car in rainLouisiana can experience some extreme weather, which can make driving dangerous. It is not unusual for our region to experience serious rainstorms that can cause flooding and other damage. Heavy rain creates specific dangers for motorists, including the possibility of hydroplaning or otherwise losing control of the vehicle. As knowledgeable Louisiana car accident lawyers, we specialize in representing individuals in motor vehicle accident cases, and we are ready to assist you.

A Louisiana court of appeal recently issued an opinion regarding a case involving a hydroplaning accident. The plaintiff alleged that he was seriously injured when he lost control of his vehicle and hydroplaned on Highway 1 in Natchitoches. The plaintiff was working in the course and scope of employment when the crash took place. The plaintiff brought a civil claim against the Department of Transportation and Development, alleging that the highway was in an unreasonably dangerous condition and that this caused him to suffer injuries. The workers’ compensation insurer that provided the plaintiff benefits intervened in the lawsuit, seeking repayment of benefits.

After additional procedural issues and a three-day trial, the jury concluded that the defendant was completely liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The department sought a new trial and filed other post-verdict motions, seeking to have the verdict overruled. The trial court denied these motions, and the department appealed, assigning several errors to the trial court.

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crane in lotAlthough most people commonly associate personal injury cases with car accidents, dangerous products also constitute a substantial number of serious accidents each year. As dedicated and experienced Louisiana product liability lawyers, we have witnessed how much an injury caused by an unsafe product can affect a victim’s life. If you were hurt as a result of a dangerous product, we are ready to help you assert your right to compensation.

Recently, a Louisiana court of appeal considered a dangerous product case involving a large construction crane. The operator was injured while in the course and scope of his job. He brought a lawsuit against the crane manufacturer and the party that leased the crane. The matter proceeded to trial, and the jury ultimately returned a verdict that assigned some portion of fault to all three parties, including the plaintiff. The jury also awarded the plaintiff compensatory damages. All three parties appealed.

Information at trial revealed many different aspects of the crane’s origins and usage and the circumstances surrounding the plaintiff’s injury. After the crane was leased, information came out from the manufacturer noting an issue with a component of the crane. The company that leased the crane informed the wholesaler that it would make the modifications because it was familiar with using the crane’s components. The plaintiff was one of the employees whom the company that leased the crane assigned to make the modifications. In deciding how to perform his role in removing the boom from the crane, the plaintiff relied on a label affixed to the crane. The plaintiff was injured when the part was removed.

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grassy road shoulderIf you have been injured in a car accident, you probably have many questions regarding whether you are entitled to receive policy benefits from any insurance companies that insure the parties to the crash. Insurance policies are complex and difficult to understand. Many personal injury cases involve lengthy disputes about how coverage should be applied and whether or not injured parties are entitled to coverage. As seasoned Louisiana car accident lawyers, we know how to navigate complex insurance issues on behalf of our clients. A recent appellate opinion provides an example of how insurance disputes can arise in car accident cases.

On the day of the accident, the plaintiff and her daughter were walking home from church along a road that did not have a sidewalk or a paved shoulder. The plaintiff and her daughter were instead traversing an area that was grass and gravel. The shoulder was sloped downward from the road toward a culvert. The defendant was driving along this same road at the time of the crash when the front right side of his vehicle struck the plaintiff and threw her into the ditch. The plaintiff was unresponsive. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene, and the plaintiff regained consciousness. Then, she was sent to the hospital, where she stayed for at least one night.

The plaintiff and her husband filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of themselves and their daughter against the defendant, the owner of the vehicle that he was driving, and a number of insurance companies that provided various policies to each party. This included the two of the plaintiffs’ own insurers that provided them with an underinsured motorist or UM policy.

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old fashioned clockIf you believe that you may have a personal injury claim against someone who caused your injuries, the first thing that you need to consider is the prescriptive period or prescription that may apply to your claim. Louisiana law applies time limits that require litigants to assert their claims within a specific period of time or waive their right to recovery forever. As seasoned Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers, we have guided numerous victims in determining the prescriptive period that applies to their claim, and we are ready to assist you. A recent appellate opinion illustrates the importance of keeping prescription in mind.

The plaintiff had been seen by a physician for gynecology and obstetrics treatment since 2005. At some point, she was diagnosed with endometriosis after a biopsy came back positive. The plaintiff was then sent to an infertility specialist to treat a number of conditions, including pelvic pain, desired contraception, endometriosis, and infrequent menstruation. The plaintiff had two cesarean births and then elected to have a bilateral tubal sterilization to prevent further pregnancies. After the procedure, the plaintiff continued to complain of pelvic pain.

The plaintiff presented to the emergency room in 2008, complaining of severe pelvic pain. The plaintiff alleged that she signed a consent form agreeing to a surgical procedure while she was in severe pain and while under the influence of pain medication. The following day, the obstetrics and gynecology physician performed a hysterectomy. Complications arose after the surgery, including bladder issues. She continued treatment with the surgeon and also saw a number of other physicians in an attempt to resolve her chronic pelvic pain. One of these physicians informed the plaintiff that it was his opinion that it was negligent for the surgeon to suggest and then perform a hysterectomy on a 24-year-old patient.

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car keysUnderstanding how your insurance policy will affect your financial situation after you are involved in a motor vehicle accident can be incredibly confusing. The policies are written in complicated terms, and it can be difficult to know when you should contact your insurer. As seasoned Louisiana car wreck lawyers, we have assisted numerous victims with ensuring that their insurance company plays by the rules. As a recent appellate opinion demonstrates, this can have a serious impact on your ability to recover policy benefits.

