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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Helping a TBI victim understand and remember information

For many victims of traumatic brain injuries in Louisiana, learning to cope with their new limitations can be overwhelming, difficult and at times, discouraging. Often, a victim's family members play a critical role in facilitating their loved one's recovery and helping him or her to relearn certain skills and embrace the newfound boundaries that are unique to his or her condition. 

One of the most difficult skills to reacquire involves memory and being able to understand and remember information that is heard. According to mayo.edu, there are several ways that family members can support a TBI victim who is working towards strengthening cognitive capacity. Some of the things they can do include the following:

  • They can use repetition to reiterate important information and to clarify the person's understanding. Additionally, they can ask the person to repeat back what he or she heard to help him or her remember what was said.
  • They can keep instructions simple and straightforward. They can achieve this by presenting ideas in an organized manner, one step at a time.
  • They can use general language and omit words that may cause confusion or add unnecessary detail.

What are some common oil rig accidents?

Most people in the Lake Charles area who work in the oil extraction industry know how dangerous it can be. They are often exposed to hazardous working conditions that increase their risk of catastrophic injuries and death. Those who end up in severe accidents face challenging recoveries and require life-long care and rehabilitation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workers in the oil and gas extraction sector are seven times more likely to die from performing work-related activities than workers in other industries. 

It is important for oil rig workers and their employers to understand the common causes of worksite accidents so measures can be taken to prevent them. Here is a brief overview of accidents that can happen on oil rigs. 

What preventative steps can you take to stay safe on an oil rig?

If your profession requires you to work in or around an oil rig, you face a heightened set of risks that are unique to the industry. Because of the harsh environmental conditions, heavy machinery and equipment, and elemental exposure you face each day, you are at risk of injury especially if you are careless or passive about adhering to safety requirements. Fortunately, you can better protect yourself and reduce your chances of serious injury by implementing preventative steps that will allow you to do your job efficiently without compromising your safety.

According to Oil & Gas Jobs Advice, there are several essential precautions you can take when working on or around an oil rig. These include the following:

  • Do not experiment: It is never a wise idea to toy with equipment you have never used before, even if you are confident you know what you are doing. Only use equipment that you have received training on and are properly certified to use.
  • Wear proper gear: Even when putting on all of your safety gear seems unnecessary or inconvenient, always take a few extra minutes to put everything on. Wearing your safety gear can make all the difference in your protection if you are faced with a hazardous situation. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Always pay attention to your surroundings to recognize potential dangers before it is too late. Practicing vigilance is an excellent way to prevent unnecessary accidents due to distraction, visual obstruction and carelessness. 
  • Follow the rules: There are valid reasons why your management has put rules into place. These instructions allow you and your coworkers to safely complete your jobs without compromising each other's safety. Always adhere to all protocols and follow procedural instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary disasters. 

Alleged drunk driving to blame in deadly Louisiana crash

For many Louisiana motorists, their primary concern is the safety of themselves, their passengers and other drivers on the road. They take vigilant care to make sure they follow the rules of the road and drive defensively to effectively avoid potential road hazards. However, despite the responsibility of a majority of drivers, there are unfortunately those who make careless decisions that put the lives of everyone around them at risk. 

This was the case in a recent car crash in Loranger that left an expecting mother and her 7-month-old son, dead. The crash occurred on Christmas Eve when an alleged drunk driver slammed into the back of the car occupied by the woman, her fiancee and her young son. The impact caused the gas tanks in both vehicles to rupture and burst into flames. Witnesses moved quickly to rescue the mother and her fiancee from the vehicle, but were unaware of the child still strapped into the backseat. Both the mother and the infant boy were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The couple was celebrating their recent engagement that happened only hours before the deadly accident. They had also recently found out she was expecting their second child. The driver of the vehicle that crashed into them was allegedly involved in another accident that she was fleeing from when she crashed into the victims' car. According to investigations by Louisiana authorities, the woman was impaired when she caused both accidents.

