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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Debris on the road a frequent cause of a car crash

There are many risks for drivers on the roads of Louisiana that they must be wary of. Research is constantly striving to find out what causes a car accident and to seek out methods to stop them from happening. In some instances, these accidents occur due to issues that have nothing to do with drivers behaving recklessly, speeding, driving under the influence, or even because they are distracted. They can happen due to debris on the road.

Research from AAA discovered that there were more than 200,000 motor vehicle accidents between the years 2011 and 2014 because of debris. More than 500 people died and approximately 39,000 were injured. The concern over this stems from the increase in these types of crashes. Since 2001, accidents because of debris on the road have risen by 40 percent. They happen more often on the interstate in comparison to other roadways.

A better economy raises the risk of a fatal trucking accident

Given the vast number of negative aftereffects of a truck accident in Louisiana and across the U.S., researchers are constantly trying to come to a determination as to why they happen and to find ways to prevent them. The common reasons that come to mind including recklessness, speeding, driving under the influence, or truckers who violate the law when it comes to getting adequate rest. However, a recent study has come up with the surprising conclusion that a better economy has led to a greater number of fatal commercial truck crashes.

This study extends from trucks on the interstate to construction vehicles and delivery vehicles. Because a stronger economy can lead to the purchasing of more goods, this will naturally increase the chances that trucks will be in a crash. Given their size and the speeds at which they travel, these vehicles can cause a massive amount of damage, lead to injuries, medical expenses and fatalities. The researcher found that there was a connection between the economy and the number of motor vehicle accidents.

Injured Louisiana crash victims have 1 year to recover damages

An accident is described as an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. However, some suggest that the word accident should be replaced by something like crash or collision because so many injuries and deaths on roads in Louisiana and other states are caused by driver negligence and not by accident. Deaths and disabling injuries caused by automobile crashes surpass any other causes by far.

It is not uncommon for occupants of cars to suffer whiplash in the event of a crash. While victims often think they have suffered no injuries purely because they don't see blood or broken bones, neck and back injuries sometimes remain unnoticed for months or even years. These injuries are especially prevalent in rear-end collisions and can cause injury to the thoracic, cervical or lumbar spine. During a study of 137 victims of road collisions who went to the hospital after the incident, only 42 said they suffered pain immediately after the crash and 85 developed the pain later.

Legal help after a hit and run accident

Under Louisiana law, drivers involved in an accident where someone has been injured must stay at the scene until emergency personnel and authorities arrive. However, with a variety of justifications, some people might choose to leave the scene of a crash no matter the outcome. Those who have been injured or lost a loved on in a hit and run crash need to know what to do to achieve justice after this has happened.

The driver who departed the scene might have been operating the vehicle in a reckless manner, been texting and driving, or under the influence. As the person who was hurt or the family of the person who died combs through the circumstances, it is imperative that a full investigation be conducted. This can include a crash reconstruction, speaking to witnesses, checking possible street cameras that were posted nearby and doing a great many other things to facilitate a resolution. Law enforcement will seek out a hit and run driver, but the family of the person who was hurt or killed needs someone to look out for their interests and their interests alone.

Rules a truck company must follow to secure cargo

Trucks are a familiar a sight on Louisiana roads and fellow drivers are advised to take caution when sharing the roadways with them. While accidents are a danger, one of the more understated issues that can arise with a truck is whether or not the cargo that is being hauled is properly secured. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has certain rules that are in place for a truck company and a truck owner to adhere to to make sure that the load is safe. If this is violated and there are injuries or fatalities as a result of a crash, there could be the basis to file a lawsuit to seek compensation.

The rules that the FMSCA has in place are related to cargo except for that which does not have an actual shape or structure such as gases, liquids, grains and other similarly shapeless items. Items that are deemed to be cargo with structure and shape must be immobilized and secured on the vehicle. The devices used to keep the cargo in place must be sufficiently strong, use shoring bars, tie downs, dunnage or dunnage bags. Dunnage refers to an airbag or inflatable type of device. A combination of these can be used.

