Proving fault in a Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Case.
Every state requires residents to conduct themselves in accordance with prevailing standards of behavior to avoid unnecessary harm to others. When a person violates the state standards and injures another, that person may be required to compensate the injured for losses. On rare occasions, the theory of negligence requires a person(s) not to act. Negligence is the basis of nearly every personal injury attorney's lawsuit.
Below are issues related to negligence theory:
A victim taking legal action on the basis of negligence will need to show the defendant's "duty of care" to the victim, the defendant's "breach of duty", "actual and proximate causation" linking the breach to the injury, and "actual losses or damages". "Proximate causation" is proving the event has a causal connection to an injury or loss recognized by law. An event too distant from the harm caused may not be accepted as a proximate cause.
Negligence can appear in any context, including car accidents or products liability. As an example, a motorcycle rider that is injured in an 18-wheeler collision will need to show that the truck's drive or a third party's actions fell short of the standard of care. An instance of actions that fall below the "standard of care" would be that the truck driver ran a red light. Or, in product liability, a customer may need to show that the manufacturer's design fell below a state's "standard of care" to recover compensation for a defect that led to an injury.
Certain professions such as lawyers, physicians, and nurses must adhere to the "standard of care" required of a typical person in their profession or specialty. A professional who fails to meet the "standard of care" and acts negligently can be held liable for malpractice.
Defenses to a Negligence Lawsuit?
In a typical defense strategy, a defendant tries to remove an element of the plaintiff's "cause of action" to fight a negligence lawsuit. As an example, a defendant may try to prove they owed no duty to the victim, or that they "exercised reasonable care", or that their actions were not the "actual or proximate cause" of the victim's injuries.
In personal injury lawsuits in some states, a defendant may use one or more affirmative defenses. In these defenses, the defendant's attorney attempts to eliminate or limit liability through an attack on elements of the victim's case. The most frequent affirmative defense in a personal injury lawsuit is contributory or comparative negligence. While all states follow rules of comparative fault, some follow the rule of comparative negligence, and others the rule of contributory negligence. Under these doctrines, victims own negligent conduct may reduce the recovery award if their negligence contributed to the injury.
Comparative negligence reduces the victim's compensation by the percentage of fault. There are three forms of comparative negligence that states follow. In "pure comparative negligence" states, a victim can recover damages excluding the amount for which he or she is responsible. As an example, if a victim proves $200,000 of damages and is found 10% responsible, they will be able to recover up to $180,000. In states that follow "modified comparative negligence," if the victim is found to be 50% (or above) responsible in negligence, the victim is barred from recovering damages. And in other states following the rule of "contributory negligence," a victim is barred from recovery if any fault is found.
Another negligence defense is the "assumption of risk." In claiming "assumption of risk" as an affirmative defense, the defendant argues that the victim assumed risk involved in an apparently dangerous activity. As an example, a victim involved in car races at a motor club could naturally assume some risk of injury. However, a victim on a ride at an amusement park does not "assume the risk" of a mechanical failure that causes a restraint to detach with the victim in the air. The rule of "assumption of risk" does not apply to unknown hazards.
To speak with an experienced lawyer about your motorcycle accident, contact the personal injury attorneys in Lake Charles La, Lundy Lundy Soileau & South.
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As a costal state, many of our Louisiana residents are employed in the oil and gas and maritime industry. While these jobs can be financially rewarding, they often include harsh working conditions subject to a unique set of laws regulating personal injury offshore accidents and compensation. Hence, when injured, they need an experienced Lake Charles Maritime personal injury attorney to help obtain fair compensation when involved in an offshore accident.
The maritime industry is as vital to Louisiana as it is to the rest of the world. Maritime makes trade of essential goods and services possible and is responsible for an estimated one out of every five jobs in our state. Louisiana’s estimated annual maritime income is more than 3.5 billion.
If you consider the variety of vehicles, electronics, household items, clothes, and food products Louisianans consume, and understand the origins of the products, you quickly realize the impact of the maritime industry; as maritime shipping is the most efficient form of international transportation.
The term maritime industry, and thereby Maritime Law, pertains to sea and waterways navigation throughout the world. This industry has an economic impact of $11 billion annually in Louisiana, generating roughly $2 billion in tax revenue. In addition, The United States Department of Labor Statistics reports that Louisiana leads our country in the largest concentration of maritime jobs and is the top employer of captains, pilots of water vessels, ship engineers, sailors, and marine oilers.
Maritime occupations in Louisiana frequently involve hazardous work around heavy machinery, potential falling objects, and the possibility of fire and explosions. Due to sea conditions, work areas can be unstable, making slips and falls a common accident. Additionally, Louisiana’s rig and offshore workers are often required to move heavy equipment and tools, exacerbating these slip, fall, and crush injuries.
While most Maritime companies have safety protocols place, accidents still happen.
Lake Charles offshore accident law firms specialize in securing compensation for injured offshore workers under the U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act or the Jones Act; these two bodies of law govern maritime accident compensation.
When you or a family member have been injured in an offshore accident, consider contacting the experienced Lake Charles Maritime Accident Attorneys at Lundy Lundy Soileau & South for a free consultation.
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Premise liability is a legal concept roughly stating that property owners have an obligation to ensure the safety of those who visit their business or residence. When property owners fail to meet minimal obligations ensuring their visitor's safety, they can be held liable for visitors resulting injuries, accidents, or wrongful death. The following are a few instances that fall under premise liability cases:
Most premise injury cases are based on negligence, to win a premise liability case, the victim must prove the owner of the property was negligent with general maintenance of the property, with negligence defined as failing to take reasonable care of their property.
It is worth noting that it does not define property owner negligence solely because you were injured on another's property. Furthermore, just because the property was in an unsafe condition does not dictate that the property owner was negligent. An individual must show that the property owner knew that or should have reasonably been aware that the premise was in an unsafe condition, and further, failed to take proper measures to remediate the situation.
Types of Premise Liability
Premise liability cases can vary widely; even dog bites fall under premise liability because animals are considered property, reside on the property, and present a potentially unsafe condition. In addition, although many states require owners to exercise reasonable care and maintenance in property ownership concerning visitors of the property, other states utilize an older statute that may limit the property owner's responsibilities dependent on the condition of the visitor.
In these states, visitors are divided into three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is an individual that has the property owner's implied or express permission to enter the property. Invitees are people such as friends, neighbors, and relatives. The property owner is this situation owes an invitee the duty of reasonable care to keep the property fairly safe for the invitee.
A licensee is an individual who has the property owner's implied or express permission to enter the property. However, the licensee is entering the property for personal or business purposes. Licensees are generally individuals like salespeople. The property owner, by tradition, owes a licensee the lesser duty of warning the licensee of hazardous conditions that may create an unreasonable risk of harm if the property owner is aware of a situation, and the licensee is unlikely to discover it.
A trespasser is an individual that is not authorized to be on the property. Customarily, property owners owe no duty to trespassers except in the event the trespasser is a child. In cases like these, the property owner is obliged to exercise reasonable care to prevent a foreseeable and reasonable risk of harm to children produced by artificial conditions (i.e., swimming pools).
Because these rules can be pretty convoluted and differ from state to state, you should contact an experienced local premise liability lawyer about questions of liability.
Premises Liability Cases
Slip and Fall are fairly straightforward premises liability cases. Slip and Fall liability occurs when a visitor slips, trips, and/or falls on another's property. Several conditions that lead to a slip, trip, and fall are:
Inadequate Building Security cases usually arise in apartment complexes or office buildings. Owners of multi-family and commercial spaces have a duty to perform reasonable security measures to access the facilities. This duty is why larger apartment communities and office buildings typically have doormen or security guards. Smaller communities and buildings typically tenants to maintain locked front and back doors. If an assault or worse happens due to an unlocked door, the victim may have a premises liability case against the property owner; if it can be proven the property owner did not take reasonable actions in securing the property.
Swimming Pool Accidents generally involve unsupervised children and an unsecured swimming pool. For this reason, nearly all states and towns have laws and regulations that require swimming pools to be enclosed in a fence, often with a keypad or keyed locking gate.
Do you have questions for a premise liability attorney in Lake Charles, LA? Call Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South for a free consultation 337-439-0707.
