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When you suffer an injury due to someone else’s  negligence , you may have grounds to bring a personal injury claim against them..  But you do not have an unlimited time to do so; you need to bring the action before the deadline for filing expires.  We call that filing deadline the “prescriptive period” here in Louisiana, while the rest of the country refers it as the “statute of limitations.” Missing the deadline could mean that you are time-barred from bringing the claim altogether.

While other states allow injured parties to file suits as long as four years after the accident, in Louisiana, you generally have just one year to file a personal injury claim. That is why it is important to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later.  You do not want to lose out on the compensation you deserve due to personal injury statute of limitations.

What is the Purpose of the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

The main reason there are statutes of limitations is due to the erosion of evidence over time. If you are involved in a car accident today but do not bring a lawsuit for ten years, it would be difficult for either party to build a case.

They would likely not have access to witnesses, all physical evidence would likely have been destroyed, and their memory might not be clear about what happened either. The personal injury statute of limitations aims to ensure that both parties can build their strongest possible case so that justice can be served.

When Does the Clock Start on the Statute of Limitations

The "clock" of the statute of limitations generally starts ticking in most personal injury claims on the day the harm occurred. For instance, the date the collision happened in an automobile accident case.

What Happens if I File After the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

Although there are a few exceptions, you should know that  a court may dismiss your case if you bring a lawsuit after the  applicable statute of limitations period has expired. You could lose your chance to get a judgment ordering compensation for your losses and injuries.

What Are the Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations in Louisiana?

For most personal injury cases in Louisiana, you have one year from the date of the accident to bring the case. However, several exceptions to that general rule may apply.

What Are the Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations in Louisiana?

Cases Involving Minor Children

The statute of limitations for accidents involving a child permanently injured by defective products begins on the child's 18th birthday, not the day of the event. Accordingly, regardless of their age at the time of the accident, they lose their right to submit a claim when they turn 19.

Multiple At-Fault Parties

The statute of limitations may be interrupted when a plaintiff  brings a personal injury claim  against one of several culpable parties before the deadline for filing. The plaintiff may then file a lawsuit against additional at-fault parties if an inquiry turns up further proof. A multi-vehicle collision is one illustration of this.

The Discovery Rule

After an accident, you can often quickly tell that you are injured and what caused that injury--consider an automobile or truck accident for example. Some injuries, however, do not have a "reasonably discoverable" underlying cause until years later.

When an injury or damage is not immediately obvious, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the victim "knows or should reasonably know" that their injury is related to the person or entity that caused it. In other words, the victim must genuinely become aware of the problem before the time begins to run.

This is known as "the discovery rule," and it frequently applies to situations involving defective products, exposure to dangerous substances, and medical malpractice. A good example of this would be a products liability case where a particular chemical compound caused a plaintiff to experience injuries that were not immediately apparent.

Other Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

Various other exceptions could apply, including:

  • The plaintiff is deemed mentally incompetent
  • The claimant is a prisoner
  • The accused filed for bankruptcy
  • The defendant is not within the state's or the county's purview
  • Negotiations for a resolution are still going on between the two parties

Your injury attorney can help you determine if your case qualifies for one of the exceptions.

Does the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Apply to Wrongful Death Cases Too?

Yes. However, there is one main distinction. While the clock on a typical personal injury case will begin on the date of the injury, a wrongful death case's clock begins on the date of the death.

For example, if your loved one suffered an accident on June 1st but survived for another six months, the clock to file a wrongful death case would start on the date of their death – not on the June 1st date of their accident.

Timely Lawsuits in the State of Louisiana

It’s important that you act quickly if you want to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Louisiana. Your inability to file in a timely manner ultimately hurts you and your family if you’re seeking compensation for your damages.

If you believe you have grounds for a personal injury case, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you have questions about statutes of limitations, or a personal injury claim, we at the Huber Thomas, LLP want to hear from you.Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have at 504-274-2509.

Now that summer is in full swing, more and more Louisiana residents are taking time to enjoy their favorite boating activities. At Huber Thomas Law, we want our clients to have a great time – but we want to keep them safe, too.

The bad news is that boating accidents are on the rise. Recreational boating accidents rose 18% from 2019 to 2020, from 105 to 124. In 2020, 24 people lost their lives in boating accidents. These statistics are similar to trends across the country, with a 26.3% overall increase in boating accidents from 2019 to 2020.

The good news is that most of these accidents could be prevented if proper boating safety tips are followed. According to the Coast Guard, five factors contribute to most boating accidents:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Operator inexperience
  3. Improper lookout
  4. Excessive speed
  5. Machinery failure

Read on to learn the best boating safety tips to follow. Of course, nothing can prevent 100% of accidents. If you suffer an injury in a boat accident, contact Huber Thomas Law at (504) 274-2500 for a free legal consultation.

Wear a Life Jacket

Three out of four people who die in a boating accident drown. About 86% of those who drowned in boating accidents were not wearing life vests. It is essential to wear a life jacket at all times to protect you if you enter the water unexpectedly.

Federal law requires that every boat has at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard the boat. Louisiana boating laws require that children under the age of 17 wear a life jacket if they are on a vessel less than 26 feet.

People of all ages on a motorboat less than 16 feet long with a hand tiller outboard motor must wear a life jacket while the boat is moving. Everyone aboard a pirogue, kayak, personal watercraft, or kayak.

Wear the Right Life Jacket

Remember that the job of a life jacket is more than just keeping you afloat. The best models are designed to turn a person's face up if they are unconscious, and some are even designed to protect against hypothermia.

Before choosing a life jacket, try it on by fastening the vest. Then hold your arms straight above your head and ask someone to pull the top of the arm opening. The vest should fit snugly. Buy a life jacket that fits the specific type of on-water activity you will be doing. For example, if you'll be fishing, find a life jacket with pockets and straps to carry supplies.

Have a Boat Safety Kit on Board

Be ready for everything because you can never be too sure when an emergency will arise. No matter the size of your boat, you should always have your boat safety kit with you, and this kit should have the following items.

  • A Flashlight

    If you run out of gasoline or your boat stalls, a flashlight and additional batteries will help you see around your boat in the dark. It can also make you visible to other boats if you are in distress at night.

  • Duct tape

    If something is leaking on your boat, duct tape can work wonders as a temporary fix.

  • A Bucket

    In the event water enters your boat, a bucket can be instrumental in quickly getting it out.

  • First Aid Kit

    In the event of an accident or medical emergency, having a first aid kit that is fully stocked and knowing how to utilize it is essential. It should include:

    • A first aid guide.
    • Over-the-counter pain medication
    • Eyewash
    • Burn cream
    • Cotton pads or swabs
    • Bandages
    • Antiseptic cream or spray
    • Absorbent pads
    • Rolled gauze
    • Foil blanket
    • Tweezers
    • Alcohol wipes
    • Disposable gloves
  • Ropes

    Ropes are essential for rescuing someone who has fallen overboard, docking your boat, and fastening loose objects in bad weather.

  • Trash Bags

    Garbage bags can be used as ponchos in the rain to protect objects on board.

  • Fire Extinguisher

    Just because you're on the water doesn't mean that you can't have a fire inside your boat. Your fire extinguisher should be accessible to all passengers, and they should all know where to use it.

Follow Proper Docking and Anchoring Procedures

Make sure that you adhere to suitable anchoring techniques. It's not enough to have the proper anchor. You might need to drop two anchors in the shape of a V at the front of the boat to prevent it from drifting in the wind. It could be necessary to place your anchor in deeper water, perhaps 20 to 30 feet deep, to help prevent the tide from raising it.

Docking might be difficult depending on the wind, the current, and your type of boat. Make sure your bumpers are out as you go closer to the dock or shore to protect your ship, slow down, and make sure the docking lines are fastened. Bring the boat about two feet from the dock if the wind is blowing in that direction; the breeze will then gently pull it in. Then you can use lines to secure it. Approach the dock at a 20-to-30-degree angle to account for the wind if it is blowing away from the beach. Then tighten the bow line.

Remember that these boating safety tips only cover the basics. If you are not experienced in proper docking and anchoring procedures, consider the next suggestion.

The Best Boating Safety Tip: Take a Boat Safety Course

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, operator error is at blame for 70% of boating accidents. Make sure you are familiar with the guidelines and your obligations before you leave the port. There are many online courses accessible, some of which are free.

