Answers to Our Frequently Asked Questions

When you are involved in an accident or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice or abuse, you may not even know the right questions to ask at first. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to see what others have asked and read our answers to learn all you can about your case.

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  • Is lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure?

    Yes, multiple studies link asbestos exposure to lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. These studies determine the following:

    • People who inhale asbestos fibers have an elevated risk of developing lung cancer.
    • All types of asbestos may increase a person’s risk of lung cancer.
    • The greater the exposure to asbestos fibers, the stronger probability of lung cancer.
    • The danger of lung cancer is higher in people who are exposed to asbestos and who also smoke.
    • Symptoms of lung cancer may not present for 15 years or more after contact with asbestos.

    Typically, this cancer is a possibility for people exposed to asbestos frequently over a significant amount of time. This includes construction workers, factory workers, military veterans, and shipbuilders.

    The Early Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

    lung_cancerLung cancer has the greatest number of cancer deaths in the United States. Each year, this disease claims more lives than cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate combined.

    However, the prognosis is better for people who are diagnosed early and receive prompt medical treatment. Accordingly, it's important to see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

    • Coughing with or without blood
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Shortness of breath
    • Hoarseness or wheezing
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Frequent or chronic respiratory infections
    • Swelling in the face or neck

    How Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Differ

    Both lung cancer and mesothelioma can manifest due to asbestos exposure. However, they're two distinct diseases.

    In 1942, the National Cancer Institute confirmed that asbestos could cause lung cancer. By 1986, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration declared lung cancer to be the greatest risk for people who work with asbestos.

    Lung cancer is caused by many things, including asbestos. It develops inside the lungs and typically appears as distinct masses with clear borderlines.

    In 1909, British pathologist J.G. Adami used the term mesothelioma to describe cancer in thin tissue lining various organs, including the pleura, or the lining surrounding the lungs and thorax. In 1935, another pathologist, Steven Gloyne, made the connection between mesothelioma and occupational asbestos exposure.

    Pleural mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. It appears as interconnected tumors in the tissue lining that don't have clear borderlines.

    Financial Recovery for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma

    If you have lung cancer or mesothelioma after working with asbestos, you deserve a fair financial recovery. Our experienced asbestos injury lawyers are pleased to offer you a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

    If we take your case, we'll represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t owe us any legal fees until your case is resolved. To learn more, contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303.

  • How long do I have to file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

    Every state has a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after you become injured. Statutes of limitations serve several purposes. In a typical personal injury case, the statute of limitations allows a case to be heard while the evidence is more likely to be available. This time limit also provides a specific deadline when defendants know they can make a motion to the court to have the claims dismissed. Statute of limitations on mesothelioma lawsuits

    Mesothelioma Is Different, but Statutes of Limitations Still Apply

    Generally, the statute of limitations begins when you knew (or should have known) about your injury. In mesothelioma cases, this may mean the date of your diagnosis or the date when your symptoms prompted you to see a doctor. It is not the date when you were exposed to asbestos.

    Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases:

    but no longer than 20 years after asbestos exposure
    State Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
    AL 2 years 2 years
    AK 2 years 2 years
    AZ 2 years 2 years
    AR 3 years 3 years
    CA 1 year 1 year
    CO 2 years 2 years
    CT 3 years * 3 years *
    DE 2 years 2 years
    FL 4 years 2 years
    GA 2 years 2 years
    HI 2 years 2 years
    ID 2 years 2 years
    IL 2 years 2 years
    IN 2 years 2 years
    IA 2 years 2 years
    KS 2 years 2 years
    KY 1 year 1 year
    LA 1 year 1 year
    ME 6 years 2 years
    MD 3 years * 3 years *
    MA 3 years 3 years
    MI 3 years 3 years
    MN 2 years 3 years
    MS 3 year 3 year
    MO 5 years 3 year
    MT 3 years 3 years
    NE 4 years 2 years
    NV 2 years 2 years
    NH 3 years 3 years
    NJ 2 years 2 years
    NM 3 years 3 years
    NY 3 years 2 years
    NC 3 years 2 years
    ND 6 years 2 years
    OH 2 years 2 years
    OK 2 years 2 years
    OR 2 years 3 years
    PA 2 years 2 years
    RI 3 years 3 years
    SC 3 years 3 years
    SD 3 years 3 years
    TN 1 year 1 year
    TX 2 years 2 years
    UT 3 years 2 years
    VT 3 years 2 years
    VA 2 years 2 years
    WA 3 years 3 years
    D.C. 3 years 2 years
    WV 2 years 2 years
    WI 3 years 3 years
    WY 4 years 2 years
      * but no longer than 20 years after asbestos exposure

