Motorcycle Accidents: Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes in New Orleans and How to Avoid Them 

Operating a motorcycle takes a much more unique combination of physical and mental skills than driving a four-wheel automobile. These motorcycles are not only less visible and less stable than other motor vehicles, but due to their nature, they are far less crashworthy. Consequently, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to deadly and horrific collisions.  

Even though some motorcycle accidents can be linked to a motorcyclist’s unsafe driving, most motorcycle crashes are often due to another driver’s negligent driving. However, that does not mean there is nothing you can do to avoid these crashes. For instance, knowing the types of motorcycle accidents that can result in New Orleans can help ensure you take steps to prevent these potential crashes from happening and ultimately help keep you safe on the road.

Common Types of New Orleans Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can result from numerous scenarios. However, in New Orleans, the most common types of motorcycle collisions usually result from the following:

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a bicycle or a motorcycle rides between rows or lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic moving in the same direction. Typically, because motorcycles take up less space on the road than other vehicles, motorcyclists often feel that this should not be an issue. In truth, they think it can be an ideal way to avoid traffic jams and get to their destination more quickly. Unfortunately, not only is lane splitting illegal in Louisiana, but it can also be hazardous. Motor vehicle drivers do not expect motorcycles to drive in between them, and because of the confinement, it makes it extremely difficult for a motorcyclist to take evasive action in an emergency. 

How To Avoid These Issues

Yes, it may seem like the perfect plan to ride through traffic, but it is not the right answer. Because of Louisiana’s laws regarding lane splitting, the best thing you can do is to wait patiently with the other cars around you and travel at the same speed as they are. Additionally, do not use lane splitting to avoid potential hazards. Instead, give other motor vehicles enough time to maneuver safely around these obstacles. 

Merging and Unsafe Lane Changes

As a motorcyclist, if you are merging into nearby traffic lanes, this process can increase your collision risk. Even if a driver is paying attention, they may not notice the presence of a smaller motorcycle merging into traffic. This situation may become even more grave if a motorcyclist decides to change lanes in heavy traffic since many riders do not have much time to look over into the lane they are merging into. In addition, a motorist may also have trouble placing the speed and location of a motorcycle, especially when these motorcycles are traveling at higher rates than the surrounding traffic. 

How To Avoid These Issues

To avoid lane change crashes, motorcyclists can take numerous actions that can help keep them safe, including:

  • Not lingering in blind spots
  • Not traveling directly next to other motor vehicles
  • Always paying attention to flashing turn signals- this can help you recognize that a driver is ready to change lanes
  • Recognizing drifting or driver behavior that can indicate a possible lane change (a driver looking over their shoulder)
  • Making sure to be aware of situations that can increase a lane change, such as an upcoming freeway exit

Left- Turning Vehicles

Left-turning accidents are some of the most deadly types of crashes. Even if a motorist is watching out for other cars before making a left turn, they may not notice a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction or moving across the intersection, especially since motorcycles are smaller and harder to see. Consequently, a driver may make a left-hand turn without even realizing that the motorcycle is right there. 

How To Avoid These Issues

When you are riding a motorcycle, you must take protective measures that will allow you to stay especially alert in these left-turn situations:

  • Pay attention to vehicles waiting in intersections or that are signaling an intent to turn
  • If you notice a car getting ready to turn left, consider waiting to get through an intersection until you know the automobile will stop
  • In certain circumstances, consider yielding the right of way to protect your safety and prevent a crash
  • Try to reduce your speed at intersections
  • If you notice a traffic gap, be aware of where cars may enter
  • Wear bright colors and check that your headlights are operational- this can help other motorists be able to see you on the road

Stops That Happen Suddenly

Yes, motorcycles may have the ability to turn and stop faster than other larger motor vehicles. However, this does not ring true to the cars driving behind a motorcycle. If a vehicle follows too closely behind a motorcycle, it increases the chances of a rear-end crash, especially if the motorcycle has to make a sudden or emergency stop. 

How To Avoid These Issues

Even though you cannot always stop another motorist from driving too closely behind you, there are things you can do to stay safe. 

  • Do not speed or try to drive faster to get away from the motorist behind you
  • Slow down so that your rate of speed gives the car behind you more time to respond
  • Always pay attention to the location of the vehicle behind you, if the vehicle behind you is too close, make sure you slow down but not abruptly

Head-On Collisions

When a head-on collision occurs, motorcycle riders can suffer severe and deadly injuries. This is because head-on collisions combine the rate of speed of both drivers involved in the crash, which means that the force applied to the motorcycle and the rider is significantly greater. Typically, these head-on collisions occur because a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are distracted, they are trying to pass another vehicle in an unsafe way, or there are bad weather conditions causing low visibility.

How To Avoid These Issues

As a motorcycle rider, the best way to avoid a head-on collision is to always pay careful attention to the road and other drivers on the road. In fact, the National Safety Council indicates that the following defensive driving techniques can significantly help a motorcyclist avoid these horrifying collisions:

  • Always be aware of the road in front of you, the other vehicles on the road, and your surroundings
  • Always maneuver to the right if any oncoming vehicles cross the centerline or get near it
  • Always reduce your speed for greater control in response to upcoming threats
  • Always steer off the road to avoid an oncoming vehicle

If An Accident Occurs, Get The Legal Help You Need

Sometimes no matter how many protective actions you take, motorcycle crashes can still occur. However, when they do. You need to make sure you get experienced legal help that you can count on. When you contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC or call our office at (504) 294-5118, our lawyers can ensure that we do everything we can to go after the compensation you are entitled to and fight for the justice you deserve. 

 

 

Car Safety: How to Protect Your Child from a Devastating Injury 

There is nothing more traumatizing than seeing your child hurt in an accident. That is why parents will do anything they can to keep their children safe. Yet, even though parents will take all types of safety measures inside their home or when they are out with their children. Quite often, they seem to forget that proper motor vehicle safety is also critical. 

Fortunately, in this blog, we want to help you take care of these safety protocols. Specifically, discussing why car safety is so vital, the steps you can take to ensure your child stays safe in a vehicle, and if an accident occurs, how an experienced personal injury attorney can get you the legal help you need.

Children Car Accident Statistics

According to research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents remain the leading cause of child death. Research shows that:

  • In 2018, 636 children who were aged 12 years and younger passed away after a vehicle collision
  • Automobile crashes result in one of every four unintentional injury deaths
  • In one year, almost 97,000 children suffered some type of injury because of a motor vehicle accident
  • Most accident deaths occur among children who are traveling as a passenger vehicle occupant

Common Types of Automobile Accident Injuries

What makes motor vehicle accidents so dangerous is they can cause a devastating injury to virtually any part of the body. However, some of the most common injuries that can result from an automobile accident include the following:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Head and Neck Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Damages
  • Back Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Deep Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Broken Bones
  • Facial Trauma
  • Limb Loss
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 
  • Burns

Steps To Take To Ensure Your Child is Safe

Sometimes no matter how many precautions you take, there is no way to prevent a motor vehicle crash. However, this does not mean you cannot take actions to help reduce the risk of your child suffering significant harm if they are involved in an automobile crash. 