A free online boating safety education designed expressly for each state is available from The Boat U.S. Foundation. A further selection of online and in-person courses for boating safety is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.

What Should You Do if You Are Involved in a Boating Accident?

No matter how closely you follow boating safety tips, you cannot prevent 100% of boating accidents. Boating mishaps are terrifying, and it might be challenging to know what to do or how to react in the heat of the moment. It's critical to keep in mind what to do in the aftermath of a boating disaster to protect your legal rights, prevent more injuries, and maybe save lives.

  • Ensure the Safety of Everyone on Board

    Finding out if anyone requires medical assistance should come first in a boating accident if you are on board and the boat is still floating. If you can, help anyone who has fallen overboard get back aboard the boat. If the boat is breaking apart or sinking, you should climb onto any accessible rafts or floating debris and call for assistance. You should put on your life jacket to stay afloat until help arrives.

  • Inform the U.S. Coast Guard of the incident

    If the boat is still moving, pull it away from approaching vessels. As soon as possible, get in touch with the U.S. Coast Guard to report the mishap, its location, and whether any medical aid is necessary. Certain boating incidents must be reported in accordance with federal law, such as when a person is killed or when the damage to the vessel costs $2,000 or more.

    When a boating accident occurs, stay at the scene. Just as in a car accident, you have a responsibility to report the incident and help with the investigation, especially if anyone is hurt.

  • Gather Information

    You should acquire specific information at the accident scene. This includes:

    • Name and contact information of any passengers on your boat or any other boats involved in the collision, and from any eyewitnesses who may have observed the accident from land or other boats
    • Other boats' registration numbers
    • Insurance information, including names, addresses, and policy numbers, for all other vessels involved in the accident
    • Pictures of the boat damage, the accident site, and any other details you want to document or keep track of, if it's safe to do so

 

  • Contact a Louisiana Boating Accident

    Louisiana law allows you to file a claim for damages sustained during your accident if you were injured due to someone else's negligence. This could include medical costs, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

 

We recommend contacting Huber Thomas Law immediately to find out your legal options.

personal-injury-accidentIf you have been involved in an accident, you need the best possible representation on your side. Many people in this position have never needed an attorney before and are unsure how to find the right one. Continue reading for simple tips to help you find the best personal injury attorney in New Orleans.

1. Choose a Trial Attorney Even if You Do Not Expect Your Case to Go to Trial

95% of personal injury disputes are settled outside of court. This might lead you to assume you do not need a trial attorney. The fact is that while it is much more likely that you will not need an attorney with trial experience, you do not want to find yourself facing a trial with an attorney who is not prepared to take it on.

Working with a trial attorney assures you have choices and adaptability if the case cannot be negotiated as planned. It means you can be confident and dominate at the negotiation table, knowing you have your bases covered.

Most personal injury victims do not want to take their case to court because it costs more money, takes more time, and juries can be unpredictable. However, remember that this is true of the person or company you are suing, too.

Opposing counsel will be more inclined to offer a reasonable settlement if they know that your team is prepared to litigate the matter. We strongly suggest collaborating with a personal injury attorney in New Orleans who has the self-assurance to succeed at trial and obtain compensation if the case does go to court.

2. Have a List of Questions Ready to Go

You can learn a lot about an attorney by reading through their website, but you'll likely have additional questions. Before you set up a consultation, ensure you have a list of questions to which you need answers. Some questions we suggest asking include:

  • Have you taken on cases similar to mine?
  • What types of outcomes have you had in cases similar to mine?
  • How long do you think the case will take to resolve?
  • Will I be dealing with a single attorney, or will I have your entire law firm behind me?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • What do you think the strengths and weaknesses in my cases will be?

These are just a few of the general questions we recommend asking. You can also ask questions specific to your case. Just remember that an initial consultation is not a full strategy session. The attorney in question will not have access to all the facts, will not yet have spoken with expert witnesses, and will only be able to briefly review your case. That said, they should have enough information to give you a basic game plan.

3. Know What You Don’t Want to Hear

Ideally, your personal injury attorney in New Orleans will be straightforward and honest from the beginning. If they make promises that they can obtain a certain outcome or assurances that they can absolutely complete your case within a certain time frame, you should leave and find someone else.

The truth is that even the best attorney in the world cannot guarantee an outcome. You want someone who will fight tirelessly for you and who will be honest about the likelihood of the best possible outcome. You need an attorney you can trust.

4. Choose an Attorney Who Can Help You Handle Your Medical Bills

If you do not believe that your insurance company will pay 100% of your medical bills, and you are facing significant medical bills due to an accident in which someone else was negligent, you should contact an attorney immediately.

At Huber Thomas Law, we will work with nearby hospitals, healthcare organizations, and your insurance while preparing for your case. We can help you navigate the complexities of your medical expenses, insurance claims, applications for government assistance programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, and if you were injured at work, Workers' Compensation claims.

We know that you already have a lot on your plate after suffering a catastrophic injury. Huber Thomas Law will help with your legal and financial concerns so you may concentrate on getting better.

5. The Law Can Be Confusing – Your Personal Injury Attorney in New Orleans Shouldn’t Be

Financial and insurance documents frequently include legalese that the average individual cannot understand. They are needlessly intricate, especially when a single word can make or break your case.

At Huber Thomas Law, we take great pride in being tenacious defenders of our clients. Our goal is to thoroughly explain everything you should know. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us anytime. A group of attorneys with a track record of success will be able to assist you. Additionally, you frequently don't pay anything unless we prevail in your case.

6. Their Payment Requirements Should Be Clear

It is often the case that personal injury attorneys take a case on a contingency basis. This means that there is no upfront cost. Their fee comes from the settlement or jury award they secure for you. In many cases, if they do not win your case then you will not owe them anything.

However, there are exceptions. However the attorney charges, whether hourly, on contingency, or per case, they should be clear about payment before you hire them. They should give you a fee schedule, if applicable. They should answer any questions you have about how and when you will be charged.

If you meet with an attorney who does not give you clear, direct answers to questions about money then they are not the right attorney for you.

At Huber Thomas Law, we take the majority of our cases based on a contingency fee, and thus we recover our fees at the end of the case and only if there is a settlement or trial verdict.

You Have Already Found the Best Personal Injury Attorney in New Orleans

You deserve the best personal injury attorney in New Orleans offer after an accident. We offer approachable legal advice here at Huber Thomas Law. We want to assist you in understanding the terminology and guide you through each step of the procedure. Our team is the best in town, and many factors differentiate us from the opposition.

Trust Our Legal Methods

personal-injury-attorneyHuber Thomas Law's interdisciplinary team has successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our distinctive strategy enables us to construct arguments that lead to just and equitable resolutions.

Despite having a particular lawyer assigned to your case, you will gain an advantage by having a whole team of attorneys on your side. Our entire team works together to achieve the final objective by bringing a variety of distinct perspectives and skillsets to the table, which assists us in advancing your case.

Our Impressive Track Record Speaks for Itself

The majority of personal injury cases are resolved out of court – 95 percent settle their differences through negotiation. Court battles are seldom the best option because they are costly and time-consuming.

Having stated that, we will stop at nothing to obtain just compensation for our clients. To ensure that we have the most leverage at the negotiating table, we prepare each case as though it will be heard by a judge or jury.

Consider the following case wins to get a quick idea of our courtroom success:

  • A $3 million jury judgment for a woman injured on an airport shuttle vehicle
  • A $1.6 million jury verdict for Jefferson Parish auto accident victim

Our lawyers have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients by litigating hundreds of personal injury cases. We have tried many cases to verdict, and due to our breadth of experience, we are constantly prepared to file a lawsuit to defend our clients.

Call Now to Learn More About the Potential Compensation You Could Be Owed

Your ability to receive a settlement or jury award will be based on numerous factors, including:

  • How serious the injury was
  • The level of negligence on the part of the at-fault party
  • Your recovery time
  • Your lost wages
  • Medical costs

These are just some of the factors that will affect your compensation. We will talk to you about other damages you may have experienced and how you can be compensated for them.

