workers compIf you are injured on the job, you are entitled to benefits through the workers’ compensation system. Although this process can be straightforward, when an individual suffers serious and complex injuries it can be very difficult to receive the medical treatment and reimbursement that you deserve. Our seasoned team of Louisiana work injury lawyers has seen firsthand just how critical it can be to have a dedicated legal professional on your side.

A recent appellate opinion discusses a situation in which a man suffered serious injuries in an elevator accident. The man worked for a public entity and earned weekly wages of $3,300. In 2011, he left his office on the eighth floor of the building at the end of the day and descended in the elevator. When it reached the third floor, it dropped suddenly and fell to the ground level. The impact was significant and the man suffered injuries to his knees, back, and hip.

The man underwent medical treatment, including an MRI that revealed serious injuries to these areas of his body. As a result of these injuries, he required bilateral knee surgery. Although he underwent significant treatment for his back injury, he was unable to manage the pain. He ultimately underwent surgery, but it was also unsuccessful. There were many additional medical treatments and tests that doctors performed related to the man’s injuries.

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bag of riceThere are many different ways that you can become injured on another person’s property, but one of the most common examples is a slip and fall incident. As seasoned Louisiana premises liability lawyers, we have helped many victims assert their right to compensation after a property owner failed to exercise appropriate care in keeping its premises safe.

In a recent appellate opinion, a plaintiff appealed from a motion dismissing his slip and fall personal injury lawsuit against a grocery store operator. According to his complaint, the plaintiff slipped on spilled rice in the supermarket. The defendant answered the complaint, denying the allegations, and later moved for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff had not proven that the defendant had actual notice or constructive notice that the rice had spilled. The defendant also contended that the record lacked any evidence that the defendant failed to use reasonable care.

The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a brief opposing the motion but did not attach any evidence or supporting affidavits. After the hearing, the trial court granted the motion, thereby dismissing the plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the lower court erred in granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

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ambulance on streetCar accidents can happen almost anywhere and can involve a wide variety of persons, including individuals who are working at the time of the crash. No two car accidents are exactly the same, which is why it is critical to have an experienced Louisiana car accident lawyer on your side.

In a recent court case, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the driver of an ambulance, which was a company vehicle. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking compensation from the defendant for his injuries and expenses. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to yield the right of way at a red light. In response to the complaint, the defendant alleged that he had engaged the ambulance’s lights and siren and that, according to Louisiana law, he had the right of way despite the red light. He relied on the emergency responder statute to argue that he was entitled to qualified immunity in the lawsuit and that as a result he could not be held liable.

The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, relying on the same statute. They cited the provision stating “the driver of an emergency vehicle can be held liable only if his conduct amounts to reckless disregard for the safety of others.” The trial court denied this motion, and the case proceeded to a jury trial. During this trial, the plaintiff was asked to explain what happened as he approached the intersection. He testified that he heard something, but he was not sure at the time whether or not it was an ambulance. He indicated that there was a large truck next to him coming to a stop but that he did not see anything, so he proceeded with the green light.

man exiting vehicleInsurance policies can be extremely complicated. If you were involved in a car accident, it is important that you understand your rights and whether you are being treated fairly by your insurer and the other parties’ insurers. As seasoned Louisiana car accident lawyers, we have assisted many individuals with ensuring they receive the full amount of compensation they deserve.

In a recent appellate decision, the court considered whether a trial court appropriately denied an injured plaintiff’s claim for penalties and attorneys’ fees for her uninsured motorist (UM) policy insurer’s failure to provide an unconditional tender under the policy provisions of her insurance policy.   The plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of a rear-end collision while she was stopped at a red light. She filed a lawsuit, seeking damages against the drivers involved and the insurance companies that covered each of them. She also filed a lawsuit against her uninsured motorist (UM) policy provider, stating that her damages would exceed the coverage of the drivers who caused the accident.

As the matter proceeded, it was determined that the second vehicle behind the plaintiff was entirely at fault for the accident. She settled her lawsuit against the driver of this vehicle and his insurer for $50,000, which constituted the limits of his policy. She then dismissed her claims against them. She next dismissed her claims against the second driver, who was deemed not at fault for the accident.

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forklift in warehouseThe Louisiana workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to individuals who are injured on the job or as a result of their job duties. In exchange for these benefits, workers give up their right to sue an employer in civil court for damages, except for a few very limited exceptions. As Louisiana work accident lawyers, we have substantial experience assisting people with determining whether their injury falls into one of these categories and whether they are limited to seeking recourse through the workers’ compensation system.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered the application of workers’ compensation rules to a minor who was injured. The employer was a party rental business that provides inflatable bounce houses and other items for social events. The injured minor was 15 years old at the time he suffered an injury while working for the employer. The employer classified the minor as a helper, and the minor testified during a proceeding that he was never informed that he would require a certificate to work for the employer because of his age. The minor’s job duties consisted primarily of cleaning and delivering the inflatables and picking them up from the rental locations.

According to the minor, he suffered an injury while a coworker was using a forklift to access one of the inflatables that was located on a pallet. The minor climbed on top of the inflatable to provide it with balance, while the coworker lowered the inflatable on the pallet by using the forklift. The minor testified that this was a normal practice. As the inflatable was being lowered, the minor fell to the ground, and the inflatable fell onto his back.

