5 Things You Should Know About Whiplash

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that can cause people serious pain and immobility. This injury is caused by the neck and head snapping quickly forward and backward. Whiplash is an injury that is most often associated with car accidents. Rear end car accidents are the most likely type of car accidents to cause whiplash injuries. Since whiplash is such a common injury, we compiled some facts about this injury that you may not know. It is important to always seek the advice and attention of a medical professional if you are hurt or feel unwell. Read more about whiplash below! 

1. You Don’t Have to Be Going That Fast

The common misconception with whiplash, and a lot of other injuries, is that it requires a good deal of force to inflict. This is simply not true. You could be involved in a rear end car accident going 10 mph or less and still get whiplash. The amount of force required to cause a whiplash injury is actually very little. If your neck and head are able to be moved forward and backwards quickly, whiplash can happen at any speed. Proper restraint is very important when riding in a car. Seatbelts save lives, but they also help protect you from whiplash too especially at lower speeds. If you have a small child in the car it is important to make sure that they are properly restrained in a seat adequate for their age. 

2. Rest May Not Be The Best Medicine 

It seems counterintuitive, but in the case of whiplash injuries prolonged rest and immobility can actually prolong your pain. What happens is that while you are resting your neck, shoulder, and back muscles are getting stiffer and weaker. This leads to more pain and discomfort in your neck for a longer period of time. Be sure to always follow your doctor’s instructions. They may prescribe you physical therapy in order to increase your action and mobility following a whiplash injury. As soon as your doctor gives you the green light to return to normal activity try to move around and stay active. If you rest too much with a whiplash injury, you will only make the pain last longer. 

3. It Doesn’t Appear on X-Rays

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, which means it can be very hard to accurately diagnose. The main reason soft tissue injuries are hard to quantify empirically is that they can’t be seen or measured on x-rays. If you have been in a car accident and your neck hurts, you should raise your whiplash concerns with your doctor. It may be in your best interests to find a doctor who specializes in whiplash and soft tissue injuries. They will be able to give you specific treatments and be better able to document your injuries and the progress you make in your recovery. Documenting your injuries is an important step if you are interested in bringing a personal injury claim to court to recover damages for your injuries and medical bills. 

4. Whiplash May Not Show Up Right Away

Besides being unable to see whiplash on x-rays, whiplash symptoms may not present themselves for days or weeks following a car accident. This makes it harder to prove your injury case in court, but not impossible. As soon as you start to feel stiff or sore in the neck, you need to see your doctor. Do not ignore little symptoms until they become too big to ignore. It may be a good idea to be evaluated by your doctor following a car accident even if you feel completely fine at the time. Unfortunately, insurance companies will use the fact that you didn’t seek medical attention promptly against you later if you have an injury case. Even though they know that whiplash injuries don’t always present themselves in the direct aftermath of a car accident. 

5. Age Increases the Risk of Whiplash Injury 

As we age we lose some of our flexibility and strength. When an accident happens that causes the neck and head to snap forward and back, there is a greater risk for serious whiplash injury to occur. The natural aging of muscles and ligaments is compounded by the fact that older people tend to suffer from other ailments as well including arthritis. All of these factors make whiplash a more serious possibility for older people. Generally, it also takes longer for older people to recover from injuries too so a whiplash injury may have a greater effect on the livelihood of an older person. 

Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should seek medical attention and consult with a car accident attorney about the potential of your case. You could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and more. Murphy Law Firm has over 150 years of combined litigation experience. Our team of personal injury lawyers fights hard for every single one of our clients. We prepare every case for trial, and we don’t operate like a settlement mill! Don’t be a victim twice! Hire a car accident lawyer who cares about helping you get your life back on track. Call Murphy Law Firm today at (225) 928-8800 to speak with a personal injury attorney and set up a FREE consultation.

Why Construction Workers Should be Concerned with Mesothelioma

Construction is vital to the growth and success of our country as a whole. Construction workers build our infrastructure, schools, hospitals, homes, and so much more. They also demolish and remove old, crumbling buildings and clean up the debris. Construction work is a very important and essential job in our economy. Yet, it is one of the most hazardous jobs in our economy as well. Not only do construction workers operate heavy machinery and work with tools that could seriously hurt someone if handled in the wrong way, but more often than not they are also exposed to asbestos. Asbestos exposure can lead to a serious form of cancer called mesothelioma. If the proper precautions are not taken when handling or working with asbestos, asbestos fibers can be inhaled. Here is why construction workers should be concerned with mesothelioma and their exposure to asbestos. 

Which Construction Workers are Most at Risk for Asbestos Exposure?

