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New Orleans is a walkable city – a feature that both locals and tourists enjoy. The ability to walk through our oak tree-lined thoroughfares and bustling centers of nightlife is a facet of our rich culture. In our city, walking is often easier than driving, especially when you’re heading to the parade route or a French Quarter hot spot.

Yet there are risks that this walkability poses. In recent years, New Orleans has seen more deaths and injuries for pedestrians and motorists alike. This trend isn’t only happening locally. It also follows a trend seen nationally in many U.S. cities. It is alarming to consider that something as enjoyable as walking can become a risk in so many bustling areas of the country.

New Orleans Street with pedestrians and carsHowever, you may be wondering what is causing this increase in injuries and fatalities locally. Recently, city officials have cited a rise in distracted and impaired driving and an increase in larger vehicles on the road. With bigger cars on the roadways, you can imagine there is a higher likelihood of fatality for pedestrians.

With these risks in mind, pedestrians must practice extra caution when navigating our city streets. It may seem benign to quickly cross Magazine Street, hopping from store to store on such a walkable road. However, many locals and visitors may forget the immense threat jaywalking poses. We field many questions regarding this topic, including:

What exactly is jaywalking?

Is jaywalking illegal in New Orleans?

Why is jaywalking illegal?

Do pedestrians have the right-of-way in Louisiana?

What do I do if I was involved in a pedestrian accident?

As a law firm specializing in personal injury, we are your go-to source for questions like these. Read on to learn more about jaywalking and the risks it poses to pedestrians and motorists alike.

What is jaywalking?

Jaywalking is the act of crossing a street where and when it is unlawful to do so. Pedestrians are expected to follow traffic signals and use designated crosswalks safely. Examples of jaywalking include the following:

  • Crossing the road outside of designated crosswalks or intersections (mid-block)
  • Disobeying traffic signals, such as the red hand or “Do Not Walk” symbol
  • Crossing where it disrupts the normal flow of traffic
  • Walking where pedestrian traffic is prohibited

Jaywalking can be dangerous for pedestrians and motorists alike. In the scenarios above, a moving vehicle may have little chance to stop or swerve to avoid a collision. Many jurisdictions provide fines or citations to pedestrians who jaywalk as a means of preventing accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

What is the legality of jaywalking in New Orleans?

The New Orleans Code of Ordinances has several statements on what is and isn’t permitted regarding pedestrian and vehicle flow. In summary, jaywalking is illegal when:

  1. There is an opportunity to safely cross at the nearest two intersections via a crosswalk and/or pedestrian signals.
  2. It is impossible for the oncoming vehicle to stop or yield.
  3. One is within our city’s business districts.

It is important for pedestrians to keep local ordinances in mind when walking around our city. Crossing mid-block in the Central Business District without using crosswalks or traffic signals may not seem dangerous. However, these safety measures are in place for a reason. We’ll get into why jaywalking is illegal in the next section.

Why is jaywalking illegal?

There are a few reasons why jaywalking is considered illegal. Many people consider safety as the top priority, but there are other lesser-known priorities as well.


Traffic laws are in place to protect the lives of those using the road, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Crossing the road in unsafe locations can increase the risk of accidents and collisions, leading to injury and/or death. By making jaywalking illegal, we can better ensure our streets continue to be walkable and safe.

Flow of Traffic

In large, bustling cities, the flow of traffic can easily be disrupted. Traffic laws are in place to ensure an efficient movement of traffic. If pedestrians were allowed to unexpectedly cross the road, the flow of traffic could be easily disrupted by congestion and potential accidents.


Traffic laws and signals establish a sense of predictability for everyone on the road. By following these designated pathways, we can better anticipate the movement of others. Unpredictable roadways could lead to confusion and danger for everyone involved.

What makes jaywalking dangerous in New Orleans?