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C. Scott Courrege

Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. proudly welcomes new associate attorney C. Scott Courrege.  After graduating #1 in his law school class, C. Scott Courrege was admitted to practice law in Louisiana on May 10, 2018.   He will work on various types of personal injury and wrongful death cases for the law firm with an emphasis on cases involving car wrecks, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents.

C. Scott Courrege attended the Southern University Law Center’s evening division program while working for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office. He was a Senior Editor for the Southern University Law Review, which published his article entitled, “Drugged Driving: How the Legalization of Marijuana Has Impaired the Ability of the Louisiana DWI Law.” C. Scott Courrege received Cali Awards for Excellence in Legal Writing I, Legal Research, Criminal Law, Legal Writing II, Obligations, Torts I, and Advanced Legal Writing.

Orange Dump TruckMulti-vehicle accidents can be some of the most complicated when it comes to asserting your right to compensation. As seasoned Louisiana car accident attorneys, we have the knowledge and experience it takes to ensure that you are treated fairly in a multi-car accident, especially when it comes to working with insurance companies.

In a recent case, the court of appeal discussed whether it was appropriate for the lower court to grant summary judgment in favor of two insurance companies. One of the parties involved was speeding along the interstate in an overweight dump truck when he failed to stop in time while approaching traffic on the highway. The truck was carrying clay for a construction project maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dump truck slammed into several other vehicles, and a 12-car pile-up resulted. There were many serious injuries that resulted from the crash and one fatality. According to the police officer who oversaw the scene of the accident, the dump truck driver was traveling roughly 70 miles per hour at the time of the crash, which was roughly 10 miles over the speed limit.

One of the injured victims and her spouse filed a personal injury claim against the truck driver and his sole proprietorship trucking business. The plaintiffs also filed a claim against the general contractor that was building a levee as part of the project. The parties engaged in discovery, and the general contractor eventually filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking dismissal from the lawsuit. The plaintiff countered this motion by providing evidence of contracts that displayed how the defendant driver was hired and involved in the project. The trial court entered a judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that they did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiffs to ensure that the truck driver and truck company were abiding by applicable weight rules provided by federal regulations. The plaintiffs appealed.

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Dangerous facilities and buildings are a leading cause of injury for Louisiana residents. As dedicated personal injury attorneys, our seasoned team of professionals has assisted many victims with bringing a claim against a landowner who failed to maintain his or her property in a safe and orderly fashion. In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered a Louisiana premises liability action that involved Hurricane Isaac.hurricane

In 2012, the hurricane caused serious damage to LaPlace. On the date that the hurricane wreaked havoc, the plaintiff and her boyfriend and their two children were staying at a hotel in the town. Before the hurricane hit, the plaintiff sent her children to stay at a safe location, while she and her boyfriend remained at the hotel. At around 5 am, the hurricane moved over the hotel, and the plaintiff was awakened by the noise. The ceiling and wall of their room collapsed and fell inward. She was then escorted to the hallway and taken to the emergency room.

The owner of the hotel later discovered that there was a locked door at the end of the hallway that had suffered damage. The door buckled, and the lock was dangling. The wind caused a concrete block wall in that area of the building to collapse. The blocks fell onto the joists above the room in which the plaintiff was staying, causing the wall and the ceiling to collapse and land on top of her.

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Yellow School BusesLosing a child is one of the most horrific experiences that a parent can face in his or her lifetime. As experienced Louisiana wrongful death lawyers, we have assisted many individuals with exploring their legal rights and options after a loss of this nature.  In a recent appellate case, the court considered a case in which a six-year-old child died as a result of a school bus crash in Youngsville, Louisiana. When the victim attempted to board the school bus, the door shut on his arm. He was not able to free his arm from the door, and he tripped and fell. Then, as the bus departed, it ran over him. The child was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. The parents of the victim filed separate claims against the driver of the school bus, the insurance companies, and the Lafayette Parish School Board.

One insurer settled the mother’s claim for $275,000.  Thereafter, the trial court granted one of the defendant insurance companies’ partial motion for summary judgment and limited the damages claim for both of the victim’s parents to a single amount of $500,000, pursuant to the cap on damages afforded the political subdivision and its insurers pursuant to the Louisiana Governmental Claims Act, La. R.S. 13:5106.  Many more motions were filed, trying to adjudicate whether the damages cap applied to other defendants in the matter.  Then, after a bench trial, the parties stipulated that the driver was solely at fault for the victim’s death.  The trial court issued a verdict in favor of the father and awarded him $50,000 for his child’s survival claim and $250,000 for his wrongful death claim.  The defendants appealed.

On review, the appellate court concluded that the statute should be interpreted as limiting the claims against the defendants to a maximum of $500,000.  he court interpreted the statute as providing a cap for the total amount of damages paid by the defendants, in lieu of allowing a separate cap for each parent’s claim. The appellate court affirmed the judgment against the defendants, but it remanded the case for additional proceedings regarding whether any of the damages needed to be reduced in order to comply with the statutory cap since record contained insufficient evidence of the amount of the payment to the mother.  Miller v. Thibeaux, 2013-541 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1/27/16), 184 So.3d 856, writ denied, 2016-353 (La.4/15/16), 191 So.3d 1035.

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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