As we know there are many different types of construction workers and tradesmen who work on job sites. Some of these jobs are more likely to lead to asbestos exposure than others, but if you’re working on a construction site it is important to be aware of your surroundings and that you could potentially be exposed to asbestos

Demolition Crews

Asbestos is used in a lot less products today than it was in the past. Back in the 1970’s asbestos was used in a ton of different applications from flooring to roofing and almost everywhere in between. Asbestos becomes dangerous when its fibers are airborne. This happens easily and quite often when old buildings are demolished. Workers who help demolish buildings and other structures need to be aware of potential asbestos exposure and take precautionary measures to protect themselves. You don’t know exactly what products were used during original construction, but odds are good that asbestos is present. When bulldozers and wrecking balls knock down walls and roofs and tear up floors, it is very easy for asbestos fibers to get into the air. 

Bricklayers 

Today, there are more regulations on what companies can use to manufacture blocks, stones, and bricks. However, in the past there were a lot less regulations, and a lot of brick manufacturers used asbestos in their compounds because of its high heat tolerance. Potential asbestos exposure makes bricklaying an occupation that can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Scraping bricks or cutting them into size can release asbestos fibers into the air if asbestos was used in the product. Unfortunately for bricklayers, there is no real way for them to know if asbestos was used in their bricks or not. If you work with bricks or masonry, you should take all possible precautions against asbestos exposure. 

Roofers

While the use of asbestos in roofing materials has declined significantly since the 1980’s, some products still contain some amount of asbestos. The main danger for roofers is when they have to remove old shingles and roofing materials before re-roofing a structure. During roofing removal old shingles and other materials will be cut and ripped up. This is when asbestos fibers have the best chance of getting into the air. If you’re not sure if asbestos was used in the roofing that you are removing, make sure that you protect yourself from exposure. Asbestos was widely used in roofing materials throughout the 70’s and 80’s so there is a good chance that any roof materials you are removing have asbestos in them. 

Drywall Workers 

Asbestos’ heat resistance properties made it an attractive material to use in drywall. Even though a grand majority of modern drywall contains no asbestos, older drywall was manufactured with it. Drywall workers regularly have to cut or remove old pieces of drywall in the course of their work. Cutting into old drywall and pulling it out of the wall releases asbestos fibers into the air. However, unlike the other construction jobs we previously listed drywall workers are more likely to be working inside the home. There is less space and air inside than outside increasing the likelihood of inhaling asbestos fibers. Always take the proper respiratory precautions when working with drywall. 

I Haven’t Worked Construction in Years, Do I Have a Case?

Part of what makes mesothelioma so difficult is its long latency period. You might get a mesothelioma diagnosis 20 to 30 years after your exposure to asbestos. If you worked construction jobs in the 70’s and 80’s, there is a very good chance you were exposed to asbestos. You may think that it has been too long for you to still have a case, but this is not true. In the state of Louisiana you have one year from the time of your initial diagnosis to file a lawsuit against your former employer. If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, speak with a mesothelioma attorney about your condition and the potential of your case to see if you could recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. 

Baton Rouge Mesothelioma Attorneys 

Murphy Law Firm in Baton Rouge has successfully handled numerous mesothelioma cases in the past. We have helped our clients during one of the most difficult times of their lives recover the compensation they need to pay for medical bills and cover lost wages. Don’t wait to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help you. Call us today at (225) 928-8800 to schedule a FREE consultation with a mesothelioma attorney. Don’t be a victim twice. See how Murphy Law Firm can help you!

My Car Accident Injuries Appeared Late

When two objects of consequential mass, like cars for example, collide a lot of force is involved. This can easily cause injury to the bodies of the people involved even if the car accident only seemed like a mild fender bender. In fact, you might not even realize how hurt you are after a car accident until days later. When our bodies get excited or are put in high-stress situations, we produce adrenaline and other chemicals to give our bodies energy and numb pain. When these chemicals wear off, you may start to notice that you are in more pain than you initially thought in the aftermath of the car wreck. It is very common for car accident injuries to present themselves late. Let’s look at a couple of injuries that may present themselves later on, and what you should do if your car accident injuries aren’t immediately apparent. 

Whiplash

One of the most common types of car accident injury, whiplash often doesn’t start affecting car accident victims until days or weeks after their accident. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, which is an injury to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons of the body. This type of injury is caused by a sudden jerking motion to the neck and head, which commonly occurs during car accidents. Soft tissue injuries cause swelling, pain, and reduced mobility so they can have a huge impact on your livelihood. What really makes whiplash and other soft tissue injuries even more difficult is that they cannot be identified via X-Ray. It is very difficult to accurately diagnose and document soft tissue injuries when they cannot be seen. If you begin feeling pain, you need to seek medical treatment. Preferably from a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating soft tissue injuries. 