Regardless of the specifics of your case, there is one thing you can always count on when you choose Huber Thomas Law: We create a unique strategy for every case to work toward the best possible outcome. Contact our office today to request a consultation with a personal injury attorney in New Orleans.

Car accidentscar accident attorney new orleans are overwhelming and exhausting. In the minutes and hours after a crash, you’re probably shaken up and grateful to be alive. However, injuries and property damage quickly become daunting issues. From mounting bills to calls from the insurance company, there is a lot to juggle.

To make matters more difficult, anything you say may be used against you. This is why it’s essential to have the best car accident attorney New Orleans has to offer.

Read on for details regarding the when, why, and how of choosing a lawyer to represent you after a Louisiana car accident.

What Is the Role of A Car Accident Lawyer?

Lawyers spend years learning the intricate details of different types of law. For a car accident attorney in New Orleans, that means an extensive focus on Louisiana driving regulations. Plus, any nuanced variables that have an effect on New Orleans specifically.

Here are a few ways a car accident lawyer in New Orleans may assist you after an accident:

  • Informing – Because the average person doesn’t regularly encounter legal jargon, they usually aren’t familiar with their unique rights. A lawyer can help you understand the driving laws in New Orleans, explaining whether you were or were not at fault.
  • Advising – Competing interests can quickly complicate the details surrounding an accident. The other party, witnesses, and insurance companies will all likely have different opinions on what happened. It’s important to sort through the differing opinions with an expert. A well-versed car accident attorney in New Orleans will properly advise you.
  • Negotiating – Very few cases go to court, which means negotiation is an important part of the process of securing compensation. A reputable car accident attorney can handle these meetings with the other party, as well as their lawyers and insurance company. This gives you the opportunity to focus on your recovery.
  • Litigating – In the rare case that an agreement can’t be reached through negotiations, you need an attorney to represent you in court. A lawyer who has walked with you throughout the entire process from day one will have the knowledge to bring forth a strong case. This may help secure the compensation you need for medical bills, damages, lost wages, and much more.

3 Signs You Need a Car Accident Attorney

Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to recover from an accident. The good news is, a New Orleans car accident lawyer can be incredibly helpful in these situations.

Here are three instances that definitely require legal representation after a car accident:

  • You were injured in the accident
  • Your passenger(s) were injured in the accident
  • There’s significant and costly property damage

When these factors are at play in a car accident, there will be higher claims. This goes for both medical costs and vehicle repairs or replacement. Compensation to cover these expenses is crucial. An attorney’s job is to look at all of the factors to ensure your settlement covers all of these costs, allowing you to get back to your life.

Alternatively, if you were in a minor accident, but feel overwhelmed by the claims process, you should also contact an attorney. There are times when insurance companies and other parties do not cooperate or act fairly. When you feel in over your head, it’s important to ask for help.

What To Look For In A Car Accident Lawyer

Finding a car accident attorney in New Orleans is easy when you know what to look for. Likewise, most attorneys will provide free consultations. This allows you to have a few meetings and make a choice based on who made you feel the most comfortable.

It’s also important to note that most attorneys will take your case on contingency. That means you won’t pay anything upfront unless the attorney helps you win your case or reaches a fair settlement.

Here are important characteristics to look for in a New Orleans car accident lawyer.

Availability

Organization and availability are crucial when it comes to running a law practice. The attorney you work with should have lines of communication open at all times. Look for a law firm that has a team of legal assistants who are available to provide updates on your case when you need them the most. Likewise, you should be able to schedule a meeting within a reasonable amount of time if you need a face-to-face update.

Experience

Although education is important, nothing can compare to experience. Your team should have many years of work experience in the area of automobile accidents. This allows for a unique perspective and familiarity with traffic laws that are at play after a Louisiana car accident. It’s also important to hire an attorney with extensive courtroom experience in the event that your case requires litigation.

Honesty

It’s important to know the prospects of your case before things get underway. Your New Orleans car accident lawyer should be open and honest about the following:

  • What type of evidence it will take to build a strong case
  • How much compensation you should seek
  • Whether it appears you have any fault in the accident

Your attorney should be upfront about your case from day one. This will allow for the best possible settlement.

Positive reviews

The best compliment is a glowing reference. Search for a legal team that has great online reviews on websites like Avvo and Google, as well as positive testimonials.

When you read through reviews or talk with references, previous clients should note that the attorneys were honest and helpful. As previously mentioned, you also want to look for lawyers who are known for being present and ready to answer their client’s questions with minimal follow-up time.

Huber Thomas Law: Your Partner After a Louisiana Car Accident

After an accident, you need the best car accident attorney New Orleans has to offer. Here at Huber Thomas Law, we provide legal assistance that is approachable. Our goal is to help make sense of the jargon and walk you through every step of the process. Here is what sets us apart from the competition and makes us the best team in town.

Our process and approach

The collaborative team at Huber Thomas Law has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our unique approach allows us to build cases that result in fair and equitable outcomes.

Although you will have a specific attorney assigned to your case, you will benefit from an entire team of lawyers. By joining together with multiple unique viewpoints and skillsets, our entire team contributes to the end goal. This helps us take your case to the next level.

Further, we have a reputable portfolio of crash experts. These individuals help us recreate scenes, while also shedding light on the unique elements of a crash. This is particularly important in the event that your case goes to court.

Case victories

As previously mentioned, the majority of cases involving car accidents settle outside of court. In fact, 95% of them reach a conclusion through negotiations. Court battles are expensive and time-consuming, which is why it’s never the preferred route.

That said, we are committed to securing fair settlements for our clients, no matter what it takes. We prepare for every case as if it will go before a judge or jury to ensure maximum power at the negotiating table.

For a quick view of our success in the courtroom, consider the following case victories:

Our attorneys have litigated hundreds of cases arising from automobile accidents and secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We have taken numerous cases to trial, and based on our depth of experience, we are always ready to pursue litigation to protect our clients

Call Huber Thomas Law Today

car accident attorney in new orleansIf you are caught up in the aftermath of a car accident, legal representation may help you secure the settlement you deserve.

At Huber Thomas Law, we offer a free and confidential consultation in order to assess your case. We represent clients in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and other states across the country.

Schedule a meeting today to find out more about how our team can help you.

From dangerous hurricanes to tropical storms, the Gulf South often bears the brunt of natural

property damage claims

disasters. The result is destruction that affects homes, businesses, and major resources. These losses underscore the importance of having a comprehensive insurance policy that includes coverage for property damage.

Unfortunately, insurance jargon can be difficult to comb through, especially after disaster strikes. At Huber Thomas Law, we know how to handle property damage claims, and we can walk you through the process. Here’s what you should know about your rights and securing the compensation you’re owed.

What Is Considered Property Damage?

Property damage is defined as an injury to real or personal property. Real property is land and anything permanently attached to it, such as a house. Fortunately, property owners can obtain insurance to protect against the risks associated with these damages. Here are some of the most common types of property damage claims, especially in Louisiana and the surrounding states.

Hurricane damage

Hurricanes are perhaps the largest weather threat in Louisiana, as well as the entire Gulf South region. Driving rain and high winds come together to create catastrophic damage. Hurricane Laura, the most recent hurricane to date, destroyed more than 500,000 homes and businesses. From roofs torn off buildings to electrical fires, these weather events have deadly and disastrous potential.

Flood damage

It only takes an inch of floodwater to cause more than $25,000 in damage. Whether it’s carpet or hardwood, homes and businesses simply can’t withstand that type of moisture. The end result can be any or all of the following:

  • Roof issues, destroyed flooring, and foundation cracks
  • Mold and mildew on flooring, drywall, insulation, and belongings
  • Damaged kitchen appliances
  • Septic and well water clogs due to excess water and debris
  • Damage to electrical wiring

Unfortunately, many homeowners' insurance policies don’t include flood damage. This coverage is provided through a separate policy.

Fire damage

Fires can happen in the blink of an eye. Space heaters and cooking mishaps make them a possibility anywhere. Downed power lines and wildfires are other causes that are commonly cited in property damage claims.

Fire-related property damage examples are broken into two categories. The first is primary damage due to the flames, but secondary damage often occurs due to smoke and the water used to put out the fire.