  • Do Not Drive Distracted: Yes, distracted driving does happen. Yet, in order to protect your child, you need to avoid these distractions. Even one glance away from the road can result in a deadly crash. That is why you must stay focused while driving. If you need to take a call or take care of a crying child, make sure to pull over in a safe location. 
  • Do Not Cut Costs: Most parents know how expensive baby gear is, and even though it may seem like a good idea to buy a second-hand car seat and save money. You should always opt for a newer version. Many times, when you purchase a used car seat or inherit it from an older cousin or sibling, the car seat may not be in good working condition. These car seats may have been damaged or even recalled, which means if your child is involved in an accident, this car seat may not provide them the protection they need, and serious injuries can result. 
  • Read the Instructions: Car seats are incredibly safe and have been known to reduce the risk of injury in a vehicle crash by 71% to 82% compared to wearing a seat belt alone. However, the car seat can only protect your child when it is installed correctly. That is why every parent needs to make sure they read the car seat instructions and the car manual before installing the car seat. In addition, if you are having issues with the installation process or just want to make sure the seat has been installed correctly, you can always take your car seat to a local police station or fire department to verify. 
  • Sit in the Back: If your child is under 12 years old, they should be in the back seat. This is because children under 12 are usually not large enough to ride in the front seat. Consequently, if the car is involved in an accident, the airbags in the front of the vehicle can cause the child to suffer some devastating injuries. 
  • Always Wear a Seat Belt: Even if you are just driving down the road, you still need to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up properly. The seat belt is one of the easiest ways to ensure your child’s safety, especially since you never know when your car can get hit by another driver or be involved in some type of accident.
  • Never Leave Your Child in the Car: Vehicles can warm up quite quickly in a short period of time, especially when it is hot outside. When you leave your child in the car, even for a few minutes, the child can suffer heat stroke or even death.

How to Make Sure Your Child is Properly Restrained

Children restraints are the most successful way to prevent serious harm or death. Yet, when it comes to understanding how to properly buckle up your child in the car seat or a booster seat, the process may be somewhat confusing. However, the CDC makes it easy to understand the different stages. 

Rear-Facing Car Seat

  • These rear-facing car seats need to be used from birth until about the ages of two to four.
  • Infants and toddlers need to be in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until they reach the max height and weight limits.

Forward- Facing Car Seat

  • Once the child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, they will be transitioned into the forward-facing car seat until they are about five years old.
  • These forward-facing car seats will remain in the back seat, and the child will ride in this seat until they reach the upper height and weight limit. It is best to always check the car seat manual for the weight and height limits.

Booster Seats

  • After the child reaches the maximum height and weight limits of the forward-facing car seat, they will use the booster seat until they can wear a seat belt properly.
  • A child will be ready to transition out of the booster seat when the seat belt lays across their upper thighs (not their stomach), and the shoulder belt lays across their chest (not their neck).

Seat Belts 

Proper seat belt fit usually happens when the child is about 4 feet and 9 inches tall and about 9 to 12 years old. However, seat belt fits can vary depending on the vehicle, so it is essential to check the fit before transitioning a child over. 

Get the Legal Help You Need to Fight For Your Child’s Rights

If your child was injured in a car accident, the situation can be overwhelming and horrifying. However, you do not have to go through this traumatic ordeal alone. When you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to take on your case, these attorneys can quickly get to work, investigating the accident, gathering critical evidence needed to show fault, and going after maximum damages on your child’s behalf.

That is why do not wait. Contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today or call us at (504) 294-5118 and let our lawyers fight for the justice your child deserves.

 

Types of Burn Injury Claims: Causes & Liability

Everyone may experience a burn injury at some point in their life, whether through a cooking mishap or touching a hot stove burner. Yet, even though these incidents often result in a minor injury that can be treated with a band-aid and some cooling ointment. Sometimes these burn injuries can leave you with significant scarring, debilitating harm, or a permanent disability. 

Worse yet, these horrifying burn accidents can be the result of someone else’s fault- a product defect, a motor vehicle accident, or even because of unsafe premises. However, you are the one left to deal with the pain and suffering and the skyrocketing medical expenses that this type of injury results in, even though you should not have to be. In this blog, we want to better help you understand these burn injuries. Specifically, going over how they happen, what legal options you can pursue following this injury, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with the legal assistance you need to get through this devastating ordeal. 

Different Types of Burn Injuries

When most people think of a burn injury, they tend to associate the wound with an open flame or a hot surface. But in truth, there are many other sources that can result in a burn injury, including:

  • Radiation Burns: These burns usually ensue because of some type of radiation, such as radiation therapy used to treat cancer, X-rays, and even sunburns. 
  • Cold Burns: Also referred to as “frostbite,” these types of burns often cause damage to your skin by causing it to freeze. Cold burns can occur from being outside in freezing temperatures or when your skin touches something icy for long periods of time. 
  • Friction Burns: Quite often, these burns are a form of abrasion that results from a hard object rubbing off your skin. They usually occur following a biking accident or a motorcycle crash and are also referred to as chafing or skinning. 
  • Chemical Burns: These burns result from solvents, strong acids, or detergents touching your skin and causing it to burn.
  • Thermal Burns: When you touch an extremely hot object such as a flame, steam, scalding liquids, and hot metals, it can result in your skin cells dying. 
  • Electrical Burns: An electrical burn results from electricity coming into contact with your body leading to damaged tissues, organs, and skin burns. 

The Severity of Your Burn

Typically, medical professionals group burns into different categories depending on how deeply the skin has been harmed. These different categories are referred to as “degrees” and include the following:

  • First- Degree Burns: In general, these burns only affect the skin’s outer layer but can result in painful and red skin. However, you should not have any blisters or long-term damage. Using basic first-aid techniques or over-the-counter creams may be enough to heal the burn and stop the pain.  
  • Second- Degree Burns: When you suffer a second-degree burn, this type of burn often affects the outer layer of the skin in addition to the dermis (the underneath layer). Following this type of burn, your skin may be swollen, bright red, and look wet and shiny. It will also hurt when touched, and you may see blisters, which can lead to scarring and infections if not treated properly.
  • Third- Degree Burns: This type of burn can sometimes be referred to as a “full-thickness burn” and destroy two full layers of your skin. This burn can be extremely dangerous and become life-threatening if medical treatment is not immediately provided. Skin will usually be destroyed down to the muscle, bone, or underlying tissue and appear black, white, yellow, or brown. Many times this burn may not even hurt because the burn is so severe that it damages nerve endings. In general, hospitalization and lengthy treatments may be required. 
  • Fourth-Degree Burns: The most severe of burns. A fourth-degree burn is not only usually life-threatening, but it can also destroy all the layers of your skin, your muscles, tendons, and your bones. Because this type of burn is usually not considered survivable, the CDC does not include them in their data. However, some other medical journals do. 

