state’s residents; however, they also offered some useful expert tips on how to reduce stress.

These tips are absolutely relevant to Louisiana citizens. Less stress in our lives can mean fewer accidents and injuries due to the distraction of stressful thoughts and feelings. Reducing stress is a positive path toward health on many levels.

How Does Stress Affect Louisiana?

Louisiana’s stress score of 56.22 on the WalletHub survey doesn’t bode well for our state’s residents. The following are some of the survey’s findings, which likely contributed to Louisiana’s high stress score.

The state of Louisiana ranked:

  • 4th in the U.S. for the highest percentage of adults that were in poor or fair health
  • 4th in the U.S. for the highest divorce rate
  • 4th in the U.S. for the lowest credit score
  • 3rd in the U.S. for the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line
  • 1st in the U.S. for the fewest number of psychologists per capita

In contrast, the state of Minnesota came in on the WalletHub survey as the least stressed out state, with a score of 31.07.

Louisiana residents overall ranked family-related stress highest, followed by money-related stress, health- and safety-related stress, and finally work-related stress. The WalletHub findings showed that northern states generally have lower stress levels. Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa are the least stressed states, according to the survey.

Interestingly enough, the survey broke down data to rank states based on things like “Most Average Hours Worked per Week” and “Lowest Job Security,” and Louisiana did not rank in the top 5 for either of these classifications. Yet, stress is still rampant throughout the state, presumably for other reasons.

Louisiana Stress Rankings

What the Experts Say About Stress

Experts say the best ways to cope with stress include doing simple things, such as connecting and spending time with an animal, playing with children, laughing, planning ahead, being disciplined with finances, avoiding over scheduling, and taking better care of oneself, physically and mentally.

Stress—prolonged and chronic stress in particular—is a lot for the body and mind to manage. It can lead to careless, reckless, and thoughtless behavior that may harm oneself and others by causing car accidents, mistakes and injuries on the job, and abuse.

Most of us could probably use a lesson in how to better manage stress. Some people, unfortunately, haven’t figured out how to do this very well, and they’ve caused injuries as a result. If you’ve been a victim of personal injury of any kind, stress-related or otherwise, contact the law office of Tony Tramontana for a free consultation today.

The 10 Most Dangerous States to Drive In

Even though fatal car crashes in the United States have decreased in number, traffic collisions remain a grave problem. It’s a promising sign that there were approximately 10,000 fewer accidents in 2014 than in 2004, but 32,675 people were still killed in auto accidents.

The Most Dangerous States Based on Fatalities

Across the country, for every 100,000 individuals in 2014, we saw 10.2 deaths. Where were the most fatal collisions? The most dangerous state for drivers is Wyoming, with 25.7 deaths occurring for every 100,000 residents.

Wyoming fatality statistic

Louisiana, unfortunately, did not escape the list of top 10 most dangerous states to drive in for 2014. However, it’s our hope that the community as a whole will work to improve these numbers and our dangerous road situations in the coming years, reducing unnecessary vehicle deaths. The following are the top 10, starting with the least dangerous: Louisiana.

10. Louisiana Louisiana

Louisiana saw 15.9 road deaths per 100,000 people. It had 737 total roadway fatalities, and 51% of all fatal crashes occurred on rural roads.

9. South Dakota South Dakota

In South Dakota, 15.9 people per 100,000 died in auto accidents on the road. In 2014, this state had 136 total roadway fatalities, and 85% of fatal crashes occurred on rural roads.

8. Alabama Alabama

Alabama had 16.9 road deaths per 100,000 citizens and 820 total roadway fatalities. The state saw 66% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads.

7. South Carolina South Carolina

Coming in 7th on the most dangerous states to drive in list, South Carolina had 17.1 road deaths per 100,000 people. The total roadway fatalities for 2014 came in at 824, but 90% of individuals in the state were wearing seatbelts.

6. Oklahoma Oklahoma

Oklahoma experienced 17.3 road deaths per 100,000 people in 2014, and it had 669 total roadway fatalities. An unfortunate 90% of the drivers killed had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of equal or greater than 0.08.

5. North Dakota North Dakota

North Dakota saw 18.3 road deaths per 100,000 people. But, it had the 4th highest percentage of fatal crashes on rural roads. 33% of drivers killed on roads in this state had a BAC of equal or greater than 0.08.

4. New Mexico New Mexico

In New Mexico, 18.4 road deaths occurred for every 100.000 people. 92% of residents use seat belts in New Mexico, and 64% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads.

3. Montana Montana

Montana’s residents aren’t wearing seatbelts like they should. Only 74% of people buckle up while driving, and 18.8 road deaths occurred per 100,000 people.

2. Mississippi Mississippi

Mississippi had the 7th lowest number of citizens wearing seatbelts, coming in at just 78%. For every 100,000 people in the state, there were 20.3 deaths. In Mississippi, 91% of fatal auto crashes occurred on rural roads.

1. Wyoming Wyoming

Wyoming is the worst state on the top 10 most dangerous roads list. There, 150 fatalities happened on roadways, a high 25.7 fatalities for every 100,000 residents.

What Louisianans Should Look Out For

There’s a trend with the states listed above. All of them have high numbers of fatalities occurring on rural roads. In general, these types of highways and streets are less safe than those in highly populated areas. Looking specifically at dangerous roads in Louisiana, we have several of concern:

  • I-59
  • I-10
  • I-55
  • I-20
  • And I-90

All of these interstate roads have ranked in a list of the deadliest highways in the U.S.