Police officer killed in crash due to alleged drunk driver

In Louisiana, an auto accident can occur at any time and affect anyone. There are a number of different reasons why these accidents might occur including a reckless driver or encountering a drunk driver among many others. As with any car accident, no one is immune. It can lead to injuries and fatalities even with those whose job responsibilities include investigating and helping others who have been in a crash. That includes law enforcement officers.

Such was the case when a police officer was injured and later died after an alleged drunk driver crashed into her cruiser. She was in the vehicle as a fellow officer investigated a separate accident on the interstate. Signal flares surrounded the accident area when the cruiser was hit. The officer suffered traumatic brain injuries and was non-responsive for days before she died. The alleged drunk driver, a 33-year-old man, was arrested on several charges related to the crash right after it happened. He was charged with vehicular homicide after the officer's death. The late officer was an 11-year veteran and had a 5-year-old daughter.

The time of year most dangerous for a car crash with teens

While drivers in Louisiana are fully aware of the dangers that can arise from a distracted driver, there are other issues that are being researched when it comes to a car crash that results from this behavior such as the increasing number of ways in which drivers can be distracted. On another subject, teen drivers are also a frequent concern on the roadways because of their inexperience and lack of judgment that accompanies that inexperience. If the two are combined, the roadways and the inherent hazards can be significantly worse.

Recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that there is a certain time of year when people on the road are in the most jeopardy due to teen drivers. AAA calls the time from Memorial Day to Labor Day - the traditional summer months - the "100 Deadliest Days." The reason for this is that there are more teens on the road than during the rest of the year. With that, the number of fatalities from car accidents with a teen involved rises to an average of ten each day. This is an increase of 16 percent from the other months of the year.

Louisiana law enforcement officer injured in motorcycle accident

A negligent driver can change a motorcyclist's life in an instant. For anyone riding a motorcycle in Louisiana, motorcycle unawareness is a constant concern. Because motorcycle riders are so vulnerable, when a collision occurs there is a significant chance the rider will suffer injuries or even death. Motorcycle accidents do not discriminate and can happen to any rider.

Recently a Baton Rouge law enforcement officer on a motorcycle was injured when his bike was hit by a car. According to police the accident happened at approximately 4 p.m. as the officer was overseeing traffic for a local event. He was heading west and had his lights and sirens working when a vehicle turned left into the eastbound lane and crashed into him. The officer was taken to the hospital with injuries that were classified as moderate to severe. They are not thought to be life-threatening.

Texting and driving and cellphone use a common cause of accidents

When Louisiana drivers are out on the road, the number of fellow drivers using their smartphones while driving is a concern. Unfortunately, it is a function of today's society that technology has advanced to the point where everyone is constantly dialed in. The temptation for many is too much for them to simply put the phone down and stop using it. While research and attempts on the part of law enforcement to tamp down on this activity are ongoing, it still happens and is a frequent cause of a car crash.

It is difficult to determine exactly how many accidents are a result of texting and driving, surfing the web or simply talking on a cellphone. Data from across the nation regarding fatal accidents in the U.S. in 2014 asserted that distracted driving was considered to be a factor that contributed in 3,000 of the more than 44,500 accidents that led to a fatality. Nearly 400 of them were distracted because of using a cellphone. It is believed that these distracted behaviors are actually underreported because the reports by law enforcement are relatively random and unreliable since drivers are not going to say that they were distracted when the accident occurred and it can be hard to find evidence of it in a crash reconstruction.

Multitasking a big factor in risk of a car accident

A survey by Kelley Blue Book found that 61 percent of drivers who took part confessed to doing several things at once while operating the vehicle. While the drivers acknowledged that they understand the dangers of distracted driving, they continue to do it.

In the study, 47 percent of those who replied stated that they used their phones while driving in residential areas; 40 percent said they did so while on the highway; 86 percent said they used their phones when stopped at a red signal or stuck in traffic. The most frequent ways in which drivers are distracted is through cellphone use (78 percent) and by using navigation devices (71 percent). Texting was third at 67 percent. Next was using music applications (47 percent) and interacting on social media at (31 percent).

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