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Slip, Trip, or Fall Accident Attorneys Responsibilities
"Slip and fall" is a term associated with injury cases in which a person trips or slips and incurs an injury on someone else's property. Cases such as these fall under the wider category of injury cases identified as "premises liability" claims. Premise liability accidents occur on property maintained or owned by someone else, and the owner of the property may be held responsible for the injury.
Many conditions can lead to injury, slick flooring, wet flooring, narrow stairs, poor lighting, or tripping hazards such as extension cords can cause an individual to slip or trip and be injured. Similarly, if someone trips on a broken or cracked sidewalk or tumbles down a flight of stairs, the owner can be held liable. In addition, slipping can occur due to slick surfaces wet from rain, snow, ice, or a hidden peril, such as a pothole.
Establishing Fault in Slip and Fall Cases
Legal responsibility for injury is not black and white in slip, fall, or tripping cases. Each case is dependent on whether the property owner acted prudently so that tripping or slipping was unlikely to happen and whether your actions were careless, not avoiding or seeing conditions that caused your fall. Below are a few guides to help you decide whether an individual or entity was at fault for your trip, slip, or fall injury.
An injured individual of a slip and fall on another's property must prove the cause of the accident was a "hazardous condition" and that the property owner knew of the hazardous condition. A hazardous condition must pose an unnecessary risk to an individual on the property, and it must be a condition that the injured party could not have anticipated under the conditions. The latter requirement implies that an individual must be aware of and avoid obvious hazards.
To establish that a property owner knew of a hazardous condition, it must be shown that:
To recover compensation for a slip, trip, or fall injury on another's property, it must be clear that an individual or party's negligence caused the injury. While this sounds obvious, often individuals do not grasp that some accident injuries are simply accidents, if fault can be found, it was their own carelessness.
To be held legally responsible for the injuries another suffered from slip, trip, or falling on another's property, the property owner of the accused business, store, restaurant, etc. you must prove:
The property owner must have caused or known of the dangerous surface or item.
Knew of the dangerous surface and failed to do anything about it; or,
Should have been aware of the dangerous surface because a "reasonable" person charged with caring for the property would have noticed and removed or repaired the hazard.
A third liability situation (the most common, although less clear) is decided by common sense. The law determines if the owner or occupier hazard remediation steps were reasonable.
In slip, trip, or fall cases on commercial real estate, there are often numerous individuals or entities that could be held responsible for another's injuries.
In a residential setting, a landlord may be held liable to their tenant or a third party for slip, trip, or fall injury on rental property. To hold a landlord accountable for an injury, a tenant needs to show:
The landlord had jurisdiction over the hazard that caused the slip, trip, or fall.
Repairing the hazardous condition would not have been unreasonably burdensome or expensive.
A serious injury was an identifiable consequence of failing to fix the hazard. The landlord's failure to remediate led to the accident that caused the tenant, or third party's slip, trip, or fall injury.
Do you need to file a slip, trip, or fall claim?
The Lake Charles injury attorneys at Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South have helped the injured in Lake Charles recover compensation when others would not take their case. If you have been injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident on another's property, call Lundy Law to discuss your case with an experienced serious injury attorney in Lake Charles, La. Injury cases carry a statute of limitations (time limits); start your discussion today by calling for a free case evaluation, 337-439-0707.
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Many car accident victims ponder the question of when and if they need to hire an attorney. While the answer certainly depends on the severity of the accident, the following are general guides to help you determine the best course of action for your case. For an exact answer, we highly suggest you seek the opinion of a competent personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Keep in mind; auto insurance companies retain teams of attorneys and insurance adjusters that begin evaluation of your accident claim as soon as you submit the claim. With this in mind, it’s essential that you consult a personal injury attorney if you are seriously injured in a car wreck to level the negotiating playing field.
Facing a team of experienced personal injury attorneys working for the billion-dollar insurance industry on your own is not a prudent move. While it is possible to make an injury claim alone, you are accurately at their mercy; they could determine your case is worth a thousand dollars, a few thousand dollars, or flat out deny your claim. It is up to their team to value your claim, since you probably don’t know your legal rights, alternatives, or what you can do to fight them. Their only job is to argue claims on behalf of their employers. Going it alone without experience has a predictable outcome.
This article also covers factors worth considering when considering the best personal injury lawyer for their relevant case. Such as, aren’t all personal injury law firms the same, and why it’s essential to your case - that you select a lawyer (or law firm) that has trial experience. We seek to answer these and additional questions that may arise.
When Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured, you have one shot at obtaining compensation for your past, present, and future recovery needs. Basing your decision to hire solely off a billboard, tv, or radio commercial is not the answer. Not always, but many times these lawyers or firms operate in high volume cases and will not or cannot, for lack of experience, take your case to trial. Instead, we suggest you seek an injury attorney or law firm with a great reputation and trial experience.
Retaining competent and experienced counsel is crucial when you are seriously injured in a car or truck wreck. Unfortunately, many victims attempt to represent themselves and commonly fail for a few clear reasons; insurance companies can afford to wait; their knowledge of similar settled claims, and they control the settlement offer. They play the game of offering just enough to make you go away. Often, the insurance company will make a settlement offer within days of your collision claim, hoping for settlement before your knowledge of the extent of your injuries.
These offers are referred to a “nuisance value offers”. The term used frequently by insurance claims adjusters to describe the “value” of the compensation they are willing to give you to make your personal injury claim go away.
Once the settlement is accepted, there is little to no recourse for the victim if they discover their life-altering injuries. A victim not represented by an experienced personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, La. is at a severe disadvantage when negotiating a settlement and at a greater disadvantage if the injury case should go to trial. A claimant that represents him/herself lacks the experience necessary to negotiate with an insurance attorney effectively. Claimants generally do not have a thorough understanding of negotiating medical bills incurred from their car accident injury, lack finances to retain medical experts, and generally cannot illustrate appropriate compensation commensurate with the injuries sustained and future medical need.
The short answer is: You should hire a personal injury attorney when you are injured in an accident. Property damage and severity of injury aside, you want to engage your personal injury attorney as soon as you are mentally (and physically) able to do so. Without intending to sound crass, the insurance industry is heartless.
They do not care that you have a life to live, a family to provide for, or that your injuries sustained kept you out of college for a year. Their only job is to minimize losses, and that is what your personal injury case is to the insurance adjusters and attorneys, a quickly settled, soon forgotten loss. If you are seriously injured, you need an experienced personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, La. to gain the compensation you will need and deserve.
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Perhaps after years of hard work and dedication, your small business has grown, and you find yourself ready to level up. Purchasing commercial real estate may seem the logical next step, and most often is for a growing business; however, there are few considerations you should be aware of before you do.
Residential real estate purchases are different from commercial real estate purchases. If you have bought a home or two and are endeavoring to purchase commercial real estate, you’ll soon find that purchasing commercial real estate requires more planning, research and can take longer to close.
An experienced commercial real estate attorney and broker can prove invaluable when providing the commercial documentation lenders require. Lenders want to know your business profits can pay for the commercial loan – and that future positive cash flow will not be interrupted.
What makes a piece of real estate commercial?
Any property used to expand and support a business in incoming generating activity qualifies as commercial property.
A few commercial real estate examples are office buildings, warehouses, retail shopping centers, manufacturing facilities, apartment communities, hotels, and land for commercial development.
Most business owners start their business in a space that makes the most financial sense, including a home office, garage, or shop in their backyard, and only consider purchasing a commercial space after their business has expanded. However, purchasing commercial real estate has benefits beyond the additional space:
Once you’ve decided that purchasing commercial real estate is the right move, it’s time to gather a team. Unless you are a commercial real estate agent turned attorney with a background in accounting familiar with negotiating real estate, leasing and contract law, and exposing liability, you will want to assemble a team proficient in these areas.
A successful team might include a commercial real estate attorney, commercial broker, certified public accountant, insurance broker, and a commercial lender. Your CRE broker and the attorney will need to supply the following services and documents to a prospective lender:
Commercial Real Estate Broker
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In addition, a commercial real estate attorneys in Lake Charles, Louisiana can assist you with the following commercial activities:
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What is Maritime (Admiralty) Law?
Maritime, or admiralty law, is a body of laws – conventions - and treaties that govern private industry maritime business, and other nautical matters, such as transportation and shipping and infractions of law occurring on open water, including offshore injury. Law of the Sea – is a set of International rules that govern the use of seas and oceans.