To consider the danger of jaywalking, we must first consider the inherent risks of being a pedestrian. In New Orleans, traffic accidents as a whole are on the rise. City officials recently revealed that there was a 32% increase in traffic fatalities between 2020 and 2021.

This is alarming for those who want to walk around our beautiful city. From 2020 to 2021, pedestrian fatalities increased from 11 to 21, doubling year-over-year. In 2022, 71 deaths from traffic accidents occurred. Half of these were pedestrians.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. saw over 7,000 pedestrian fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in 2020. That year, pedestrians made up one out of every six traffic accident deaths.

There are several factors that increase the risk of pedestrian injury and death. The CDC has identified the following risk factors:

  1. Alcohol impairment by the driver and/or pedestrian
  2. Increased vehicle speed by the driver
  3. Urban environments
  4. Roadways afar from the nearest intersection
  5. Nighttime

As enchanting as our rich nightlife is in New Orleans, you can see how it poses major risks for motorists and pedestrians alike. For pedestrians in particular, the risk of injury or death increases when disobeying traffic laws and jaywalking into oncoming traffic.

With the growth in reckless driving and the number of larger vehicles on the road, pedestrians and drivers alike must practice caution. Accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles can cause injuries and fatalities – and make our streets less safe. When walking around our cultured city, pedestrians must consider the risks of jaywalking.

Do pedestrians have the right-of-way in Louisiana?

You may be wondering, “If jaywalking is illegal, when do pedestrians have the right-of-way in New Orleans?” A pedestrian will have the right-of-way when:

  1. Traffic signals suggest it is safe to walk.
  2. Crossing via a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

The pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to vehicles when:

  1. Crossing a street outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  2. Traffic signals suggest it is not safe to walk.

However, there are stipulations that motorists must keep in mind. While it is illegal for a pedestrian to jaywalk or fail to yield to a vehicle, drivers of motor vehicles are still expected to practice caution. We’ll get into the reasons why in the next sections.

What should I do if I was a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle?

Granted that you’ve sought medical attention, recorded all relevant information from the accident, and reported the incident to authorities and your insurance company, seeking legal counsel should be your next priority.

It is important to find an attorney that specializes in personal injury and understands the traffic regulations in New Orleans. Your legal team will be able to review the facts of the case, including where, when, and how the accident occurred. This includes determining whether you as a pedestrian crossed the roadway lawfully.

At Huber Thomas Law, we specialize in recovering damages for injured parties. We understand that you may be navigating stressors, including sustained injuries, expensive medical bills, and an overall loss in quality of life. We aim to take the burden of seeking compensation off of your shoulders.

When you want to take legal action, we'll listen to your story and find the best way to handle your case. Below are the three scenarios we can help you navigate.

If You Crossed the Roadway Lawfully

Legal counsel is your best opportunity to fairly determine liability in the case. If you obeyed traffic signals and crossed the road legally, your team can decide if the driver is responsible. The driver may have acted in a negligent manner with activities including:

  • Failing to stop completely at a stop sign or red light
  • Failing to yield to the pedestrian's right-of-way
  • Becoming distracted by their radio, cell phone, or other device
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs
  • Navigating the roadways aggressively

If the driver demonstrates evidence of such negligence, authorities may determine them to be at fault. This is the most favorable case for a pedestrian, as it may be less of a challenge to prove pedestrian liability.

If You Crossed the Roadway Unlawfully

The case may become more challenging if you crossed the roadway illegally. The counsel of the motor vehicle may argue that you were jaywalking and at fault for the accident. If the facts of the case measure up to this argument, it will be hard to recover compensation for your injury.

If Both Parties Are Responsible

Sometimes a pedestrian accident can be the result of negligence from both parties.  Louisiana has a comparative fault rule.

In a case, the people involved may receive a share of blame. This share of blame determines the amount of money they can receive as compensation. If you as a pedestrian crossed unlawfully, there is a chance that your amount of compensation may decrease depending on your determined fault in the accident.


What should I do if I hit a pedestrian as a driver?