Concussion 

The other major type of injury to look out for in the days and weeks following a car accident is concussion. While some concussions are immediately apparent, in other cases it may take a while for symptoms to start presenting themselves. You need to know what to look out for if you or someone you love was involved in a car accident. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that someone has concussion:

  • Trouble Remembering New Information
  • Can’t Concentrate 
  • Hazy Thoughts 
  • Blurred Vision
  • Persistent Headache
  • Abnormal Sleep Patterns 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 

Concussions are serious. If you suspect you have a concussion, you need to seek medical treatment as soon you possibly can. If you were involved in a car accident, even if it seemed to be mild, be vigilant for signs of concussion. 

What Should I Do if My Car Accident Injuries Show Up Late?

The first thing you need to remember is not to take any money or sign any papers presented by the insurance company. Following car accidents insurance companies will try to give you quick money if you sign away your rights to a lawsuit. If you feel okay after a car accident, and then your injuries become more apparent and progressively worse you won’t be able to file a lawsuit if you took their money and signed away your rights. Always speak to a car accident attorney before you take any money or sign any papers the insurance company offers. 

You also need to seek medical attention as soon as your injuries present themselves. If you want to file a lawsuit, having medical records documenting your injuries and their progression is crucial evidence in your case. Medical treatment is also a surefire way to help you get on a path to recovery and getting your life back together following a car accident. Even if you feel okay after an accident, it may not be a bad idea to be evaluated by a doctor anyways. They can make sure you have no injuries, and give you signs to look out for that may indicate that your injuries are beginning to present themselves. 

Hire a Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyer

The best way to protect your rights and recover the compensation that you are owed is to hire a car accident lawyer. The personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. Some law firms look to settle cases as quickly as possible. You should try and avoid settlement mills! Insurance companies know who is willing to take a case to trial and who is ready to settle immediately. Hire a personal injury attorney with trial experience. The car accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm prepare every single case for trial. Call us today at (225) 928-8800 to set up a FREE consultation with a personal injury lawyer. 

The 5 Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents involve a lot of force even at low speeds of impact. In some cases the injuries you sustain in a car accident can affect you for the rest of your life. Due to the nature of car accidents there are five common types of injuries that generally occur. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and your injuries might be different than the ones described below. If you have been hurt in a car accident seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can to start a medical record of your injuries. After seeing a doctor, find a car accident lawyer to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Learn more about the five most common types of car accident injuries below. 

1. Soft Tissue Injuries 

Soft tissue refers to the body’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This is the connective tissue of the body, and when car accidents cause injuries, injuries to the body’s connective tissues are the most common. Soft tissue injuries take many different forms, one of the more common soft tissue injuries associated with car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck and head are snapped quickly, often violently in one or many directions. This type of injury is caused by a sudden stretching of the ligaments and muscles in the neck. Soft tissue injuries to the mid and lower portions of the back are also very common injuries too. Although soft tissue injuries may not sound like much on the surface, these car accident injuries can linger and cause serious pain and discomfort. Sometimes these soft tissue injuries can lead to lasting pain and damage. 

2. Cuts

Surprisingly, cuts, scrapes, scratches, and more, are only the second most common car accident injury. When cars crash and collide everything in your car from your phone, your drink, cd cases, and other items become flying projectiles that can cut or puncture your skin. Not to mention the possibility that there could be broken glass flying through the air too. When all of these things go flying, there is a good chance you could be hit and cut by one of them. Some cuts may be superficial and require little to no treatment, and other cuts may be deeper and require medical attention and stitches. 

3. Head Injuries 

Sudden stops and impacts causes the neck and head to jerk quickly in unexpected directions as we have already discussed. In these situations your head can make an impact with a number of different surfaces, the window, the dashboard, or the steering wheel. Brain injuries can be very serious and leave lasting brain damage. Closed brain injuries occur when the fluid and tissue inside the skull is damaged by sudden impact. One of the more common and less severe closed head brain injuries is a concussion, but this is still a serious injury that needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. Other head injuries that may occur as a result of a car accident include head bruising, and cuts or lacerations to the head that may require stitches and other medical attention. 

4. Chest Injuries  

Chest injuries are common with car accidents because of the way we sit when we drive or ride in a car. It is very common to see chest bruises in car accident victims. In more serious cases there may be broken ribs and other internal injuries as a result of the car crash. Driver’s generally get the worst chest injuries because of the steering wheel. When they are thrown forward, their chest impacts the steering wheel. However, even passengers in a car accident can experience severe chest bruising as a result of their seatbelt. 