Thousands of individuals work on the waterways in The Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Alabama residents work on maritime vessels including drill boats, supply boats, crew boats, tankers, cargo ships, barges, dredges, and offshore drilling rigs. The work they do is physically challenging and dangerous.
Offshore workers in The Gulf of Mexico and others on our nation's waterways rely on co-worker's safe work practices - proper vessel maintenance - as well as the equipment they use in this dangerous environment to ensure their safety. Unfortunately, crew members are frequently injured because they are provided poor working or under-maintained equipment or lack the equipment they need to safely do their jobs.
If you have been injured on our nation's waterways or are grieving a family member's death from an accident that occurred on navigable waters, take action to retain experienced maritime legal representation.
Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South aggressively pursue the best interest and rights of:
The Most Common Causes of Offshore and Accidents
Catastrophic and fatal injuries occur frequently at and on offshore rigs, maritime vessels, and ports of call due to unsafe labor practices. The more common unsafe labor practices on offshore drilling rigs can include:
Knowing Your Rights
Depending on where the incident occurs, the accident could fall under maritime or Jones Act Law, while others are filed under Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. The outcome of your lawsuit hinges on finding an experienced maritime attorney familiar with an array of maritime injury claims. Our firm takes the time to understand your case, identify your goals, and enlighten you of your rights. Our team will pinpoint an effective strategy to pursue your personal injury claim and make certain you have the information you need to make a intelligent decision regarding filing an offshore injury lawsuit.
Contact the Maritime Injury Attorneys at Lundy Law
When you are injured in the maritime industry, laws surrounding your injury can be complicated, and gaining fair compensation can be difficult. For this reason, you need an experienced maritime injury law firm in Lake Charles Louisiana like Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South on your side. They are experienced in all aspects of maritime law and will ensure you are provided every protection afforded under maritime law.
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Commercial real estate attorneys operate to protect individuals and enterprises from financial pitfalls when buying, selling or leasing commercial property. Most homebuyers rely on their realtor to ensure a reputable local attorney handles the contract's legal elements. However, business owners should prioritize enlisting an experienced commercial real estate lawyer when buying, selling, leasing, developing, or engaging in commercial property transactions.
Why Hire a Commercial Real Estate Attorney
Closing a commercial real estate transaction can be complicated; from negotiating the purchase price to minimizing the buyer's or seller's risk, real estate attorneys protect their client's interest. Below we offer a few reasons you should consider partnering with an experienced attorney when buying or selling commercial real estate.
As a business owner, you probably lack the necessary time to discern the legalities of buying or selling commercial property, nor would you desire it. It only makes sense to engage an attorney to perform due diligence, ask the right questions, look at the facts objectively, and take on your concerns, leaving you free to focus on what matters most, your business.
Protect Your Interests
When buying commercial real estate for your company, hiring an attorney protects your interests by ensuring the contract is fair. In addition, a commercial real estate lawyer can protect your interest by negotiating exit procedures should the deal fall through and if hidden environmental or structural issues arise after closing the deal.
When considering a property that appears to be "too good to be true," an attorney can investigate on your behalf. For example, you find a commercial property that seems like a great deal, but what happens if the building has a tax debt of $125,000? An experienced real estate attorney can research land or property for liens or tax debt, helping you avoid a bad investment, or negotiate a price reflective of the lien or tax debt.
Commercial real estate contracts can be quite extensive and wordy. Unlike Realtors, real estate attorneys do not make a commission. Your attorney works for you alone; they do not have a stake in whether the deal falls through or not as real estate agents do. Real estate attorneys provide unbiased advice that serves your best interest, with the possibility of saving you money.
Understand Zoning Laws
Maximizing your commercial investment means knowing when to buy and sell your property. Zoning laws determine which types of development are available on the property. Knowing your property's zoning laws makes it simpler to find the right buyer when you decide to sell.
How Commercial Real Estate Attorneys Help Businesses
Commercial real estate transactions necessitate a comprehensive understanding of business and real estate law, real estate and financial transactions, and tax implications. Astute real estate attorneys will keep you apprised of terms and legalities, inform you of potential challenges that may arise in the negotiation and purchase process, and help you obtain the best purchase terms to support your business goals.
Purchase and Sales Agreements
A well-written purchase or sales agreement clearly defines the buyer's and seller's obligations, rights, and liabilities. The details of the contract will save you time, and money should conflict arise.
A lease agreement outlines such terms as the lease start date, rent, renewal details, and additional liabilities. Both tenants and owners benefit from enlisting a real estate attorney to review the details of the lease.
New Construction Agreements
Do you know your buyer rights when purchasing new construction? A real estate attorney should review any documents or contracts prepared by a builder to ensure your buyer's rights are protected.
Under eminent domain, it is possible the government could take ownership of a commercial property for public use. Property owner rights vary by state; an experienced real estate attorney can be a valuable asset when eminent domain issues arise.
Title Insurance or Title Exams
Title insurance is a critical element of a commercial real estate transaction. A real estate attorney can negotiate the best deals to protect the buyer's assets.
Commercial Lease Disputes
When commercial real estate disputes arise, an attorney can help enforce your rights as defined in the lease agreement through negotiation or litigation if necessary.
When considering buying or selling commercial property, the commercial real estate attorneys in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Lundy, Lundy Soileau & South, LLC have more than 100 years of experience handling commercial and residential real estate issues. Contact Lundy Law today to discuss your purchase or sales transaction.
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While many factors can contribute to commercial truck accidents, far too many are preventable. Commercial trucks can have a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds, depending on the load they carry; while the average passenger vehicle only weighs 3,500 pounds.
In addition to the weight of an 18-wheeler, the cargo it carries can also be hazardous, possibly resulting in further injury if involved in an accident. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that of the approximate 500,000 18-wheeler accidents per year, 5000 result in death.
Of the 5000 fatalities resulting from semi-truck accidents, seventy-two percent were occupants of other vehicles, 13 percent were pedestrian - motorcycle and bicycle riders, while 14 percent were truck drivers. Commercial trucks represent 4 percent of registered vehicles, but they cause 9 percent of annual roadway collision deaths.
Truck driver drug and alcohol use is widely believed to be the culprit of these commercial truck accidents, but statistics disagree. Roughly three percent of truck accident fatalities are the result of alcohol and drug use.
CRUCIAL FACTORS IN TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
Driver fatigue ranks at the top of the truck driver accident list. While governed by federal regulations that limit the number of hours truckers can legally drive, drivers often ignore these laws to meet the unrealistic deadlines set by the greedy company owners; that place profit above safety. Investigation of these accidents implies 13 percent of U.S. trucking accidents are due to driver fatigue. The number is likely higher than 13 percent; however, truck drivers rarely admit they fell asleep at the wheel or were overly tired.
As with passenger vehicle accidents, distracted driving moves up the list of causes, becoming a significant factor in trucking accidents. Distracted driving accounts for more than 18 percent of big rig accidents. Distraction happens in many forms; visual distraction is when a driver takes their eyes away from the road to view their cell phone screen, changes the radio, programs new GPS coordinates, or focuses on scenery or other drivers. Manual distraction is when the driver's hands are not on the truck's wheel or engaged in a task other than driving. Just like their four-wheel counterparts, truck drivers are known to engage in eating while driving.
A cognitive distraction occurs when a person's mind is on something other than driving and the vehicles surrounding them. Cell phone use is named in three types of distraction, which is why it is especially dangerous. In defiance of increasing cell phone driving laws, drivers continue to talk, text, video, skype, and zoom, as well as surf the web and watch programs while driving.
Unfortunately, when an 18-wheel driver slams his or her brakes, the truck's trailer momentum does not follow at the same speed as the truck's front, causing the trailer to swing around, also known as a jackknife. A truck that jackknifes poses an incredible danger to the vehicles surrounding the truck. A jackknifes can occur for many reasons ranging from slick surfaces to insufficient tread on the tires or taking a turn too abruptly.
TRUCK DRIVER INEXPERIENC
Commercial drivers in the United States are required to attend a thorough training program; many that share the roadway assume these drivers come out of the program fully trained with enough experience to get behind the wheel of a truck. As with most things in life, there is a precipitous learning curve to driving an 18-wheeler. Training usually includes general and specific instructions on maintenance of their vehicle, properly securing various loads, which types of loads increase the possibility of an accident occurring, and driving in various weather and traffic conditions. Hazardous and toxic waste transportation requires additional training.