Tornado damage

Louisiana and other nearby states ranked among the top 10 states that fell victim to tornadoes in 2021. The high winds associated with a tornado can damage buildings, or even level them. Even the lowest-ranked tornado, an EF 0 sustains winds of up to 85 mph. This can lead to broken branches and downed trees that fall onto homes, causing significant property damage.

Willful damage

Vandalism is another aspect of property damage law that is difficult to deal with. Whether it’s your home or business, deliberate destruction is costly. Any intentional act to destroy or damage your property is unacceptable.

Examples include:

  • Broken windows
  • Arson
  • Cutting down trees without permission
  • Graffiti or tagging
  • Mailbox or signage tampering

The Property Damage Insurance Claims Process: 5 Things To Know

Damage to your home or business is devastating. To make matters worse, many insurance companies make the property damage claims process frustrating. It seems they’ll do everything they can to avoid paying out a fair settlement. In these cases, knowledge is power. Here are 5 important things to know about how to handle property damage claims.

1. You must report the incident as soon as possible

Property damage claims generally take time. From that first call to receiving a payout, it can be weeks or even months. Nonetheless, it’s essential to get in touch with your insurance company as soon as you’ve assessed the damage. Your policy may actually provide guidance regarding how much time you have.

This first phone call doesn’t have to be lengthy. In most cases, you’ll simply provide information that helps the employee locate your policy, and answer questions about what happened. You’ll also provide details about the damage and how extensive it is. From there, the company will most likely assign an employee to your case and have that individual touch base at a later date.

As always, be open and honest about the property damage and what caused it.

2. It’s important to document everything

After you’ve contacted your insurance company, take photos and thoroughly document the damage. Be sure to get clear photos from different angles. A video is also helpful in certain situations. Keep a log of the property damage, how it appears, and how it changes (if at all) as the days go on.

If you’re reading this before you’re in the midst of property damage claims, it’s a good time to do a value assessment of your home. If you’ve recently invested in a renovation or have acquired high-value items since you first purchased insurance, be sure to update your policy. This will help you secure the compensation you need in the event of a disaster.

3. Your adjuster is an important piece of the puzzle

Once you’ve filed a claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. This individual likely has experience assessing many different types of property damage claims, including ones similar to yours. This person will investigate the damage, negotiate the coverage you receive, and hopefully resolve the claim.

While adjusters are sympathetic to what you’re going through, it’s important to remember that they work for your insurance company. Try to foster a cordial relationship with this person. Do your best to remain professional and courteous, even when you disagree with certain conclusions.

As always, dealing with adjusters and other insurance representatives can be draining. This is why it’s ideal to have a property damage lawyer in your corner.

4. Major local disasters may result in a different process

When a major disaster hits an entire geographical region, the process of securing insurance money can be different.

For one, there may be public adjusters offering to assess your property damage. These individuals work for policyholders, rather than insurance companies. However, it’s important to know that there are fees associated with using a public adjuster.

Further, in the event that your damages exceed the amount of coverage you receive, federal agencies may provide grants or low-interest loans. These are designed to aid in recovery efforts after a major disaster.

Again, a skilled property damage attorney is your best bet for navigating after a major local disaster.

5. An experienced property damage attorney can help

Property damage claims should be simple and straightforward. You pay your insurance premium with the expectation that your insurance company will cover costs when you need it the most. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. After decades of experience navigating property damage law, we’ve been disappointed to see many insurance companies act in bad faith.

Hiring a property damage attorney is beneficial for many reasons. Consider the following:

  • Your attorney will handle all communication with the insurance company, which means you won’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing.
  • A lawyer may enlist experts from a range of different industries to build a strong case regarding your losses.

In the event that negotiations aren’t successful, your lawyer can represent you in court with full knowledge of prior events and correspondence.

Huber Thomas Law: Your Property Damage Attorneys

At Huber Thomas Law, we believe in holding insurance providers accountable. We will thoroughly review your property damage claims, pinpointing exactly what you’re entitled to. We lean on guidance from the attorneys within our own team, as well as the expertise of property damage inspectors. This approach allows us to build a winning case that will help us secure the money you need to repair or replace your property.

Our courtroom success stories

The team at Huber Thomas Law has decades of combined experience in the courtroom. We are diligent and unrelenting when it comes to pursuing fair settlements for our clients. Simply put, our previous case victories speak for themselves. Highlights related to property damage law include:

  • $26.2 million settlement for owners of a Louisiana high-rise office building that suffered extensive hurricane damage
  • $4 million in a jury verdict for a retail center owner after another Gulf South hurricane
  • More than $15 million in settlements for Hurricane Laura and Delta homeowners

To read through more of our success stories in a range of different practice areas, we invite you to review our case victories.

Don’t let property damage devastate your family or business. Huber Thomas Law will serve as your tireless advocate every step of the way. We represent clients in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and across the nation. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.

Consultation and Mediation of business team arguing over commercial-disputes

Litigation is defined as the process of taking legal action. From individuals to companies, the issues that lead to litigation are usually solved through mediation, formal arguments in a court hearing, or trial.

When it comes to business litigation, the issues at hand involve business entities, such as companies and their employees. Likewise, the parties involved may also be sole proprietors or even business partners.

These lawsuits require extensive evidence in the form of documentation, as well as research and witnesses. What’s more, it can take years to reach a settlement, especially when large sums of money are at stake. The good news is, that a business litigation attorney can assist when these issues arise.

Types Of Business Litigation

From workplace discrimination to a breach of contract allegations, business litigation encompasses a wide range of different issues. Some may involve a large company with hundreds of employees. Others may be an issue between a single employee and a small family-owned business. Here are some of the most common examples of issues that lead to a need for business litigation services.

Employment

We spend much of our lives doing our jobs, so perhaps it’s no surprise that employment issues are common. Most of these issues require us to navigate both federal and state law. Examples of employment disputes include, but are not limited to:

  • Issues over wages, hours, and breaks
  • Workplace harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful termination or retaliation
  • Breach of non-compete or nondisclosure agreements
  • FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) violations

Don’t see your particular employment issue listed here? Please note, that this is not an exhaustive list. At Huber Thomas, we understand that every industry and workplace is unique. Contact us to learn more about how we may represent you in a business litigation case.

Partnership

In some cases, the issue isn’t between an employer and employee, but between business partners. Issues may arise over misappropriated funds, wrongful activity, or simple disagreements regarding how to run the company.  These claims often involve one partner breaching a fiduciary duty to another partner.

While the perfect scenario would be internal problem solving, some disagreements become full-blown feuds. This type of case requires a business litigation attorney to represent the interests of each party.

Breach of contract

Contracts are a part of everyday life, especially in the world of business. Terms of employment and transactions for services are just a few aspects of companies that are contractual in nature.

The success of your business depends on everyone fulfilling the obligations they are contracted for. Unfortunately, breaches of contract are common, and they can have a serious impact on all parties.

This is another area of business law that can vary greatly from state to state. For this reason, it’s important to have an experienced business litigation attorney in your corner. This person can properly navigate the issues at hand and build a case for companies and/or individual parties.

Intellectual property

Businesses and independent contractors depend on the right to own intellectual property. This is often the reputation an entire career is built upon. It’s also the source of continued revenue and financial stability. Examples include:

  • Trade secrets – Confidential business information that gives you an edge against other companies in your industry
  • Trademarks – Words, symbols, or colors that distinctly differentiate your brand from other competitors
  • Copyrights – Rights to distribute your intellectual property, such as software, graphic arts, books, etc.
  • Patents – Utility or design rights to an invention that prevents others from stealing your ideas

To learn more about your rights when it comes to these types of intellectual property, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office.

Class actions or product liability

For businesses providing products or services, there is a lot of pressure and responsibility. Even with the best processes in place, issues may arise. When many customers, clients, or even employees have been affected, the result can be a class-action lawsuit.

Examples include:

  • Injuries or illness due to a product
  • Data breaches
  • Employment practices

These types of lawsuits can be devastating for a business as they drain finances and consume a lot of time. A business litigation attorney can help you protect and defend your business by building a strong case. If settlements are necessary, you will have someone to advise you and help negotiate a fair sum.

Why Hire A Business Litigation Lawyer?

Lawsuits take time and money. Unfortunately, it’s common for legal battles to drag on for years. This is both costly and exhausting. Don’t let this complicated process distract from your career and disrupt your personal life.

