W. Taylor Hale

  • Associate
Photo of W. Taylor Hale


Lake Charles, LA





Rated By Super Lawyers | Rising Stars | Taylor Hale | SuperLawyers.com
Top Lawyers of Acadiana | Acadiana Profile Magazine | 2019

W. Taylor Hale was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  He graduated from St. Louis Catholic High School, attended Louisiana State University and earned his B.S., cum laude, from McNeese State University.  Taylor earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in New Orleans, serving on the Editorial Board of the Loyola Law Review as Articles Editor and graduating at the top of his class.  Taylor's law review comment, A Critical Misdiagnosis: Re-Evaluating Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act, was selected for publication in the Fall 2007 edition of the Loyola Law Review.  During his time at Loyola, he was the recipient of the Lemle & Kelleher, LLP Scholarship in 2007-2008.

Immediately upon graduation from law school, Taylor accepted a job practicing maritime law at the New Orleans insurance defense firm Phelps Dunbar LLP, where he gained extensive experience representing maritime employers, vessel owners, and insurers in a wide variety of matters with a focus on personal injury defense and insurance litigation. Taylor has experience conducting shipboard investigations involving vessel collisions, personal injuries and cargo damage requiring him to liaise with insurers, vessel crewmembers, government actors, and response professionals.

Taylor returned to Lake Charles and since this time he has devoted his practice to helping the wrongfully injured receive the compensation they deserve.  The knowledge Taylor gained from working for an insurance defense law firm and defending personal injury claims allows Taylor to provide valuable insight to your personal injury claim. 

In 2012, Taylor was named a Top Trial Lawyer in America and is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which requires a settlement or verdict over one million dollars on behalf of his clients for membership.

In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, Taylor was selected by his attorney peers as a Louisiana Super Lawyer Rising Star (Top Attorneys Under 40 in LA) in the area of Plaintiff's personal injury.  This recognition is conferred upon no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Louisiana that have practiced 10 years or less.
In 2017, Taylor was named a member of The National Trial Lawyer's Top 40 under 40 for the State of Louisiana.

In 2019 and 2021, Taylor was selected as a Top Lawyer in Acadiana in the practice area of personal injury litigation. Each year, Acadiana Profile publishes its Top Lawyers list.  The voting to determine the top attorneys for Acadiana Profile magazine is open to all licensed attorneys in the Acadiana, Louisiana market area.  Each attorney is asked which attorney, other than himself or herself, they would recommend in the Acadiana area.

Taylor's practice focuses on serious personal injury and maritime/offshore cases. He has litigated a variety of personal injury cases including those involving automotive/trucking liability, maritime/offshore/maritime accidents, premises liability, industrial/workplace safety, and products liability. In his maritime practice, he has handled numerous cases involving the Jones Act, OCSLA, LHWCA, DOHSA, and general maritime law.

Taylor has successfully litigated hundreds of cases throughout the State of Louisiana, acquiring extensive experience. In addition to his Louisiana state court experience, Taylor has litigated a multitude of cases at the federal level within the State of Louisiana and across the Federal Fifth Circuit. He has represented clients in all phases of the litigation process from inception through resolution in motion practice, mediation, and trial.

Taylor is admitted to practice in all of the state and federal district and appellate courts of Louisiana and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Taylor served as Treasurer of the Young Lawyer's Section of the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association and as co-chairman of Holiday Helping Hands. Taylor is involved in his local community, and serves as an officer on the Board of Trustees for Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School. Taylor has also served in a leadership role in the fight against cancer by participating in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association, Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Louisiana Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Stars and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 for the State of Louisiana. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, travelling, grilling, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family and friends.

Taylor was recently named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum which requires a settlement or verdict over one million dollars on behalf of his clients for membership.

Taylor is a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute ("SEALI"). SEALI was formed 1968 for the purpose of organizing a forum for the discussion of admiralty and maritime law and its practice and administration, among practitioners in the ports of the Southeastern United States. Regular membership is limited to attorneys admitted to practice in the states of: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Maryland. 


Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury-Plaintiff
  • Jones Act, Admiralty, LHWCA
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents / 18 Wheeler Accidents
  • Products Liability Law
  • Head, Neck & Back Injuries and Paralysis
  • Railroad Injury
  • Brain Injury

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2008


  • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • J.D. - 2008
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Honors: With Distinction
  • McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana
    • B.S. - 2005
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: With Distinction
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Business

Published Works

  • A Critical Misdiagnosis: Re-Evaluating Louisiana's Medical Malpractice Act, 53 Loy. L. Rev. 463, Fall, 2007