5. Injuries to the Arms and Legs

Finally, injuries to the arms and legs are common in car accidents, and depending on what type of car accident you are involved in may be more or less severe. Just like the head and neck, the impact of a car accident causes the arms and legs to be thrown in unexpected directions. You could bang your knees on the dashboard, or your arms on the side windows or door. If you are hit from the side your arms and legs could be pinned. Arm and leg injuries could be as minor as a few scrapes, cuts, and bruises, or even more serious like a broken bone. 

Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyers 

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you need help recovering fair compensation for your injuries. The car accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. The insurance companies know that we prepare every case for trial, and that Murphy Law Firm is not a settlement mill. Get a personal injury attorney with trial experience if you want to recover what is fair. Make sure you seek medical attention after your car accident. If you were hurt in a car accident, call Murphy Law Firm today at (225) 928-8800 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your injuries and your case with an experienced car accident lawyer!

I was In an Car Accident While in an Uber/Lyft, What do I do?

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular across the country, and even right here in Louisiana plenty of people use Uber and Lyft as transportation on a daily basis. But, just like any mode of transportation accidents are bound to happen, and when they do, you need to know what to do. If you were in a car accident while riding in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare, here is what you need to do following an accident. 

Get Everyone’s Information and Gather Evidence 

Obviously, your first priority needs to be ensuring that everyone is safe and that the authorities and emergency services are called to the scene. Once you are sure everyone is safe, including yourself, you need to gather the information of everyone involved in the car accident. You need to get the driver’s names, their insurance information, and the names and contact information for any other witnesses at the scene. 

You also should try and take pictures of the accident with your phone if you are able to. Try to capture the state of all vehicles involved in the crash, especially your Uber or Lyft, the road conditions, and any other evidence that may be relevant to the car accident such as a low hanging limb blocking a street sign or a traffic light that is not working, etc. Evidence that is collected on the scene usually is very valuable later in the legal proceedings, but if you are unable to collect this evidence at the scene, do not fret. Your personal injury attorney will have a team on their staff that specializes in investigating car accidents and collecting evidence so that they can try and reconstruct what happened, and who is to blame for the accident. 

Document Your Injuries and Seek Medical Attention

Injuries that occur as a result of a car accident do not always show themselves right away. It could be days or weeks later when you start to feel pain from your car accident. The best steps you can take after you were involved in a car accident is to thoroughly document your injuries and seek medical attention. Cuts, bruises, etc heal over time, and it is important to show their true extent. Take pictures of your injuries frequently to document the recovery time and their seriousness. 

If you are in pain, or have cuts and bruises, seek medical attention after a car accident. It is important to have your doctor examine your injuries not only for your health, but also for your personal injury case. If you want to recover compensation for your injuries, you need medical records that detail the extent and costs of your injuries as a result of the car accident. It is important to note that your injuries may not fully present themselves for a couple weeks. If you’ve seen a doctor regarding your car accident, and then you start to feel new pains, you need to go back to your doctor and get examined again. Injuries like whiplash might not show up the first time you see your doctor, and this injury could have a big effect on you for years to come. 

Do Not Speak With Insurance Adjusters or Uber/Lyft Representatives 

If you were hurt while riding in a rideshare, you may get contacted by Uber or Lyft, or the insurance companies for the drivers involved in the car accident. Do not give any one of these parties a statement regarding the accident you were involved in or the state of your injuries until you speak with a personal injury attorney. They may even offer you money to sign away your right to a lawsuit. Like we said previously, car accident injuries can take days or even weeks to fully present themselves. Do not sign away your rights and take quick cash before you know the true extent of your injuries. 

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for My Accident?

Since Uber and Lyft drivers are technically classified as independent contractors, suing Uber or Lyft directly is usually not an option. The good news is that both Uber and Lyft have 1 million dollar liability coverage on their rides so you won’t need to sue either company in most cases to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. 

Hire a Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve been hurt while riding in an Uber or Lyft, you need to hire a Baton Rouge car accident attorney with trial experience. Having a car accident lawyer on your side will not only help you deal with the insurance companies as you pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages, but when you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you, you increase your chances of getting a favorable settlement or decision at trial. You can’t do this alone. After your car accident, seek legal help as soon as you can. It will be a big help to your case. 

