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Hammond Personal Injury Law Blog

Man killed in rear-end crash in Louisiana

On May 3, a Mississippi man was killed in a car crash in Louisiana. The accident occurred near Slidell around 8:15 p.m.

According to Louisiana State Police, the victim, age 32, was driving his Ford Expedition north on I-59 when another vehicle struck him from behind. The collision caused his SUV to careen onto the median and flip over onto its side, tossing him from the vehicle. He was reportedly not wearing a seat belt.

CVSA announces upcoming Operation Safe Driver Week

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance recently announced its upcoming Operation Safe Driver Week, which will happen in Louisiana and across the nation from July 15 to July 21. During the week, commercial trucks will undergo in-depth inspections, and participating law enforcement agencies will be watching for unsafe driving behaviors by both large trucks and passenger cars.

According to the CVSA, the agency is focused on unsafe driving behavior because it is the leading cause of collisions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that unsafe driving practices contribute to 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes and 88 percent of large truck crashes.

How a software startup could improve the trucking industry

Considering that over 70 percent of the United State's cargo is moved by commercial vehicles, the trucking industry is important to Louisiana. However, the average trucker puts in as much as 70 work hours in eight days. This means that many commercial drivers could be dangerously drowsy while on the job.

Truckers are at a high risk for driver fatigue. However, a startup founded in Oklahoma three years ago is doing something about this problem. Its name is BlyncSync, and it is currently developing safety software that could encourage truckers to become better drivers. Its first initiative is to create a pair of smart safety glasses that measure a trucker's blink rate and, with it, level of fatigue.

Louisiana drivers among nation's most distracted

Louisiana drivers are some of the most distracted in the country, at least when it comes to phone use. This comes from statistics about mobile phone usage behind the wheel released by Everdrive, a mobile app that tracks driver safety practices. In Louisiana, 45 percent of car trips involved mobile phone usage by the driver. This is the second highest rate in the nation, behind only the neighboring state of Mississippi, which reached 47 percent. Most of the states with the highest rates of phone usage while driving are in the South, including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

Distracted driving is a major threat to public safety on the roads, especially as smartphones have become a constant feature of daily life and interaction. Driving with eyes and mind off of the road can lead to serious car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 more were injured in 2015 due to distracted driving. Of course, phone usage is not the only type of distracted driving. Even behaviors like eating, applying makeup or fiddling with the radio or entertainment system can cause material distractions as people take the wheel.

Understanding vehicle-induced brain injury

If you, like many others, have ever found yourself involved in a Louisiana car accident, you may have suffered any number of different types of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to potentially life-threatening head, brain or spinal cord injuries. Car accidents are one of today's leading causes of traumatic brain injury, with Neuro International reporting that, of the 1.4 million brain injuries Americans suffer each year, 280,000 of them result from car crashes.

Why are car accidents such a frequent cause of brain injury?

About truck accident settlements

Louisiana residents who sustain injuries in trucking accidents may be legally entitled to financial compensation. In order to obtain such compensation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in civil court. However, victims also have the option of reaching settlement agreements before or during the litigation process. These informal settlements can save both parties money and time.

Alternative dispute resolution methods are often employed to obtain legal settlements. The parties to litigation may use mediation, negotiation or arbitration. Mediation and negotiation are nonbinding processes, which means that neither party is legally bound to any agreement. Arbitration is binding, and the process serves as a replacement for a civil trial, making any agreement legally enforceable. Claims for financial compensation due to damages caused by a trucking accident can be decided using ADR methods in a majority of cases.

Concussions increase risk of dementia

Anyone involved in an automobile collision is at risk for concussion. Louisiana motorists and passengers should know that bumps or jolts to the head resulting in concussion symptoms can have serious long-term consequences; these incidents should be factored into calculating damages for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. The Mayo Clinic classifies TBIs as a "disruption in the normal function of the brain" that can be caused by a blow to the head or penetrating head injury. Mild TBIs can be caused even without an external blow to the head if the brain crashes against the interior of the skull as is common in a whiplash injury. TBIs are classified by medical professionals in a range from mild to severe. A mild TBI does not require a loss of consciousness and typically brings concussion symptoms that can include headaches, dizziness, fuzzy thinking or memory loss.

The complexity of concussions

Severe head impact has caused concussions in many Louisiana residents. However, Stanford University researchers have determined that the link between a hit to the head and a concussion is complex.

The researchers studied brain simulations and data collected from football players. They discovered that mild traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, seemed to occur when a certain area well inside of the brain shakes at a higher rate and with more severity than the areas surrounding it. Researchers also determined that because of the brain's mechanical complexity, there was no direct link between blows, bumps and spins to the head and the occurrence of injury.

New study categorizes major causes of trucking accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have collaborated on a study of the major causes of trucking accidents. Called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, it has produced conclusions that should be of interest to commercial truck drivers in Louisiana.

Researchers studied a total of 120,000 fatal commercial truck accidents that occurred over a 33-month period. In these cases, they found that the trucker was to blame more than half the time. Almost 75 percent of these crashes involved at least one other vehicle. The major causes for truckers were broken down into four categories.

Can I recover punitive damages in a car accident case?

If you sustained injuries in a car accident, you may be seeking to recover compensatory damages to make up for the financial and other losses you suffer. Louisiana courts consider various factors in deciding amounts for compensatory damages in each particular case.

Compensatory damages aim to do just that: compensate you for harm you suffered because of another person's negligence. There also exists another category of damages called punitive, or exemplary, damages.