Louisiana’s Poor Road Conditions Might Be Causing Car Crashes

Drivers all over the state of Louisiana are facing high costs when it comes to operating their vehicles, and poor road conditions might be the most harrowing. A recent article in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report stated how bad the road conditions actually are in Baton Rouge, and there’s evidence of major road troubles in other cities too, including Lafayette.

high costs due to public road conditions

It’s hard enough to deal with the exorbitant costs of fuel and general vehicular maintenance. Add to the mix shoddy road conditions and the damages they cause, and drivers in our state face a dire situation.

The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report revealed that the annual cost for a Baton Rouge resident to drive a car on the city’s roads is $2,466.

This cost is the highest in our state, factoring in only the price of driving on Louisiana roads as related to often-poor street and highway conditions, lack of safety features in our infrastructure, and general costs to operate a car.

The Real Cost of Poor Road Conditions in Louisiana

 

If our state’s roads are so bad, riddled with potholes and shoulders that simply drop off, what do you think the chances of getting into a car accident are? Pretty high, right? Additionally, Louisiana drivers frequently have to deal with construction zones blocked off in order to repair roads, which is yet another hazard for which drivers are sometimes left to pay the price.

costs of vehicular maintenance

Along with the high costs of repairing a car that’s been wrecked due to poor infrastructure, people are injured in these accidents. Injuries that happen because someone in government failed to maintain a road shouldn’t happen. So, who’s at fault if it does?

In many cases, the government entity (a city, county or state) is liable for the auto accident if a poor road caused the crash. These organizations are charged with maintaining public roads for public safety. If they don’t do their job, they can be held accountable.

government responsibility to vehicle accidents

 

 

In order to prove that a government entity is responsible for a vehicular accident, injury victims need to show that:

  • The government knew of the road condition or should have known
  • The government failed to repair a faulty road it knew about
  • The government did not act (repair) in a reasonable amount of time

Making a Claim Against the Government for a Bad Road

If you’ve been in an accident and you think a poor road in our state was the cause, you might be wise to make a claim for damages. The first thing you should do after your accident is to seek medical attention if required. Then, document the following:

  • The location of the accident (what businesses and buildings are around you?)
  • The street or highway name
  • The direction of travel
  • The specific location on the road where the damage is that caused the wreck
  • The characteristics of the road damage (size, depth, etc.)
  • The names and contact information of witnesses

When making a claim, you will need to know which government entity is responsible for the section of road related to your accident. You can call the county commissioner’s office for help locating the government entity to which you will direct your claim.

poor road conditions accident

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and think that poor road conditions caused the crash, contact Tony Tramontana. We want to hear your story and help you with your claim. Fill out the form on the bottom of this page and we will be in touch with you promptly.

 

What Can I Do If My Child Is Injured at Daycare?

What to do if child is injured at daycare?

As a father, I understand that when our children are injured, our parental instincts take hold and we spring into action. These injuries are even more devastating & infuriating if the injuries occur at a facility that’s supposed to be watching our children.

If daycare neglect occurs, we have the right to get angry and also to pursue legal recourse.

What Defines Daycare Neglect?

definition of neglect

The American Medical Association defines neglect as “an act or failure to act that results in serious harm or imminent risk of harm.” Many types of injuries could fit under this definition, but one example would be an unsupervised child getting injured on the playground.

At the law office of J. Antonio Tramontana, we understand the sensitivity of these claims, and are dedicated to providing professional and discrete legal services to families in need. If necessary, we’ll help you contact the appropriate authorities, and provide legal recommendations if you decide to file a claim.

Criminal vs. Civil Charges

Criminal charges and civil cases are both options if a child gets hurt due to neglect. After the authorities have been notified, the government may decide to pursue criminal charges. Sometimes justice can be served by putting the neglectful operators behind bars; but, depending on the evidence, sometimes nothing can be done. And unfortunately, criminal charges will not compensate the child’s family for their pain and suffering.

 

physical an emotional compensation

 

So regardless of the criminal case, children’s families may also pursue a civil case to hold the accused financially accountable as well. Compensation could be awarded for physical and emotional suffering, medical expenses, and any other justifiable costs.

Heed the warning signs and regularly inspect the condition of any facility or home providing care for your child. If your child was injured at a school or daycare, we want to hear your story, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. You can contact us at 318-340-1515 or TramontanaLaw.com

Balancing Lawsuit Abuse & Protecting Victims in Louisiana: The Johnson & Johnson Talc Case

Ovarian cancer is rare, accounting for just 1.3% of new cancer cases in the U.S. However, Johnson & Johnson, a pharmaceutical company worth an estimated $70 billion, is paying millions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs across the country that allege the company’s talcum powder and bathing products caused their ovarian cancer.

talc powder

In February 2016, a family from Alabama was awarded $72 million after successfully bringing their case against Johnson & Johnson to trial in St. Louis. A few months later, Johnson & Johnson lost another $55 million lawsuit to a South Dakota woman who blamed the company for her ovarian cancer.