     

     

    In some cases, the statute of limitations may be shortened or extended. Therefore, it is important to act as quickly as possible.

    Don’t Let Time Run Out on Your Mesothelioma Claim

    Contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You have nothing to lose by talking to a lawyer now. However, if you wait too long, the lawyer will be unable to file a claim on your behalf.

    Our mesothelioma lawyers understand that you are facing a difficult time. When you decide to hire us, we will not charge you any upfront legal fees. Instead, we will be paid a percentage of your mesothelioma settlement. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, please contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303

     

  • Is aspiration pneumonia a sign of nursing home neglect?

    The general public may be unfamiliar with aspiration pneumonia, but this is a serious illness that can compromise a senior's fragile health. If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia, this may be a sign of nursing home neglect. Aspiration pneumonia in nursing homes

    About Aspiration Pneumonia

    Aspiration pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that occurs when food gets caught in the airway. The lungs become inflamed as bacteria grows. Signs of aspiration pneumonia include:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Bad breath
    • Constant coughing
    • Chest pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Difficulty swallowing food
    • Fatigue
    • Disorientation
    • Sudden weight loss
    • Blue skin discoloration

    Aspiration pneumonia can be diagnosed with a chest X-ray, CT scan, blood test, sputum culture, and/or barium swallow. Patients can be treated with antibiotics to kill the infection and steroids to reduce swelling in the lungs. Extra oxygen may be needed during the recovery process.

    Complications of aspiration pneumonia can include:

    • Lung abscess
    • Empyema, a condition where pus collects inside the lungs
    • Bronchiectasis, a compensatory thickening of the insides of the lungs due to chronic inflammation
    • Increased risk of future episodes of pneumonia

    Aspiration pneumonia can be fatal if the condition is not properly treated.

    Aspiration Pneumonia Among Nursing Home Residents

    Most healthy people can cough up food, liquids, or saliva from their lungs with no problems. However, aspiration pneumonia is a common illness in nursing homes. Nursing home residents at risk for aspiration pneumonia include:

    • Alzheimer's patients
    • Stroke patients
    • People with cognitive impairments
    • People with conditions that limit their ability to chew or swallow food
    • People using feeding tubes
    • People with weakened immune systems
    • People who often take sedative medications
    • Individuals with a history of smoking, alcohol use, and/or IV drug use

    Care providers who work with elderly individuals are taught a number of safety precautions to reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia. These include:

    • Serving soft foods and thickened liquids that are easier to swallow
    • Having residents sit up while they eat or tilting the bed of bedridden patients to a 30- to 40-degree angle for mealtimes
    • Having residents take small bites, eat slowly, and swallow with their head down
    • Encouraging proper dental care to kill bacteria in the mouth that can cause infections

    In the vast majority of cases, aspiration pneumonia is a preventable condition. If a resident is determined to be at high risk for developing aspiration pneumonia, there should be a care plan in place to take all appropriate safety precautions.

    Aspiration Pneumonia and Nursing Home Neglect

    Aspiration pneumonia is not automatically considered a sign of nursing home neglect, but it can be an indication that an elderly resident is not receiving proper care. The condition can suggest:

    • Lack of proper supervision while feeding
    • Understaffing
    • Inattentive or inexperienced staff
    • Failure to monitor a resident's health and seek prompt medical treatment

    If you believe your loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect, you should first discuss your concerns with the facility administrator. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help you take legal action.

    A nursing home neglect claim can include compensation for medical expenses related to care of aspiration pneumonia and associated complications as well as pain and suffering. Punitive damages, while not awarded in all cases, could also be received if there is a pattern of particularly severe neglect and disregard for the safety of elderly people left in the care of the nursing home.

