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Personal injury cases arise in many different shapes, sizes, and kinds. Whether it be a small injury from a simple car accident or life-altering damage from a plane crash, negligence may be found and recovery necessary. But not matter the type of case, all claims have one thing in common: a time limit for how long you can bring your case to court. When a plaintiff fails to bring their claim within this time period, the court will refuse to hear the case and a settlement cannot be made. So, how much time do you have to file your claim?

Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, an action for personal injury, not relating to a faulty product, must be filed in court within one year of the date of the injury. This means as of the day your injuries or damages are sustained, the prescriptive period starts running. This rule applies to injuries arising from: (1) car accidents; (2) slip and falls; (3) pedestrian accidents; and (4) dog bites or attacks.

Not only should prescription be considered to ensure a claim may be filed, but waiting too long may raise other issues. As time passes, witnesses may be harder to find, videos and pictures of an accident may be lost, and other evidence may be destroyed. Additionally, filing sooner allows more time for settlement negotiations to be made.

Spring has officially sprung bringing warmer weather with it. These weather conditions encourage people to jump back into their beloved outdoor activities, especially boating. Whether it be a weekend trip to the lake or a spring break trip to the beach, it is important to keep in mind a few safety procedures as you head back onto the water after a long winter:

  • While boating, be on the lookout for piers, docks, swim platforms, boat lifts, buoys, and markers, in order to prevent collisions.
  • It is good practice to always wear a life jacket or, at the least, be sure to have the required number of life jackets on board at all times. All states have different age requirements for life jackets, so be sure to check what those laws are depending on where you are boating. In Louisiana, all persons 16 year of age and younger much wear a life jacket while on a vessel less than 26 feet long.

In the late hours of March 13, a fatal motorcycle crash occurred at the 2300 block of West Pinhook Road, near Verot School Road. The investigation showed that the motorcyclist entered the center lane, in an attempt to go around vehicle traffic. While in the center lane, the motorcycle collided with another vehicle. A passenger from the vehicle was injured and transported to a local hospital. The motorcyclist died in the crash.

In light of this accident, it is important to remember these safety procedures when operating a motorcycle:

  • Be sure to wear a quality helmet and eye protection.

On January 28, 2017, plaintiff was T-boned by a Lafayette police officer who pulled out of the parking lot at Our Lady of Fatima Church on Johnston Street in Lafayette, crashing into the side of plaintiff’s pickup truck. Prior to trial, the parties stipulated that the defendant police officer was the sole legal cause of the subject collision and that he was in the course and scope of his employment with Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government at the time of the collision.

As the result of the collision, the 29-year-old plaintiff suffered injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine including annular fissures at C4-5 and C5-6, a central disc protrusion at C6-7, disc bulging at L3-4 and L4-5, as well as a disc protrusion and fissure at L5-S1. Plaintiff’s pre-trial treatment included three (3) rounds of cervical steroid injections and two (2) rounds of lumbar injections. In 2019, plaintiff’s treating spine surgeon recommended that plaintiff undergo total disc replacement at C6-C7 and an anterior lumbar interbody fusion at L5-S1.

Plaintiff, a father of six, continued to work through his pain following the collision so that he could support his family. At trial, the defense attempted to downplay plaintiff’s injuries using job descriptions which indicated he was required to perform heavy lifting at work and testimony from his supervisors confirming those job descriptions. Plaintiff testified the job descriptions did not accurately reflect the actual work he was required to perform at those jobs and on cross-examination, plaintiff’s supervisors were forced to admit that they had never actually observed him perform any heavy lifting after the accident.

For Mardi Gras, most people have one thing on their minds: let the good times roll. However, in addition to the good times, there are also some safety risks that may arise in the wake of Fat Tuesday. To ensure you get the most enjoyment out of the festivities, here are some tips to keep you safe during Carnival season.

  • Be sure to keep your guard up for beads and other throws, as these objects could be painful on impact.
  • Stay behind all barricades during the parade and refrain from moving, tampering, standing, or sitting on the barricades.

On the morning of January 19, 2023, an 18-wheeler crashed on the Estherwood pontoon bridge. This is the site of another 18-wheeler crash just last fall. Not only do bridge crashes like this one cause bridge closers and detours for motorists, it also causes additional safety risks for other drivers on the road.

In light of this accident, here are a few safety tips to remember when traveling on bridges:

  • To avoid a chain reaction collision, keep at least two car lengths between you and the car in front of you.

Partner Richard Broussard was asked to speak as a panel member at the Louisiana Association of Justice’s Last Chance CLE Conference. The Conference was held in New Orleans and was attended by hundreds of attorneys as a means of continuing their legal education.

The discussion was titled “A New Age: Comparisons Between Aviation Law and Space Law,” and examined the evolution of Space Law, developing from Maritime and Aviation Law (two fields in which Broussard, David & Moroux specialize).

The picture above includes Broussard and his fellow panel members, Federal Judge Jay C. Zainey, Tulane Law Dean David Meyer, Charles C. Bourque, Jr. of St. Martin & Bourque (Houma) and Darlene Jacobs of Jacobs, Sarrat, Lovelace, Harris & Matthews (New Orleans). Along with the panel members pictured are Marin Davies, Chair of Admiralty and Maritime Law at Tulane, and Scott Bickford, the President of the Louisiana Association of Justice.

On October 18, 2022, a crane mechanic was awarded over $144,000 in a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claim after his employer denied responsibility for over two years.

On September 16, 2019, D.L. fell while descending the stairs of a heliport to the platform at Ship Shoal 178, in the Gulf of Mexico. It is estimated that the crane mechanic fell about five to six steps, landing on his back. Due to this incident, D.L. suffered injuries to his neck, back, right shoulder, and both hips.

After the accident, D.L.’s employer placed him in a modified position until he was let go six months later.  The employer then denied D.L. was entitled to benefits based on its own doctor’s findings that all his symptoms were unrelated.  However, D.L.’s treating physicians related his symptoms and their recommended treatment to the on-the-job injury.

During the evening of November 13, Lafayette Police Department responded to the scene of a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian on Bertrand Drive. The female pedestrian died on the scene as a result of her injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,516 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 55,000 were injured nationwide in 2020. In light of these facts and the events of last weekend, Broussard, David & Moroux would like to remind both those driving and walking of tips to keep everyone safe on the roads.

For drivers, the following tips can help to protect pedestrians walking near roads:

On August 5, 2022, a Western District of Louisiana jury awarded $3,000,000 in a rural tractor-trailer crash and assigned 100% liability to US Xpress and its driver. 

On February 14, 2018, a scaffolder was on his way to work early in the morning fog on U.S. 190 approaching the intersection of inferior LA 26. At the same time, an 18-wheeler was stopped at the stop sign on LA 26 waiting on another vehicle to pass on U.S. 190. However, as plaintiff approached the intersection, the truck pulled out directly in front of plaintiff, blocked his lane of travel, and caused plaintiff to slam into the trailer near the rear tandem wheels. US Xpress alleged that the plaintiff was speeding, inattentive, and failed to brake timely. 

Plaintiff suffered a severe cut to his right, little finger that led to amputation of the finger. Plaintiff underwent surgeries to his right finger, neck, and back, and continues to suffer from headaches and associated psychological injury. 

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