Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Seatbelt-150x150Shortly after 7:00 a.m. on September 18, 2019, a two vehicle wreck involving a big rig occurred on US Highway 61 or Airline Highway in St. John the Baptist Parish. The fatal big rig wreck took the life of an unbelted 27-year-old resident of Reserve, Louisiana.

The 27-year-old was driving a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze southbound on Terre Haute Road in an attempt to cross Airline Highway.  A 2020 Kenworth 18-wheeler was traveling southbound on Airline Highway.  As the Chevrolet Cruze crossed Airline Highway, it was impacted on the passenger side by the big rig. The 27-year-old driver of the Chevrolet Cruze was not restrained and sustained severe injuries in the wreck.  She died at a local hospital.

While the Louisiana Highway Regulatory Act requires the use of seat-belts, La.R.S. 32:295.1(E) provides that in any action to recover damages arising out of the ownership, common maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle, failure to wear a seat-belt shall not be considered evidence of comparative negligence. Failure to wear a seat-belt shall not be admitted to mitigate damages.

Yield-the-Right-of-Way-150x150Louisiana Revised Statute 32:123 provides that a driver shall yield the right of way to all vehicles which have entered an intersection from another highway or which are approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard.  Failing to yield to the favored motorist can have devastating consequences, as was the case on September 12, 2019 in Calcasieu Parish when a two-vehicle wreck claimed the lives of two Sulphur, Louisiana residents.

Around 8:00 p.m., a 2019 Kia Rio traveling east on Louisiana Highway 108 failed to yield while turning left onto Louisiana Highway 27 near Sulphur, Louisiana.  The Kia Rio turned left into the path of a westbound 2014 Ford F-150 resulting in the fatal wreck.  The driver and passenger in the Kia Rio were pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the F-150 sustained moderate injuries.

Under Louisiana law, the left-turning driver who fails to yield is presumed to be at fault for the wreck and is responsible for all damages that follow, including for the wrongful death of a passenger.  Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.2 provides that a Louisiana wrongful death claim can be brought by the deceased’s (1) spouse and children, or if none, (2) by the parents, or if none, (3) by the siblings, or if none, (4) by the grandparents.  The right to bring a Louisiana wrongful death claim prescribes one year from the death of the deceased.

Scott Andrews was recently selected by his peers for the fourth time for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Plaintiff Personal Injury.   Scott Andrews is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., specializing in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation with nearly 87,000 industry leading lawyers from around the world eligible to vote.  For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. attorney Kirk A. Guidry was recently recognized by his peers in Best Lawyers as the 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs in the Baton Rouge area.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer review assessments.

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

Car 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.

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.

Multi-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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When 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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There 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.

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Nov. 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.