Articles Posted in Accidents

feet_tangerm_c3_bcnde-scaledIf part of a car falls on you at a vehicle yard, you should be able to recover damages for your injuries from the yard owner. However, if you do not provide sufficient evidence, you will likely be unable to recover for your injuries.

While Rico Lee was a customer at a Pull-A-Part vehicle yard in Harvey, Louisiana, he was injured when the rear of a pickup propped up on rims fell on his foot. He filed a lawsuit against Pull-A-Part and their insurer, claiming he was injured when the pick-up truck in Pull-A-Part’s control and control fell on his foot, injuring him. At trial, the jury found Pull-A-Part was not negligent. Lee appealed.

On appeal, Lee argued the jury erred in finding in favor of Pull-A-Part, and the trial court erred by not instructing the jury about res ispa loquitor. Res ispa loquitor is a legal doctrine that allows a court to find negligence by the mere fact that the accident occurred by using circumstantial (not direct) evidence. See Cangelosi v. Our Lady of the Lake Reg’l Med. Ctr. Here, La. C.C. art. 2317.1 required Lee to show the truck was in Pull-A-Part’s custody or control; it had a defect that resulted in an unreasonable risk of harm, Pull-A-Part knew or should have known about this unreasonable risk, and the defect caused his injury. 

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. 

airplane_airplane_cruising_897048-scaledHave you ever witnessed an accident? The experience can be overwhelming, leaving lasting, often overlooked emotional scars. Such consequences raise an essential question; can a witness to an accident seek damages in court? The subsequent lawsuit helps answer that question. The journey of the litigants through the intricate legal landscape reveals their unwavering determination to find solace for the emotional anguish they endured as witnesses to the tragic events.

The story begins on a fateful day when Briana Davis and her boyfriend, Reginald Hilliard, Jr., embarked on an aerial tour of the City of New Orleans. Unfortunately, the flight ended tragically as the plane, piloted by James Biondo, crashed into Lake Pontchartrain, resulting in the death of Reginald Hilliard, Jr. In the aftermath, Dorothy Jarvis, Tukeya Jarvis, and Thomas Hilliard (Jarvis and Hillard), relatives of the deceased, arrived at the crash scene and witnessed the recovery operations.

In their lawsuit, Jarvis and Hillard claimed that James Biondo’s negligence, specifically his failure to properly inspect, operate, pilot, navigate, and prevent the airplane crash, was the direct cause of the tragedy. Furthermore, they sought bystander damages under Louisiana C.C. art. 2315.6, asserting they suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress due to witnessing the crash and its aftermath.

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. 

meat_barbecue_grill-scaledWhen preparing for a fundraiser, you understandably have lots on your mind. You have to coordinate food, RSVPs, and plan the event. However, if you are using something potentially dangerous, such as a propane barbecue, you also need to ensure you take reasonable steps to inspect it for any potential defects. Otherwise, you could be liable for injuries you or others suffer.

John Palir III was a pastor at Topsy United Pentecostal Church. A week before the church’s barbecue fundraiser, he and a deacon at the church were trying to light the barbecue pit on a barbecue trailer the church owned. When the deacon pressed the pilot button, Palir lit it with a lighter wand. That resulted in a ball of fire that blew Palir out of the trailer, where he hit the deacon’s grandson, who was standing nearby at the time of the explosion. Palir filed a lawsuit against the church and its insurer, GuideOne Insurance Company. 

At trial, Palir moved to exclude any instruction to the jury about him being liable for the explosion. The trial court allowed the church to present evidence of Palir’s negligence but not about whether Palir knew or should have known the barbecue trailer was defective or hazardous under La. C.C. art. 2317.1. At trial, the jury held Palir was 50% at fault, and the church was also 50% at fault. The jury also found the barbecue trailer was in the Church’s custody, it presented an unreasonable risk of harm to Palir, and the church knew or should have known about its defect. Palir appealed, arguing the jury erred in assigning him 50% of the fault. 

extrication_accident_rescue_421161-scaledWhat happens if you were previously injured in an incident and later involved in another accident that causes further injury? Can the person responsible for the second injury be liable for your injuries? Although pre-existing injuries can make it more complicated to determine the scope of your injuries, the court will still consider the extent to which the second accident caused additional injuries and affected your life.

Shermain Montiel Vaughn was driving a truck for Oakley Trucking, his employer. Vaughn hit the front of Jenella Ben’s car while attempting to turn left on a street in Lafayette, Louisiana. At the time of the accident, Rickie Hairston was riding in Ben’s car. Vaughn was 100% at fault for the accident and was in the scope and course of his job with Oakley Trucking when the accident occurred. Hairston filed a lawsuit, and the trial court ruled in his favor. The trial court awarded him $195,000 for general damages and $60,683 for special damages, including $240 of lost wages. Vaughn filed an appeal based partly on the assertion Hairston’s credibility was suspect given his prior injury and the facts surrounding which accident caused the injuries he complained of. 

Vaughn argued the trial court erred in not discrediting Hairston’s testimony after he was impeached at trial. He claimed Hairston hurt his knee from an incident unrelated to the car accident. He also argued Hairston was not credible because he acknowledged he did not tell his doctors about his prior injury. However, an appellate court defers to the trial court’s credibility determination because it is better positioned as it can examine a witness’s demeanor and the nuances of their testimony. See Lopez v. Lopez

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