Murphy Law Firm has a team of personal injury attorneys with over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We have handled car accidents involving Uber and Lyft, and all of our injury lawyers are prepared to take a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair compensation. Other lawyers will only focus on settling your case as quickly as they can, but at Murphy Law Firm we focus on getting you the compensation that you will need to recover. Contact our team today to set up a FREE consultation with a car accident attorney. Call (225) 928-8800 to speak with an attorney about your case today!

Can I Still File a Car Accident Lawsuit if the Police Report Says I’m at Fault?

Car accidents happen quickly. In the aftermath of these wrecks it can be hard to sort out all of the information and accurately assign fault at the scene. Police officers at the scene of a car wreck are a lot more concerned with everyone’s safety and clearing the road so that normal traffic conditions can resume than they are at seriously investigating a car crash and assigning fault for it. They want to get their paperwork filled out and the street cleared so that they can go back to doing their other duties. 

Sometimes police officers make mistakes in their reports. You might have been assigned fault for a car accident that you were involved in, but you don’t think it was your fault. You may be wondering if you can still file a car accident lawsuit to recover compensation for damages and injuries if the police report lists you as the at fault driver, and the answer is yes. Let’s take a closer look at factors you should consider.

Contradictory Evidence 

Police reports are a valuable piece of evidence, but they are not the end all be all in car accident cases. Judges and juries know that police work really hard, and sometimes their reports aren’t completely accurate. If you have compelling evidence that contradicts aspects of the police report, this evidence could outweigh the evidence of the police report in your personal injury trial. After your car accident, it is important to try to gather as much evidence as you can if you are able to. All of this evidence will help you later. Additionally, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as you can following your car accident. Your personal injury lawyer has a team of people that can help them further investigate your accident, gather additional evidence, and get witness statements. If enough evidence was found to contradict the police report, then the police report will not have a huge effect on your car accident case. 

Comparative Negligence 

Louisiana is a pure comparative fault state. What does this mean in car accident cases? It means that the amount of compensation that you can recover for damages is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you by a judge or jury. For example, if you are in a car accident and it is found that you are 50 percent to blame for it, you can only recover 50 percent of the compensation for the damages you incurred. 

Even if you are the at fault driver in the police report you can still recover compensation for your injuries and damages in the state of Louisiana. You need to hire a car accident attorney to help you fight your case. A good car accident lawyer will gather evidence and fight for you in court, to try and reduce the percentage of fault you are assigned for the car accident. Remember, it is almost impossible to accurately dole out fault by any mathematical principles. Judges and juries, will ultimately, make the final determination on the percentage of fault assigned to each driver. Therefore, it is important to have a car accident lawyer with trial experience on your side so that you have the best shot at a favorable outcome. 

In Louisiana, you can be 90 percent at fault for a car accident and still recover ten percent of the compensation for your damages. Don’t give up just because the initial police report assigns fault to you. The first thing you need to do is hire a good personal injury attorney and tell them about your car accident. If there is a possibility for you to recover compensation for your injuries and damages, they will help you find a way to try and do so. 

Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorneys

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, seek legal help from the experienced car accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm. Our team of personal injury lawyers has over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and a reputation with insurance companies that we will take our cases to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients the compensation that they deserve.Don’t settle for a settlement mill! Hire a car accident lawyer who will take your case to trial and has the trial experience necessary to help you win. Call Murphy Law Firm today at (225) 928-8800 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your car accident with a personal injury attorney.

How Long After A Car Accident Can You File A Personal Injury Claim In Louisiana?

If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim to recover damages for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and more. So, how long after a car accident do you have to file a personal injury claim? The amount of time that you are allowed under the law to file your lawsuit is known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations on personal injury lawsuits varies state by state. Let’s explore the Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana, and investigate the possible exceptions that may be made.

The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Louisiana

In the state of Louisiana, you have one year from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury claim. The Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits is shorter in Louisiana than it is in most other states. If you try to bring a personal injury lawsuit to court more than a year after your accident, the defendant’s lawyer will simply ask the judge to dismiss your case, and they will in almost every case except a few. 

Exceptions to Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations

A year is not much time, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as you possibly can after an accident. However, in a few specific instances the one year Statute of Limitations in Louisiana does not apply. 

1. Minors

The Statute of Limitations does not apply to minors aged under 18 in the state of Louisiana. For injured victims under the age of 18, the Statute of Limitations clock doesn’t begin to run until they turn 18. Once they turn 18, they have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident at the age of 6, you would have roughly 13 years to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

2. Defective Products, Drugs, and More

In some cases, like dangerous prescription drugs, defective products, etc, the Statute of Limitations doesn’t begin until the injured victim could have reasonably discovered the causes of their injuries. Whether it be a medication they were using, or a product they used or were exposed too, injured victims in Louisiana are protected from the one year Statute of Limitations if they couldn’t have reasonably known that the medication, product, etc, was injuring them or causing them harm. For example, if you took medication for an ailment, and then four years later found out that the medication you took was dangerous and it caused you harm or injury, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. The Statute of Limitations in cases like these does not begin until the relevant information, damages, etc are reasonably discoverable by the victim. 