A Louisiana woman recently came forward with similar claims. Shintelle Joseph says she’s been using the product for 10 years and was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

According to The American Cancer Society, talc is listed as a risk factor, but not explicitly, or without reservation. There are many contradictory studies regarding the regular use of talc, the best of which doesn’t make any certain claim one way or the other, and therein, lies the problem.

Protecting Against Lawsuit Abuse

The Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW), a nonprofit group based in Baton Rouge dedicated to stopping lawsuit abuse, believes there’s something else at work here. The organization is drawing awareness to the fact that without conclusive scientific evidence, Joseph’s case, along with similar ovarian cancer cases against Johnson & Johnson, may incite unsubstantiated fear and overburden our community’s legal resources.

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch

Protecting Victims of Unsafe Products

However, victims of unsafe consumer products, negligence, or defective drugs must have a voice and access to a defense if we are to hold corporations accountable for their actions. Louisiana has a questionable history of judicial access (see our story on Glenn Ford), so it’s important that we protect all of our citizens, especially the most vulnerable members of our society.

Louisiana needs skilled personal injury lawyers to help victims put their lives back together after an accident or injury, but we should approach these opportunities without the use of controversial tactics.

protect citizens

Why It Matters

Aside from congesting the Louisiana court system, dubious personal injury claims have an impact on our state and economy. We need to help victims get back on their feet but without stagnating growth and development. In addition, dubious cases are vulnerable to being overturned by appellate courts.

impact of claims on state and economy

Here at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, we’re dedicated to our client’s interests as well as maintaining an equitable judicial system in the state of Louisiana. We specialize in a range of Louisiana personal injury claims including medical malpractice and auto accidents. If you have questions, 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.

What We Can Learn About Personal Injury from Jamie Lynn Spears’ Daughter’s Accident

ATV accident

One year ago this February, Jamie Lynn Spears’ 8-year-old daughter was in a traumatic ATV accident on her family’s Kentwood, Louisiana property. The child, Maddie, suffered critical wounds when she swerved her off-road vehicle in order to avoid a drainage ditch, reported TMZ, citing the Sheriff’s Department of Tangipahoa Parish.

Louisiana’s state laws regarding ATVs currently do not put restrictions on riders’ ages and they do not mandate drivers’ training, although the state does recommend training. Had there been laws in place to help children stay safe on ATVs, the accident may have been prevented.

no restrictions on ATV rider's ages

A Quick Reaction does not Always Equal Safety

Maddie was said to have been submerged underwater for at least several minutes, while Spears’ and husband Jamie Watson tried to free her from the ATV. The young girl’s parents had made it to the scene of the accident within seconds after the crash; however, due to the vehicle’s netting, seatbelt, and weight, they were unable to bring her above water immediately, says TMZ.

When paramedics arrived several minutes later, they were able to free Maddie from the off-road vehicle and lift her out of the water. Nonetheless, the young girl was unconscious and had to be airlifted to a hospital in New Orleans that was about 80 miles from the property.

time of the ATV accidentA source told Us Weekly that “Jamie’s got to be losing her mind” and that “Maddie grew up riding ATVs.” The source added, “Something must have gone way wrong.”

The accident occurred at roughly 3 p.m. local time on Sunday, February 6, 2017. TMZ first reported Maddie’s condition upon arrival at the hospital as “extremely serious.” According to the media outlet, by Monday afternoon, Maddie was reported as critical but stable.

Louisiana ATV Laws

Because Louisiana does not currently have minimum age requirements for off-road vehicles, Maddie’s ATV accident begs the question: “Did something really go wrong or did a young person simply not know how to handle a potentially dangerous vehicle?” Following this celebrity family crash, I think it is a perfect time for residents of Louisiana to consider whether or not young riders should be of a minimum age, and what laws might help keep riders and their passengers stay safe.

Louisiana ATV laws

The following is all that is mentioned currently in state law regarding ATV riding in Louisiana:

  • All ATVs have to be titled and registered, with the exception of ATVs used solely to support agriculture.
  • ATV owners will receive a sticker that must be placed on the vehicle. Renewal of ATV registration occurs once every 2 years, through the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Riders must not operate ATVs in state parks.

Additionally, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) website states that there is no specific agency that regulates ATVs, offering only a suggestion to enroll in a safety-training course for ATV riding (which, as stated, is not mandatory).