Transportation companies operating in the United States are responsible for ensuring their fleet is well-maintained. Truck drivers are responsible for inspecting their vehicles, specifically the brakes and tires before driving on public roadways. 18-wheeler Accidents caused by failing equipment and poor vehicle maintenance are the responsibility of the company.
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Steps to take after a car accident was written on behalf of Lundy Lundy Soileau & South, LLP. - personal injury attorneys in Lake Charles La.
In the seconds or even minutes after a car accident, it can be challenging to think clearly. With thoughts running wildly through your head, it can be difficult to focus on what to do next. Your primary concern should be your safety, your passengers, and drivers on the roadway.
Traumatic emotions associated with a car accident cause many drivers to make mistakes that can limit their ability to gain compensation from their insurance company and the at-fault driver after the accident. Below are the steps to take after a car accident while protecting your rights.
First Step: Make sure everyone is safe and seek medical attention for the injured:
Safety is foremost; you will want to ensure the safety of all involved.
Remember safety first; the health and safety of those involved take precedent over financial considerations. Take all necessary safety precautions immediately.
Second Step: Assess the situation at the scene. Once physical safety has been established, start evaluating the accident. Here is what to do next.
Third Step: Obtain pertinent insurance information from all accident involved driver(s).
You will need the following information to settle the accident:
Additional items and information you will need to keep with the insurance information above:
By taking these initial steps, you are setting the stage for a successful case should legal action become necessary later.
Fourth Step: Call your insurance company to report the accident.
If possible, don’t delay in reporting the accident to your insurance company. It is always preferred if you are the first to initiate the accident claim with your insurance provider. Inform your insurance company of the details of the incident so they can start building your claim request. Your insurance company may decide to send an adjuster to the accident scene for assessment; This is why you should call them at your earliest convenience.
Even minor incidents need to be reported within a reasonable time frame.
The time frame can vary from company to company. Reporting the accident promptly will ensure your incident is compliant with insurance contract terms and thereby covered.
Why do insurance companies require accidents to be reported as soon as possible?
Too often, the injuries and effects of an auto accident are realized later in the day or days following the accident. Adrenaline released during the accident can prevent the body from experiencing pain, and only after the adrenaline rush subsides injuries become apparent.
Reporting the accident at the scene or shortly after provides a timeline for the insurance company. If the accident is not reported promptly, it is possible the personal injury portion of your claim could be denied.
If your wreck is serious and injury is evident, we highly recommend calling an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Recovering compensation for serious injuries, more often and not, requires the assistance of a knowledgeable trial lawyer. When in doubt, always seek consultation, personal injury attorneys do not charge for case evaluation and are only paid when they win your case. Seeking the advice of a seasoned personal injury lawyer is the prudent thing to do.
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Car Accident Attorneys
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Why would an individual or a passenger need to hire a personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles Louisiana when injured in a car accident? We offer examples of situations where victims could benefit from enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney.
In a recent report the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared that vehicle collisions cause $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm every year. Actual economic impact of car wrecks including medical expenditures are over $277 billion every year.
Societal injury from pain, continued suffering, decreased quality of life and loss of life costs $594 billion. Those responsible for these accidents should be made to pay these costs. The victims of those killed in a car wreck have the right to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim for compensation.
The car wreck lawyers at Lundy, Lundy, Soileau and South, L.L.P. have helped Lake Charles car accident victims recover appropriate compensation for nearly 40 years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports, every 10 seconds someone in the United States is involved in a car accident. Most of these accidents are avoidable, including those resulting from drunk driving, speeding, defective equipment, irregular or lack of maintenance, and other forms of negligence. Rarely do the victims of car accidents receive just and equitable insurance settlements. Your chances increase when you enlist the help of an experienced Lake Charles car accident law firm.
Our law firm can enlist the help of forensic accident specialist to identify the responsible party(s). We use the word parties, because it is possible that an automotive defect or maintenance issue contributed to the accident.
In addition, we can also enlist the assistance of medical and economic experts to more accurately determine the long-term financial impact of a catastrophic or wrongful death accident. Our Lake Charles personal injury attorneys give meticulous attention to every accident case we manage.
Passengers of a car accident are also entitled to compensation for their injuries. If you are injured as a passenger in a car wreck, see a doctor or go to the hospital immediately. Your claim as a passenger may be against all negligent parties, this could include the driver of the car you were in when the accident occurred, and the driver of other vehicle(s) involved. Information is critical as an injured passenger, . notate as much information about the circumstances surrounding the accident as possible; identify the drivers of each vehicle, year – make and model of each vehicle, weather and road conditions, identify witnesses – obtaining their contact information (name, telephone, address and if possible their driver’s license number). The information you gathered at the car accident scene may be key to you receiving compensation for your injuries.
Your Rights After a Car Accident Claim
Every driver in Louisiana is required to purchase auto liability insurance. Auto liability insurance is required in Louisiana to cover the damage and losses of a victim(s) when the policyholder is the at-fault driver. Victims should be fully compensated or “indemnified” for resulting economic and non-economic losses associated with the collision.
If an insurance company accepts their client’s responsibility, they will often settle a victim’s claim out of court. When you enlist a personal injury attorney in Lake Charles Louisiana, your attorney can send a demand letter to the insurer entreating appropriate compensation for your losses. Your attorney and the insurer will negotiate until a fair settlement is reached. Your attorney then brings the offer to you to approve or disapprove. If you agree to the settlement offer you may not change your mind after acceptance. If at this point you have not enlisted the help of a Lake Charles personal injury attorney and you are still within the prescription period, consult with an attorney be accepting a settlement. Insurance companies are notorious for pressuring victims of car wrecks into quick settlements for less than the value of their injuries. Louisiana personal injury attorneys are here to protect your rights and fight for full compensation of your losses.
If time is closing on your prescription period and you have not reached an equitable settlement with the insurer, a personal injury - litigation attorney will suggest you take your case to court. The serious injury attorneys at Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South are experienced trial attorneys.
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Although you may have filed an insurance claim related to Hurricane Laura, any new property damage caused by Hurricane Delta will allow you to file a second insurance claim.
A principle piece of information you need to know is whether your homeowner’s insurance policy carries a hurricane, named-storm or wind and hail deductible. Homeowner’s policies carry basic all peril deductibles which generally range from $250.00 to $2,000. However, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, separate hurricane deductibles, named-storm deductibles, and wind and hail deductibles were common in coastal states. These deductibles typically range between two and five percent of the insured value of your home. For instance, if your home has an insured value of $200,000 with a two percent deductible, you agreed to pay $4,000 out of pocket before your insurance “kicks in.” This means if the damage to your home is $4,000 or less, the insurance company will not be responsible for paying on your claim. You can find your deductibles on the first page of your homeowner’s policy or call your agent for more information.
The Single-Season Hurricane Deductible Law was enacted in 2009, the year after back to back Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit in 2008. A single-season hurricane deductible lessens the financial impact a policyholder must bear when multiple hurricanes cause destruction to an insured property during a single storm season (or calendar year). This law helps homeowners limit the cost of recovery if they are hit more than once during a hurricane season or calendar year.
The Louisiana Insurance Commissioner stated in 2018, that insureds are responsible for only one hurricane deductible per calendar year. That means, if additional damage makes it necessary to make a claim in connection with Hurricane Delta, the remainder of your hurricane deductible or your policy’s peril deductible, whichever is greater, will apply to the Hurricane Delta claim.
*Individuals insured under Surplus Lines Insurance Policies may incur a second hurricane deductible as insurance companies providing surplus lines of coverage are not prohibited by Louisiana State Law from assessing insureds additional hurricane deductibles. Review your policy and/or contact your agent if you are unsure whether you have a Surplus Lines Policy.
If your first claim falls below your deductible and must be paid out of pocket, document the damage of that storm with photographs and keep receipts for replacement purchases and repairs. The money spent on damages related to the initial storm or hurricane can be applied to the next deductible should you sustain damage in a second storm during that same season.
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Recovering from a serious car accident can create a significant financial burden. It is especially true when the accident requires an extended hospital stay followed by time off work to recover. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another driver, you are eligible for several types of compensation. This compensation is meant to provide you with resources you will need to recover.