    If your loved one has died as the result of aspiration pneumonia, you may be able to receive compensation for funeral and burial costs and the loss of your loved one's care and companionship.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team has extensive experience helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their loved ones who have suffered harm due to nursing home neglect or abuse. Cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, which allows to you obtain quality legal representation without worrying about out-of-pocket payments. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • Where do I file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

    asbestos lawsuitYou should only file a lawsuit with a court that has the jurisdiction, or legal authority, to hear your claim. This may seem straightforward, but it in many complex circumstances, such as mesothelioma cases, it can be quite complicated.

    You May Have More Than One Choice

    Where you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit depends on many factors, including where you were exposed to asbestos.

    You may have worked in the same industry in different states or you may have moved around a lot if you were in the military. Thus, your asbestos exposure may have occurred in more than one state and you may be unsure where to bring your lawsuit.

    It’s important to get jurisdiction right the first time. If you file your lawsuit with a court that doesn't have jurisdiction, then your case will be dismissed and you won't recover any damages. You will have wasted your time and delayed your eventual recovery.

    Don’t Let This Happen to You

    Instead, contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer as soon as you're diagnosed. Your lawyer will review all of the facts of your case, including where you lived and worked when you were exposed to asbestos. Then, he'll advise you on the different courts where your claim may be heard and on the pros and cons of each jurisdiction.

    You may have lived a long life without ever thinking about legal jurisdiction. Now, this issue and other complicated matters are of major concern. Get the counsel you deserve in order to make decisions that will help you and your family during this difficult time.

    We invite you to do this risk-free. Our mesothelioma lawyers work on contingency fee basis. We won't charge you for our services until after your claim is resolved. You won't have any upfront legal fees to worry about. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how to seek your mesothelioma recovery in the right court.

     

  • Does there have to be a collision to recover damages for my pedestrian injury?

    Pedestrian accidents don't always involve a collision with a motor vehicle. If you were hurt taking evasive action to avoid being struck by a car or truck, you may still be entitled to compensation via a personal injury claim. Accidents involving pedestrians

    How Accidents Can Occur

    Although it's more common for a pedestrian to be directly hit by a vehicle, injuries can still occur when a pedestrian takes action to prevent a more serious accident. For example:

    • A driver loses control of his vehicle and jumps a curb. You are not struck by the vehicle but suffer a broken ankle trying to avoid the collision.
    • An inattentive driver runs a red light. You're in the crosswalk and dive out of the way to avoid being hit. You suffer a mild concussion and are experiencing continuing back pain.
    • A drunk driver going the wrong way down a one-way street hits another vehicle. The force of the collision pushes both vehicles toward you. Your friend pulls you out of the way, but flying debris causes several cuts that require stitches and leave scars on your face.

    In all of these cases, the motorist could be held responsible for damages that occur. Even though he didn't directly hit you, his lack of care and failure to obey traffic laws are the reasons you were hurt.

    If you were jaywalking when the accident occurred, it's possible you might be found partially at fault. However, this does not mean you're ineligible to file a claim. Someone who is partially at fault simply has his settlement proportionally reduced by his assigned percentage of fault.

    Available Compensation

    A personal injury claim for this type of pedestrian accident can include compensation for:

    • Medical expenses related to the care of your injuries
    • Any applicable lost wages from the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
    • Pain and suffering

    Medical expenses and lost wages are called economic damages because the value can be supported by invoices, bills, bank statements, or pay stubs. Pain and suffering damages are referred to as noneconomic damages because this type of compensation can't be objectively measured. However, it is common to use a multiplier of medical expenses to calculate the pain and suffering compensation an injured person should receive in a personal injury claim. The multiplier is assigned based on the severity of the injury, typically ranging from 1 to 5 with the highest multipliers reserved for permanently disabling injuries or injuries that require extensive recovery periods.

    Protecting Your Right to a Fair Settlement

    After any accident, it's vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel that your symptoms are minor and may resolve on their own, you could be more seriously injured and not realize it. You also need to have medical records that verify your injuries were caused by the accident.