It is imperative that following a significant burn injury that you get examined by a medical professional. These burn injuries can often lead to numerous complications, including joint issues, bone problems, and deadly infections. 

How Do You Prove Liability in a Burn Accident

If you suffered significant medical expenses, lost wages, and other bills due to your burn injury, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you endured. 

However, in order to obtain this compensation, you will first need to establish the injury was due to another’s intentional or negligent actions. To prove negligence, you need to show the following elements:

  • Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to avoid causing harm
  • Breach: The at-fault party breached this duty of care
  • Causation: This breach resulted in you to suffer a burn injury
  • Damages: This burn injury led to monetary losses

Filing a Burn Injury Claim- How Much Time Do You Have? 

If you have suffered a burn injury, you only have one year to bring an injury claim in Louisiana. If you do not bring a claim within this allotted time, you may be barred from collecting compensation for your damages. However, there are exceptions to this statute of limitation that can impact how much time you have to file. For these reasons, you need to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. These lawyers can not only determine how much time you have to file but ensure your case is filed correctly and promptly.

Get the Legal Help You Need, Following a Burn Accident Injury

Burn injury claims are complicated. They require extensive evidence to show fault and damages, a thorough understanding of the state’s laws, and sound arguments to help prove your claim. For these reasons, the best way to ensure you bring a strong case and fight for the damages you deserve is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. These lawyers can:

  • Go over your case in detail, answer any questions and concerns you may have, and figure out the best legal options you can pursue.
  • Investigate your burn accident thoroughly, assess your losses, and gather the vital evidence needed to prove what happened and who was at fault.
  • Handle the discussions and negotiations with the defense or the insurance company, and ensure you do not say anything that can harm your claim while going after a fair settlement amount on your behalf. 
  • Bring in experts to testify, such as accident reconstructionists, engineers, doctors, and economists who can help substantiate your claims.
  • If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation.

If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury because of another party’s intentional or negligent actions, do not wait. Contact the skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Charbonnet Law Firm today, or call our office at (504) 294-5075, and let our legal team fight for you and your rights. 

 

What Can I Do if I Have Been Injured in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in New Orleans?

What Can I Do if I Have Been Injured in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in New Orleans?

Car accidents lead to physical pain and economic loss, making them especially stressful when another driver causes them. However, drivers with ethical and moral deficiencies who leave the scene of the accident add extra layers of anger and frustration. Accident victims must cope with the physical pain of their injuries and absorb the cost of vehicle repairs and medical treatment costs.

Fortunately, you have some options for recovering damages after a hit-and-run accident in New Orleans. An experienced New Orleans car accident attorney can answer your questions during a free consultation. Until you have the opportunity to meet with a lawyer and discuss your legal options, this guide provides preliminary information on what you can do if you have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident in New Orleans.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Is a Crime in Louisiana

Drivers who leave the scene of an accident face a fine and possible jail time depending on the circumstances and their driving history. When serious physical injuries occur, a hit-and-run conviction carries up to a $5,000 fine and 10 years in prison if drug use or alcohol use contributed to the accident. Hit-and-run drivers who cause severe bodily injury typically must serve a mandatory five years in prison, but they could serve as much as 20 years in prison if they have previous convictions.

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in New Orleans

If you are involved in a car accident in New Orleans, and the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, you must first prioritize safety. If possible, move your car out of traffic and call 911 to report the accident. Wait for law enforcement and emergency services to arrive. If you are physically able, take the following actions while waiting for police to arrive:

  • Gather contact information from any eyewitnesses who stopped to help you out. If they are unable to remain at the accident scene until the police arrive, you will have their information so an officer can contact them and get statements. Eyewitnesses are crucial in hit-and-run accidents because they provide evidence that supports the criminal case against the driver and your insurance claim.
  • Accept medical treatment at the scene of the accident. Even if you only feel a little sore, you must let a physician examine you for common car accident injuries. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, do not immediately show symptoms. Also, soreness and pain in certain areas of the body can indicate more serious issues, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. A physician must document your injuries for you to seek compensation for your injuries in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
  • Take photos of the accident scene with your cell phone. Ensure you have evidence of any property damage to share with the police, the insurance company, and your attorney. You should also take photos of any visible injuries to support your injury claim.
  • Contact a New Orleans car accident attorney who can guide you on the best steps to take to recover compensation for the accident and your injuries.

Who Pays for Medical Expenses and Other Damages After a Hit-and-Run?

Accident victims often assume they do not have any way to recoup their losses when a hit-and-run driver causes an accident. This is sometimes true. However, sometimes the police locate the hit-and-run driver based on the evidence they gathered at the scene and discussions with eyewitnesses. You should periodically check in with the policy to ask if they have identified the driver who hit you. If you do not locate the hit-and-run driver, you must rely on your insurance to absorb some or all of your economic losses from the accident.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance and Hit-and-Run Accidents in Louisiana

Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance is add-on coverage that pays benefits when drivers get in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Louisiana does not require drivers to carry UM coverage, but it does require insurance providers to offer UM coverage in insurance packages. Policyholders must explicitly deny UM coverage in writing, so you likely have UM coverage.

Unless explicitly excluded in the language of your insurance policy, UM insurance covers medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages for policyholders who have suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident. If you immediately report the accident to your insurance carrier, you can likely receive benefits up to your policy limit to recover some or all of your losses.

Bringing a Lawsuit Against the Hit-and-Run Driver

If you are fortunate enough that the police locate the hit-and-run driver who caused your accident, you have some other options. First, you can file an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance carrier to receive compensation under their liability coverage. However, the lack of insurance is one common reason drivers leave the scene of an accident. It’s possible the driver who left the scene of the accident truly does not have insurance. In this situation, you are once again left to rely on your UM coverage.

If the driver is uninsured or your damages exceed his or her insurance policy limits, you can also bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. If a court rules in your favor, you could be awarded damages for current and future medical treatment costs, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages.

Keep in mind that hit-and-run drivers, especially those who do not have insurance, likely have little if any financial resources to pay an award. If they did, they would likely have insurance. It’s imperative to let an attorney help you in these situations to ensure you have the best chance to prevail in an insurance claim and/or lawsuit and collect any compensation you are awarded.

