Baton Rouge Louisiana Personal Injury Law Blog

7 key steps to take after a motor vehicle accident

If you are part of any type of motor vehicle accident, you need to take the right steps. Doing so will put you in a better position, both in regard to your health and your financial well being.

Here are the seven key steps to take after a motor vehicle accident:

  • Check yourself for injuries. You need to better understand your injuries, as this will help you make the right decisions in regard to your treatment.
  • Help others check for injuries. This is even more important if there are any young children or elderly individuals in your vehicle.
  • Move your car to safety. As long as you are okay to do so, move your car to the side of the road, as this can help prevent another accident.
  • Call 911. Even though police may arrive on their own, you want to call 911 to speed up the process.
  • Wait for help to arrive. You don't want to do anything until police and an ambulance arrive at the scene.
  • Exchange basic information, such as insurance details, with the other driver.
  • Document the accident, which includes taking photos of your injuries and damage.

Car collisions and PTSD

When it comes to auto accident consequences, some are evident right away, such as a broken bone or fatality. However, it is essential to bear in mind that some consequences may not be noticeable until some point in the future, such as mental scars, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you think that you have developed PTSD due to a motor vehicle wreck, our law firm is very familiar with the unique challenges you could be experiencing and we believe it is essential for you to move forward.

PTSD can cause victims to suffer in many ways. Sometimes, it interferes with their ability to return to the road, leaving them unable to drive to work, run errands, or provide their children with transportation. Moreover, this post-traumatic stress could also interfere with your job. For example, jobs which involve driving may become too stressful for those who have PTSD due to a car wreck to continue working. Ultimately, this disorder can affect the lives of victims in ways that causes them to experience additional financial hardships on top of medical bills, such as lost wages.

Brain injuries are common issues after serious car accidents

Most people understand that there's a risk involved with getting into a motor vehicle. In the wake of an unexpected accident, people are often grateful just to walk away from the accident. After checking their limbs, they believe they are mostly unhurt, just a little shaken and bruised. These people may quickly move on with their day-to-day lives without realizing how serious their injuries really are.

When people think of catastrophic injuries from car accidents, they often imagine spinal injuries or broken bones. Fewer people really understand the potential for life-changing consequences when someone's head gets hit or shaken badly. Blunt trauma, penetrating injuries or sudden and abrupt shaking can all result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can have effects that last for years or even for life.

Understaffing leads to medical errors

When a person seeks medical treatment in Louisiana, he or she expects to be taken care of by a competent medical professional. While there are many safeguards in place, such as extensive education and training requirements, along with licensing, to ensure those working in the medical field are qualified to do so, there is something else that is not as highly regulated that could be hurting the level of care these professionals provide. The problem is understaffing.

According to Scientific American, many medical facilities are understaffed. This means longer working hours and less patient-caregiver contact. It has been shown through research that the level of care drastically drops when caregivers cannot keep up with patient demand. In situations where a facility is understaffed, this is a constant struggle. Not having enough workers means patients do not get the attention they need. Some caregivers may even have to choose between which patient to treat at one time because there are not enough people to provide care. Such instances lead to medical malpractice issues and devastating consequences for patients.

Studies not conclusive on impact of ride-sharing on drunk driving

Many in Louisiana have used a service such as Uber or Lyft to get a ride home after a night on the town. However, studies have come to varying conclusions on whether or not drunk driving has decreased in areas that have ride-sharing services available.

According to Fortune, researchers studied 100 major metropolitan areas to see if services like Uber had changed their traffic fatalities. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found no association between the introduction of Uber and its competitors and a decrease in car crash deaths. They compared data from before and after ride-sharing services came to the communities and did not find any associated drop in either drunk-driving deaths or any other type of traffic death. As the New York Times explains, researchers explained that there is so much varying data available that "there is plenty of opportunity to cherry-pick data." They warn against making too strong of conclusions regarding the effects of Uber and Lyft on a community.

More on drug recalls

Recalled drugs have the potential to cause serious harm if used. The FDA identifies several kinds of defects giving rise to the recall of drugs. Some of these defects include lack of sterility, sub-potency, incorrect labeling, wrong ingredients or contamination with bacteria or some particulate matter. Other drugs are recalled because they have been unapproved as a new drug or contain undeclared drugs.

When a drug has been recalled, either by order of the FDA, by FDA request, or at the initiative of a drug company, it will be listed as a Class I, Class II, or Class III recall. On its website, the FDA lists recalls, many of which are Class I, which is the class of recalled drugs most likely to cause harm when used. As defined by the FDA, a Class I recall means “there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

How many hours can a trucker work?

Most people in Louisiana have what one might call a reasonable fear of being involved in an accident with a big rig. Semi trucks are so large that anyone in any type of standard passenger vehicle would be at a serious disadvantage in a crash. Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians have even less protection and stand to face even more serious consequences if hit by a commercial truck. Fatigue is a commonly known factor in some large truck crashes but there are strict rules in place by the federal government designed to minimize this risk.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a trucker who drives a vehicle that transports goods is allowed to have either a seven-day or an eight-day workweek. If their workweek lasts seven days, they may log up to 60 hours in that time. If their workweek lasts eight days, they may log up to 70 hours in that time. Once they have completed a single workweek, they are required to be completely off duty for a minimum of 34 hours before starting a new workweek.

What makes a drug defective?

A pharmaceutical drug may be considered defective if its effects, manufacturing, labeling or inadequate warning has caused harm to a consumer. In Louisiana, a product liability case involving drugs may proceed under one of these theories or a combination of all of them. A drug may have harmful side effects that were  previously unknown or concealed. There may also have been issues with a drug’s manufacturing, which cause it to either be corrupted in its composition or otherwise contaminated or improperly packaged. If a drug’s labeling provides insufficient information or an inadequate warning, then use of the drug on that basis could cause harm. Instructions also may be deficient or incomplete and recommendations on the use of the drug could be incorrect.

Under the Louisiana Product Liability Act, a drug may be “unreasonably dangerous” if a manufacturer fails to provide an adequate warning that the product may cause damage to the consumer. However, a manufacturer is not required to provide such a warning if the product is not abnormally dangerous or the consumer should know that the product is dangerous.

Underinsured motorist coverage may come in handy

Imagine driving through Baton Rouge on your daily commute. It's Friday, so all you have to do is make it through the day and then you can relax for the weekend. Unfortunately, things take a turn when another driver runs a stop light and slams into the side of your car. Instead of the nice, relaxing weekend you were hoping for, you now have to spend a couple of days in the hospital and then deal with the damage to your car.

To make matters worse, the other driver only has the minimum amount of coverage, which is not nearly enough to cover your medical expenses much less the repairs or replacement cost of your car.

3 injuries that should not be ignored after a car accident

After an accident, many drivers in Louisiana want to pick up and move on with life, but injuries resulting from a car crash need to be addressed. In particular, some injuries are warning signs of more serious conditions that should not be ignored.

According to KTAR News, getting headaches after a car crash may seem innocuous, but these can be a symptom of much more concerning health issues. Concussions, neck injuries like whiplash and even blood clots in the brain could be masquerading as simple headaches, so those who begin to have them after a car crash should seek medical attention to confirm there is not a serious underlying issue. Whiplash, for example, is not always easily diagnosed, and sometimes a CT scan or an MRI is needed to be able to see the full effects a crash had on a person's physique.

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McGlynn, Glisson & Mouton
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Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Phone: 225-250-1751
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