    In addition to seeking prompt medical attention, some of the other ways you can help build a successful personal injury claim include:

    • Take photos and/or a video of the accident scene from as many different angles as possible.
    • Photograph your injuries immediately and as they heal.
    • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and the evasive action you took that caused your injury
    • Write down a detailed description of how the accident happened while it's still fresh in your mind.
    • Request a copy of the law enforcement officer's report for your records.

    Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, but it's best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. As time passes, it becomes harder to locate the necessary evidence to build a successful case.

    Personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Your attorney will accept a percentage of the final settlement as a fee for his services. This allows you to obtain representation without any upfront expense.

    Have You Been Involved In A Louisiana Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Can I receive both workers' compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time?

    If you're unable to work after suffering an on-the-job injury, it makes sense to see what type of compensation you're entitled to receive. However, it's important to note that most Louisiana residents can't legally collect workers' compensation benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time. Alexandria Workers Comp Lawyer Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    About Workers' Compensation Benefits

    Workers' compensation benefits provide financial support to employees who suffer on-the-job injuries. Benefits pay for medical care related to the injury as well as replacement of a portion of the lost wages.

    Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits for injured Louisiana workers are paid at a rate that is two-thirds of their average weekly wage but subject to minimum and maximum rates that change each year. As of September 1, 2017, the minimum benefit is $174 per week, and the maximum benefit is $653 per week.

    There is no limit on the length of time you can receive TTD benefits. However, payments end when you are able to return to work or have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).

    About Unemployment Benefits

    Unemployment benefits are intended to provide support if you've involuntarily lost your job or are involuntarily working reduced hours through no fault of your own. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be actively looking for work from at least three different employers each week and able to accept a position when it is offered.

    Unemployment benefits are awarded regardless of financial need, but the amount you receive is based on your work history and past earnings. The current minimum benefit payment in Louisiana is $10 per week, while the maximum payment is $247 per week. Claimants can receive benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks, as long as they continue to look for work. However, in times where there are very high unemployment rates throughout the state, claimants may gain special access to additional weeks of benefit payments.

    The Relationship Between Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Benefits

    Unemployment benefits provide substantially less support than workers' compensation benefits because unemployed workers with no physical limitations are expected to find new jobs as soon as possible. Injured workers receive higher benefits because their medical condition limits their ability to work. They're not expected to look for work because they typically already have a position to return to when they've recovered from their injury.

    Receiving Both Unemployment and Workers' Compensation Benefits

    In most cases, you cannot receive both unemployment benefits and workers' compensation benefits at the same time. 

    If you are unable to work because of an on-the-job injury, you do not qualify for unemployment benefits because your injury makes you medically unfit for work. Additionally, your current employer is holding your job until you are able to return to work.

    Attempting to receive both unemployment and workers' compensation benefits when you are not eligible is considered fraud. You will likely be subjected to potential criminal and/or civil penalties.

    One of the questions asked each week when applicants report their work search is "Did you receive or apply for workers' compensation during this week?" This question is specifically asked to identify cases of potential fraud.

    The only way it may be possible to receive both unemployment benefits and workers' compensation benefits is if you are currently receiving permanent partial disability (PPD) payments under the workers' compensation program. PPD benefits are awarded for serious injuries such as amputations, disfigurement, and permanent hearing loss. If you're receiving PPD benefits and actively looking for new work that is better suited to your physical limitations, you may be eligible for both types of assistance.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    State laws regarding unemployment and workers' comp can be complicated, which is why working with an attorney is often the best way to protect your right to compensation. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is dedicated to helping Louisiana workers access the benefits they need to recover from on-the-job injuries. To learn more about how we can help with your claim, contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

     

  • What are my legal rights if my loved one died of dehydration in a nursing home?

    Dehydration is a common problem among nursing home residents, since many serious illnesses can interfere with person's natural desire to stay hydrated. However, nursing home staff members have a legal obligation to monitor residents for signs of dehydration and to take action before serious harm results.