Get the Legal Help You Need from a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer

It’s common for hit-and-run accident victims to go it alone with their insurance company after a hit-and-run accident. They feel they can handle filling out an insurance claim and communicating with their insurance company and mistakenly assume their insurance provider is on their side. This tragic mistake sometimes causes accident victims to miss out on receiving the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Insurance companies are worried about their bottom line, not their policyholders. It’s crucial that you treat an uninsured motorist insurance claim from a hit-and-run accident the same as you would treat a claim you filed with a driver’s insurance carrier. Your insurance company will investigate the hit-and-run accident and do what they can to deny or devalue your claim.

It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney who can help you avoid the simple mistakes that could lead to your claim’s denial. The skilled legal team at Charbonnet Law Firm can evaluate your claim and guide you on a path that gives you the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation commensurate with your injuries. Contact us today online or at 504-294-5118 to discuss the details of your hit-and-run accident and learn how we can help.

Who is Liable if I Was Injured in an Uber/Lyft Accident in Louisiana 

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have taken the country by storm, changing how we see transportation. Not surprisingly, these services have become a popular and hassle-free way to travel in Louisiana. Unfortunately, no matter how easy and convenient these rideshare services are, horrific accidents still happen, and devastating injuries still occur.

As a victim of an Uber/ Lyft accident, you may have numerous questions about what you need to do following one of these crashes. Fortunately, in this blog, we will cover these details. Helping you understand how these ridesharing services work, who you can hold liable for the harm you endured, and how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you.

What Actions To Take Following an Uber/ Lyft Accident in Louisiana

If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, the situation can be quite overwhelming for everyone involved. However, it is essential to remember that the actions you take following this accident can not only protect your safety but your legal rights as well. That is why it is crucial to take the following steps if you are ever involved in an Uber/Lyft collision:

Call 911

After an Uber/ Lyft accident, you need to contact the police immediately. The EMS can quickly get to the scene and provide any emergency medical help necessary, while the police officers can investigate the accident. These officers will take notes about what happened, who was involved, and any other observations and write them down in their police report. If you decide to bring a personal injury claim, this police report can provide you with valuable information.

Get Medical Help

Even if you do not need immediate medical help following the crash, you still need to get to a doctor to get checked out. Often, an individual can suffer an injury that is not readily apparent but can be quite severe, such as a traumatic brain injury. The longer you wait to get help, the more serious and deadly the injury can become. That is why it is critical to get examined by a physician as quickly as possible. These medical professionals can make sure you do not have one of these serious injuries, provide you with any treatments you need, and also write down details about your injuries in their medical report. This report can be extremely valuable when trying to prove damages, especially if the other side tries to argue that your injuries were from a pre-existing condition or a subsequent event.

Gather Evidence

If it is safe, make sure you collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can. Include photographs or videos of your visible injuries, the vehicles involved in the crash, the weather conditions, any traffic signs near the accident, skid marks on the road, or any other details that can show what happened. In addition, try to take notes immediately after the accident and include everything you remember about the accident and the events leading up to this collision.

Get Driver Information and Exchange Details

Get information from all the individuals and motorists involved in the crash, including their name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance details. Additionally, make sure you jot down the type, color, and model of the vehicles involved and the accident’s location.

Talk to Witnesses

If any individuals at the accident scene saw what happened, get their name and contact information. Their statements can be imperative when trying to prove what happened and who was at fault.

Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Following an Uber/Lyft accident, retaining an experienced personal injury attorney can help settle your claim, fight for maximum compensation, and provide you with the legal assistance you need during this difficult time.

Figuring Out Rideshare Insurance Claims

Typically, Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. This means that if you are in an accident with one of these vehicles, figuring out who is responsible for your damages can be quite complicated. There are four scenarios that can occur from an Uber or Lyft accident, and depending on the circumstances, different insurance considerations will come into play:

  • Not Logged Into the App: The first scenario involves the Uber or Lyft driver not being logged into the ridesharing app when the collision occurs.
  • Logged In But Has Not Accepted a Ride: At this point, the Uber or Lyft driver has logged into the app but has not yet accepted a passenger request.
  • Accepted a Ride: The third scenario involves the rideshare services driver accepting a ride request but has not yet picked up the passenger when a crash happens.
  • Picked Up the Passenger: In the last scenario, the accident occurs when the Uber/Lyft driver has picked up the passenger and is en route to get the passenger to their destination.

Driver Not Logged Into the Rideshare App

When a driver is not logged into the app, they are not officially working. Meaning that if an accident occurs, the Uber/ Lyft driver’s personal liability insurance will come into play.

Driver Logged In But Has Not Accepted a Ride

Once a driver logs into the ridesharing app, Uber and Lyft will provide their drivers with a Limited Liability Policy to cover whatever the driver’s personal policy does not cover in an accident. In general, this policy covers $100,000 bodily injury per accident, $25,000 property damage per accident, and $50,000 bodily injury per individual.

Driver Accepted a Ride

When the driver has accepted a ride but has not picked up the passenger, Uber and Lyft will provide Third Party Liability and Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This means that the coverage per accident goes up to $1 million.

Driver Picked Up the Passenger and is En Route

This last scenario also has Uber and Lyft providing Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Third Party Liability Coverage with a $1 million per accident limit.

Get the Legal Help You Need- Contact a Skilled Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you are injured in an Uber/ Lyft accident, you may have several potential liability claims. However, before you can file any claim, you need to figure out who is responsible for the crash. Luckily, when you work with an experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyer, they can help you sort through these claims and recover the compensation you deserve from those responsible. These attorneys can:

  • Go over any questions and concerns you may have
  • Investigate the Uber/ Lyft accident thoroughly and gather critical evidence needed to help prove liability and damages
  • Handle the negotiations with the insurance companies, ensuring you go after compensation fair to you
  • Take your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to negotiate

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Louisiana. Do not stress about dealing with these complex legal claims alone. Instead, contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today or call our office at (504) 294-5118 and let our lawyers fight for the damages and justice you deserve.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New Orleans 

Pedestrian accidents are devastating, resulting in catastrophic injuries, immense pain and suffering, and a future filled with many questions and concerns. In fact, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than motor vehicle occupants to be killed in a crash. Typically, these pedestrian accidents occur because of negligent or reckless drivers. However, there are other factors and situations that can cause these horrific crashes.

In this blog post, we will look at some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in New Orleans. Discuss actions you can take to reduce these types of accidents and show you how an experienced personal injury law firm can provide you the legal help you need if you were involved in a New Orleans pedestrian accident.