Forms of Compensation Injury Lawyers Can Help You Recover?
There are four areas of compensation in a car accident claim:
Reimbursement of your car accident medical expenses can include medical costs incurred during hospital stays, attending doctor's fees, medical equipment, medication, and physical therapy. If your injuries require continuing medical care, you could be eligible for compensation to assist with future medical treatment and any necessary modifications to your vehicle or home after the accident.
Lost income compensation includes reimbursement of income for the time you were unable to work while recovering and possible future loss of wages. For example, a contractor who suffers accident-related permanent damage in his hands or legs would likely be unable to continue building. If forced into a lower-paying job, he would likely be able to sue for future income loss.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering refer to the emotional and physical distress the injured experienced in the course of the accident and the recovery process after.
Punitive damages are infrequently awarded in cases involving car accidents. Punitive damages are usually awarded only when the driver's conduct was exceptionally irresponsible. An example would be if the perpetrator were a drunk driver, your injury lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana could ask the court, or jury, to award punitive damages to prevent the perpetrator from further dangerous behavior.
Who Pays for My Personal Injury Claim?
Most personal injury claims are paid by the at fault drivers liability insurance. When the at fault driver fails to carry insurance or has inadequate insurance coverage, your UIM insurance (uninsured/ underinsured motorist) coverage kicks in to pay your expenses.
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
In a straightforward accident, when there is minor injury, minor property damage and fault is undisputed, your claim can mostly likely be settle without legal help. However, when your accident requires hospitalization and extensive recovery is necessary – your injury compensation case can get complicated and require the help of an experienced personal injury attorney in Lake Charles Louisiana.
Have You Been Injured in A Car Accident in Lake Charles Louisiana?
If you have been seriously injured in a car wreck you should seek the advice of an experienced car wreck lawyer as soon you can. Consider the personal injury attorneys at Lundy Lundy Soileau and South. Allow their legal team to help guide you through these difficult times; call 337-439-0707.
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The bulk of civil cases in the US pertain to personal injury. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports an average of 6 million car accidents a year and another 1.5 million medical malpractice cases every year.
So how does the average person gain a fair chance at receiving compensation in a personal injury case? Lake Charles Louisiana Personal Injury Attorneys discuss a few strategies below.
Transparency is key when speaking with your attorney.
Present all the facts, even those you think will disparage you, to your injury lawyer. Don't hide or forget to share details that you think will make you look bad or you deem unimportant. It's their job to decide if a detail is important or not. Do include preexisting medical conditions as these will usually come out anyway. Your personal injury legal team can only do their job effectively when provide with all relevant information.
Keep the details of your case to yourself.
Don't talk about your accident until you hired an attorney who can guide you. Somethings said loosely can be used on record and against you by the offending party's legal team. Stray comments or offering information not asked for can dismantle your case.
DO NOT speak to the insurance company representatives.
All comments made to the insurance company are on record. Often, insurance company representatives will manipulate the conversation to extract information that can damage your case. If an insurance representative calls, let them know you are working with an attorney and give them your attorney's information. Your attorney will provide the details of the accident and arrange a call when he or she can be on the call with you.
Do have what it takes for a legal battle.
Legal action takes time, do you have the time to battle the insurance company? Many clients don't think about this before engaging in legal action.
Avoid lawyers that promise large awards or big compensation without fully understanding your case. Ostentatious attorneys can seem impressive with their legal speak, but this does not equate to skill in the courtroom or at the negotiating table,
Do Your Homework.
When doing due diligence on attorneys and cases like yours, consider the most recent cases closed (within the last 5 years). This is a better gauge of what you can expect, and whether your claim will hold up in court.
Obtain a professional medical opinion.
Your attending doctor's medical opinion is critical to winning a personal injury case. Ask him or her directly what their testimony would be if you need to go to court over your injuries. If he or she implies injury is unrelated to the accident, your claim is in trouble. Doctors are viewed and used as expert witnesses; their testimony can be paramount to your case's outcome. Your doctor's reputation is also crucial to your outcome.
Document evidence of the accident.
Post-accident documentation is vital to securing compensation. When possible, collect video and official written documents and statements. The quality of documented evidence is everything using a camera or written official documents. Good-quality evidence is the foundation of any legal case. Collect everything and allow your legal team to determine relevance to your case.
Avoid discussing your case, especially on social media.
Many victims can't resist discussing the details of their case with friends and family, and even on social media. We cannot overemphasize that this can be detrimental to your award or verdict. When information is discussed in detail it can be taken out of context and most likely used against you. The old adage - not your every friend wishes you well holds much truth.
You and your legal counsel are a team.
Don't disagree with or try to upstage your attorney. If you take issue or disagree with a statement made by your attorney, discuss it in private to reconcile your strategy. The attorney and client need to be in consensus to be successful.
Be patient and trust the process.
Civil claims take time to resolve. Be patient; losing stamina can work against you. Ask your attorney to keep you apprised of progress and strategy. Impatience is a recipe for failure. You should have a general understanding of the timeline from your initial conversations with the legal team.
Understand the potential outcomes of your case.
Your legal team should be able to cover the range of possible outcomes of your case. Armed with this knowledge, discuss your physical and financial ability to endure.
A victim's character may be called into question.
When large compensation is at stake, the defendant's attorneys are known for digging into the past of the victim to damage their reputation. Be ready to have your life's choices questioned. Character assassination, while unfortunate, is frequently employed to win a case. Your attorney will advise you on steps that can help with this early in the consultation.
When is settlement a good option?
A settlement can resolve your case sooner, providing financial compensation and often allowing you to move past the accident and on with your life. Trusting your legal team is important when deciding to settle or continue the battle. That is why interviewing and finding the best personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for your case is of paramount importance. You will need a legal team you can trust, with experience and knowledge to help you make educated decisions in your pursuit of justice.
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SWLA is now faced with the devastation left by Hurricane Laura. Although a strong, resilient people, rebuilding can be a long, difficult road. No matter the size of your loss, Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South is here to help. Making a claim with your Insurance Company is vital to recouping your loss; however, the claim brings with it a home inspection with an Insurance Adjuster.
PREPARE for the Appointment with the Insurance Adjuster:
PARTICIPATE in your Home Inspection:
QUESTION the Insurance Adjuster as needed:
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According to J.D. Power 2020 survey, homeowner's insurance claims satisfaction is higher than ever - a total of 88% - are satisfied with how their insurance underwriters handled their property insurance claims. The information above should read as great news for homeowners, but unfortunately, it is not 100 percent. There are so many ways things can go wrong during a homeowners' insurance claim, and worse yet, there are dishonest tactics used by some insurers to try to sway an adjuster filing away from the homeowners' favor.
To keep your homeowner's claim on-track and under control, you may want to consider working with an insurance claims attorney from the start.
An insurance claims attorney can help you with:
Some insurance companies knowingly delay processing your claim. This strategy is an attempt to wear on your patience with the process and perhaps encourage you to take a lower-settlement amount rather than delay payment by challenging the assessment. A knowledgeable insurance claims attorney has countermeasures to encourage an insurer to act in a timelier manner. Most notably, suggesting the use of litigation often puts the process back in motion.
Homeowners' insurance claims are wrongfully denied and routinely. Sometimes denial is based on bad or insufficient information, and other times it is the first defense of a bad faith insurer. While you may challenge a denial by yourself, an experienced trial attorney will challenge the denial with an informed appeal, noting the potential of a lawsuit if the underwriter acts in bad faith.
If you have done a little homework on replacement value, you will probably notice a lowball settlement offer. Insurance companies will often propose a settlement below the claim's value, hoping you will accept it out of fear of receiving nothing at all or ignorance.
An experienced insurance claims attorney will know what a claim is worth and will act on your behalf to ensure your settlement is commensurate.
Knowledge is key to success
Insurance companies expect layman not to know much about insurance claims process. Surprise them by being prepared for the process should a dispute arise.
The first step is to discover the primary cause of the dispute by reviewing your initial claim and your insurer's responses. Have copies of all relevant email communication, paperwork, and statements in chronological order.
Consult with an attorney as early in the insurance claims process as possible.
An experienced Lake Charles insurance claims attorney can tell you whether you need assistance or not. If you do need assistance, you will be glad you retained one early.