Personal Injury Attorney at Law

preventing ATV accidentsAs a Personal Injury attorney, I have seen many scenarios like this and worse. Children and adults have suffered injury or even death due to accidents that may have been prevented, had there been laws in place regulating activities involved in the situation. I make it my business to help families deal with these kinds of tragedies, but despite my personal involvement, I wish these accidents would never happen.

If you have been involved in an accident in which you’ve suffered a personal injury in Louisiana, or if you’re wondering what remedies you and your family may be entitled to after an accident, please reach out. My law office, Tony Tramontana Attorney at Law, specializes in complex cases like those involving ATV accidents and other personal injury situations.

Please fill out the form on this page or call me at 318-340-1515 to receive a free consultation. I want to hear your story. I am here to help you get you the help and compensation you deserve.

Infant Mortality Rates: States with High Frequency

6 out of every 1000 infants don't make it to their first birthday

The death of an infant is devastating; it’s a life that was cut far too short. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that .6% of infants don’t make it to their first birthday (6 out of every 1,000). The CDC monitors infant mortality rates to help depict the health and well-being of our nation.

In their most recent National Vital Statistics Report, the CDC compared live birth certificates from each state and linked them with death certificates for infants under the age of 1.

In addition to calculating the current national infant mortality rate, the CDC also looked into other factors including the cause of death, race, access to healthcare, and gestation period to understand more about infant mortality rates in the U.S.

Louisiana has the 2nd highest infant mortality rate in the U.S.

 

Louisiana ranks second among all states for the highest infant mortality rate. While District of Columbia reported the highest infant mortality rates, the states with the highest rates include: Mississippi (11.46), Louisiana (9.85), Alabama (9.53), South Carolina (9.49), North Carolina (8.81), Tennessee (8.77), Ohio (8.17), West Virginia (8.16), and Georgia (8.07).

Louisiana has second highest infant mortality rate

The chart below highlights the CDC’s findings, including the infant mortality rate by state, and the actual number of infant deaths by state.

State Infant Mortality Rate per 1,000 Live Births Number of Infant Deaths in 2013
Alabama 9.53 500
Alaska 5.93 66
Arizona 6.85 449
Arkansas 7.83 297
California 5.32 2,354
Colorado 6.44 333
Connecticut 5.85 173
Delaware 9.02 69
District of Columbia 13.67 62
Florida 7.24 1,322
Georgia 8.07 899
Hawaii 6.58 121
Idaho 5.98 121
Illinois 7.38 937
Indiana 8.04 602
Iowa 5.44 166
Kansas 7.37 252
Kentucky 6.73 356
Louisiana 9.85 549
Main 6.87 91
Maryland 7.30 477
Massachusetts 5.13 300
Michigan 7.89 800
Minnesota 5.09 300
Mississippi 11.46 371
Missouri 7.52 491
Montana 7.25 69
Nebraska 5.66 136
Nevada 5.66 186
New Hampshire 5.27 69
New Jersey 5.17 462
New Mexico 6.17 139
New York 5.82 1,169
North Carolina 8.81 832
North Dakota 5.96 64
Ohio 8.17 1,019
Oklahoma 7.95 359
Oregon 5.99 223
Pennsylvania 7.29 937
Rhode Island 6.46 70
South Carolina 9.46 390
South Dakota 6.98 79
Tennessee 8.77 544
Texas 6.55 2,255
Utah 4.52 264
Vermont 6.49 26
Virginia 7.47 631
Washington 5.07 392
West Virginia 8.16 159
Wisconsin 6.54 417
Wyoming 6.63 37

*Data sourced from National Vital Statistics Report, Vol 64, No.9, August 6, 2015

Infant Mortality Rates Differ by Race

The CDC notes significant differences in infant mortality by race or ethnicity. For example, the mortality rate of black infants is more than twice that of white non-Hispanic infants.

According to information from 2010 census data, states with the highest African American population currently include District of Columbia (50.08%), Mississippi (37.30%), Louisiana (32.4%), Georgia (31.4%), Maryland (30.1%), South Carolina (28.48%), Alabama (26.38%), North Carolina (21.60%), Delaware (20.95%), and Virginia (19.91%).

Seven of ten states with the highest African America populations also have the highest infant birth mortality rates.

Cause and Effect

 

The leading cause of infant death in the U.S. in 2013 was Congenital malformations, which are physical defects involving several parts of the body including the brain, heart, lungs, liver, bones, and intestinal tract. Congenital malformations accounted for 20% of all infant deaths that year.

Congenital malformations can be genetic, but can also be caused by environmental factors including alcohol and substance abuse. However, some disorders can be detected before birth through prenatal diagnosis screenings.