Why Walkers Get Hit- The Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

All motor vehicle drivers need to not only obey the traffic laws but must watch out for other individuals on the roads and use reasonable care. This includes keeping an eye out for pedestrians who may not be as easily seen as other vehicles. Unfortunately, this extra caution does not always happen, and devastating pedestrian accidents occur, leading to significant injuries and even death. In New Orleans, some of the most common causes of pedestrian crashes include the following:

Distracted Drivers

Unfortunately, distracted driving is nothing new. Motorists are constantly either texting and driving, eating and driving, or doing other activities that distract them from paying attention to the road. Consequently, if a pedestrian happens to get in front of them, the driver may not even realize they are there and can end up crashing into them.

Drinking and Driving

Motorists who decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated either through alcohol or drugs can be dangerous for everyone on the road, including pedestrians. Intoxicated drivers not only lack reaction times, general skills to drive, and reasoning, but they often end up not seeing the pedestrians that are crossing the road.

Excessive Speeds

Louisiana’s speeding laws prohibit motorists from driving at speeds that are greater than “reasonable and prudent under the conditions.” As a result, not only is speeding in Louisiana against the law, but it can also be considered reckless driving. If a pedestrian is hit at these excessive speeds, the damages can be life-changing.

Poor Weather

Sometimes hazardous conditions can make it impossible for a motorist to drive safely. If roads are covered with ice, rain, or even fog, the situation can become perilous, especially for pedestrians on these roadways. Often, these drivers are unable to see a pedestrian in these bad weather conditions or cannot stop in time to avoid hitting them.

Construction Areas

Sure, construction is nothing new in New Orleans and can be found everywhere. But what many motorists fail to realize is if there is road construction, many pedestrians are forced to walk in areas where it is not safe for them to walk, such as the roadways with fast passing cars.

Failing to Yield or Stop

Drivers who do not obey traffic laws can be considered incredibly dangerous to other motorists and pedestrians. When a driver decides to roll through an intersection or a stoplight or fails to yield to a pedestrian who has the right of way, the results can be devastating.

Motor Vehicles Making a Left Turn

Even if a pedestrian has the signal to walk, it does not mean that they are free and clear of dangers on the roadway. For instance, many accidents often occur when a pedestrian has the right-of-way on a crosswalk because a car is making a left-hand turn, trying to navigate the intersection, and not paying attention to the pedestrians crossing.

Dark Clothes

It is a normal late-night activity, taking a jog or walks to distress from a hectic day. But if you plan to hit those streets when the sun sets, it is recommended that you wear white or light-colored clothing and carry or have lights on your body to help you become more noticeable to passing cars. Even if there are street lights in areas where pedestrians are crossing, vehicles may not notice walkers or runners because of the darkness and can ultimately hit them.

Crossing an Intersection Improperly

Pedestrians often make the mistake of thinking they always have the right-of-way, but they do not. When an individual tries to cross a street other than the designated crosswalk or tries to run across the road right in front of oncoming traffic, vehicles may not always stop in time—leading to deadly accidents.

Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

No matter if you are a pedestrian or a motorist, there are specific actions you can take to help reduce these pedestrian accidents. These actions include the following:

What Motorists Can Do

  • Slow down in areas where pedestrians are. It is hard to predict what a pedestrian can do, so even if you slow down just a bit, it can make a world of difference when you need to avoid an accident.
  • Making eye contact with pedestrians can help you communicate and avoid confusion about who is going where on the roads.
  • If a car stops in front of you, do not try to quickly drive around them. You do not know why the first vehicle stopped, and if you decide to dart around it, you can hit a pedestrian crossing the road.

What Pedestrians Can Do

  • Stick to designated crosswalks or crossing areas. These areas are designed to help ensure you cross the road safely.
  • Do not expect motorists to see you. Sometimes these drivers are distracted, under the influence, or just flat out do not realize you are there. Staying alert can help save your life.
  • Even if a vehicle stops for you to cross, the cars behind them may not. That is why you always need to pay attention to other vehicles that may drive around the stopped car and end up crashing into you.

If a Pedestrian Accident Occurs, Make Sure You Get the Legal Help You Need

Sadly, sometimes no matter how many precautions you take, serious pedestrian accidents can occur. When this happens, you need experienced legal help on your side. That is why you need to retain the skilled personal injury attorneys at Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC and have these lawyers fight for the justice and damages you deserve. These attorneys can:

  • Answer any questions or concerns you may have
  • Go over all the possible legal actions you can take
  • Investigate the accident thoroughly, gather critical evidence, and interview relevant witnesses that can help prove liability and damages
  • Ensure that critical motions and legal documents are filed accurately and on time
  • Handle all negotiations and discussions with the other side, ensuring your case is treated with respect
  • If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, take your case to trial and go after maximum damages

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a New Orleans pedestrian accident, do not wait any longer. Contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today, or call our office at (504) 294-5094 and let our lawyers fight for you and your rights.

How to Protect your Child from a Serious Car Accident Injury 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to indicate that car accidents remain the leading cause of death in children. In fact, in 2018, 636 children aged 12 years and younger died in an automobile collision, and 97,000 children suffered some sort of injury because of this accident.

Seeing your child hurt in any accident is unimaginable. Experiencing your child seriously injured in a preventable car accident can be incredibly devastating. Yet, these crashes happen every day across our country and result in our children suffering debilitating harm, catastrophic injuries, and life-long repercussions that not only affect the child but the whole family as well. That is why, in this blog post, we want to help you better understand how these accidents happen and show you what you can do to protect your children from these deadly accidents.

Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

It is common knowledge that car accident injuries can vary in type and severity depending on the circumstances of the collision. However, because children’s bodies and brains are still developing, even a minor accident can lead to a lifetime of struggles. Typically, the most common injuries that result from these car accidents include the following:

  • Head Injuries
  • Neck Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Damages
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Significant Lacerations and Contusions
  • Broken Bones or Fractured Bones
  • Back Injuries
  • Facial Trauma
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Extreme Anxiety or Depression

Ensuring Your Child Is Safe in The Car

Any individual that is transporting a child wants to ensure that the child remains safe while they are in the vehicle. It can also be extremely stressful thinking that something can happen to these children while riding in the car. However, before you let this anxiety take over. There are actions you can take to help reduce the risk of serious car accident injuries and ensure your child remains safe in the vehicle. Consider the following:

  • Register Your Car Seat: Most individuals usually do not give this safety measure a second thought. But in truth, registering your car seat can be quite beneficial. Once you register your seat, it can help you keep informed about any car seat defects that may be discovered later or notify you of any car seat recalls.
  • Saving Money May Not Be Best: Yes, every individual loves to save money. But when it comes to buying a second-hand car seat or using one from an older child, spending more money on a new seat may be best. This is because many times, these second-hand car seats may not be in good working condition. Or they may have been recalled or damaged, resulting in a severe injury if an accident occurs.
  • Follow Instructions: Even though a car seat is known to reduce the risk of injury in a motor vehicle accident by up to 82% compared to seat belt use alone. Many times, parents either do not use it properly or do not install the seat appropriately. Leading to significant injuries in a motor vehicle accident. That is why, when installing this seat, make sure you follow the car seat instructions and read your car manual as well. If you are still unsure if the installation has been done correctly, head over to a fire department or a police station, and they can check the seat for you.
  • Back Is Best: For children 12 and under, the back seat is best. This is often because the airbags in the front of the car can result in severe injuries to kids who are not large enough to ride in the front.
  • Always Buckle Up: One of the best ways to ensure your child’s safety in a vehicle is to make sure they buckle up properly. Regardless of how far you are traveling, you always need to make sure that everyone is securely fastened in their seats.
  • Do Not Leave Your Child Alone: You should never leave your child in a car alone, even if you want to run into a store for just a few minutes. When it is hot outside, the car’s temperature can rise significantly in a short period of time, leading to devastating injuries, heatstroke, or even death.

Car Safety- What You Need to Know About The Different Stages of Car Seats, Booster Seats, and Seat Belts

Many parents may know that when their child is small, they need to be buckled up in a car seat. But when it comes to the transition out of this car seat, many are left clueless as to what the next steps are. To help you better protect your child, you need to understand the different stages of a car seat, a booster seat, and a seat belt.

  • Start With Rear-Facing: When a child is born, they need to be in a rear-facing car seat in the back until they reach the upper height or weight limit of their seat. This typically occurs between the ages of two and four.
  • Move to a Forward-Facing Car Seat: Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, the next step is to turn the car seat around and have your child ride in a forward-facing car seat. During this step, the child needs to be in the back seat, facing forward, and properly buckled. They will be in this stage until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the seat. Generally, this stage lasts until the age of five.
  • Using Booster Seats: Before you take your child out of the car seat, you need to make sure they are ready for the booster seat. This usually happens when children are between 40 and 65 pounds. When your child is in a booster seat, they will be buckled in a belt-positioning booster seat until they can sit in a car and have the seat belt properly fit around them.
  • Seat Belt Use: Finally, the last stage is having your child be able to sit in a vehicle and just wear a seat belt. To ensure this is done correctly, you need to make sure the belt properly lays across a child’s upper thighs and chest. This proper seat belt fit usually happens between the ages of nine and twelve years old, and when the child is about 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Was Your Child Injured in a Car Accident? Get the Legal Help You Need

When your child is injured in a motor vehicle crash, the ordeal can be traumatizing. In these situations, you need legal help that you can trust. Legal help that can answer the questions you have and provide you the legal options you can pursue. Fortunately, when you retain an experienced personal injury attorney, you can get the legal help you need. These lawyers can investigate your accident, gather critical evidence to substantiate your claims, negotiate with the insurance company for maximum compensation, and take your case to trial if needed. Do not wait any longer, contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today or call us at (504) 294-5118 and let our lawyers fight for the justice and damages you deserve.

How Do You Know Who Is Liable in a Car Accident in Louisiana?

In the vast majority of traffic accidents, the driver who causes the crash is financially liable for damages related to injuries and loss. However, some situations exist where accident victims have grounds to claim damages from more than one party.

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in Louisiana, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Until you have the opportunity to meet with a lawyer, this guide provides insight into other potential parties who could partially or wholly be financially liable for damages in a car accident in Louisiana.

Who Is Financially Liable When a Driver Causes an Accident in a Vehicle They Do Not Own? 

It depends. In Louisiana, insurance typically follows the vehicle when someone besides the car owner is operating the vehicle. Yet, in some situations, the owner’s insurance will not cover an accident caused by another driver. When a vehicle’s owner is partially or fully financially liable for damages from an accident, their liability only extends to liability policy limits. Each vehicle in Louisiana must have:

  • $15,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage per person
  • $30,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage per accident
  • $25,000 of property damage liability coverage

In Louisiana, those drivers who have the minimum liability coverage are also covered when driving another person’s car if they are a family member of the policyholder.

Factors that often influence whether an accident victim can also hold a car owner liable include:

Permission

If the driver of the vehicle does not get express or implied permission for use, a good chance exists that the owner will not be liable for damages from an accident. This occurs when a stranger steals a vehicle, but can also happen when a family member “borrows” a car without permission. The owner’s insurance company will likely deny the claim in this situation.

License Status

Sometimes people without a driver’s license or with a suspended license drive another individual’s car and cause an accident. In these situations, car owners might not be liable unless they knew the driver was unlicensed or should have known the driver was not licensed. Many insurance policies have clauses that void coverage when an unlicensed driver is behind the wheel. This does not necessarily absolve the owner from liability, but it does complicate the claim.

Drug or Alcohol Use

Car owners often avoid liability when an individual uses their car and causes an accident after consuming alcohol or using drugs. In a situation where the owner knew the driver was engaging in drunk or drugged driving, the owner might share some liability. These situations are delicate and vary greatly, so it’s necessary to have an attorney evaluate your case.

Driver Competence

If the owner of a car lets someone incompetent operate their vehicle, they open themselves up to liability under the notion of negligent entrustment. This applies to drunk and drugged drivers, but also to inexperienced drivers, elderly drivers, sick drivers, and drivers who have a long history of reckless driving and other traffic violations. The idea is that if the car owner knew the driver was incompetent, he or she should not have let the driver use the vehicle.

Challenges of Filing an Insurance Claim When the At-fault Driver Does Not Own the Car

First and foremost, you must report the accident to your insurance company regardless of fault. Most auto insurance policies contain policies that require you to report an accident if your coverage might apply. This also ensures that you can take advantage of any add-on coverage you have purchased, such as medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Additionally, if the owner’s insurance policy has low limits that do not cover all the damages from your car accident, your mandatory uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UI) coverage might kick in. Failure to report the accident to your carrier could lead to issues later on.

After a car accident, filing an insurance claim when the at-fault driver is not the car owner follows the same process. Yet, the things above can muddy the situation and lead to complications. You can expect insurance companies for the driver and the owner will fight over liability because both want to avoid financial liability.

It’s always best to contact an attorney after suffering car accident injuries, so a lawyer can evaluate your claim and offer guidance. This is even more important when the driver does not own the vehicle. You need experienced legal counsel in your corner who knows how to handle the complexities that come with these types of cases, giving you the best chance of recovering damages.

