Articles Posted in Car Accident

rim_tire_wheel_round-scaledIn the heart of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, tragedy struck on Interstate 10 as a routine drive turned fatal. Arthur Huguley, behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer for AAA Cooper Transportation, found himself in a situation that would forever alter the lives of those involved. A blown-out tire, a series of events, and a wrongful death lawsuit brought forth by Curley Mouton’s surviving family members set the stage for a courtroom drama that unfolded with unexpected twists. In the end, a jury assigned fault, but the defendants, Huguley, AAA Cooper, and their insurer, were not ready to accept the verdict without a fight. This article explores the intricacies of their appeal, shedding light on the compelling arguments presented and the complexities of apportioning fault in a tragic accident.

Arthur Huguley was driving a tractor-trailer in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, on Interstate 10 while working for AAA Cooper Transportation (“AAA Cooper”).  Huguley heard a bang and worried he might have blown out a tire. While performing a maneuver to see if he had blown out a tire, the tire that had blown out came apart and flew into the air. Curley Mouton was driving in a truck behind Huguley when debris from the tire started flying through the air. The debris hit Mouton’s truck, causing him to hit a guardrail, flip over, and crash. Mouton died in the crash. 

Mouton’s surviving spouse and son filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Huguley, AAA Cooper, and their insurer. A jury found in favor of Mouton’s family and assigned 10% fault to Huguley and 90% to AAA Cooper for putting a defective tire on its truck. The defendants appealed, claiming the jury had erred in its ruling.

car_burglary_thief_burglar-scaledIn the legal system, dissenting opinions, i.e., opinions delivered by one or more judges who disagree with the decision, play a crucial role in shaping the interpretation and application of the law. They provide valuable insights into alternative viewpoints, often sparking discussion and debate and ultimately leading to the evolution of jurisprudence. One such notable dissenting opinion can be found in the case of Christopher Blanchard v. Demetrius J. Hicks et al., authored by Justice Cooks. In this blog post, we look at the case, the arguments made in the dissent, and the importance of dissent in the legal landscape.

The case of Christopher Blanchard v. Demetrius J. Hicks et al. arose from an incident in which Officer Blanchard’s patrol car was struck by a stolen truck. The plaintiff, Officer Blanchard, alleged that the defendant, Demetrius J. Hicks, was negligent in leaving his vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition and the engine running, thereby facilitating the theft that led to the accident.

The majority of the court relied on the precedent set by the Supreme Court’s decision in Racine, which held that leaving keys in a vehicle does not create liability for the motorist if a thief steals the car and causes injury to a third party. However, Judge Cooks dissented from the majority’s opinion, arguing that Racine does not dispose of the factual matter at hand.

war_worlds_movie_car-scaledImagine, for a moment, living a life of normalcy, the humdrum of day-to-day routines, a steady job, a peaceful existence. Suddenly, an unexpected accident shakes your world, thrusting you into the tumultuous tides of legal proceedings. This is the daunting reality Patricia and Calvin Henderson found themselves in, initiating a monumental case against Amy Lashouto and her insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm).

In a startling sequence of events, Patricia and Calvin Henderson found themselves in a legal confrontation against Lashouto. The case revolves around Patricia’s car accident, where a motor vehicle driven by Lashouto rear-ended her. Following the accident, the Hendersons filed a lawsuit against Lashouto, her insurer, and State Farm, contending that they were insured under a policy that could compensate them for their losses. State Farm, however, countered this claim, maintaining that the policy did not provide uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage for the accident.

After Lashouto and her insurer settled their case with the Hendersons, the couple found themselves embroiled in a legal dispute with State Farm. The latter moved for summary judgment, arguing that Calvin Henderson had validly rejected UM coverage on the policy. Despite the Hendersons’ absence from the hearing, the trial court sided with State Farm, dismissing the UM coverage claims.

tourists_driver_couple_mini-scaledSome accidents are unpredictable, while others appear to be accidents waiting to happen. Having reliable witnesses, qualified experts, and an excellent attorney in either unpredictable or predictable cases could be the dividing line in determining your liability when an accident arises. For Larry Jeane, Sr. (“Mr. Jeane”), the deceased party in a two-car accident along Louisiana Highway 107, whose vehicle crossed the centerline and collided with another car carrying six adults and one minor, the courts were positioned to consider his liability after the accident. 