    If your loved one died in a nursing home due to dehydration, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the facility. Dehydration and nursing home wrongful deaths

    Signs of Dehydration

    Studies estimate that at least 31% of nursing home residents suffer from some form of dehydration, which makes watching for signs of inadequate fluid intake a vital part of basic care a facility must provide.

    Common signs of mild dehydration in a nursing home resident include:

    • Expressions of thirst
    • A sticky or dry mouth
    • Lightheadedness, dizziness, and frequent headaches
    • Dry, papery skin

    Signs of moderate dehydration include:

    • Decrease in urine output
    • Decrease in urine frequency
    • Dark yellow urine
    • Inability to sweat
    • Low blood pressure
    • Rapid pulse

    Signs of severe dehydration include:

    • Sunken eyes
    • High fever
    • Fainting
    • Confusion and irritability
    • Fast breathing
    • Loss of consciousness

    When dehydration is not treated promptly, it can cause seizures, kidney failure, brain swelling, and coma. These complications are often fatal in elderly individuals who are already in poor physical health.

    Dehydration often occurs in residents who are malnourished, which can cause additional health problems and increase the risk of fatal complications.

    How Dehydration Occurs

    Common causes of dehydration in nursing home residents include:

    • Medical conditions that interfere with the perception of thirst
    • Language barriers or an inability to speak well enough to request fluids
    • Not being offered fluids that meet a patient’s taste preferences such as tea or juice instead of plain water
    • Physical conditions that make it difficult to drink without assistance
    • Lack of easy access to beverages in patient rooms or facility common areas
    • Caretakers who fail to provide the special diet a resident requires
    • Caretakers who insert a feeding tube incorrectly due to inexperience or inattentiveness

    Nursing home staff members have an obligation to monitor the health of residents and to provide the assistance necessary for eating and drinking. If the nursing home fails to meet this obligation due to understaffing or gross neglect, this can be the basis of a wrongful death claim.

    About Wrongful Death Claims

    A wrongful death claim is a type of civil action alleging that someone's death was the fault of another person or corporation. It is separate from any criminal charges related to the death, although evidence from a criminal case can be used to support a claim of negligence in the wrongful death claim.

    Only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. In cases involving nursing home residents, the surviving spouse or adult children are typically the ones who must file the case. If there is no spouse or adult children, the surviving siblings or the estate of the deceased person must file the claim.

    Damages in a nursing home wrongful death claim include:

    • Medical bills related to the final care of the deceased
    • Applicable pain and suffering from the conduct that caused the wrongful death
    • Funeral and burial costs
    • The family's loss of the deceased person's care and companionship
    • Punitive damages, if the case involves a pattern of severe negligence

    There is a one-year statute of limitations in Louisiana for filing wrongful death claims, so it's important to act quickly if you want to take legal action regarding the death of your elderly family member due to dehydration. The longer you wait to seek legal representation, the more difficult it will be to locate the evidence necessary to win the wrongful death claim.

    The dedicated legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault has extensive experience handling both nursing home abuse and wrongful death claims. We can locate evidence of negligence, document damages, and negotiate on your behalf for the highest possible settlement.

    Filing a wrongful death claim won't bring your loved one back, but the process can provide a sense of closure and help to ensure that other vulnerable nursing home residents won't be subjected to similar mistreatment. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • Is patient dumping a form of nursing home abuse?

    Patient dumping is not discussed as often as other forms of nursing home neglect, but it can cause serious harm. This practice can lead to a lack of necessary medical care as well as great psychological trauma. For this reason, victims of patient dumping are entitled to monetary compensation via a nursing home abuse claim.  Nursing home patient dumping

    About Patient Dumping

    Patient dumping is perhaps one of the most disturbing forms of nursing home abuse. Patient dumping occurs when a nursing home gives away a resident's bed while he is receiving hospital care. When the resident is discharged from the hospital and wants to return to the nursing home, he is told there is no bed to return to. The resident's family must then struggle to find a suitable placement, since the resident cannot live independently under any circumstances

    Reasons for Patient Dumping

    Unscrupulous nursing homes are trying to illegally evict residents in order to maximize profit. Patient dumping victims are often those who require the most staff time and the highest levels of care. By illegally evicting these residents, a facility is free to offer beds to new residents who will use fewer company resources.