If you have a substantial claim, as is usually the case with hurricane and flood damage, you will want a lawyer leading the way, especially if your insurer is offering a value substantially lower than your calculations. Now, if the settlement is relatively close to the replacement value and you can afford to make up the difference, you may want to consider accepting the settlement to save time and begin the recovery process.
If your home was severely impacted by Hurricane Laura call the insurance claims attorneys at Lundy Lundy Soileau & South for a free initial evaluation. We have successfully settled hundreds of business and home insurance claims for Lake Charles residents during Hurricane Rita.
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Motorbikes account for only just about 3 percent of registered vehicles in the U.S. However, motorcycle riders are involved in approximately 15 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. In addition, recent reports show that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than passenger vehicle drivers.
Louisiana Motorcycle Laws
The statistics are frightening for bike riders. Unfortunately, news outlets in Louisiana often report on lives lost in catastrophic motorcycle accidents.
Fortunately, Louisiana motorcycle laws are intended to keep motorcycle riders as safe as possible. If you plan to buy a motorcycle or you've recently purchased one, it's vital you understand Louisiana's motorcycle laws before hitting the road. These laws must be observed, as they are intended to mitigate the risk of injury and save lives.
Below we have shared what you need to know to safely and legally ride a motorcycle in Louisiana.
Motorcycle inspection and licensing
Motorcycle riders are required to secure a motorcycle endorsement from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles before hitting the road. A motorcycle endorsement is included on your primary driver's license after passing a motorcycle knowledge and skills test. Your motorcycle needs to be inspected within 40 days of purchase and you will need to pay the applicable taxes before registering your bike.
Helmet laws in Louisiana
Louisiana law requires both operators and passengers wear suitable helmets while the motorcycle is moving. Under LA R.S. 32:190, appropriate and approved protective gear is defined as having:
The helmet is a life-saving device. Countless studies show that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injuries by nearly 70 percent and fatality by 42 percent.
Eye protection laws
Riders do not necessarily need to be involved in a collision to injure their eyes. Tires from other vehicles are known to pick and throw road debris. If road debris makes its way into your eye while traveling at high speeds, it could restrict or damage your vision and ultimately end in an accident.
Louisiana law (LA R.S. 32:190.1) requires protective eye gear if your motorcycle does not have a windshield high enough to protect your face fully. In addition, it is illegal to use tinted protective eye-wear at night.
Traffic lane Laws
Per LA R.S. 32:191.1, motorcycle operators have full rights to use of traffic lanes. However, motorcycle operators may not ride side by side in a single lane (aka two abreast in a single lane). It is against the law for a passenger vehicle to deprive you of the full use of the lane.
In addition, it is illegal for a motorbike rider to:
Footrest and handlebar laws
Louisiana law (LA R.S. 32:191.3) provisions dictate that a motorcycle operator and passengers have a footrest. Additionally, your handlebars must fall below or level with your shoulders when seated on the motorbike. This law is intended to ensure control of the motorcycle; handlebars higher than shoulder height makes maintaining control more difficult.
Riding with children
Perhaps you are thinking you would like to share the open road experience with your child. Unfortunately, Louisiana law (L.A. R.S. 32:191(E)) prohibits riding with children who legally must be secured in a child safety seat. To ride a motorcycle in Louisiana, a child must be five years or older, fit properly in the passenger seat, and wear an appropriately sized helmet.
According to Louisiana motorcycle law provisions L.A. R.S. 32:191, your motorcycle should have a permanent and a uniform seat (if intended for two passengers). Seating can be a single seat with a capacity of two riders. Additionally, passengers can only ride on bikes designed for passengers.
Injured in a motorcycle accident while obeying Louisiana motorcycle laws?
While Louisiana motorcycle laws are intended to protect riders' from accidents, accidents still occur. Generally, accidents happen when passenger vehicle drivers act negligently. If you are injured in an accident due to another driver's carelessness, you have the right to compensation for the damage they caused.
Contact Lundy Lundy Soileau & South's personal injury attorneys in Lake Charles at (337) 439-0707 to request a free case evaluation by a trusted Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer.
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Governments around the world are imposing new traffic rules and making modifications to the existing ones to make roads safer. But those efforts aren’t proving to be that effective, in the U.S alone, the total number of car accidents that took place in the year 2018 was around 33.465 and a great many of these were fatal.
In cases where someone else is responsible for your accident, it's possible that you can recover compensation; however, in order to receive it, you will need the help of a car accident attorney Baton Rouge.
Before beginning your hunt for the best car accident lawyer out there, you will need to know which qualities are important when looking for a Baton Rouge car accident attorney.
It’s important to look for a Baton Rouge car accident attorney who will be available to you in times of personal duress. It is also equally important that they be local so that you can easily access them.
In addition to the car accident lawyer, the firm you chose should also have support staff that can aid your attorney in your pursuit for compensation.
Many attorneys practice a variety of areas of personal injury, and while there is nothing wrong with that to build a successful case for compensation it is crucial that you find an attorney that has successfully dealt with car accident cases before. You can also ask your lawyer about the specific case outcomes of his past cases so that you can gauge their likelihood of success. If you choose an experienced car, truck or motorcycle accident lawyer, chances are he will use tested methods to strengthen your case and help you in gaining corresponding compensation.
An attorney's success record is extremely important, but you will also want to consider their personality. You need to trust your attorney and working with one that has an opposing personality can be frustrating and lead to miscommunication. Like individuals in other professions, you will run into a variety of dispositions. Choose an experienced attorney that meshes with your personality type as your car accident attorney Baton Rouge.
Most people check internet reviews & recommendations when making important decisions. This approach also works well when choosing an attorney for your car accident claim.. Do keep in mind, not every review you read online will be true. A good car accident lawyer will always have good reviews on search engine results, social media and on their official website. An attorney with no reviews, good or bad, should be a red flag to you.
If you will choose a car accident lawyer by taking all the above-mentioned suggestions into consideration then your chances increase in finding the right compensation attorney.
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2020 is a year when the world finds itself struggling against a pandemic – COVID-19. With the norms of health, distancing and sanitization, most physical modes of life have come to a halt. There has been a digital shift in business, marketing, education, healthcare, so on and so forth. While this keeps the system functioning, there are disadvantages as well. Amid disorder and distress, several business scams have come up. Be it in the name of charity, promotion, fundraisers, online courses, etc. – the vulnerability of the world is being directed towards fraudulent activities.
Digital modes are inevitable under these circumstances. But knowing the types of scams, precautions and legal aid available will help. Let us find out further details!
What leads to these business scams?
During this crisis, several organizations, the government and individuals have undertaken large scale relief strategies. This includes food supply, masks, medicines, sanitation, funds and much more. Both online and offline modes are used to help people protect and rescue themselves.
This is what hackers and potential criminals take advantage of. Using malicious software, hidden viruses and illegal links, scams are set up regularly. Fake calls, messages and emails for monetary assistance may also be a part of this. While awareness campaigns may help protect people online, often legal assistance is required. That is when lawyers in Lake Charles come to your rescue with the support of an experienced law firm.
What are the different types of business scams?
The nature of business scams takes different forms. But mostly these can be linked to financing and charity, technological scams, sales schemes, medical assistance, etc. Some of the more common business scams include:
What precautions can be taken?
Even in the situation of crisis and chaos, there are some ways to be protected from scams. The most important is awareness about ongoing scams of all kinds. A background check before purchase or donations is a must. Emails from unofficial sources asking to sign up on links and sites using uncommon payment modes must be verified first. Using a safe network, controlling application access and refraining from sharing personal details, pictures or files are essential.
In case of a cyber threat, seek help from attorneys in Lake Charles LA. It is also beneficial to contact a trustworthy law firm like Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South. While getting the best lawyers in Lake Charles LA can be challenging, our company is here to handle your requirements.
Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South, is a reputed firm with professional and experienced lawyers in Lake Charles LA that deals with litigation, compensations, injuries, conflicts and legal services of all kinds. We give utmost priority to the client's needs through our qualified lawyers in Lake Charles who have provided recoveries worth billions.
So if you find yourself under the risk of any business scam or legal threat, contact our attorneys in Lake Charles LA today!