The second leading cause of infant death relates to short gestation period and low birth weight, followed by maternal complications.

Maternal complications, in particular, can often be avoided with proper prenatal care and regular health checkups. Discussing pre-existing medical conditions with a doctor before pregnancy, as well symptoms or conditions that occur during pregnancy can help reduce the likelihood of maternal complications and infant death.

Louisiana at a Glance

many infant deaths can be avoidedIn Louisiana, the mortality rate among black children is consistent with the national findings and is twice that of white, Asian, or Hispanics infants.

More specifically, the age and socioeconomic status of the mother can be correlated to high infant mortality rates. For example, mothers aged 15 to 19 in Louisiana are more likely than mothers aged 35 to 39 to suffer a loss.

While some infant deaths can’t be avoided, there are plenty of infant fatalities that can. Here in Louisiana, the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana may be able to help families suffering the loss of an infant by assessing whether the care and treatment of the mother and child were properly attended to during pregnancy and delivery.

We specialize in a range of Louisiana personal injury claims including medical malpractice and birth injury. If you have questions, we 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.

 

 

 

Civilians May Be Investigating Louisiana Auto Accidents Soon

If you find yourself in a future fender bender in New Orleans, don’t be surprised if a civilian is the one investigating it. The city recently green-lighted a plan for common folk and possibly retired police officers, under the management of a New-Orleans based “civil traffic accident investigation and support” firm, to be given contracts to review traffic accidents.

Civilians May Be Investigating Louisiana Auto Accidents Soon

As of September 12, 2017, a proposal written to provide support in the collection of information on non-DWI and non-injury accidents effectively took the investigative role out of the hands of the New Orleans Police Department. The move was an effort to free up time for officers in the department. The contractors will gather evidence and then send data over to police, which will allow officers to put more of their time and resources into non-traffic duties.

New Orleans Police Department Sought Proposals for Traffic Contract Work

The New Orleans Police Department has specific requirements that had to be met in order for the requested proposals to be considered. Each proposal for traffic investigative contract work had to include a commitment to:

  • Collect data and facts after dispatching to the scene of an accident
  • Deliver reports and data to New Orleans Police Department supervisors, who then determine fault and issue any citations warranted
  • Maintain crash response records that police officers can access free of charge
  • Provide data to “interested parties” including insurance companies (for a fee in accordance with local and state laws)
  • Furnish all of the needed equipment for investigating a crash, including vehicles and uniforms with emergency lighting that distinguishes the contractors from police

The City of New Orleans’ request for proposals ultimately gives police discretion when deciding how they will use civilian investigators and to what extent. The police department can choose which geographical areas the civilian investigations will take place in and to which types of accidents they will be sent. Police will also be allowed to train investigators in whatever manner suits the department’s purposes.

A Previous Bill to Use Civilian Investigators Never Made it Out of Committee

This year’s legislative session saw Sen. Wesley Bishop (D-New Orleans) draft a bill that would have allowed the city to use civilian investigators. But, it didn’t make it out of committee. Even though the idea failed in the legislature, a spokesperson for Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration, Erin Burns, says that city officials are sure that their plan complies with Louisiana law. Burns confirmed that the initiative already received a “go-ahead” from New Orleans’ city attorney.

Burns adds that she believes the legislature would have eventually solidified the plan and that it is indeed legal. She suggests that civilian investigation of certain traffic accidents is a helpful way for New Orleans to move forward in increasing manpower for the police department and on the city streets.

On-Scene Services Submits Winning Proposal

After the city and New Orleans Police Department met at City Hall in September, they decided that On Scene Services would win the proposal war over two other companies vying for the contract; city officials voted to begin contract negotiations. The winning proposal includes On Scene Services hiring Pinnacle Security and Investigations, Inc. to hire the necessary traffic officers – a plan of action that would not require an upfront cost to the city. All costs would be paid for by ordered services including accident reports, video footage, and witness statements, in tiered or custom packages ranging from $100 to $600.

On-Scene Services will hire reserve, off-duty, or retired police officers to fulfill investigative duties. The firm says it has run a similar model at times, and it feels confident it can provide the service to New Orleans at no cost to the city.

Fender benders take up too many man hours and resources, according to the New Orleans Police Department. Now, with the green-light of the plan, the city can focus efforts elsewhere. What will this mean for citizens who get into minor accidents? Maybe not much that’s noteworthy.

Regardless of who is investigating an accident, those involved should still document all of the details of the accident themselves and then call an attorney – whether there were immediate injuries or not.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Tony Tramontana today.

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

Louisiana’s required insurance minimum amounts are very low compared to other states. As an example, the state has a $15,000 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 $15,000.

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.