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Covington Personal Injury Blog

Seven motorcyclists die in accident

A driver of a commercial pick-up truck pulling a flatbed trailer made a fatal error on June 21 when he allowed his vehicle to veer across the yellow line and into the oncoming lane occupied by ten motorcyclists. Seven in the group, known as the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, subsequently died and left two others injured.

According to news reports, the truck driver had multiple moving violations on his driving record and had been arrested on May 10 for driving under the influence. He pled innocent to seven counts of negligent homicide filed in connection with the recent crash.

Administration looks to loosen regulations on truckers’ hours

The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking to ease restrictions on the number of hours that truck drivers can work in a workday. Taking its lead from a Trump administration that has a close relationship with the trucking industry, the governing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would make it legal for truck drivers to drive longer than the mandated 11 hours after ten consecutive hours off duty. There is also a call to eliminate a 30-minute rest period if a driver is on duty for eight straight hours.

Safety advocates and critics see this new loosening of regulations as a severe blow to the safety of the roads, particularly highways. They point out that there are dangerous trends involving truckers working longer shifts because fatigue is the major cause of crashes even at current levels, and changes will likely lead to higher numbers of fatalities and injuries.

2018 was a bad year for pedestrians

Walking is good exercise. It could also qualify as the cheapest form of transportation out there. Regardless of the reason you walk, you need to know that doing so could put your life at risk.

Distracted driving is at an all-time high. You have no way of knowing whether the drivers around you are paying attention. Therefore, you need to stay vigilant and not rely on drivers to ensure your safety.

Back seats no longer the safest place

Parents and the safety conscious have been told for decades that the safest place in the car was the back seat. However, years of focus on the front seat have changed things. Along with the usual array of airbags, there are also features like seat belts that tighten before impact and loosen if sensors (called load limiters) deem the belt to be burdened to the point where it could cause additional injury. These changes are prompting reevaluations of front seat safety versus back seat safety.

Now the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends putting adults 55 and older in the front seat. According to an IIHS researcher, “There was evidence of significant seatbelt forces on the chest of occupants of all ages.” At this point, however, the IIHS still recommends putting children in the back.

Tis the season for firework safety

Louisiana has a great tradition for popping off fireworks. However, whether it is going to a big display put on by professionals, or friends or neighbors having fun in the street or yard, it is essential to be safe as we go into the July 4th holiday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, severe burns and catastrophic injuries are more common than one expects with 12,900 firework-related injuries treated in an ER in 2017 (the most recent data available). There were seven deaths attributed to fireworks and an estimated 7% of the injuries were severe enough that the injured were admitted or transferred to a hospital. Adults between 20 and 24 years of age were the most likely to be injured; the second most common group were children under age 5.

New study finds e-scooter injury statistics alarming

The decision by City Hall in New Orleans to not be a part of an e-scooter pilot program looks to be a smart one. After months of deliberating and contemplating potential laws and regulations, the city said thanks but no thanks.

Now there is study conducted by the Public Health and Transportation departments as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified 271 scooter-related injuries between September 5 and November 30 of 2018 in Austin, Texas. The study is based on:

Hazards to working in the summer heat

We are now entering the steamy summer months. While many workers are fortunate to work in controlled or comfortable work environments, this is not an option for everyone. According to OSHA, it is dangerous for workers to be exposed to a heat index above 90 degrees and reaches critical levels at 104 degrees. These can be jobs with radiant heat sources like a restaurant kitchen, boiler rooms or laundries or working in the hot sun as a construction worker, landscaper, farm hand or oil and gas worker.

It starts with prevention

PTSD is not unusual following a serious auto accident

Anyone who has ever been involved in a serious auto accident can probably still describe how it felt, smelled and sounded even years later. Few things compare to the experience. The sounds of metal crunching and glass breaking, the smell of antifreeze, oil and gas, and the feeling of the impact violently throwing you around the vehicle tend to stay with you.

Under these circumstances, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is not uncommon. If you recently survived a serious auto accident, you may think your current state of mind will go away on its own since, right now, the trauma remains fresh in your mind. Unfortunately, that may not be the case.

Man gets $21.6 million in damages in collision with truck

Crashes involving trucks are usually severe if not fatal. Fortunately, a man in Dalton, Georgia survived a crash caused by a semi-truck, and he and his wife will collect $21.6 million in damages. The jury sat for a four-day trial in Whitfield County Superior Court, but it needed less than two hours to determine guilt and damages.

The victim hit the back of a semi-truck in 2016 when the loaded vehicle pulled into traffic on to a highway. The wreck forced him to subsequently undergo a below-the-knee amputation of his left leg and treatment for several other hip and leg injuries. The final verdict awards $20 million to the victim and $1.6 million to his wife.

Proving emotional distress

Injuries come in many forms. Some are obvious, such as a broken arm in a car crash or a work-related death. Others are harder to determine, such as emotional duress or other psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pursuing a claim purely based on emotional distress can be done here in Louisiana, but the victim will need to prove that they are suffering.

5 ways to prove emotional distress

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