Third-Party Liability in Louisiana Car Accidents

If you get in a car accident with a driver who does own the car, you might name the driver, the car owner, or both in a personal injury claim. Yet, some situations call for possibly naming other third parties. They include:

Businesses 

Employees drive company cars all the time and sometimes cause an accident. In these situations, the owner is technically a business, not an individual. Although you may take action against the driver, it’s highly likely you will also take action against their employer. If you are in a company vehicle and another motorist causes a crash, your first step will likely be to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits. An attorney can help you seek damages beyond workers’ comp benefits.

State of Louisiana, City, or Parish

Government entities, including the State of Louisiana, its cities, and its parishes, are responsible for maintaining roads, so they are safe for driving. This includes clearing debris after a storm, fixing potholes and sinkholes, and ensuring traffic signs and signals are in place and working correctly. If the failure to maintain roads leads to a car accident, you might also have grounds to name a government entity in a lawsuit with the driver and owner of the vehicle.

Auto or Auto Part Manufacturer

Another example of third party liability in Louisiana car accidents occurs when the accident results from a defective vehicle or defective car part. These situations are rare, but they do occur. Auto manufacturers make critical recalls on their vehicles all the time. When a defective car or car part leads to a mechanical issue that causes an accident, you have grounds to seek damages from the manufacturer, dealer, or any other party responsible for bringing the car to market. If a known defect causes an issue, and the owner did not take steps to address the recall, they could still share liability.

Contact a Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car accidents can lead to financial hardship and emotional distress on top of the physical pain of injury. Charbonnet Law Firm has the experience and resources to investigate your accident and determine which party or parties you should name in your insurance claim and lawsuit, if applicable. When you identify all the parties who could potentially be liable for damages, you increase the likelihood of recovering the maximum amount of compensation for your car accident and injuries. Contact Charbonnet Law Firm online or call us at 504-294-5118 to discuss the details of your Louisiana car accident and injuries.

 

Pedestrian Accidents in New Orleans

According to the Louisiana State University’s Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation, more than 1,400 people in Louisiana suffer pedestrian accident injuries each year; over 100 suffer fatal injuries. About one-third of these fatalities and several hundred injuries occur in Orleans Parish. New Orleans is famous for its rich culture, music, and food that promote residents and visitors alike to eat, drink, and be merry. Unfortunately, enjoying all New Orleans offers comes with danger for those who traverse the Crescent City on foot.

Pedestrians face more risk for accident injuries than motorists or those on bicycles. Without protection from a car or bike, injuries are more severe and more likely to lead to death. Severe injuries are costly, sometimes leaving accident victims and their families with financial hardship. Fortunately, Louisiana law permits pedestrian accident victims to seek compensation for damages from the party who allegedly hurt them.

If you have suffered pedestrian accident injuries in New Orleans, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can help you take legal action. At Charbonnet Law Firm, we have the experience and resources to help you seek justice. Contact us today to discuss the details of your pedestrian accident and injuries and learn the best path forward for your circumstances.

Pedestrians Suffer Severe Injuries

Pedestrians face severe injuries when a car, truck, or another motor vehicle strikes them. Injuries commonly associated with pedestrian accidents include:

Fractures

Pedestrians face multiple broken bones when a vehicle strikes them. Some fractures heal, but crushed bones and multiple breaks often need corrective surgery. Some victims struggle for life with pain or discomfort even after surgery and never get their full range of movement back. Later in life, some victims with broken bones develop painful arthritis in the affected area of their body. Pedestrians who suffer broken ribs risk internal organ damage and other life-threatening injuries.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Sprains and strains are the most common soft tissue injuries. Yet, depending on the situation, a pedestrian might also suffer from a torn muscle, tendon, or ligament. Sprains and strains heal with rest, but more severe soft tissue injuries that include tears typically require reconstruction. Victims sometimes face challenges with movements, pain, and discomfort for life.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

If a pedestrian’s head hits the ground during an accident, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is likely. Even the mildest of TBIs can lead to long-term complications with memory, cognition, and behavior. Some victims also struggle with anxiety, depression, and personality changes. Children who suffer TBIs are especially vulnerable to developmental struggles because the human brain does not fully develop until after age 20. TBIs can also cause residual headaches and migraines that last for life.

Neck and Back Injuries

Depending on the exact impact of a pedestrian accident, victims face a wide range of potential neck and back injuries. In addition to soft tissue injuries, pedestrian accident victims sometimes suffer from fractured vertebrae, slipped discs, and bulged discs. Those who suffer severe injuries often need to undergo surgery but still suffer some pain or discomfort for life. Pain management is also a big part of life for those with severe neck and back injuries.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are also neck and back injuries, but they deserve special treatment because of their severity. Although accident victims sometimes recover from minor spinal cord damage, permanent damage is more likely. Spinal cord cells do not naturally regenerate like other cells, so victims face permanent loss of function. The exact area of loss corresponds with the area on the spinal column where the injury occurred. Those injuries closest to the brain typically result in the most functional loss, typically referred to as tetraplegia, which is paralysis from the neck down.

Dislocation

Pedestrian accidents can cause joint dislocations in the hips and shoulders. Soft tissue injuries often accompany dislocations, which occur when the ball and socket joints hold the hips and shoulders separate. Doctors can put the ball back in the socket, but torn ligaments or muscles often require surgery. Dislocations are among the most painful of injuries, and victims often cope with chronic issues.

Amputation

Some pedestrian accident victims suffer crushed bones if their body gets pinned under a vehicle. Crushed limbs lose blood flow and initiate the death of a limb. If doctors cannot restore blood flow to a crushed limb, they must amputate to save a victim from dying from an infection. Amputees must cope with stump pain, phantom limb pain, and learning how to use a prosthetic device.

Driver Negligence Leads to Pedestrian Accidents

Under Louisiana law, you can take legal action against a driver who hits you while you’re walking if they intentionally harmed you or their negligence led to the accident. Some common negligent driving behaviors that lead to severe, sometimes fatal pedestrian accidents include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Ignoring traffic control devices including stop signs and signals
  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield to a pedestrian
  • Aggressive driving

Damages in New Orleans Pedestrian Accident Cases

Louisiana law permits you to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who allegedly caused you injured in a New Orleans pedestrian accident. If you reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company or the court rules in your favor, you could receive compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical treatment costs including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, aftercare, diagnostic imaging, doctor visits, and prescription medication
  • Estimated future medical expenses when a pedestrian accident leads to severe injuries that require ongoing treatment and/or long-term nursing care
  • Lost wages for missing work due to injuries, hospitalization, and recovery
  • Estimated future lost wages when a pedestrian accident leads to a catastrophic injury that prevents an accident victim from working
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

How New Orleans Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you have suffered injuries from a pedestrian accident in New Orleans, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can handle the details of your case so you can focus on healing. Some ways an attorney can help include:

  • Evaluation. Your attorney can evaluate your case and determine the viability of your claim.
  • Communication. Your lawyer can handle communications with the insurance company and other relevant parties to protect you from saying anything an adjuster could use to devalue your claim.
  • Negotiation. Your attorney will place a monetary value on your claim and negotiate compensation for damages with the insurance company,
  • Litigation. If settlement negotiations fail and you need to go to court, your lawyer will litigate your case and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.