Have Recent Tort Reform Bills Affected the Statute of Limitations?

The first version of the tort reform bill, LA SB 418, proposed raising the Statute of Limitations from one year to two years in order to give injured victims and insurance companies more time to reach a fair settlement. However, SB 418 was ultimately vetoed by Governor Edwards, and the bill failed to garner a veto proof majority. LA HB 57 eventually did pass into law. This bill contained a number of similarities to SB 418, but, ultimately, HB 57 did not raise the Statute of Limitations. Under current Louisiana law, the Statute of Limitations in personal injury cases remains at one year. 

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyers

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is important to seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. In Louisiana, the clock starts ticking the moment your accident occurs. Murphy Law Firm is here to help injured victims navigate the complexities of a personal injury lawsuit. We have over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and we are not afraid to bring a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair settlement terms. Call us at (225) 928-8800 to get in touch with a personal injury attorney.

7 Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents

Big rig truck accidents can do a lot of damage and leave a lasting impact on accident victims’ lives. There are rules and regulations in place to help prevent these big rig trucks from getting into accidents, but every year there are thousands of truck accidents. Recent studies conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that 87% of the time big rig truck accidents were caused by the driver. They assigned critical fault in four different ways for drivers: performance (panic, poor decision making, overcompensation), non-performance (driver fell asleep, had a heart attack, seizure, etc), recognition (driver was distracted or inattentive), and decision (driving too fast, merged too late, etc). We’ve compiled a list of the most common causes of big rig truck accidents below. Take a look, and always be careful when driving around these big trucks. 

1. Brake Problems and Other Issues With the Truck

Despite the fact that the grand majority of critical crashes are caused by truck drivers, one of the leading associated factors for big rig crashes are problems with the truck’s brakes. The aforementioned study conducted by the FMCSA found that in 29% of truck accidents brake problems were a factor in the crash. Big 18-wheeler trucks weigh a lot, and it takes a lot of pressure to bring these trucks to a safe stop. The brakes on these vehicles are put under constant strain, and if they are not properly maintained, brake problems will present themselves and likely lead to crashes and other dangerous situations. Tire problems and cargo shift are other common issues that can hamper a truck driver’s ability to operate their big rig safely and lead to crashes. In almost all cases, brake and other vehicle related problems are due to maintenance negligence either by the carrier or the driver themselves. 

2. Driving Too Fast

Truck drivers are delivering goods all across the country, and their employers put them on deadlines to get their job done. What happens when they fall behind schedule due to inclement weather, road construction, an accident, or just heavy traffic? It is human nature to try and make up time and drive faster. The number one driver related cause of truck accidents is driving too fast. Operating and controlling big rig trucks is a skill a lot of people don’t have. It is hard for even the best drivers to keep control of these big trucks when they are going too fast. There is just too much weight involved. If you notice an 18-wheeler moving too fast when you are driving, try to stay away from it because speeding is a major cause of truck accidents. 

3. Drug Use

Over the counter and illegal drug use both contribute to truck accidents. Surprisingly, more accidents are attributed to over the counter drug use than illegal drug use. Ephedrine, the active ingredient in a lot of dieting pills, is a popular over the counter drug used by truck drivers to try to stay up and alert on long drives. However, ephedrine abuse can lead to insomnia (which only makes a driver more fatigued), blurred vision, anxiety, and vomiting. Another popular OTC drug used is cold medicine, more specifically the active ingredient Dextromethorphan. A high can be achieved if enough cold medicine is taken, but this also leads to serious impairment and drowsiness which both lead to accidents. Illicit drugs like cocaine and meth are also used to help aid a driver stay up and alert while driving long hours, and both of these drugs can seriously impair a driver’s decision making and lead to serious accidents. 

4. Drowsiness and Fatigue 

It is all too common for big rig truck drivers to be drowsy and tired while they are behind the wheel. They work long hours, they spend their whole day driving, and when they do stop they usually sleep in the cab of their truck. All of these factors lead to drowsy and tired truck drivers. Most people stop driving when they get tired, but truck drivers don’t always have that same luxury if they have a deadline to meet. There are regulations limiting the amount of hours that drivers can be on the road, but that doesn’t stop carriers from issuing tight deadlines. The pressure to meet these deadlines and stay awake often leads to drug use, or fatigue related truck accidents. It is hard to make good, safe driving choices when you are tired or fatigued. 