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A "wrongful death" is when someone dies from the negligence or misconduct of another. In the case of wrongful death, the surviving members of the victim's family may bring a suit for wrongful death against the plaintiff. Many wrongful death lawsuits ensue in the wake of a criminal trial, using parallel evidence but with lower requirements of proof.
While a prosecutor many are not able to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the surviving family members may still win a civil trial because the plaintiffs were able to prove the defendant was responsible for a preponderance of the evidence.
A wrongful death suit can only be brought to court by a relative or a representative of the deceased's estate. Each state has a civil wrongful death statute, or series of statutes, which determine the procedures for taking actions. Actions for pain and suffering, personal injury and expenses incurred prior to the deceased's death can also be brought by the family representative. The awards from the action(s) will be appropriated to the estate and could flow to designated parties as directed by the deceased's will.
Aspects of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
To bring a successful action of wrongful death, the following components must be present:
Many circumstances can lead to a wrongful death claim, such as:
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Economic injury is the core measure of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Courts have interpreted "economic injuries" as loss of support, lost prospect of inheritance, lost services, and medical and final expenses.
The law provides that the damages awarded for a wrongful death will be just and fair compensation for the economic injuries resulting from the deceased. In addition, if the plaintiff is responsible for the deceased's medical care and funeral, they may be compensated for those expenses. Ultimately, a damage award will include interest from the date of the decedent's death.
Determining Economic Loss
When determining economic loss, it is appropriate to consider the age, nature, and condition of the deceased, life expectancy, earning capacity, health, and education, as well as the circumstances of the surviving family members. This determination may seem uncomplicated, but it often becomes a convoluted inquiry, keeping in mind that the measure of damages is actual economic loss.
The principal consideration in awarding damages is the deceased's circumstances at their time of death. As an illustration, if an adult income earner with dependants dies, the critical areas of the recovery are: loss of income and loss of parental guidance. A jury considers the deceased's income at the time of death, or the last known income if unemployed, and potential future income.
Adjustments in the Jury's Award
In a wrongful death lawsuit, a jury determines the extent of the damages awarded after hearing the evidence. The jury's determination is not always the final word. The size of the award can be adjusted down or up by the court for an array of reasons. For instance, if the deceased routinely wasted his income, this could reduce the recovery. Likewise, the courts could diminish a jury's award if the decedent had inadequate income, even if he were young, had good earning potential, and supported multiple children. Concurrently, a jury can award lost income despite the deceased being unemployed; if the plaintiff can present evidence, the deceased worked in the past and can present evidence of the deceased's typical earnings while employed. If the plaintiff is unable to present evidence of the deceased's typical earnings, the court may dismiss the jury's damage award and order a new trial.
Using Expert Testimony to Determine Economic Loss
The surviving family representative can present expert testimony of economists to establish the economic value of the deceased to his family. Until recently, expert testimony was inadmissible when a housewife died, but that statute has changed. When a homemaker, not employed outside the home, dies - the economic impact on the survivors is absent. However, there is an increase in expense to substitute the services she provided or would have provided if she had lived can be considered. If jurors are not knowledgeable about the monetary value of a housewife's services, expert testimony may support the jury in this evaluation.
Punitive damages are awarded if serious or malicious misconduct is found, to punish the transgressor, or as a deterrent to keep others from behaving similarly. In most states, plaintiffs can not recover punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, some states award recovery of punitive damages. In state's that do not explicitly exclude punitive damages in wrongful death cases, courts have held punitive damages applicable. A wrongful death attorney can advise you on your state's position on punitive damages.
Survival Actions for Personal Injury
In addition to wrongful death damages, plaintiffs may be able to recover personal injury damages. These damages are called "survival actions" because the personal injury action survives the person who suffered the injury. The deceased's representative can bring survival action jointly with the wrongful death action, for the benefit of the deceased's estate.
In a survival action for a deceased's conscious pain and suffering, the jury may make inquiries to help determine the value of damages, including:
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Investing in commercial real estate can be a tricky endeavor. Even cash sales run into financing, zoning, and environmental issues. In addition, there may be dozens of laws and regulations that must be met to complete a valid transaction. A local commercial real estate lawyer in Lake Charles Louisiana can take care of many of these steps for you. Not only will they be familiar with environmental and zoning issues, they can consult with you on construction and financing contracts, as well as tax obligations, use of land and development.
From negotiating the sale to analyzing the purchase agreement and final contract, a real estate lawyer does more than facilitate a closing. They work in a specialized field and are trained to recognize suspicious contract language and identify potential pitfalls. An experienced commercial real estate attorney assists you at every step of the process, answering questions as they arise and making recommendations along the way. Involving a real estate attorney in the purchase process will leave you feeling confident in the sale and relieve the bulk of stress that is sure to arise.
Public entities and landowners often seek consultation when negotiating tax abatement arrangements (LERTA) and tax incremental financing (TIF). When a law firm has attorneys experienced in banking, finance, construction and contract law, they are better able to represent their clients, providing favorable deals.
Furthermore, commercial real estate law firms help clients negotiate and draft development and construction agreements, ground leases, property management contracts, and sale contracts; they can help with title insurance and conduct closings in the states they are licensed to do so.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO REVIEW A REAL ESTATE CONTRACT?
Most states do not require that a commercial real estate attorney review your contract before a purchase. However, it would help if you understood that a purchase agreement is legally binding. If you do not understand any section of the contact, you should consult with an experienced commercial real estate attorney immediately.
WHAT DOES A COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY DO FOR A BUYER?
The core role of your real estate attorney is to ensure the sale or purchase of the commercial property goes smoothly and equitably. However, there are differences in the roles a real estate attorney takes on when representing the buyer versus representing the seller. As a buyer’s agent, the attorney will guide you through different processes depending on the purchase. The process is different for an apartment building than it is for an industrial complex or even a bank owned property. If you are purchasing a property in a flood zone, the structural integrity might be compromised or the property could have been exposed to hazardous materials, a real estate attorney can provide advice that would allow the purchase to move forward.
In summary, commercial real estate attorneys offer a range of legal services that can help identify development opportunities while managing risk.
WHAT DOES A COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY DO FOR A SELLER?
There are unique benefits to employing a real estate attorney as a buyer and as a seller. A commercial real estate attorney can help a seller work through issues that would typically impede a sale. Examples include properties with a lien, properties with structural damage, properties with existing leases, or when selling a property with multiple owners. If any aspect of a commercial property sale gives you pause, we suggest speaking with a commercial property attorney in Lake Charles Louisiana to clear up your reservations.
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While each state has its own set of laws governing wrongful death claims, in this article, we will look at Louisiana's definition of a wrongful death claim, and who can bring this type of lawsuit to one of Louisiana’s district courts. We will also cover damages available in a wrongful death case as well as discuss the time limits that affect these claims.
A wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation when "a person dies as the result of another’s fault," according to Section 2512.2 of the Louisiana Civil Code. A wrongful death claim can be the result of wrongdoing by an entity or an individual. A wrongful death may be caused by purposeful action or an accident. In other words, wrongful death can range from intentional conduct to negligence or recklessness.
A wrongful death claim is often the surviving family member's only recourse for the untimely death of a loved one.
Eligibility for Filing a Wrongful Death Case in Louisiana?
State law establishes specific categories of persons who can bring a wrongful death claim to court when an injury is fatal. The following parties are entitled to file a wrongful death claim:
In addition, adopted family members in the categories listed above may file a wrongful death claim. If no surviving family members exist to bring a wrongful death claim, a deceased person's estate could potentially bring a wrongful death claim to court.
If a parent is determined to have abandoned the deceased person during his or her childhood, that parent cannot file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim may, in some instances, also include a criminal lawsuit filed by the district attorney's office. In cases where the at-fault driver is found to be driving recklessly or impaired, the D.A. Office may file homicide charges against the at-fault driver.
A criminal case does not preclude the filing of a wrongful death claim, but the surviving family should understand the differences between these two categories of claim. The prosecutor’s office will file a criminal case, while it is up to the surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim. In a criminal wrongful death case, the fault is punished with penalties such as probation, fines, or confinement or prison time. In contrast, in a wrongful death case, liability is conveyed solely in terms of monetary damages. For further clarification, we encourage you to speak to a Louisiana wrongful death attorney about how the two classifications of cases can influence each other.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Reparations (Damages) in a wrongful death claim can include noneconomic and economic losses. Economic losses include specific, measurable losses, including:
Non-economic losses include losses suffered due to a wrongful death that cannot be verified with a receipt or bill. The non-economic losses that can be addressed in a wrongful death claim include:
Surviving family members of the deceased should seek both economic and noneconomic damages when filing a wrongful death claim. If surviving family members are not capable of bringing the claim to court, an executor or representative of the deceased person's estate can bring a claim to seek economic damages for the losses suffered by the estate.