Contact a New Orleans Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

At Charbonnet Law Firm, we understand the challenges you face in the wake of suffering serious injuries in a pedestrian accident. In addition to physical pain, you are likely dealing with emotional stress and financial hardship. We are here to provide you with guidance and legal advice on the best path forward for your claim. Contact us today online or at (504) 294-5075 for a free case evaluation to discuss your accident, your injuries, and the impact they have had on your life.

A Review of Distracted Driver Accident Statistics in New Orleans

Most of us think about distracted driving as someone who is talking on their cell phone or texting. What you may be surprised to learn is statistically, a driver is more likely to be distracted because they are speaking to a passenger in their vehicle. This does not mean cell phone usage and texting do not play a role — they certainly do but, 57 percent of all distracted driving accidents occur as a result of speaking with a passenger.

What You Should Know About Cell Phones and Accidents

Despite not being the primary cause of distracted driving, cell phone usage is a significant problem. Here are some statistics offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • During 2018, the death toll from distracted driving was in excess of 2,800 people
  • While there has been a significant decrease in handheld cell phone usage over the last five years, headset usage and texting have increased from their lows
  • Studies show drunk driving is less likely than texting while driving to result in an accident
  • More than 350,000 accidents annually are tied to texting while driving
  • The quoted study shows a driver who is reading a text message is likely to travel the length of a football field without looking at the road

The NHTSA study shows some other frightening statistics regarding distracted driving including:

  • Eight percent of all fatal crashes involved distracted driving
  • Distracted driving played a role in 15 percent of all accidents resulting in an injury
  • There were more than 500 deaths associated with distracted driving who were not in a vehicle including pedestrians and bicyclists

Teens and Distracted Driving

Young people depend on their electronic devices for keeping in touch with friends, reading news, and more. While nearly every state, including Louisiana, has strict laws regarding teens and cell phone usage a review of the numbers regarding teen drivers tells a frightening story.

  • Seven percent of all fatalities in distracted driving crashes were teens between the ages of 15 and 19
  • Nearly 250 teens were involved in distracted driving crashes as a result of cell phone usage in 2018
  • In the age group 15 to 19, 202 victims lost their lives in 2018 as a result of distracted driving
  • Drivers in the 15 to 19 age group were responsible for the death of more than 250 people
  • Studies show that even hands-free cell phone usage is still causing distracted driving accidents.

The National Safety Council Weighs in on Distracted Driving

Every year, the National Safety Council (NSC) conducts a distracted driving awareness month. Like many events during 2020, there were changes with this observation being moved from April to October. However, their website contains some sobering data we should all take to heart including:

  • Every day on roadways across the United States, 700 people suffer an injury as a result of distracted driving
  • In an average year, 3,000 people lose their lives due to cell phone usage while driving
  • It is estimated the United States loses more than 40,000 people in distracted driving accidents on an annual basis
  • More than 275,000 injuries occur annually as a result of distracted driving

Louisiana Statistics Regarding Distracted Driving

As part of the Louisiana’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) issued in 2017, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) evaluated information to help them determine the leading cause of accidents and fatalities on Louisiana roadways. This was done using data from 2005 through 2016 showing the following:

  • Nearly 21 percent of fatalities in 2016 occurred as a result of distracted driving accidents
  • More than 36 percent of all serious injuries were associated with distracted driving accidents
  • On a positive note, distracted driving fatalities were lower in 2016 than in any of the prior years
  • Distracted driving injuries decreased annually between 2019 and 2016

Louisiana Distracted Driving and Severe Injuries

LSU provides several reports which can be helpful in determining trends pertaining to distracted driving. Nearly 3,000 people have suffered serious injuries during the last five years as a result of a distracted driving accident.  Distracted driving trends for the prior five years shows this:

  • During 2015 there were 401 accidents resulting in severe injury
  • During 2016 severe injury crashes increased to 444, representing an increase of nearly 11 percent
  • In 2017, Louisiana distracted driving crashes decreased by nearly 12 percent with 393 serious injuries reported
  • With 377 reported serious injury crashes as a result of distracted driving reported in 2018, another decrease was reason for optimism
  • Unfortunately, 2019 saw another increase in serious injuries resulting from a distracted driving accident, this time an increase of nearly nine percent resulted in 410 victims
  • Since the start of 2020, Louisiana has reported 417 new victims of serious injuries as a result of distracted driving accidents. This increase is the largest since 2016.

Distracted Driving Fatalities in Louisiana

Since 2015, distracted driving has resulted in 916 fatalities on Louisiana roadways. The year-to-year trends look like this:

  • For the year ending December 31, 2015, there were 160 fatal crashes
  • For the year ending December 31, 2016, there was a decrease of just over 8 percent in fatal crashes, but we still lost 147 lives in distracted driving crashes
  • As of December 31, 2017, 167 victims succumbed to their injuries after being involved in an accident involving a distracted driver. This was an increase of nearly 7 percent over 2016
  • The trend of distracted driving fatalities dropped in 2018 with 146 lives lost, a decrease of just over 7 percent
  • During 2019, there was a massive increase of nearly 22 percent in distracted driving fatalities. We lost 178 lives to distracted driving accidents
  • In December of 2020, Louisiana was reporting the largest single year decrease of just over 28 percent in distracted driving fatalities. Total lives lost were 128. This decrease is likely due to the massive statewide shutdowns which were imposed during the pandemic.

Other Notable Statistics Regarding Distracted Driving

Distracted driving statistics can also help identify the time of day when most accidents occur, and which roadway types have the most accidents associated with distracted driving. The following are the most notable statistics:

  • The period from noon to six in the evening had the most accidents associated with distracted driving in 2020
  • The second most common time frame for distracted driving accidents was from six in the evening until midnight
  • Distracted driving accidents are most common on state roads during 2020. The numbers show out of 538 total accidents, 189 were on state roads.
  • The second highest road type was city/town roadways where 125 accidents related to distracted driving occurred.
  • There were more accidents in February (56) and August (59) associated with distracted driving

If you or a loved one was a victim of a distracted driver, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim to be compensated for your injuries. Louisiana has a one-year period where you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact an experienced car accident attorney and find out what steps you need to take to ensure your rights are protected.  Schedule a free consultation today and find out what options you have to be compensated for your injuries and the financial losses you suffered as a result of a distracted driving accident.