In the case, the plaintiff maintained an auto insurance policy from an insurer that was effective from May 13, 2012, to May 13, 2013. On June 25, 2012, the plaintiff purchased another auto insurance policy from another insurer that began on the same date that she contacted them. A few weeks later, the plaintiff contacted her original insurer to cancel the policy. The first insurer performed a policy review with the plaintiff on the phone, and after the review, she asserted her verbal request to cancel the policy. At the plaintiff’s request, the insurer backdated the cancellation to June 25, 2012. The first insurer sent the plaintiff a prorated bill for her canceled policy.

The plaintiff did not pay the final bill from the first insurer, and it was sent to a collections agency. The plaintiff paid the bill in September 2012. In July 2012, the plaintiff was involved in a car wreck when her vehicle collided with a motorcycle, resulting in devastating injuries to the motorcyclist that ultimately caused his death. The motorcyclist’s surviving spouse filed a wrongful death action against the plaintiff and her new insurer.

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stack of mailMany states have very particular laws when it comes to medical malpractice actions, particularly when it comes to the steps you must take before you can file a civil action against the medical professionals who may have caused you damages. Louisiana is no exception, requiring plaintiffs to submit their medical malpractice allegations to a medical review panel before filing a civil claim. As seasoned Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers, we understand firsthand how important it is to ensure that you comply with all of the procedural requirements to protect your right to compensation.

A recent appellate opinion highlights how important these procedural rules can be.  The plaintiff underwent surgery in 2013 by one medical professional and received postoperative care for the surgery from another medical professional. Nearly one year after the surgery, the plaintiff filed a request for a medical review panel to determine whether the physicians committed medical malpractice. The entity responsible for overseeing this process is the Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF).

Pursuant to Louisiana laws regarding medical malpractice claims against private healthcare providers, the PCF must send a series of letters providing notice to the medical professionals that they have been named in a proceeding involving allegations of medical malpractice. The first set of letters was sent to the postoperative doctor’s business address, and the return receipt was signed. The PCF then sent what is known as the “Nine Month Letter” to the defendant’s address. This letter states that the medical review process would be terminated if the parties do not designate an attorney chairperson within one year from the date that the complaint was filed. This letter was sent to the same business address, but the US Postal Service returned the letter, indicating that the address had closed. The PCF attempted to resend the letter one additional time and received the same response. The PCF did not take any additional steps to provide the letter to the defendant healthcare provider.

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dented side fenderWhen it comes to injuries on the job, knowing whether you are limited to pursuing worker’s compensation benefits or whether you can bring a civil claim against your employer to recover damages can be confusing. At Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., our knowledgeable Louisiana car crash lawyers have counseled numerous victims about their right to compensation, and we are standing by to assist you. A recent appellate opinion discusses the application of rules regarding whether an injured worker can bring a civil claim against an employer.

The plaintiff and another coworker worked for the City of Shreveport in the Airfield Maintenance Division. One afternoon shortly before 5 pm, the coworker backed a city-owned vehicle into the rear bumper of the plaintiff’s personal automobile. The area where the accident took place was surrounded with barbed-wire fencing and marked with a Restricted sign. A written report was prepared by an airfield employee that day, and the plaintiff went to the hospital for examination.

Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff filed a damages lawsuit against the City of Shreveport, the coworker, and the coworker’s insurance company. After a series of motions and rulings, the trial court determined that the plaintiff’s injury occurred during the course and scope of her employment. In reaching this conclusion, the lower court noted that the accident occurred during the plaintiff’s hours of employment in an area that was not open to the general public and that the plaintiff was technically still on duty at the time of the crash. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim, and the plaintiff appealed.

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empty suburb drivewayThere are many complicated issues that can arise in a motor vehicle accident lawsuit. When the driver who causes the accident is working at the time of the crash, you may be entitled to recover damages from his or her employer based on a doctrine called vicarious liability. A seasoned Louisiana auto accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether this doctrine may apply to your claim. The sooner you understand which parties to include in the lawsuit, the better. A recent Louisiana appellate opinion discusses this doctrine and the complex issues that it can involve.

The background facts of the case are as follows. The defendant driver was turning into his driveway when he struck a six-year-old child. Unfortunately, the child did not survive the accident. The child’s parents filed a wrongful death action against the defendant driver, seeking a variety of items in compensation. The parents also named the defendant’s employer as a defendant in the action, claiming that the vehicle the defendant driver was driving at the time of the crash was covered by the employer’s insurance policy.

The employer and its insurance company filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the defendant driver was not working in the course and scope of his job when the accident happened and that they could not be held liable as a result. For an employer to be held liable for the tortious acts of an employee, the employee must be performing his or her usual job duties and acting with the authority of the employer.

Continue reading 1, 2017 –U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the eighth consecutive year, the “Best Law Firms” rankings include the Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., this year in the practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (T1) and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs (T2).
Firms included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. “U.S. News has decades of experience evaluating key institutions in society—from colleges to hospitals,” says Tim Smart, executive editor at U.S. News. “Law firms perform a vital role in American life, and ranking them is a key extension of our overall mission to helps individuals and companies alike make important life decisions.”
The 2018 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Over 13,000 attorneys provided more than 1,000,000 law firm assessments, and over 7,500 clients provided more than 65,000 evaluations.  Kirk A. Guidry, Randy A. Piedrahita, and B. Scott Andrews are all recognized in The Best Lawyers in America.

Thumbnail image for top100triallawyers.jpgBaton Rouge, Louisiana trial lawyers, Randy A. Piedrahita, Kirk A. Guidry and B. Scott Andrews, have been selected for 2018 membership in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

According to The National Trial Lawyers criteria, it is a member-driven organization composed of premier trial lawyers from across the country who meet stringent qualifications. Only top trial lawyers from Louisiana who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.