Statute of Limitation (Time Limit) for Filing a Louisiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The statute of limitations in Louisiana for wrongful death claim is one year starting from the date of the death. You must file a wrongful death claim by this deadline to ensure your case will be recognized. Contact our Lake Charles Louisiana wrongful death attorneys for a free consultation on your claim.
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Car accidents are an unfortunate risk we take every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle. If you happen to be involved in one, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles that will ensure you are justly compensated.
This article will help you to decide if you need to contact a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury law firms fees are contingency-based, so there is never a disadvantage in at least consulting a personal injury attorney in Lake Charles. So now, let us take a look at the reasons you should contact a personal injury attorney.
More often than not, accident victims should consider calling a personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles for the following three reasons:
Often, car wreck victims do not contact a personal injury lawyer at all. They think their injuries are mild, go away without medical attention, and often forgo a medical evaluation. But gradually, with an increase in pain, they realize that they have underestimated their injuries. These untreated injuries can cause short or long term damage that can linger, causing the injured to unnecessarily live with pain.
While your injuries may not be severe enough to rush you to an emergency room, you should understand that car accident injury may take a while to develop. Not seeking medical attention immediately following an accident can decrease your chances of getting compensation for the medical claim.
While you are busy trying to be optimistic about your accident, make sure that you are not causing long term damage to your body. Seeking medical attention following an accident allows a physician to ask questions about the accident, helping determine the appropriate test to ensure you are indeed injury-free. A personal injury attorney in Lake Charles will usually encourage you to seek medical attention for your protection.
Stress and paperwork
With a car accident comes lots of paperwork. Phone calls and interviews with insurance companies, an ever-increasing pile of forms and affidavits, none of which leave you time to process the accident or begin recovery.
Even if your injuries were not severe, merely navigating the paperwork and phone interviews can be stressful. The opposing insurance company's job is to limit their liability, and their questions are geared to do just that. It is advisable to get the help of a Lake Charles personal injury attorney. Our attorneys are acquainted with the insurance adjusters and lawyers' mode of questioning and can help you avoid pitfalls of the interviewing process. Our injury attorneys Lake Charles act as your representative, take care of the paperwork, filings, work with your medical providers on billing, and call the insurance companies involved in the claim.
Yes, accidents are indeed unfortunate, but the trail of events that follow an accident can be even more hapless. The most frustrating of them is the expense. Recovering from a serious car accident can result in tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The accident might not seem very serious at first, but slowly you realize its financial impact.
There are many types of damages and expenses in a car accident injury:
Mentioned above are the most common financial effects of an injury that take a toll on your financial stability. If you have been involved in a car accident in Lake Charles Louisiana , consider contacting our Lake Charles personal injury attorneys.
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When you have incurred an injury, you may find you need to consider legal options, especially if you are seriously injured in a slip and fall accident on a residential or commercial property. Seeking guidance is acutely critical in instances where the accident resulted from the property owner’s negligence.
Should you decide to file a slip and fall lawsuit, you should be familiar with the rules and regulations that can affect your claim. A skilled Lake Charles Louisiana slip and fall lawyer can help you understand the nuances of these laws and help you build a solid claim.
The Prescriptive Period for filing a Slip and Fall lawsuit
Lawsuits for an injury in Lake Charles need to be filed within a year of the accident. The prescriptive period also includes claims for property damage or an injury filed by any person involved in a slip and fall on a dangerous property. If an injury lawsuit is not filed before the deadline, the court may disallow the case even if the injury case is valid.
Even when you believe the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay the claim, you should allow enough time to initiate a lawsuit on the off-chance you are unable to reach a settlement. Consulting a Lake Charles Louisiana slip and fall lawyer can prove helpful when faced with a filing deadline.
Comparative Negligence Rule in Lake Charles
When a victim has been found partially negligent or contributed to the accident in any way, Louisiana’s comparative negligence rule will assign a percentage of negligence that will affect the amount of compensation a victim is eligible to receive. Louisiana Civil Code - Article 2323 defines this rule.
The central portion of this statute states that if an individual sustains an injury, loss, or death owing partly to their personal negligence and partially due to the fault of another person or persons, the total of damages recoverable will be reduced proportionately to the degree or percentage of negligence ascribable to the individual who sustained the injury, loss or death.
When a slip and fall injury case goes to trial in Louisiana, according to Article 2323, the jury or the court will first determine the amount of losses sustained by the victim (such as lost income and medical expenses). After the dollar amount is determined, the attributable negligence of each party will be defined as a percentage. After the award has been determined the injured plaintiff’s percentage of negligence will be subtracted from the award. This means an at-fault plaintiff can recover compensation for their injuries but reduced in proportion to their at-fault percentage.
Confused by the idea a plaintiff can be partially at-fault? Below are a few ways the property owner can argue their case:
Get in Touch with a Lake Charles Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Slip and fall claims can be challenging to navigate due to Louisiana’s Comparative Negligence clause and the relatively short prescriptive period. If you were injured in a slip and fall due to a Lake Charles residential or commercial property owner’s negligence, you may have a claim for compensation even if you were partially at-fault.
Building a strong case against the property owner is essential when seeking compensation for your injuries. If your serious injuries require compensation, consider consulting with an experienced Lake Charles slip and fall attorney to learn how to build a strong slip and fall claim.
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You may be surprised to learn that every year the U.S has more than 6 million car accidents. While not every accident is severe, in 2018, 768 of them lead to fatal injuries in Louisiana. In most cases, accident victims come out with minor injuries, while for others, the car accident confines them to their bed for prolonged periods.
If another is responsible for your car accident, then you are entitled to receive compensation for both physical and financial loss that you have suffered. But you may find negotiating an appropriate settlement on your insurance claim difficult, why not consult with a car wreck lawyer in Baton Rouge. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they don't get paid unless they recover compensation for their clients.
Below we will look at common mistakes that can affect your car accident claim.
Relying on your Insurance advisor
If you take the time to read your auto insurance policy statement, you will realize within a couple of lines that insurance jargon can be difficult to understand. Not understanding their insurance policy, many people come to rely on their insurance adjustor to compensate them for their accident fairly. Keep in mind, an insurance advisor will only share the information mandated by state law and then again, only if you ask them the correct questions. Instead of relying on an insurance advisor, whose job it is to minimize their company’s exposure, consider discussing your case with a car wreck attorney in Baton Rouge for the advice and guidance you deserve.
Agreeing on a quick settlement.
There may be a situation when you are seriously injured in a car accident that leads to soaring medical bills. The insurance companies are well aware of your current situation and are familiar with the stress of financial insecurity involved. Often, an insurance company will try to rush you into a settlement, which is generally less than the amount you will need to be fully compensated. If you find your insurance company is pushing you to agree on a settlement, we suggest you hold off until you have an opportunity to speak with a car accident attorney in Baton Rouge. An experienced attorney can help you understand the correct value of your accident based on current injuries, recovery time, and your potential future medical needs.
Not calling law enforcement.
In order to prove that the other party involved in the accident was guilty, you will need several sources of evidence. The evidence will help to strengthen your case in the court, and one critical piece of evidence is the accident report. Many think that involving the authorities in an accident can lead to additional trouble. Still, you should know that to prove fault and obtain appropriate compensation, you should call the authorities. The accident report will contain detailed statements about the accident, and it will be used as a substantial piece of evidence by your lawyer.
Waiting too long
The moments and possibly weeks after a car accident can be confusing, painful and disorienting; they shouldn’t be financially crippling as well. While you might not be in a position to worry about the details of the accident, someone should act on your behalf. You or a loved one should consider hiring an attorney at your earliest convenience. Every state and insurance company has a time frame for filing an accident claim if you allow that time to elapse, you can lose the right to compensation.
Avoiding the mistakes listed above and choosing an experienced car accident attorney can increase your chances of obtaining appropriate compensation.
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