    Medicaid recipients are also vulnerable to patient dumping due to Medicaid low reimbursement rates. By replacing Medicaid patients with those who can pay for their care with private, long-term care insurance or their own personal resources, the facility is able to maximize profit with a minimal amount of effort.

    Patient Dumping Is Illegal

    Federal law prohibits patient dumping. Under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 42 CFR 483, a nursing home must permit a resident to remain in the facility unless one or more of the following conditions apply:

    • The nursing home is closing its doors and will no longer be in business.
    • The resident's presence is endangering the safety of individuals in the facility.
    • The resident's presence is endangering the health of individuals in the facility.
    • The resident's health has improved to the extent that he no longer needs the services provided by the facility.
    • The resident's condition has changed, and the facility is no longer able to meet his care needs.
    • The resident has failed to pay for his stay at the facility, despite having received reasonable and appropriate notice of the charges.

    If a facility wishes to evict a resident, the reason for eviction must be specifically documented, and the appropriate parties must be contacted to ensure that the resident's future care needs will still be met.

    Relationship to Other Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

    Patient dumping can occur alongside other forms of nursing home abuse, including physical abuse, verbal abuse, medication theft, or understaffing. Talking with your loved one as well as other family members and visitors to the facility can help you determine if there are additional concerns regarding the quality of care that your loved one has received.

    Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

    A nursing home abuse claim is a type of civil proceeding that requests compensation for medical treatment and pain and suffering related to the actions of the care facility. However, if your loved one is currently receiving Medicaid or Medicare benefits, these programs will have a lien on a percentage of any settlement that you recover.

    To have a successful nursing home abuse claim, you must be able to establish the following three key elements:

    Duty Of Nursing Home Care

    Based on the terms of the facility contract, the nursing home had a legal duty to provide care to your loved one.

    Breach Of Nursing Home Duties

    The nursing home failed to provide an acceptable level of care to your loved one.

    Damages In A Nursing Home Neglect Case 

    As a result of the nursing home's actions, your loved one suffered specific damages. This can include the worsening of a pre-existing medical condition or psychological distress due to being illegally evicted from the facility.

    Retaining the services of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney is the best way to protect your loved one's legal rights. The dedicated legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can locate evidence of negligence, document damages, and negotiate for the highest possible settlement. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

     

  • What are my rights after being injured in a motorcycle T-bone collision?

    Motorcycle crashes can result in seriously disabling injuries, especially when the accident is a T-bone collision. If you have recently been in this type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation via a personal injury claim.  T-bone accidents with motorcycles

    Proving Liability for T-Bone Collisions

    T-bone collisions occur when the side of one vehicle is hit by the front of another vehicle. This type of accident can happen when a motorcyclist is driving through an intersection and a car travelling perpendicularly strikes him in the side.

    Motorcycle T-bone accidents have a number of causes and are typically not the fault of the motorcyclist. Often, the other driver is speeding, running a red light, or engaged in distracted driving at the time of the accident. Since motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks, it is easy for inattentive drivers to fail to notice the motorcyclist until it's too late to avoid a collision.

    Evidence used to prove liability may include:

    • Eyewitness testimony
    • Photos of the accident scene
    • Police reports and driver citations
    • Surveillance footage from nearby security cameras
    • Accident reconstructions provided by expert witnesses

    If the accident was caused by a criminal offense such as drunk driving, evidence from the criminal case can be used to support your personal injury claim. Since a personal injury claim is a type of civil litigation, these two cases are considered separate legal matters.

    Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries

    If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you are entitled to compensation for accident-related damages. These include:

    • Medical expenses, including emergency room care, diagnostic tests, surgery, hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescription medications
    • Future medical expenses, if you've been left with a permanent disability such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury
    • Lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential, if you've been left with a permanent disability that affects your ability to earn a living
    • Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma related to the accident

    Punitive damages are damages that are intended only to punish the defendant. They are not often awarded in motorcycle accident cases but could be requested if the driver who caused your injuries was exceptionally reckless.

    You can still receive compensation in a personal injury settlement even if you are determined to be partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionately reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.