We want Louisiana residents to stay safe on our roads and stay off statistics lists. While it may take some time to make that happen, choosing not to drive distracted or while under the influence is a good start, as is wearing a seat belt every time you’re in a motor vehicle.

Don’t Hesitate to Contact a Lawyer

If you’ve been the victim of the actions of someone who wasn’t driving safe, Tony Tramontana Attorney at Law wants to help. Fill out the contact form on this page to get information on how to handle a personal injury situation involving a car accident.

Occupational Injuries and Fatalities: A State-by-State Analysis

According to the most recent census data and an economic news release by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) of more than 4,600 occupational fatalities in 2014, Louisiana ranked 12th among all states, accounting for 120 fatalities caused by events or exposures pertaining to specific occupations.

120 Occupational Fatalities in LouisianaLouisiana Fatality Rate for occupational injuries

Of the 120 fatalities recorded, transportation incidents, harm caused by other people or animals, and falls or slips were the most common causes for these fatalities; other causes include fires and explosions, exposure to harmful substances, and contact with objects and equipment.

Compared to other states, Louisiana ranks high for occupational fatalities, but moderate to low for non-fatal occupational injuries. According to the BLS, Louisiana has the 7th highest fatality rate among all states, with 6.3 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees.

Louisiana is outranked by occupational fatality rates in Wyoming (13.1), North Dakota (9.8), Alaska (7.8), South Dakota (7.2), Mississippi (7.1), and New Mexico (6.7).

States with the highest nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses rates, which are calculated per 100 full-time employees, include: Maine (5.3), Vermont (5.1), Washington (4.7), and Montana (4.6).

Occupational Injuries Rates and Fatalities Rates by State

In the chart below, the state’s Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses are calculated per 100 full-time employees, and Occupational Fatalities are calculated per 100,000 full-time employees.

(Note: Each state voluntarily elects to participate in the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Some data was not available in states that chose not to participate in one or both surveys.)

State Nonfatal Occupational Injuries & Illnesses (per 100 FTE) Occupational Fatalities

(Per 100,000 FTE)

Most Fatal Industry in State 
Alabama  3.0 4.0 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Alaska 4.0 7.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Arizona 3.2 3.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Arkansas  2.7 5.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
California  3.8 2.0 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Colorado  N/A 3.3 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Connecticut  3.7 2.1 Transportation and utilities
Delaware 2.8 2.8 [1]Private Industry
 
District of Columbia 1.6 3.1  Private Industry
Florida N/A 2.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Georgia 3.2 3.6 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Guam 3.3 N/A N/A
Hawaii 3.8 5.0 Construction
Idaho N/A 4.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Transportation and Utilities
Illinois 3.2 2.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Indiana 4.0 4.4 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Iowa 4.4 6.0 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Kansas 3.7 5.5 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Kentucky 3.8 4.5 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Louisiana  2.3 6.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Main 5.3 2.9 N/A
Maryland 3.5 2.6 Construction
Massachusetts 3.3 1.7 Transportation and utilities
Michigan 3.7 3.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Minnesota 3.7 2.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Mississippi  N/A 7.1 Transportation and utilities
Missouri 3.3 3.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Montana 4.6 4.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Nebraska 3.6 5.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Nevada 4.1 3.1 Manufacturing
New Hampshire N/A 2.6 Private Industry
New Jersey 3.3 2.1 Construction / Transportation and utilities
New Mexico 3.6 6.7 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
New York 3.1 2.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
North Carolina 2.9 3.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
North Dakota N/A 9.8 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Ohio 2.9 3.6 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Oklahoma N/A 6.2 Transportation and utilities
Oregon 4.0 3.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Pennsylvania 3.6 3.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Puerto Rico 4.1 N/A N/A
Rhode Island  N/A 2.1 Private Industry
South Carolina 3.0 3.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
South Dakota N/A 7.2 Construction
Tennessee 3.3 4.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Texas 2.6 4.8 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Utah 3.3 4.2 Transportation and utilities
Vermont 5.1 3.2 Private Industry
Virginia 3.0 2.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Washington 4.7 2.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
West Virginia 4.1 4.2 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Wisconsin 4.0 3.5 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Wyoming 3.7 13.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Transportation and utilities


All data from 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2016.

Occupational Injuries and Fatalities, by Industry

The type of work/industry a state’s population regularly engages influences occupational injury and fatality rates.

For example, Wyoming ranks 50th in the nation for population size, but has the largest percentage of workforce in mining and agriculture. The same is true of Alaska, where the population size is small compared to the percentage of workers in high-risk occupations, such as commercial fishing and logging.

The proportion of a workforce that is employed in these high-risk industries varies by state. This variation can help explain differences in fatal and non-fatal rates among states.

In Louisiana, workers in certain industries sustain nonfatal and fatal injuries at a much higher rate than the overall workforce; those industries include: agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting.

Your Options in Louisiana Regarding Occupational Injury

Occupational injuries often result in lost wages, costly medical expenses, and emotional suffering. What’s worse, a wrongful death caused by negligence, poor working conditions, or unsafe equipment can destroy the lives of an entire family.

Whether it’s a broken bone, burn injury, neck or back injury, or catastrophic event, know that legal representation is available for you and your family.

Work-related injuries or fatalities can be devastating to a family. If you have any questions about an occupational injury or fatality, or if you suspect wrongful death caused by an employer’s negligence, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.