Drivers and pedestrians alike have a responsibility to practice caution. However, as a driver, be aware that Louisiana law is particularly kind to pedestrians. It is a challenge to prove that a driver did not have a reasonable ability to avoid an accident.

After an accident, you must gather all relevant information, report the incident to authorities and your insurance company, and seek medical attention if you experienced an injury. Once you’ve done so, you must contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury law.

If you find yourself wondering who was at fault, reach out to our team at Huber Thomas Law. We’ll listen to your story, review all relevant evidence, and determine the best possible course to take for your case. We have experience in determining the most favorable outcomes for our clients.

When you work with Huber Thomas Law, you have a team in your corner. We’ll start with an initial consultation to determine which of the following three scenarios match the facts of your case.

If You Practiced Caution

Let’s say you were practicing caution and a pedestrian suddenly walked in front of your car. It will be tricky for your legal team to prove you made every accommodation to avoid a collision. The best-case scenario is if a judge or jury agrees that the pedestrian was jaywalking.

If You Did Not Practice Caution

If the pedestrian was crossing lawfully, their legal team may argue the incident occurred due to distraction or negligence. In this example, it will be difficult to obtain a favorable result or compensation for your case. There may be evidence that you participated in the following acts of negligence:

  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired
  • Failing to yield to the pedestrian's right-of-way
  • Neglecting to completely stop at a stop sign or red light
  • Being distracted by your cell phone, radio, or other device
  • Speeding or driving with reckless or aggressive behavior

If Both Parties Are at Fault

There are many instances where comparative fault may be determined. The case could assign a percentage of fault to both the pedestrian and driver, reducing each party's compensation proportionally.


Your Advocate After a Pedestrian Accident

An accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian can be traumatic for both parties. City ordinances and traffic laws can make these cases even more of a challenge for everyone involved. If you’ve found yourself in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, we can help. Schedule a free consultation with us today.

We know how personal, business, and property damage can disrupt your world. You suddenly have to handle the physical, emotional, mental, and financial stressors resulting from the incidentAnd, if you were wronged or harmed by another party, there may be legal ramifications to sort through.

Finding an attorney to be in your corner is valuable, as long as they are the right advocate for you. If you don’t know where or how to begin, follow our 10 steps below. We at Huber Thomas Law want to help simplify this overwhelming process for you.

1. Determine if it’s the right time to hire an attorney. 

Hiring an attorney for your case.

If you have recently been harmed by the negligence or carelessness of another, it may be time to seek the support of an attorney. It’s important to begin the process of hiring an attorney as soon as possible, giving your legal team ample time to protect your best interests.

When the following events occur, be sure to get your search started immediately.  

  • Physical injury due to negligence, including vehicle accidents or slip and fall 
  • Wrongful actions against your business 
  • Injury due to a product’s design, manufacturing, or label defect 
  • Property damage following a natural disaster 

2. Decide what type of attorney you need. 

Many attorneys specialize in a specific type of law, whether through a certification or a long history in a specific practice area. Deep knowledge and experience set clients up for better case success. There are many attorney specialties, including estate planning, intellectual property, and personal injury, to name a few. Below are a few specific cases and the type of attorney needed for each. 

Physical Injury Due to Negligence 

If you were injured in an automobile, rideshare, trucking, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, or boating accident, you need a personal injury attorney. You will also need to seek a personal injury attorney if you’ve experienced a slip and fall on someone else’s property. 

Wrongful Actions Against Your Business 

If you and your business have been financially harmed through the negligent or fraudulent acts of an individual or another business, you must hire an attorney who deals with business torts. These actions could include contract interference, restraint of trade, theft of trade secrets, misrepresentation, trade libel, or defamation.  

Injury Due to a Product’s Design, Manufacturing, or Label Defect 

When a product has caused you harm, you must hire a product liability attorney quickly. Injury caused by a product could be due to a design, manufacturing, or label defect. A product liability attorney will help you navigate the complexities of these cases and hold companies accountable for any damage.  