Representative Cases

  • Combo Maritime, Inc. vs. U.S. United Bulk Terminal, LLC, et al, 626 F. Supp. 2D 635 (E.D. LA. 2009)
  • Robertson v. W&T Offshore, Inc., 712 F.Supp. 2D 515 (W.D. LA. 2010)
  • In the Matter of the Petition of Gracie Devall, Inc., as owner of M/V Gracie Renee Devall, and her engines, tackle, appurtenances, furniture, etc., Praying for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability, 10-CV-01510 (S.D. Tx. 2010).
  • Youngblood v. Rain CII Carbon, 12-cv-00287 (W.D. La. 2013)
  • Delta Towing, LLC v. Mike Hooks, Inc., 15-cv-00128 (S.D. Ala. 2015)
  • Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC v. M/V CHEMBULK WESTPORT, ET AL., 13-6213 c/w 14-2071 (E.D. La. 2016)
  • In the Matter of the Complaint of Texas Petroleum Investment Company, as owner and operator of the M/V Michelle, for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability, 17-CV-263 (W.D. La. 2017).
  • Hale v. Wood Group PSN, Inc., 769 Fed. Appx. 113 (5th Cir. 2019) (Dennis, Clement and Owen, J.J.) (per curiam) (maritime personal injury action by an offshore worker injured during a personnel basket transfer to an unmanned fixed platform. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal: (1) affirmed the jury’s award of $3.2 million, including $2.25 million in general damages to worker who underwent two past spinal surgeries; (2) held that it was proper to consider inflation when considering older damage awards to determine whether the jury’s award was excessive).

Honors and Awards

  • Loyola Law Review
  • Who's Who Among Students in Am. Univ. & Colleges
  • Lemle & Kelleher, LLP Scholarship
  • Named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Named to Top Trial Lawyers in America
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Top Lawyers in Acadiana, 2019, 2021

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Treasurer/Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Member
  • Louisiana Association For Justice, Member
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (“SEALI”), Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Phelps Dunbar LLP, Associate Attorney, 2008 to 2010
  • Phelps Dunbar LLP, Law Clerk, 2007
  • King Leblanc Bland, Law Clerk, 2007
  • Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office, Law Clerk, 2006

Pro Bono Activities

  • Holiday Helping Hands, 2010 to 2011
  • Wills For Heroes
  • SOLACE (Support for Lawyers/Legal Personnel - All Concern Encouraged)
The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40

Our Case Results

$10,000,000 Plaintiff

Plaintiff, a Jones Act seaman, had his lower leg amputated in a maritime workplace accident due to negligently maintained and constructed equipment.

$4 ,000,000 Personal Injury Case

Plaintiff, an inmate at Beauregard Parish Jail, was severely beaten by a fellow inmate, resulting in permanent paralysis and brain damage.

$3,649,831.84 Jury Verdict

Offshore basket transfer from the deck of a vessel to an unmanned fixed platform in which plaintiff suffered operated neck and back injuries.

$3,500,000 Plaintiff

Plaintiff suffered serious and permanent disfiguring burns due to a defective carnival ride at the New Orleans Superdome that caught fire.

$2,400,000 Plaintiff

Plaintiff, a Jones Act seaman/deckhand, had his lower leg amputated on a barge located in Texas on the San Jacinto River.

$2,000,000 Plaintiff

Plaintiff, a Jones Act seaman, was working on a lay barge when a cable struck him in the abdomen resulting in an operated back injury.

$1,500,000 Plaintiff

Plaintiff, a Jones Act seaman, suffered an operated neck injury when the pushboat he was working aboard on the Mississippi River near New Orleans capsized and sank due to the wakes generated by a passing chemical tanker and towboat and the unseaworthiness of the pushboat.

$1,300,000 Railroad Accident

Railroad accident in Vinton, Louisiana in which inadequate and outdated warnings, obsolete wig wag and site obstructions at railroad crossing resulted in severe, permanent head injury.

$595,000 Plaintiff

Automobile accident in which plaintiff suffered an operated neck injury when his vehicle was struck by a left turning motorist who failed to yield. No lost wage claim.

$405,398 Plaintiff

Automobile accident in which plaintiff’s vehicle was struck by an 18-wheeler resulting in an operated back injury at the same levels as a prior back surgery. No loss wage claim.

$150,000 Plaintiff

Plaintiff, a Jones Act seaman, suffered severe mental anguish when the dredge tender he was working aboard in Mobile, Alabama capsized and sank due to bad weather and the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

$1.1 Million Construction Accident

Construction accident involving plaintiff who fell through an opening in catwalk grating resulting in an operated back injury and brain injury.

$1.1 Million Jury Verdict Automobile Accident

Automobile accident in Allen Parish in which plaintiff's vehicle struck a large pothole on the highway, causing her vehicle to run off the highway and strike a tree.

$ 1.1 Million Settled During Trial Construction Accident

Construction accident in which plaintiff released pipe from a secured pipe rack, pinning himself between the pipe rack and his 18-wheeler, crushing his head and body and resulting in his death.

$ 1.1 Million Automobile Accident

Automobile accident in which plaintiff's vehicle was broad-sided, resulting in an operated neck injury.

$ 1,750,000 Automobile Accident

Automobile accident in which an 18-wheeler struck plaintiff’s vehicle, resulting in neck and leg injuries.