A business litigation lawyer will handle the delicate process of navigating a lawsuit. From filing papers with the court system to communicating with the other party, your attorney will bear the burden for you.

In most cases, you can expect your attorney to:

  • Research the facts, circumstances, and documentation
  • Determine what type of experts or witnesses will be necessary
  • Identify case law and any prior lawsuits that have set a precedent
  • Communicate with the other party and/or their legal counsel
  • Schedule and coordinate court dates in addition to preparing briefs for submission

When you have legal representation, you can focus on keeping your business or career on track. A business litigation lawyer is one of the best investments you can make when you’re facing a lawsuit. This advice stands for both plaintiffs and defendants.

What is the difference between business litigation and corporate law?

The legal industry is incredibly diverse. In addition to various areas of practice, lawyers also separate when it comes to litigation and corporate law. What is the difference? In theory, one spends more time in the courtroom than the other.

Business litigation attorneys spend the vast majority of time tied up in legal battles. Whether they’re in the courtroom or in mediation, they’re actively dealing with lawsuits. If you are planning to sue, or you’re being sued, you want a litigator in your corner. These attorneys have the experience necessary to help companies and individuals win cases.

On the other hand, corporate law is a term that encompasses advising and preparing a business. They will draft contracts, provide advice on business structuring, and help business owners understand their legal obligations. This is an important practice that usually calls for an ongoing relationship between a business owner and a legal team or adviser.

Huber Thomas Law: Your Business Litigation Team

business litigation lawyerBusiness litigation is no easy feat, regardless of how big or small the issues are. When you’re facing this type of lawsuit, you need a team of experts you can trust.

At Huber Thomas Law, we have extensive knowledge and experience on our side. In addition to working tirelessly for our clients, we make it our mission to clearly explain the legal process. Business litigation often involves confusing jargon and lengthy contracts. Our attorneys will take the time to clearly explain everything you need to know.

What Sets Us Apart

When you partner with Huber Thomas Law, you benefit from a collaborative approach that yields victorious results. Our entire team of highly-experienced business litigation attorneys will work together, bringing individual unique knowledge to the table. This diversity allows us to see a case from several different angles.

In reality, most cases settle outside of court. Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, even for the largest corporations. This is why mediation and negotiating are the first choice for most individuals and companies. That said, we still prepare for every case as if it is going before a jury or judge. This means thorough research and expert witnesses help us build your case, resulting in better chances of securing the compensation you deserve.

Our Case Victories

We take great pride in our case victories because they demonstrate tireless efforts that produce serious results. We’ve helped our clients secure millions of dollars in a range of different business litigation cases, including:

  • Over $50 million in assets for a business owner who was defrauded by business partners and employees
  • A $7 million jury award for a business owner who was unjustly written out of a business deal by his partners
  • $3 million for a client who suffered extensive damages from a failed joint business venture
  • $42 million for victims harmed by home health companies and physicians committing Medicare fraud

To learn more about how we can assist in your case, we encourage you to read about our previous success stories.

Schedule A Consultation

It’s normal to feel anxious when legal troubles are on the horizon. At Huber Thomas, our goal is to take that burden on for you. With our team of business litigation attorneys, you won’t have to worry about the outcome of your case. Are you living outside of Louisiana? Members of our team are licensed to practice in Mississippi, Texas, and Washington D.C. If you’d like to discuss the details of your case, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation. This is the best way to determine the next steps that will help you reach a conclusion.

From festivals to football games, it seems there are always opportunities to enjoy alcohol in Louisiana. Unfortunately, there are people who take the risk of getting behind the wheel after drinking. The results of drunk driving accidents can be devastating, often resulting in serious injuries and even death.

At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, our attorneys always aim to remind people the cost of drinking and driving is too high. However, even with the best intentions, we can’t control everyone else on the road. If you notice a driver has little control over their vehicle or delayed reactions, they may be under the influence.

Accidents with drunk drivers require a timely response. Here’s what you should know if you ever find yourself in this serious type of incident.

How Common Are Accidents with Drunk Drivers?

drunk driving accidentsAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every day. That amounts to one person every 52 minutes. While this is on a national level, the numbers aren’t much better in the state of Louisiana. In fact, authorities recorded 216 alcohol-impaired fatalities and close to 6,000 DUI arrests in 2018.

How do drunk drivers cause these accidents? Every situation is unique, but we know that drinking alcohol can cause blurred vision, delayed reactions, and poor coordination. Some common types of drunk driving accidents include:

  • Wrong-way accidents where drunk drivers can’t accurately comprehend which side of the road to drive on
  • Head-on collisions resulting from drowsy drunk drivers who veer into oncoming traffic
  • Rear-end accidents because drunk drivers can’t accurately determine distances

All of these drunk driving accidents can have deadly consequences. Likewise, it’s not uncommon for pedestrians to fall victim to drunk drivers who don’t see them crossing the road.

When someone makes the decision to drive impaired, they aren’t just putting their own life at risk. Everyone on the road can fall victim to their actions. When do most drunk driving accidents happen? According to Department of Transportation research, 31% of fatal drunk driving accidents take place over the weekend. Further, drunk drivers are most likely to be on the road between midnight and 3:00 a.m.

What to Do If You've Been in An Accident with A Drunk Driver

A car accident is always frightening, regardless of the details, but accidents with drunk drivers are even more challenging. Try to stay calm and follow these steps to secure your physical and financial safety.

Take note of important identifying information

If you suspect the driver in an accident is drunk, it’s important to jot down identifying information.

It’s not uncommon for drunk drivers to flee the scene of a crash. This is why it’s critical you take note of the make, model, and color of the vehicle, as well as the license plate number.

If you can see what the driver looks like, even better. These details will help you if the driver does leave the scene before police arrive.

Call the police

Next, find a safe place to park while you call for help. Make your way to the shoulder of the road or an adjacent parking lot to ensure you’re out of traffic. If the accident has occurred at night, remember to turn on your hazard lights for increased visibility.

Call 911 and ask for an officer to come to the scene. If you or someone has been injured, tell the operator that you also need emergency medical assistance. If you suspect the driver is drunk, share this information with the 911 operator on the line.

Gather any details and evidence

Again, if the driver appears to be under the influence, it may be difficult to communicate in a constructive way. If they are cooperative, ask to take a photo of their driver’s license and insurance card. You can also exchange contact information.

Take photos or a video of the crash from different angles. Include close-up images of damage, as well as a video of the entire scene to provide context. Don’t forget to take photos of skid marks, debris, and other details.

If there are witnesses in the area, gather their contact information and try to record a statement about what they say. This testimony may be important later in the event of a lawsuit.

Seek medical help

Even if you feel completely fine, it’s important to see a doctor for a thorough check-up. Some injuries and medical issues may seem non-existent or minimal at first due to shock, only to worsen later. X-rays and other tests can confirm whether you need medical treatment.

If you are suffering from injuries, be sure to keep detailed records of your medical appointments. Bills can add up quickly and you’ll need a paper trail to get compensation from insurance companies.

Call your insurance company

Let your insurance company know that you’ve been in an accident without providing too many details. Your attorney can provide the necessary information later. Likewise, do not agree to speak with the other party’s insurance company yet.

Hire drunk driving accident attorneys

The aftermath of a car accident is stressful, especially if the other party was intoxicated. In addition to facing a lawsuit from you, they are probably handling DUI charges (and possibly injuries).

By hiring an attorney, you’re actively protecting yourself, especially if you’re in one of the following situations:

  • You or a passenger in your vehicle was injured
  • The other party was injured or killed
  • There is costly property damage

As experts in the field, lawyers can secure the compensation you need to cover property damage and medical bills. The process is less daunting when you have someone in your corner fighting for what you deserve.

From crawfish boils to Mardi Gras parties, there is so much fun to be had in Louisiana. If you’re feeling tipsy after, call a friend, rideshare, or a taxi to pick you up. The risk of drunk driving is too high, as the consequences could be deadly or life-altering.

Beyond the seriousness of an accident, drunk driving is a misdemeanor charge in Louisiana, commonly referred to as a DWI. Penalties for a first offense may include:

  • 10 days to 6 months of jail time
  • $300 to $1,000 in fines
  • Judge-ordered ignition interlock devices (IIDs)
  • License suspension

In short, driving while drunk is simply not worth it.