Avoid risky driving around commercial trucks

Any car accident can cause serious injury or death, and accidents involving large commercial trucks can be absolutely devastating. Unfortunately, many drivers do not drive with care around commercial trucks, and often contribute to very serious accidents that they could have avoided. Commercial truck drivers face a number of additional difficulties that consumer drivers often don't consider.

If you often drive in areas with large commercial trucks, it is wise to understand which driving behaviors to avoid when near these enormous vehicles. While you cannot control the risky behavior of other drivers on the road, you can always take your own driving habits seriously and make sure that you do not increase the risk of accidents for yourself or others.

What court has jurisdiction over maritime issues?

Jurisdiction is when a court has the right to hear a case. If a case falls outside of a court's jurisdiction, then it cannot hear it. This is important when it comes to any area of law but especially for admiralty and maritime law in Louisiana. Knowing about jurisdiction is important to your case and could affect its outcome.

Pacific Maritime Magazine explains that admiralty cases can be heard in state and federal courts. States can hear only specific cases. They must be able to award the remedy sought to hear a case. Federal courts have complete jurisdiction to hear any maritime case. They are the only courts that can hear cases involving the ceasing of a vessel or against the United States. 

Face collisions head-on: Prepare ahead

When drivers on Louisiana highways find themselves colliding unavoidably, having a plan for what to do next is an essential part of surviving the incident well. At Hale Law firm, we have helped numerous motorists recover following car accidents that disrupted their lives. 

FindLaw provides a brief checklist for accident survivors, giving instructions on steps to take in the wake of a life altering collision. First, unless the crash happens in a deserted place, FindLaw reminds drivers not to leave the scene. The police may charge motorists who choose not to stay with hit-and-run charges, a consequence you want to avoid. 

Ways you can effectively prevent falls in the workplace

While the risks of getting injured at work are present at any job, you may be well aware that those risks are heightened significantly in the construction industry. Because your workers are required to work at height to complete their assignments, they are subjected to increased danger from falling. Fortunately, with your proactive leadership, you can help your workers stay safer and effectively prevent falls from happening in the workplace. At Hale Law Firm, we understand the risks construction workers face and have experience helping Louisiana companies to facilitate workers' compensation claims.

According to OSHA Training Institute Education Center, some of the things you can do to encourage worker safety and prevent falls include the following:

  • Make sure your workers have convenient access to the proper equipment needed to do their job effectively and safely. Well maintained ladders, FPAs and scaffolding equipment can protect your workers so they can do their job without compromising their safety.
  • Take enough time to plan certain projects and educate your workers on which process to follow so they are familiar with your requirements. You should also provide safety information about how they should react in certain scenarios or when faced with danger.  
  • Coordinate regular trainings to teach your workers how to use certain equipment, how to look out for each other, and how to maintain a workplace environment that is free of danger. Encourage your workers to be responsible about their work and to avoid distractions and careless behavior.

Construction accidents and common injuries

When you decide to work in the construction field, you come to grips with the fact that you could suffer an on-the-job injury at some point.

While there are things you can do to protect yourself, such as wearing a hardhat and goggles, you never know what will happen as the days go by.

What are the “no zones” of a semi truck?

In a previous blog post, you learned some tips to driving safely around large trucks. One of those tips mentioned the trucks "no zones." In order to stay safe and to be able to share Louisiana roadways with trucks and avoid accidents, you must completely understand what the "no zones" are and why they are so critical.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "no zones" are essentially just another name for a blind spot. Every vehicle has them, but for large trucks, they are bigger and there are more of them. As you probably know from driving your own vehicle, if something is in your blind spot, you have no idea it is there, which can lead to all types of accidents. With a large truck, any accident is likely to be serious because they are so much bigger than you and your vehicle. If you get bumped by another car, for example, there may not be much damage. However, if a semi bumps into you, it could run your vehicle over or push you completely off the road. In other words, it is something you want to avoid.

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