Property Damage Following a Natural Disaster 

In the Gulf South, we are all too familiar with the profound losses natural disasters can cause. There are ways to recover if you have a property damage attorney in your corner. A property damage attorney can help you navigate insurance claims after the flood, hurricane, fire, and tornado damage. Hiring a property damage attorney can also be advantageous in the event of willful damage, including graffiti and arson.  

3. Research attorneys in New Orleans.

Once you understand what type of attorney you need, it’s time to do your due diligence before hiring one. By searching “personal injury attorneys near me” or “property damage attorney New Orleans” online via Google, you’ll find listings and websites that match your search. Take a glimpse at the websites of the firms and attorneys listed to get an idea of whether they match the type of assistance you need.

4. Evaluate attorney experience. 

Many attorneys and firms include their “resumé” of experience on their websites. However, experience is about more than where the attorneys went to law school. Review each firm's history and success stories to get an idea of their level of experience in your specific area of need.

5. Read attorney reviews and ask around.

A firm’s reputation is an important factor to consider when choosing an attorney to hire. By asking personal connections, such as family and friends, and reading online reviews, you can get a good idea of their trustworthiness, integrity, and success rate. Community reviews can be found in places like Facebook business pages and Google listings.  

6. Schedule more than one attorney consultation.

To be your best advocate, and find the best advocate for you, scheduling more than one consultation with a list of attorneys is key. This is a time when you can ask your potential attorney all of your most pressing questions before hiring them. Many firms provide free consultations for this reason, allowing potential clients to fully evaluate their firm’s approach, fee structure, and compatibility. 

7. Prepare a list of questions to ask each attorney.

Before your consultations, prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask each attorney. Asking each firm the same set of questions will give you an idea of their comfortability with your type of case, compatibility with you as a client, and communication style in educating you about your case. Common questions include:  

  • What is your experience with my type of case? 
  • How many cases have you handled in [insert type of law]? 
  • What have been some of your case outcomes? 
  • What is your typical approach or process? 
  • Do you have trial experience? 
  • Can you send me references from past clients? 
  • What is your current assessment of my case? 
  • How will you keep me updated on my case? 
  • What outcome do you expect for my case? 
  • When do you expect this case to be resolved? 
  • What is your fee structure? 
  • Are there any additional costs I should be mindful of? 

No question is off the table when it comes to finding the right attorney for you. A trustworthy attorney will want to make sure you are equipped with knowledge regarding your case.

8. Compare attorney fee structures and affordability.

Financial affordability should be considered before hiring an attorney. Fee structures differ depending on the attorney or firm. Some may charge a flat fee or by the hour, and some will charge a fee based on a percentage of the winnings in your case.  

Payment By the Hour 

Some attorneys charge their clients based on the number of hours worked. These hours accumulate through client meetings, case research, document drafting and reviewing, and time spent in court. The hours spent on these activities will then be multiplied by the attorney’s hourly rate and billed to you on a predetermined schedule. Some attorneys may even charge a retainer fee that can be withdrawn as they bill you for services.  

When working with an attorney who has an hourly fee, be sure to review the itemized bill carefully for any discrepancies. This bill will contain a total of the hours spent, a description of the work done, and the hourly rate charge.   

Payment Through Flat Fee 

For uncomplicated matters, some attorneys charge a flat fee. This flat fee will cover the service and the specific activities it requires, no matter how long the case takes. You’ll receive an agreement with all service and flat fee details and be expected to pay this flat fee upfront. You will not be charged additional fees unless you request additional services, the scope of work shifts, or unexpected issues arise. In the event of these circumstances, your attorney will revise the agreement and require your approval before pursuing additional services. 