5. Illegal Driving Maneuver

Another major cause of big rig truck accidents are illegal road maneuvers made by truck drivers. The main culprits in this category are u-turns and changing lanes when road signage prohibits it. 18-wheeler trucks are very long, and they need a lot of space to successfully execute a u-turn. The reality is most of the time there is not enough room for them to execute this maneuver, and it leads to a truck accident. 

6. Distraction

Distracted driving is a major issue for all types of vehicles and drivers so it shouldn’t be surprising that distracted driving is a major cause of truck accidents. Whether it is cell phone usage, changing a radio station, trying to eat a snack, or another form of distraction, when you take your eyes off the road you cannot adequately prepare yourself for stops and other maneuvers. It is harder to control a big rig truck than most other vehicles and these vehicles have the capacity to do a ton of damage so distracted driving can be far more consequential when one of these drivers gets distracted.

7. Alcohol 

Drunk driving is still a big problem for all drivers, but it is even worse when the operator of a big rig truck is drunk. The overall amount of truck accidents caused by drunk truck drivers is a lot less than over the counter and illicit drug users, but there are still drivers who are impaired by alcohol and driving huge 18-wheeler trucks. Even the slightest amount of impairment can lead to an accident that causes major damages and injuries. 

Baton Rouge Big Rig Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been hurt in a big rig truck accident, get the help you need from a personal injury lawyer. You need a truck accident lawyer who is not afraid to stand up to the trucking carriers and insurance companies and fight for what is rightfully yours. Don’t settle for a settlement mill! Get a personal injury attorney who has trial experience. Murphy Law Firm is proud to help the injured victims in Baton Rouge and south Louisiana. We have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. Don’t be a victim twice! Call (225) 928-8800 for a FREE consultation today.

I’ve Been Hurt, What Damages Can I Sue for in my Personal Injury Case?

When you’re injured in an accident, certain aspects of your life can be forever altered. Accident victims are entitled to compensation under Louisiana law for the damages they incur. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive compensation for all of the damages you’ve sustained as a result of your accident. In Louisiana, damages are classified in two ways, economic and non-economic. All damages that a specific value can be assigned to are economic damages, and damages that are more subjective and harder to quantify in monetary terms are non-economic. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may be wondering what you can recover compensation for. Let’s explore the question in more detail below.

Medical Bills

Medical treatment, even with health insurance, is not cheap, especially if you have been seriously hurt in an accident. Medical costs add up quickly and range from the various doctor visits, medications, rehab appointments, and more that you may be a part of your life for months, years, and in severe cases for the rest of your life. In Louisiana you are entitled to compensation for the cost of the medical bills you incurred, and potentially the estimated costs of future medical treatments depending on the severity of your accident. 

Property Damages

Accidents can do serious damage to your property too. You can receive compensation for loss of property. This includes costs of repairs, or the monetary value of the item at a fair market price. For example, if you were in a car accident, you would be entitled to receiving compensation for the costs of repairing the car. Let’s say you also had a set of golf clubs or a suit in your car that were also damaged or destroyed, you would also be entitled to the fair market price of these items as well. 

Lost Wages

An accident injury could also keep you out of work, and limit or even stop your ability to earn a living. In Louisiana victims are entitled to compensation for the work they have already missed as a result of their injury, and to future earnings they would have made were it not for the accident that caused their injury. Accidents can have a large economic impact on victims, and lost wage damages help save injured parties from potential economic ruin. 

Pain and Suffering 

Accidents cause more damage to victims’ lives than what can be easily seen and given a monetary value. In Louisiana personal injury law victims are allowed to recover compensation for pain and suffering. These types of damages include but are not limited to:

  • Physical pain
  • Physical impairment and disfigurement 
  • Emotional pain, anguish, and mental disorders
  • Loss of enjoyment 
  • Loss of companionship 
  • Loss of consortium 
  • And more

Loss of consortium damages generally refer to the spousal relationship. Accidents can have a serious impact on relationships from loss of companionship to loss of an ability to maintain a sexual relationship. Placing a monetary value on the pain and suffering damages a victim suffers after an accident is a tough task and is very subjective. 