Mr. Jeane was transported by ambulance to Rapides Regional Medical Center (“RRMC”) after the accident. He reportedly had no recollection of the accident. Mr. Jeane had a history of heart disease and type-II diabetes, but it was likely his injuries from the accident that resulted in his death less than a week later. While at RRMC, his attending physician, Dr. Jeremy Timmer (“Dr. Timmer”), noted that Mr. Jeane had been on the phone with a friend and started talking “funny,” possibly due to low blood sugar when he collided with the other vehicle.  The seven passengers of that other vehicle, namely Sarah Barber, Jamie Turner, Racheal Spivey, Elizabeth Spivey, Dana Spivey, Wallace Spivey, Racheal Spivey, and Jamie Turner on behalf of the minor, Abigail Turner (collectively “the plaintiffs”) eventually sued Mr. Jeane’s estate and his insurance company for damages resulting from the accident. 

Throughout the litigation, the plaintiffs then moved for partial summary judgment solely on the issue of liability. To support the motion, the plaintiffs submitted three supporting documents: (1) an affidavit from Sandra Shannon (“Ms. Shannon”), who was driving the vehicle directly in front of the plaintiffs and witnessed the accident; (2) an affidavit from Sarah Barber (“Ms. Barber”), who was driving the other vehicle involved in the accident; and (3) a record of the deposition taken of Pineville City Marshal, Sarah A. Smith (“Ms. Smith”), who responded to the scene after the accident occurred. Ms. Shannon’s affidavit stated that she saw “[Mr. Jeane] was slumped over” at the wheel as his vehicle “veered gently.” Ms. Barber testified in her affidavit that she saw Ms. Shannon’s vehicle swerve off the road “suddenly, without any prior warning” before she saw Mr. Jeane’s vehicle approaching her, but she could not avoid the collision. Finally, Ms. Smith noted that she did not witness the accident but rode with Mr. Jeane to the hospital when he told her he did not know what happened. 

tyre_burst_karoo_flat-scaledAllocating fault in a car accident is especially difficult when involving multiple individuals. This case illustrates how the allocation of fault affects how damages are awarded and illustrates what type of expenses are compensable. 

While driving on Highway 28 East in Louisiana, Erin Wright rear-ended Christina Dauzat. Before they reached the intersection where the accident occurred, an unrelated accident occurred involving Joanne Marlow and Darrell Paulk. Paulk refused to move his car, which resulted in one of the lanes of traffic being blocked. Before the accident, a truck driven by an unknown driver drove towards Dauzat as it tried to go around the Marlow/Paulk accident. 

Dauzat filed a lawsuit against Wright and her insurer, State Farm. At a trial, the court allocated 80% fault to Wright, 10% to the unnamed truck driver, and 10% to Paulk. The trial court awarded general damages of $8,000 (after the 20% reduction from the fault of the unnamed truck driver and Paulk, neither of whom Dauzat filed a lawsuit against) and $9,741.51 in special damages. These damages did not include the $1,440.86 cost of transporting Dauzat via ambulance following the accident. Both Dauzat and Wright appealed.

auto_defect_car_wreck-scaledWhat happens if you are involved in a car accident where your damages exceed the auto insurance policy limits of the person responsible? One possible option is seeking coverage under your uninsured motorist insurance policy. However, questions can arise about what, if any, coverage you are entitled to if it appears the accident did not cause your injuries. Determining the scope of injuries caused by the at-issue accident can be especially complicated if you have previously been involved in other car accidents that injured you or if you have other preexisting conditions. The following case helps shed some light on these issues.

Jacqueline Gaspard was rear-ended while she was stopped at a red light. She filed a lawsuit against the drivers and insurers of the cars that were also involved in the accident and Allstate Insurance Company, her uninsured motorist insurer. She claimed the damages exceeded the liability coverage of the other individuals involved in the accident. 

The second vehicle’s driver behind Gaspard was found to be 100% at fault for the accident. She settled the claims against that driver and his insurer for $50,000, the limits of that driver’s liability policy. She then dismissed her claims against the vehicle’s driver and insurer. 

car_racing_crash_accident-scaledIn the aftermath of a car accident, the quest for justice often extends beyond determining fault, delving into the intricate realm of calculating damages. Even when the liability is undisputed, securing compensation can be laden with legal complexities. The following case unveils the story of Shelley Cooley, a collision victim navigating the labyrinth of litigation to ascertain the rightful compensation for her injuries. The journey sheds light on the indispensable role of compelling evidence, from medical testimony to personal accounts, in establishing the magnitude of damages in the aftermath of an accident.