Huber Thomas & Marcelle: Your Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Most accidents with drunk drivers have devastating results. Perhaps a loved one was killed or you sustained life-altering injuries. Whatever situation you’re in, the drunk driving accident attorneys at Huber Thomas & Marcelle can help. This is not a time when you should have to deal with insurance companies or documents full of legal and medical jargon alone. You need a team you can trust to walk you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve.

Our Approach

An in-depth investigation is the key to securing a victory in the courtroom. Along with police reports and expert witnesses, our team will complete a collision reconstruction. This helps everyone see the extent of an accident and the resulting injuries.

Further, we always schedule interviews with other parties, including doctors, police officers, and witnesses. This important documentation is essential to proving the extent of an accident that has caused serious harm.

Courtroom Success

drunk driving accidentsMost cases involving car accidents will settle outside of court. This is simply due to the expensive and time-consuming nature of a lawsuit. However, the seriousness of drunk driving accidents can often lead to a more prolonged process. Our drunk driving accident attorneys prepare for every case as if it is going before a judge or jury to ensure excellent preparation.

Our previous case victories demonstrate our intensive approach to pursuing fair settlements for our clients. The team at Huber Thomas & Marcelle has litigated hundreds of cases arising from automobile accidents, resulting in millions of dollars for our clients.

Here’s a look at some of our courtroom success stories:

  • $2.3 million for a woman who was injured when an airport shuttle van moved while she was boarding
  • $1.6 million as a result of a jury verdict for a client who underwent back surgery after a car accident in Jefferson Parish

Because of our advanced experience, we are always ready to take a case to trial and fight for our clients. If you or someone you care about is coping with injuries after a drunk driving accident, we can help. To discuss the details of your case, schedule a complimentary consultation today.

After decades of litigation and thousands of consumer complaints, the Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit has finally reached a tipping point. The product is now out of production and the company will pay $2.1 billion to individuals who claim the talc-based product caused their ovarian cancer. Read on for details regarding the ongoing case and find out how Huber Thomas & Marcelle can assist in similar cases.

J&J loses $417 million in California’s first talc verdict case

johnson and johnson baby powder lawsuitIn the 2017 case of Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, the company was ordered by a Los Angeles jury to pay $417 million to 62-year-old Eva Echeverria.

Echeverria started using Johnson and Johnson’s talc powder products when she was 11 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. According to Echeverria’s attorneys, the lawsuit stemmed from the company's alleged ignoring of studies that linked the baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer. Further, they maintain that the company failed to warn customers about the risk.

Today, Johnson and Johnson continues to claim that these allegations do not hold weight when it comes to sufficient scientific evidence. A New Jersey state court tossed out two similar cases set for trial after the judge said that evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer was inadequate. This was a temporary boost in the messaging Johnson and Johnson had attempted to push in fighting related lawsuits.

However, in the end, the $417 million verdict in Los Angeles included $347 million in punitive damages and $70 million in compensatory damages. What’s more, it marked the beginning of clients getting justice in their own Johnson and Johnson lawsuit matters. The trial in Los Angeles was the first before a state jury outside of Missouri. That’s where the company lost four out of five trials over two years, resulting in verdicts as high as $110 million.

Unfortunately, Echeverria passed away shortly after the trial came to an end.

Updates on the Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit

While there was sufficient evidence to uphold the jury’s finding in Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, an appeals court granted the company a new trial in 2019. The Los Angeles-based court cited conflicting evidence about the baby powder’s cancer links.

According to California Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson, Johnson and Johnson could not be held liable for failure to warn, only the subsidiary that manufactured the product would have the duty of disclosing any and all risks. The appeals court also made claims that the evidence failed to support a finding of malice, which is a legal requirement for cases involving punitive damages.

Regardless of her death, Echeverria’s attorney has vowed to follow through and continue the fight, and he’s not alone. In June 2020, a Missouri appeals court ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $2.1 billion to more than two dozen women.

Much like Echeverria’s case, Johnson and Johnson appealed the verdict, requesting the court throw out the decision. Fortunately, the court declined, citing “significant reprehensibility” in the company’s conduct.

Evidence from as far back as the 1960s demonstrated that the company’s talcum products contained asbestos, a known carcinogen. The ruling stated:

“A reasonable inference from all this evidence is that, motivated by profits, defendants disregarded the safety of consumers despite their knowledge the talc in their products caused ovarian cancer.”

The plaintiffs “showed clear and convincing evidence defendants engaged in conduct that was outrageous because of evil motive or reckless indifference,” the court said.

The attorney representing the women noted that several of them passed away before the ruling, as well as immediately after. This has only furthered the mission of attorneys across the U.S. to seek justice for their clients. For those who have suffered from cancer as a result of using these products, each Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit is a critical step in the right direction

Lawsuits lead to a big win for consumers

While different lawsuits for damages are still underway in various states, there has been another recent victory for consumers. In May 2020, Johnson and Johnson announced the discontinuation of talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada.

The company still maintains the position that these lawsuits are the result of confusion and misinformation. However, winding down the commercialization of the baby powder has begun. Existing inventory on the shelves will only remain until it runs out, but production in the U.S. and Canada has stopped.

For consumers, this is exciting news. It demonstrates the important role plaintiffs play in holding companies accountable. This type of victory ensures the safety of adults and children alike as it removes a harmful product from the shelves. There is the hope that production will end worldwide, thus removing these products from shelves globally.

Were you affected?

johnson and johnson baby powder lawsuitAt Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we have years of experience dealing with matters of product liability and harmful products. We pride ourselves on being tireless advocates for our clients when they deserve support. It’s always our goal to help you reach an outcome that will help you move forward with your life.

While we were not directly involved in the original Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit, we can assist in a search for class-action lawsuits that may be available to you. Even as related cases come to a close, there are still more victories to be had.

If you have cancer and believe it may be tied to the use of the products discussed here, you may have grounds for filing a Johnson and Johnson lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more.

Contact Our Team

Our approach to product liability cases in healthcare

The Johnson and Johnson talc lawsuit is particularly noteworthy, but there are many other healthcare and personal care companies facing similar claims of unsafe products.

At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we fight for victims who have been harmed by defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, and other unsafe products. We're prepared to take on large companies by working with a team of world-class experts. Our goal is to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and that those who have done harm are held accountable.

We represent clients in the following types of cases.

Unsafe product claims

Unsafe product claims can involve automobiles, watercraft, children’s toys, child safety seats, industrial machinery, recreational products, tires, safety or sporting equipment, and more. When manufacturing defects, design flaws, and lack of proper warning labels and information lead to injury or harm, compensation may be in order.

For example, Huber Thomas & Marcelle represented hundreds of military service members against 3M for providing allegedly defective earplugs. These claims arise from the fact that the 3M earplugs, distributed as the sole earplug to U.S. military service members between 2003 and 2015, were too short for proper insertion into the ears, putting users at risk for permanent hearing loss, hearing impairment, and tinnitus.

In July 2018, the Department of Justice announced that 3M had agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the earplugs without disclosing defects that hampered their effectiveness.

If you are a service member who was diagnosed with hearing loss and/or tinnitus after serving in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015, we encourage you to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Huber Thomas & Marcelle today. Learn more about this case here.

Pharmaceutical liability

If a drug is irresponsibly marketed, insufficiently tested, or incorrectly prescribed, the outcome can be devastating. The repercussions of dangerous drugs and practices can include birth defects, illness, and even death.

Admittedly, all medications come with a risk of side effects. But one Yale-led study found that “Nearly one out of every three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a new safety issue detected in the years after approval.”

Patients expect prescription medication companies to thoroughly test drugs before they go on the market (and clearly explain their risks). When this doesn't happen, patients may be entitled to compensation from drug companies. This can help cover long-term costs related to:

  • Ongoing medical care
  • Specialized medical equipment
  • Surgeries
  • Lost wages and productivity
  • Emotional and mental health challenges

At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we take these cases seriously because they represent a breach of the trust we hold for our medical professionals. We have advanced experience working with prescription drug injury cases and can advise you on your legal rights.

Defective medical devices

While mistakes happen, manufacturers are obligated to test medical devices extensively before they become a source of serious injury to patients.