Punitive Damages

Finally, injured victims may be entitled to receive punitive damages too if the defendants actions that led to or caused the accident were especially egregious. These damages are designed to punish the party at fault and set an example to deter individuals in the future from doing something similar. The easiest example of punitive damages  to give is accidents caused by drunk drivers. On top of all of the other damages already listed, the drunk driver would also be penalized and forced to pay punitive damages to the injured party. The goal of punitive damages is two-fold, punish the person who broke the law, and set an example to try to deter people from drunk driving in the future. 

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Maximize Your Potential Compensation

If you have been hurt in an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure that you recover all possible compensation available to you under the law. Personal injury attorneys study the law, they have a wealth of experience with injured victims and understand the typical damages awarded for the different types of injury cases they handle. Be sure that you don’t settle for a settlement mill, or else you could miss out on potential compensation.

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

Sometimes the only way to ensure that you receive all of the compensation that you are entitled to is to go to court. You need a personal injury attorney who is not afraid to take a case to court if that is what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. The personal injury team at Murphy Law Firm has over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and they are not afraid to take a case to court. Learn more about our team, and contact us if you have been hurt in an accident. We can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.

5 Ways You Can Maximize Your Potential Personal Injury Recovery

Trying to deal with insurance companies after you’ve been in an accident, especially if you were hurt, can be confusing. Insurance companies will use your confusion against you to try and minimize the amount of money they will have to pay out. You have to remember that insurance companies, especially the companies that do not represent you, are not interested in what is fair for you. These companies are interested in one thing only and that is minimizing their financial liability. Insurance adjusters might tell you many things. If you are unsure about anything that they are saying, contact a personal injury attorney. Below are 5 ways you can help yourself maximize your potential financial recovery.

1. Do Not Give a Recorded Statement 

After your accident, sometimes they’ll even show up at the scene of your accident, an insurance adjuster may try and get you to give them a recorded statement regarding the nature of your accident. First, you are not obligated to give them this statement. Second, this recorded statement will only be used against you in order to minimize your recovery. Rarely, a recorded statement won’t hurt your chances for financial recovery, but giving the insurance company a recorded statement WILL NEVER help you. Be aware that an insurance adjuster may call you and record your conversation saying that they just need the facts of the incident. If you ever make a statement to the insurance companies, it should be done so with your attorney present. 

2. Your Attorney Can Give the Insurance Adjusters Evidence

Just like recorded statements, you shouldn’t be giving the insurance adjuster any evidence to value the claim. Your personal injury attorney is more than capable of providing the insurance adjuster with all of the relevant accident information they need to properly value the claim. By trying to give this evidence yourself, you could inadvertently say or do something that the insurance company could use against you to minimize your recovery. The insurance companies will use anything that you say or do in an attempt to minimize your recovery claims. In all matters you should let your personal injury lawyer handle the insurance companies if you want to maximize your financial recovery. 

3. Do Not Settle Too Quickly

It is best to have a lawyer to advise you when it comes to settlement. If you settle too early, you may be missing out on additional compensation especially if you settle before the true extent of your injuries are known. Insurance companies will come out to the scene of your accident or visit you in person shortly after your accident and offer you money. Do not take their money, or sign any of their papers. Their goal is to stay out of court and settle quickly. You will not get fair compensation from the insurance company without an attorney representing you. Also, be wary of settlement mill law firms who will sign up your case and settle it fast.

4. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney with Trial Experience

Insurance companies do not want to go to court. Going to court costs them more money, and their end goal is to minimize costs. They will try and settle the case out of court if they can. This is why you need a personal injury attorney who will go to court if that is what it takes to get fair compensation for their clients. Insurance companies know the personal injury lawyers in their area. They know who will take a case to court, and who won’t. If you hire a personal injury attorney with trial experience, the insurance companies will often offer better settlement terms because they know if they undervalue your claim your attorney will take them to court which will end up costing them even more money in the long run. 

5. Take Pictures

Modern technology makes taking a lot of pictures easier than it has ever been before. If it is safe, and you are able, take a lot of pictures at the scene of your accident. If it is a car accident, photograph the damage to both cars. Be as thorough as possible. This evidence will help your case, and it will prevent the insurance companies from trying to undervalue or downplay the extent of the damages. If you were injured, take daily pictures of your wounds. This evidence will show the true nature of your recovery and injuries. The more evidence you can give your attorney the more compensation they will be able to help you recover. 

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, the most important thing you can do is retain a personal injury attorney to represent your interests. Anything that you say or do can be used against you by the insurance companies to minimize your potential financial recovery. If you’ve been hurt in Baton Rouge, Murphy Law Firm is here to help you. Our team has over 150 years of litigation experience and a reputation with the insurance companies that we are not afraid to take a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case. Call (225) 928-8800 to set up your FREE consultation.