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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Should your child be in a rear-facing car seat?

It may seem like the rules for car seat use are constantly changing. Research in this area has been moving along lately, which has resulted in some changes in recent years. One such change is the new recommendation for children to remain in the rear-facing position for much longer than originally stated.

According to the American Academy for Pediatrics, the recommendation now is for children to remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years old. Of course, there are exceptions. Rear-facing car seats have weight limits. If your child exceeds the weight limit, then he or she may be turned around and moved up to a forward facing seat before the age of two. Generally, though, most kids will stay rear-facing until they are two.

What are some facts about commercial vehicle accidents?

Commercial vehicles are plentiful on Louisiana roadways. They include everything from large semi trucks to passenger busses. These vehicles are almost always the largest ones on the road. When they cause or are involved in an accident, it often results in serious injuries and even deaths. Because of this, it is imperative to be aware of them when you are on the roads and to understand how to avoid an accident with one.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the majority of people, 51 percent, who hold a commercial driver's license drive interstate, meaning they are driving in multiple states. In 2014, there were a total of 279.1 billion miles traveled by large trucks.

Car accident victims may not know they have brain injuries

Car accidents are so common in the Lake Charles area that many people are becoming desensitized to them. They shrug off their significance until they are in one and forced to deal with the aftermath. Many of them also assume that most car accidents they may be involved in will result in minor injuries at most. It is far more common for individuals to sustain broken bones, brain trauma and die from their wounds in car accidents than it is for them to emerge from their vehicles unscathed.

One of the most “common ways for people to end up with brain injuries is from motor vehicle accidents,” states MayoClinic.org. Although they are among the most severe types of trauma a person can experience, symptoms are not always readily noticeable to the victims and emergency personnel who are on the scene. Car accident victims who have severe brain injuries usually show signs of their wounds. But some individuals who experience mild to moderate brain trauma, may not show any symptoms until several hours and days later. 

Truck drivers have to focus on the road for safety's sake

Trucking accidents take the lives of many people every year. It's a fact that plenty of drivers dislike being on the roads with truck drivers, because they're worried about what could happen if the driver doesn't see them, falls asleep or is distracted.

Most collisions happen when a driver isn't paying attention, so it's vital that those behind the wheel of trucks focus only on the road. What happens if they don't? They could cause a crash. In fact, a 2011 study showed that drivers who were handling their cellphones and dialing were more likely to make frequent steering corrections. Those corrections were larger than those who only spent their time talking on their phones.

What are the most common causes of workplace accidents?

Workplace accidents affect everyone. Whether they are minor or severe, they lead to lost work time, wages and can decrease employee morale. Fortunately, most Louisiana workplace accidents occur due to preventable actions. This means you have the opportunity to make your workplace safer and prevent many accidents simply by knowing and understanding the things you should and should not be doing when on the job.

Safety Partners LTD states that many workplace accidents are due to a lack of paying attention or following rules and procedures. One common cause of accidents is a failure to do proper housekeeping. This could be sweeping the floor or putting things away. If you are leaving a messy workspace, accidents are sure to follow. Another common issue is taking shortcuts. There are specific procedures in place for doing work tasks because they are the safest and best procedures. When you fail to follow them and try to take shortcuts, you expose yourself and others to risks.

What are the penalties for a hit and run in Louisiana?

Any accident scenario is horrible, but when an accident is a hit and run, it gets even worse. If you have been involved in such an accident situation, you may want to learn more about what penalties you may face as a result. Under the state law, the Louisiana State Legislature defines a hit and run as failing to stop and stay at the scene of an accident. It does not matter if you caused the accident or not. If you leave the scene before giving your identification information to other drivers, reporting the accident to law enforcement and ensuring help is being given to anyone injured, then you are at risk of being charged with a hit and run.

The impact of the charge depends largely on the injuries to people involved. If nobody is killed or seriously injured, the charge will be less severe and carry a possible maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. When a death or serious injury occurs, the charges and penalties are more severe. The conditions of the accident and your past driving record will determine your maximum penalties.

Most slip-and-fall events are preventable

Each year, countless people in the Lake Charles area slip, trip and fall. Some of these incidents occur inside of their homes. However, a growing number of slip-and-fall accidents happen in nonresidential places like in work environments, stores, entertainment venues and restaurants. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31,959 people die in fall accidents. Many more individuals suffer mild to catastrophic injuries, such as concussions, bone fractures and brain trauma. 

Slip-and-fall accidents often lead to a great deal of emotional, physical and financial trauma for many victims. Fall accidents usually happen when there are hazardous conditions that interfere with people’s ability to walk and move about the premises safely. 

What can I do to stay safe on a shipping vessel?

Working on board a ship or other vessel is a difficult job. Not only are you often isolated for weeks or even months at a time but you are also confined to a small area and working around very dangerous equipment. It is no surprise the maritime industry is one of the most dangerous in Louisiana. When you work in this industry, you really cannot rely solely on someone else to keep you safe. You need to watch out for yourself. 

Safety4Sea advises you to ensure you feel you have had adequate safety training. If you do not, then ask for more training. If you do not feel you have the training to do a specific task safely, then, again, tell your supervisor that you want more training so you can do a safe job. You should also do a quick sweep of the vessel to note anything that seems unsafe to you or concerns you and bring that up with your supervisor. There really is not a chance to let something go or ignore an issue because once you set sail, you are stuck dealing with any problems. It is better to get things out in the open right away.

Why trucking accidents are so deadly

Louisiana drivers are well aware that they share the highways and freeways with large trucks. Of course they are careful when passing them and never cut back in front of them too quickly, but what they might not be aware of is that approximately 10 percent of highway deaths involve a large truck. So says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Fatality statistics

These 4 causes of truck accidents can impact you forever

Imagine being on the highway during a busy rush hour. You already don't like being on the roads with truck drivers, and now they're all around you. You're being extremely cautious, but in only a few minutes, you've noticed drivers changing lanes without using their turn signals and weaving in and out of traffic.

It's true that some truck drivers don't obey the traffic laws in the state as well as they should. When they don't, they make it more likely that there will be an accident. Sadly, truck accidents are some of the most severe because of the weights of the vehicles involved.

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