Product defects are often the result of rushing a product to market without careful product design and testing. In some cases, individual components are the source of the deficiency. Any device can cause harm, but certain types lead to more adverse events than others.

The Expert Institute found 20 products that lead to the most adverse events. These include:

  • Insulin pumps
  • Blood glucose tests
  • Pacemaker electrodes
  • Coronary stents
  • Surgical mesh
  • Knee prostheses
  • Hip prostheses

If you've been harmed by a company's failure to properly test a product, you could be entitled to compensation. Our team of defective medical device lawyers is committed to helping you understand the complexities of bringing a case like this to court.

We’re here to help

When faced with pursuing litigation, you need a team you can trust.

At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we pride ourselves on being tireless advocates for our clients. We make it our mission to clearly explain everything you need to know. We're always available if you have questions. In fact, we return most calls within 24 hours. With our firm on your side, you can expect help from a team of attorneys with a proven record of success. And, in many cases, you don't pay anything unless we win your case.

You can find more information about our practice areas here, or read answers to some of our most frequently asked questions here. In addition to Louisiana, members of our team are licensed to practice in Mississippi, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York. If you’d like to discuss the details of your case, please contact us for a free consultation.

 

Originally posted on August 22, 2017.

Summer is a wonderful time of year. The weather is warm, school is out, and it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy time with family. Unfortunately, preventable summer accidents are an issue across the U.S. According to the National Safety Council, fatal accidents spike in July and August. From car crashes to drowning, summertime accidents can be dangerous and even deadly. Our team at Huber Thomas & Marcelle compiled these important summer safety tips to keep you and your family safe, no matter where you’re headed this summer.

Avoid summertime accidents in the car

Resources from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration consistently illustrate high fatalities during the summer months. In light of social distancing concerns, it’s possible that even more families will be opting for a road trip over air travel this year.

Keep these tips in mind before you hit the road to keep you and your family safe.

1. Don’t drive during high traffic times

summer-accidentsIf you can, try to drive during times that are less busy. Mornings are generally quieter on the roads, except for Sunday, when people are returning home after the weekend.

When it comes to a long holiday weekend (such as the 4th of July), consider taking a few extra days off to avoid the rush. According to AAA, one of the worst days for travel in multiple metropolitan areas is July 3, typically from 12-4 PM as people leave for their holiday destinations. Nationwide, delays may increase by up to 9% leading to more people on the road, all of them in a hurry to get out of town. That unfortunately means more car accidents.

Other high period times are July 4 afternoon, as people head out to local events, and July 5 when they return home.

2. Focus on the road

There are so many distractions when it comes to driving. Whether you’re trying to look at directions on your phone, driving after a night of little sleep in a new hotel, or listening to your children fight in the backseat, losing focus can be deadly.

Commit to focusing your attention on the road while you’re driving. If possible, have someone navigate for you or use turn-by-turn voice guidance. As always, never text or talk on the phone while driving.

Drowsy driving is just as dangerous. If you're not in shape to drive after a sleepless night, reconsider your plans or ask another driver to take the steering wheel.

3. Be vigilant about drunk driving

Between sun exposure and all-day events, fatigue and dangerously high levels of intoxication can come on fast. Be vigilant about avoiding and preventing drunk driving.

Whether it's you, a family member, or a friend, discuss who will be the designated driver before you leave for an event. This person should avoid all forms of alcohol as they'll have to be vigilant about other drivers on the road.

If everyone in your party wants to drink, book a taxi or rideshare option. Rideshare companies often have more drivers on the road during busy times, ready and available to bring you home. Book one ahead of time to beat the rush after an event or leave at an off-time.

4. Maintain your vehicle

Getting stuck on the side of the road after a breakdown is incredibly dangerous, especially on busy highways. Take your car in for service before you leave on a trip. Oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations will ensure your car is in good condition.

Take this tip a step further by preparing an emergency kit to keep in your trunk. You should always have a cell phone charger, first aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables. Throw in a few water bottles and nonperishable food items as well.

5. Never leave pets or children in the car

On average, 39 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle. Louisiana ranks high on the list of states where this is most prevalent. In many cases, it comes down to confusion over a disrupted routine. Unfortunately, family members often assume that someone else brought the child into the house after a car ride.

Check your car to make sure that everyone is out of the vehicle before going into the house. If you see a child unattended in someone else’s vehicle, call 911 and remove the child immediately.

Be aware of motorcycle dangers

With relaxed schedules and warm days, summer is a great time to go out on a motorcycle ride. Unfortunately, there is always an uptick in motorcyclist deaths during this time of year. Due to a variety of factors, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than car passengers.

This is what you can do to protect yourself if you choose to spend the summertime on your bike.

6. Wear appropriate safety gear

Louisiana requires helmets for all motorcyclists and passengers. Look for a DOT sticker on the inside or outside of your helmet to ensure it meets these safety standards. These helmets provide appropriate shock-absorption and peripheral vision capabilities.

To protect yourself in the case of a motorcycle accident, you should also wear:

  • Clothing that fully covers your arms and legs, in a thick material
  • Boots or shoes that cover up to your ankles or higher
  • Gloves for a better grip and to protect your hands
  • Eye protection, such as a full helmet or goggles
  • Reflective materials for better visibility on the road

7. Do a safety check before each ride

Before you hop on your bike, do a quick safety check. Is the weather conducive to riding? If possible, you should always avoid slippery conditions.

From there, check your tire pressure, brakes, headlights, and turn signals. Make sure all cargo is properly secured and balanced for a smooth ride.

8. Recognize the most common causes of crashes

RideApart offers an excellent resource, along with videos, that explains how to avoid and respond to the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. This knowledge can help you avoid summer accidents on your motorcycle. The most common accidents occur when:

  • Another vehicle turns left in front of you
  • You hit an unsafe or slippery patch of road
  • Another vehicle changes lanes into you
  • Someone opens a car door into your oncoming bike
  • You were traveling too fast
  • Another driver stops suddenly, or rear-ends you
  • Anyone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

This summer be aware of these risks and ready to respond if they occur.

9. Never drive under the influence

When it comes to intoxication, driving a motorcycle is no different than driving a car. Make it a rule to avoid driving if you've had even one drink.

Likewise, avoid driving after any use of prescription sedatives, pain medications, or other drugs. For example, while marijuana may be legal in some states, it can still lead to a change in your driving skills.

10. Practice active awareness during every ride

Riding a motorcycle is fun, but it's also more dangerous. It’s simply more difficult for other drivers in large vehicles to see you. With this in mind, practice being as actively aware as possible. This means:

  • Proceeding cautiously at intersections, where most accidents take place
  • Keeping your headlights on at all times to increase your visibility
  • Leaving plenty of braking distance between yourself and other vehicles
  • Using extra caution in heavy traffic or inclement weather
  • Watching ahead for any potholes, gravel, or puddles

Stay accident free while boating

summer accidentsBoating is a popular summer activity in Louisiana and other Gulf states. While it’s a great way to cool off and enjoy time on the water, boating can also be dangerous. In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,291 boating incidents that resulted in 658 deaths and 2,629 injuries.

Here are our tips for staying accident free while boating.

11. Always watch the weather

Keep an eye on the forecast before you head out for a day of boating. Summer is also hurricane season, which can be a serious concern when you’re on the water. Even a little rain can be incredibly dangerous. Reschedule if there's any change in the forecast.

Once you’re out on the water, be consistently aware of your surroundings. Storm clouds or a sudden temperature drop can result in high winds and risky conditions. If you find yourself in this situation, get off the water as soon as possible.

12. Take a boating safety course

Many people assume that operating a boat is similar to driving a car. How hard can it be? This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The U.S. Coast Guard recommends enrolling in a boating safety course before you get behind the throttle. These courses are offered for all types of recreational boaters. The most popular basic courses generally have six to 13 lessons that cover everything from boat handling to reading the weather.

Beyond these courses, boating laws can vary from state to state. Familiarize yourself with specific regulations based on where you’re traveling.

13. Wear a life jacket

While life jacket regulations vary from state to state, all boaters should opt to wear one, even good swimmers! It’s easy to become disoriented after falling off a boat, especially if you’ve been injured. A life jacket will help you avoid drowning in the case of a serious accident.

