Articles Posted in Car Accident

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.  

disc_brake_stainless_auto-scaledIf you have been involved in a motorcycle or car accident, you might not know how an expert witness could help support your claim in court. What happens if there is conflicting testimony from each party’s expert witness about the cause of the accident?

Robert Murphy was driving his motorcycle along Louisiana Highway 538 in Shreveport, Louisiana, while Shauntal Savannah was driving her car in the opposite direction. When Savannah turned left in front of Murphy, Murphy’s motorcycle hit Savannah’s passenger-side door in the lane Murphy had been in before the collision. 

Murphy and his wife, Pamela Murphy, filed a lawsuit against Savannah, her automobile insurer State Farm, and the State of Louisiana through the Department of Transportation and Development (“DOTD”). They claimed DOTD was at fault because it did not warn motorists about the dangerous condition or remedy the intersection’s deadly design. DOTD responded and denied knowing about any unsafe conditions. The Murphys settled with Savannah and State Farm. 

us_navy_120117_n_17-scaledIn the aftermath of a vehicle collision, the impact reverberates beyond the immediate parties involved, leaving a trail of injuries and legal complexities. Such was the case for Cody Johnson, a passenger on an RTA bus when it collided with another vehicle. Seeking full compensation for her damages, she pursued a vicarious liability claim against the driver’s employer. However, the court’s assessment of the driver’s scope of employment would determine the outcome of her pursuit of justice.

At 6:00 am, one hour before he was scheduled to be on call, Mr. Molbert was summoned into work by his boss. Molbert worked for Anesthesia Consultants of the South, LLC, and that morning ACS needed Molbert to help perform an appendectomy. At 6:30 am, 15 minutes sooner than usual, Molbert collided with an RTA bus on the way to the hospital. Ms. Johnson, a passenger on the bus, sued Molbert, ACS, and RTA to recover damages for her injuries. 

ACS filed for a directed verdict, arguing that Molbert was not within his scope of employment at the time of the accident. This kind of argument is typically referred to as a vicarious liability argument. The trial court granted the motion, finding that ACS was not liable as an employer because Molbert was commuting to work at the time of the accident. The trial court relied on the seven Mclin v. Industrial Specialty Contractors, Inc. factors to make this determination. 

school_school_bus_bus-scaledSchool field trips are supposed to be fun. However, after an unfortunate incident, Darius Baheth’s experience was less than idyllic. Can a parent recover when their child is injured on a school field trip? The following lawsuit, out of Lafayette, Louisiana, answers that question.

When Darius was thirteen years old, he was allegedly injured while attending a school field trip to a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. Darius had an Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”) because he had autism. While the teachers and students were leaving the bus to go across the street to the movie theater, Darius started running around. Some teachers placed restraints on him to prevent him from hurting himself or others. He then received medication and was able to participate in the field trip. 

His mother, Dorothy Baheth, filed a lawsuit against the Lafayette Parish School Board for the injuries Darius purportedly suffered on the field trip. She argued the injuries happened when the teachers placed restraining gear on Darius. She also claimed the teachers did not timely administer Darius’ medication. 

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