    If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle T-bone accident, you will be found partially at fault for your injuries unless you can prove that helmet usage would not have prevented your injury. This is typically accomplished by presenting your medical records and testimony from experts familiar with the type of injury you have suffered.

    Wrongful Death Claims From T-Bone Collisions

    T-bone collisions have a high fatality rate, especially when a motorcyclist is involved. In cases with fatal accidents, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. This is a type of personal injury claim seeking damages for medical expenses up to the time of death, funeral and burial costs, loss of future wages, applicable pain and suffering, and loss of the care and companionship of the deceased.

    Protecting Your Legal Rights

    Personal injury law can be quite complex, and insurance companies are in no hurry to settle a case. To protect your financial interests, it's best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can gather evidence to support liability, document your damages, and advocate for the highest possible settlement. Typically, Louisiana law allows one year after the date of the motorcycle accident to file your claim. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Motorcycle Accident?

    If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Who’s responsible if I’m injured in a slip and fall accident at the mall?

    Slip and fall accidents at shopping malls are fairly common, but these types of cases can present unique concerns when pursuing personal injury compensation. To protect your right to a fair settlement, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Slip and fall at the mall

    About Shopping Mall Slip and Fall Accidents

    Slip and fall accidents at malls can have a number of causes. For example:

    • Spilled cleaning chemicals or food
    • Wet floors due to rain or snow
    • Improper lighting
    • Lack of handrails or other building code violations
    • Damaged flooring such as broken tiles or ripped carpet
    • Defects in escalators such as misaligned handrails or broken entry mats
    • Being pushed or shoved by other shoppers at a crowded event such as a Black Friday sale

    Types of injuries victims may suffer include:

    • Concussions and other forms of head injury
    • Neck injury
    • Back injury
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Sprains and strains
    • Broken bones
    • Cuts and scrapes requiring stitches

    Liability For Slip and Fall Injuries

    It does not matter whether you were a paying customer at the time of your accident. If you were lawfully in the mall browsing or visiting with friends, you have the same right to be protected from foreseeable injury as a paying customer.

    Some factors that might affect liability for a mall slip and fall accident include:

    Where The Slip and Fall Accident Occurred

    Accidents inside a store are often the store's responsibility, while accidents in a common area are the mall owner's responsibility.

    Who Contributed To The Hazardous Condition

    If the store created the hazard by not cleaning up a spill or by failing to have crowd control measures in place for a heavily attended event, the store is responsible.

    Knowledge of a Potential Slip and Fall Hazard

    Parties cannot be held liable for a hazard they did not know existed such as a spill that had occurred only moments before your fall.

    Foreseeability of a Slip and Fall Accident

    To be held liable, a party must have been able to reasonably foresee that a condition would result in a high risk of injury to mall patrons.

    In most cases, either the store owner or the mall owner is liable for your injuries. However, a third party could be liable in some circumstances. For example, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the escalator if you fell because of some sort of defect that created a tripping hazard.

    If you were engaged in horseplay, ignored posted warning signs, or failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury, you could be found partially liable for your injuries. You will still be eligible to file a personal injury claim, but your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault to reflect your responsibility for the incident.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    If you're injured in a slip and fall, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your right to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering:

    Report the Slip and Fall Incident Immediately

    As soon as you are injured, the incident should be reported to mall security personnel. You should report the incident even if you believe your injuries are minor, since more serious symptoms could appear at a later date.

    Attend to Your Slip and Fall Injuries

    Mall security officers will have a basic first aid kit and are trained to call 911 if someone is seriously injured. If you are transported to the hospital, ask for a copy of the patient treatment report when you're discharged.

    Photograph the Scene

    If possible, have someone photograph the scene where the accident occurred. This evidence is particularly useful if your fall was caused by a food spill or other temporary hazard.

    Get Witness Names and Contact Information

    Malls have security cameras in most areas, but witness testimony can present a more accurate picture of how the accident occurred.

    Make Note of What You Were Wearing

    Clothing can often be relevant evidence in a slip and fall claim, especially if the insurance company tries to argue that your long dress or high heels were impractical for the occasion and directly caused your fall.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.