When it comes to children, life jackets should be mandatory at all times. Always use life jackets that are U.S. Coast Guard approved and fit correctly.

14. Avoid alcohol

Like driving a car, operating a boat while under the influence is illegal. You could face jail time, fines, and even have your driver’s license suspended.

In worst case scenarios, drinking while operating a boat can lead to accidents that result in serious or even fatal injuries. Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. Even one drink puts everyone at risk as the nature of boating magnifies the side effects of drinking.

If you’re in control of the boat, it’s best to simply stay hydrated with water. Be mindful of how much your passengers are drinking to ensure everyone stays safe while on board.

15. Be cautious while participating in water sports

Boating and water sports go hand in hand! From water skiing to tubing, summer sports are fun for the whole family. Take these necessary steps to ensure a safe day:

  • Learn how to safely use a tow rope
  • Always have a spotter using hand signals and a flag to indicate when someone is in the water
  • Wait for the propeller to stop before getting in or out of the water

Get help after a summertime accident

Even while closely following these tips, summer accidents can still happen. If another party was involved, and you’re searching for a motorcycle or car accident lawyer, our team at Huber Thomas & Marcelle can help. We are also skilled in boating and other maritime legal matters.

Our team is dedicated to helping victims recover after an accident, no matter the circumstances. We represent clients in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and nationwide. We can walk you through your legal options if you've recently been in an accident.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

An open road with the wind streaming past you on a motorcycle can be one of life's great joys. However, as every motorcyclist knows, there are very real risks to this activity. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May is a great time to spread awareness about ways motorcyclists can stay safe on roads across Louisiana and the U.S.

At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we're dedicated to making sure your time on the open road is as safe and enjoyable as possible. That's why we compiled this list of tips on motorcycle safety, for both motorcyclists and others on the road. Please share it with others to help make our roads safer for all.

Why is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month so important?

With relaxed schedules, long vacations, and beautiful days, summer is a great time to go out on a ride. Unfortunately, this means there's also an increase in motorcyclist deaths during this time of year.

Over 60% of all motorcyclist deaths in 2018 took place between May through September, with fatalities peaking in June. Due to a variety of factors, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than car passengers.

There is some good news: public awareness efforts are working.

In 2018, there was an almost 5% decrease in motorcyclist fatalities. This followed a dip in 2017 as well. For each of those nearly 5,000 riders, though, every single death was one too many. This is what you can do to help protect yourself and others on the road.

1. Follow Louisiana motorcycle laws

If you've ridden across different states, you know that motorcycle laws vary widely across the U.S. For example, most states have helmet laws in place but only cover underage riders. Other states, like Illinois and Iowa, have no helmet requirements at all.

We're thankful that Louisiana is a state that requires helmets for all motorcyclists and passengers. Even if you live in a state without this law, you should absolutely wear a DOT-compliant helmet as they're the best way to protect yourself from a traumatic head injury or death. In 2017, helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives.

Other Louisiana motorcycle laws stipulate that you must:

  • Complete a road rules and skills test to receive a motorcycle endorsement
  • Wear appropriate eye protection while driving, such as goggles or safety glasses, unless you have a proper windshield or full helmet
  • Never overtake or pass other vehicles in the same lane (a practice known as lane-splitting)
  • Keep both hands on your handlebars while driving

Further, you can only carry passengers if your motorcycle was made for multiple people. Children must be five years or older, in an appropriate seat.

2. Be alert to the most common causes of crashes

Motorcycle crashes most commonly occur when:

  • Another vehicle turns left in front of you
  • You hit an unsafe or slippery patch of road
  • Another vehicle changes lanes into you
  • Someone opens a car door into your oncoming bike
  • You were traveling too fast
  • Another driver stops suddenly, or rear-ends you
  • Anyone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

RideApart offers an excellent resource, along with videos, that explains how to avoid and respond to the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. We recommend reading and watching these videos in full, whether you're a new or experienced driver.

3. Never drive under the influence

We're noting this twice because it's that important.

At night, up to 46% of all motorcyclist fatalities occur when the motorcyclist had a BAC above the legal limit of 0.08%. Never drink and drive. Make it a rule to avoid driving if you've had even one drink.

Likewise, avoid driving after any use of prescription sedatives, pain medications, or other drugs. For example, while marijuana may be legal in some states, it can still lead to a change in your driving skills.

4. Know your risks

Before you ever step up to your bike, be aware of and proactive about your specific risks.

If you're an inexperienced driver, plan to ride in slower, safer conditions until you build your skills. If you're on a newer bike, get used to it off the road and, again, practice in safer conditions until you build confidence.

Age also plays a role in motorcycle accidents. Those 50 years and older made up 36% of all motorcycle fatalities in 2017, up from 14% in 1997. The reasons for this are many. Often, older drivers are "re-entry riders." They rode when they were younger and assume that they still know how to handle a bike. With more traffic, more powerful bikes, and diminished physical skills, this simply isn't the case.

If you're an older adult who hasn't ridden in a while, it pays to take a safety class to refresh your skills. Follow the other safety tips too, like getting used to your bike and practicing in safer areas before hitting the open road.

Finally, know that riding with a passenger takes much more skill. You can learn how to ride safely with a passenger here.

5. Wear appropriate safety gear

We already discussed how DOT-compliant helmets can save lives. These helmets provide appropriate shock-absorption and peripheral vision capabilities. Look for a DOT sticker on the inside or outside of your helmet to ensure it meets safety standards. You can learn more about choosing a helmet here.

To protect yourself in the case of an accident, you should also wear:

  • Clothing that fully covers your arms and legs in a thick material, like leather
  • Boots or shoes that cover up to your ankles or higher
  • Gloves for a better grip and to protect your hands
  • Eye protection, such as a full helmet or goggles
  • Reflective materials for better visibility

6. Do a safety check before each ride

You've received your motorcycle endorsement, practiced in a secure area, and found the right safety gear. Even so, you should still do a quick safety check before each ride. At the very least check:

  • The weather to ensure there won't be any slippery or unsafe conditions
  • Your tire pressure
  • Your bike's brakes, headlights, and signal indicators
  • For any signs of oil or gas leaks
  • That any cargo is properly secured and balanced
  • That your protective gear is in good shape and worn correctly

7. Practice active awareness during every ride

Finally, if you drive a motorcycle, always ride responsibly and as actively aware as possible. This means:

  • Watching ahead for any potholes, gravel, or puddles
  • Proceeding cautiously at intersections, where most accidents take place
  • Keeping your headlights on at all times to increase your visibility
  • Leaving plenty of braking distance between yourself and other vehicles
  • Using extra caution in heavy traffic or inclement weather

Not sure if you're aware of the best ways to protect yourself out there? We highly recommend taking a safety class. The Louisiana State Police offer a variety of motorcycle training programs, ranging from basic rider courses to more advanced lessons. There are a variety of other high-quality safety programs as well.

8. Practice motorcycle awareness on the road

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is about reducing accidents and raising awareness about motorcycles with all drivers. Even if you don't drive a motorcycle, you can do your part to help all people on the road arrive at their destination safely.

Here's how:

  • Practice caution when approaching a left turn, ensuring you use your turn signal and the road is clear of motorcyclists or allowing them to pass before turning
  • Become aware of motorcycle turning and braking patterns
  • Give motorcyclists the same (or more) space as you do other vehicles, allowing them a full lane width
  • Yield to motorcyclists and give them plenty of space—even the smallest nudge can lead to a crash
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcyclists before changing lanes or making turns
  • Avoiding any and all distractions while driving, such as texting, eating, or playing with your car radio

The Washington Motorcycle Safety Program released a video that shows how to be more aware of motorcyclists on the road. It gives good examples of what to look for and motorcycle movement patterns.

Get help after a motorcycle accident

Even if you practice all of these safety guidelines, you could still be in an accident. Unfortunately, an earlier report notes that in two-thirds of passenger car and motorcycle collisions, the car violated the motorcyclist's right-of-way.

If the worst happens, there is help.

At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we're dedicated to helping victims recover after an accident. We’re tireless advocates for our clients, helping you secure the compensation you need to cover any long-term costs after an accident. We also help you make sense of the insurance claims process. You can learn more about our approach to motorcycle accidents here.

If you've recently been in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We can walk you through your legal options.