Shelley Cooley was involved in a car accident where her car was hit from behind by a car driven by Timothy Adgate, who worked for the City of Shreveport. Cooley had to obtain medical treatment after the accident for pain in her knee, back, and neck. Cooley filed a lawsuit against Adgate and the City of Shreveport. The parties agreed the City of Shreveport was liable because Adgate was completely responsible for the accident while working as a police officer. The only issue at trial was the amount of damages owed to Cooley.

Cooley was the only witness to testify at trial. Medical evidence was presented through the deposition transcripts of various doctors. The trial court ruled the accident had exacerbated Cooley’s pre-existing medical issues but declined to award any damages for future medical expenses because the evidence about future medical expenses was speculative. The trial court awarded Cooley $50,000 in general damages and $79,508.66 for past medical expenses. Cooley filed an appeal.

district_court_h_c3-scaledIf you’ve been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, it’s essential to be aware of one crucial aspect often overlooked – the appropriate court venue. Venue refers to the location where a lawsuit is filed, and getting it right is crucial for the court to have jurisdiction, granting it the legal authority to issue judgments in the case.

Cea Tillis was involved in a car accident on Frenchmen Street. He filed a lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, Jamal McNeil, and his insurance company (the defendants) in the Second Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson. Tillis asserted Jefferson Parish was the proper venue under La. C.C.P art. 74, which allows a lawsuit to be brought in the location where the accident occurred or where the damages were sustained. 

McNeil countered Jefferson Parish was not the proper court because the accident occurred outside the court’s jurisdiction, and Tillis did not live in the applicable area. The defendants argued the court did not have personal or subject matter jurisdiction and could not enter a judgment in the case. The Second Parish Court eventually transferred the case to the First Parish Court. The First Parish Court ruled in favor of the defendants, finding there was no personal or subject matter jurisdiction. The court then dismissed Tillis’ lawsuit, and he appealed. 

caterpillar_truck_dump_truck-scaledWorkplace accidents can strike unexpectedly, leaving individuals injured and grappling with the complex question of who bears responsibility. However, when such accidents involve heavy machinery and contractual relationships, determining fault can become even more challenging. In the case of Clark Nixon, a dump truck driver at Terrebonne Levee & Conservation District (TLCD), the lines blurred further when an incident unfolded on the job site. As Nixon seeks justice for his injuries, the lawsuit shines a light on the intricate interplay of liability, contractual obligations, and the need for skilled legal representation to recover medical costs and hold those at fault accountable.

Nixon worked a contract job as a dump truck driver at Terrebonne Levee & Conservation District (TLCD). Nixon’s duties as a dump truck driver included delivering dirt to TLCD, where the surplus would eventually be used to build a levee. Specifically, Nixon would back his truck up to the dirt mound and unload the dirt from his truck. Once finished, a bulldozer truck would follow by pushing the dirt mound up a ramp, then reversing down the ramp to make room for the next dump truck. On the TLCD job site, there was also an individual known as the “spotter,” who verified the dirt being dumped and directed the dump truck driver where to unload their pile of dirt. 

After a spotter verified the dirt in Nixon’s dump truck, Nixon began to back his truck towards a specific dirt pile to unload. David Danos was handling a bulldozer at the same time. As Nixon was reversing toward the dirt pile, his truck collided with Danos’ bulldozer, which was traveling down the ramp after moving the dirt. 

children_s_children_asian-scaledWhen accidents involve children, gathering factual information regarding their physical health becomes even more crucial for building a solid case. This is particularly evident in a vehicle collision that took place in Lafayette, Louisiana. The case highlights the specific requirements for demonstrating injuries to children in an auto accident and what is and isn’t required to prove injuries to a child.

On January 19, 2015, Bradley Quoyer was backing out of a driveway onto a street in Lafayette, Louisiana, when his vehicle collided with the rear passenger side of Neosha Robertson’s vehicle. At the time of the collision, Ms. Robertson’s two minor children were in the back seat. She filed a lawsuit against the driver, Clement Bradley Quoyeser,  and his insurance company on behalf of herself and her children, claiming that they both suffered injuries.

Quoyer filed a motion asking that the children be dismissed from the lawsuit, and the trial Court granted this motion. Robertson disagreed with the ruling and therefore appealed.  

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