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& Wilson, LLC
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Lake Charles Legal Issues Blog

ATVs offer fun, but at the cost of serious risks

All terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a class of motorized vehicles that often get used for recreational purposes. Four-wheelers, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, three-wheelers and similar vehicles intended for off-road driving can exhilarate or injure. Some people, like farmers or Department of Natural Resources officers, may drive them as part of work. In colder regions, snowmobiles are critical to the ability to commute after a major snow storm. Most of the time, however, these vehicles get used as a means of entertainment or diversion. People ride them for the thrill of it, which can occasionally end poorly.

From 2013 to 2015, the most recent years with federal statistics available, the United State Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that at least 35 people in Louisiana died as the result of an ATV accident. Many more suffered serious injuries. While fear of an accident shouldn't keep you from enjoying your life, you should use caution when driving or riding on an ATV. Especially if your children or other minors will be riding or driving these vehicles, careful operation is critical to the safety of everyone involved.

Information to provide your lawyer after a pedestrian accident

Pedestrian accidents happen frequently in Lake Charles. These days -- with so many motorists distracted by cellphones -- pedestrians need to be more careful than ever.

Let's imagine for a moment that your child was walking home from school on a Thursday afternoon. Tragically, even though she was following the rules of the road and being careful to cross at a crosswalk, your daughter was hit by a distracted driver.

When it's unsafe to cross the street: 3 reasons for rise in pedestrian deaths

Crossing the street should not be a deadly affair. Unfortunately, the latest data from the Governor's Highway Safety Association shows that the simple act of getting across a street is more deadly now than it has been in years. Almost 6,000 pedestrians were fatally injured by car crashes in 2016. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths reported in over twenty years and represents an 11 percent increase over the data from 2015.

Will You Recognize When Someone Is Drowning?

With summer months fast approaching, children and adults alike will soon try to take a break from the heat by visiting pools, ponds, rivers and other recreational swimming spots. As a casual onlooker, however, will you be able to recognize the signs of someone struggling to stay above water from harmless horse-play?

What are the physical signs of drowning?

Active drowning can begin within 20 seconds of a person showing the first signs of distress. It is unlikely that this person will be able to call for help. There are numerous other facts to remember, including:

  • Even if a drowning victim remains vertical in the water, he or she will not be able to move toward safety.
  • Once drowning has begun, he or she will likely lose arm control - thus, the victim will not be able to wave or otherwise signal for help.
  • Active drowning victims will typically only struggle on the surface for 20 to 60 seconds before being submerged.
  • As an instinctive reaction, active drowning victims will tilt their heads back so the mouth and nose are above water.

Proposed law would see lower speed limits for large trucks

Louisiana is a large state with a great variety of roadways that can make it very difficult for commercial truck drivers to maintain safety behind the wheel. Fortunately, Louisiana lawmakers take the dangers of commercial vehicle accidents very seriously, and regularly examine the law to find ways it might be altered to save lives.

Drugs On The Highway

While it's no secret that truck drivers are held to a higher standard of professionalism, the means used to achieve results can be disturbing. In the past, there was a commonly held belief that long-haul drivers were forced to use amphetamines to maintain a higher level of production. Staying awake all night to beat a tight deadline might require chemical aids. And while many drivers might rely on coffee, soda or energy drinks, still others might rely on illegal methods.

Ladder falls can create several kinds of liability

Ladder falls are a very common way that individuals can suffer very serious injuries. However, in many cases where private citizens slip and fall on ladders, determining who may hold legal liability (and more specifically what party may actually be able to pay for damages) can be very difficult. Often, a ladder fall may not qualify as a premises liability suit, and if it does, the suit may be against the estate of an individual, rather than against the individual's insurer. Of course, each case is different, and it is always wise to consult with an experienced attorney who understands the specific laws of Louisiana before moving forward.

Can I file a wrongful death suit for an unemployed person?

When a person you love is killed before his or her time, a wrongful death suit is often appropriate. However, despite the immense loss of the one you love, it may be difficult to understand how a wrongful death may proceed if the person who was killed never held a job. Wrongful death suits primarily reward survivors some monetary approximation of income lost because of the death, but a person who did not provide income still has value.

Appeals court rules in favor of victim's children

The fourth circuit court of appeals, which covers Louisiana, recently rejected a motion to reduce damages awarded to the survivors of a man killed by a collapsing wall. The court chose to uphold the lower court's decision, moving forward with the nearly $1 million award to the children of the man killed in the accident.

Woman sues animal shelter in unique product liability suit

Product liability suits are not merely constrained to defective home products or dangerously false advertising. A case currently playing out in Iowa may have interesting implications for the legal community as well as animal shelters throughout the country.

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