Payment Through Contingency  

Of all fee structures, contingency is the most cost-effective for the client. The attorney will not charge you an hourly or flat fee, but they will charge you based on the case outcome. This means your attorney will only get paid if they are successful in recovering money for you. If the case is not successful, you are not responsible for paying your attorney. 

Typical contingency fees are 33.33-40% of recovered compensation and will be agreed upon before the work begins. Your contract will outline all of the contingency terms, including how the attorney fee is calculated and any additional expenses that may be deducted. These additional expenses may include fees for depositions, witnesses, or filing. Please note that a contingency fee is not permissible in every type of case. 

9. Choose the attorney that is the most compatible.

If you’ve found attorneys who have the right specialty, experience, reputation, and fee structure, but still can’t decide whom to choose, go with your gut. Ask yourself if the attorney made you feel seen, heard, and reassured. Their resumé and reputation mean nothing if they cannot treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. An attorney who is truly in your corner will be a fierce advocate who listens to your needs.  

10. Understand your Representation Agreement. 

When you’ve made your choice, be sure to fully understand the agreement between you and your attorney. All of the terms of your relationship will be documented in an easy-to-understand, one-page contract, your Representation Agreement, that will outline all of these topics. 

Scope of Work 

Your engagement letter will detail the services your attorney will provide and stipulate any services or activities that may be deemed “out of scope.” 

Payment Terms 

Whether hourly, flat, or based on contingency, your attorney’s fee structure, including hourly rates and/or contingency percentages, will be outlined in the engagement letter. The payment schedule will also be outlined and agreed upon. 

Client Responsibilities 

Your engagement letter will also express what is expected of you in working toward a successful case. You will be required to cooperate fully, including supplying documents and information that will support your case. 

Confidentiality Statement 

Your attorney should reassure you that your case will be kept confidential. However, there may be cases in which information must be disclosed. The parameters regarding case confidentiality will be detailed in the engagement letter. 

Termination of Contract 

If either party needs to end the case, a termination clause will outline guidance for doing so. This clause will specify how the contract may be terminated and the fees associated with termination.  

Add Huber Thomas to Your Attorney Search

The process of finding an experienced attorney you can trust can be overwhelming. At Huber Thomas Law, we want potential and current clients to be equipped with knowledge and confidence. This sense of trust is how we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients within our practice specialties:  

  • Personal Injury 
  • Business Torts 
  • Products Liability  
  • Property Damage 

We take the stress off of you through clear communication, informed guidance, swift action, and personal attention. Contact Huber Thomas Law when you’re ready to work with a tireless advocate for your case.  

nursing home abuseIf you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or nursing home negligence then you must take swift action to get to the bottom of it. If you believe they are in immediate physical danger, call 911 to alert the authorities. Then contact a Louisiana nursing home abuse attorney who can help you file a legal claim.

By working with a successful law firm like Huber Thomas Law, you will have help from a law firm that cares about justice and putting an end to the abuse. We also believe in holding the nursing home accountable and recovering compensation for the damages suffered. Contact us today to get justice for you and your family.

Nursing Home Abuse is More Common Than Many People Realize

No one wants to think about the most vulnerable people in our population being the victims of neglect or abuse, yet it is all too frequent. According to a study by the World Health Organization, one in six people over the age of 60 report being the victim of some kind of abuse within the last year.

As alarming as it is, that statistic is general to elders in general – when you home in on abuse in nursing homes, the data is staggering. According to the same WHO study, two out of three nursing home and long-term care staff report having committed abuse in the past year.

How can we stop nursing home abuse?

There are two main steps that can be taken. First, those who are guilty of this abuse can be held accountable. Filing civil lawsuits to hold their employers financially liable is the first step in doing this. Law enforcement can file criminal charges when appropriate.

Second, steps can be taken to ensure proper staffing. According to a study from the Human Rights Watch, much of the abuse and neglect that occurs is the result of understaffing or improperly trained staff. They point to a reduction in staffing during COVID-19 – which has continued to be an issue and is expected to be an issue for years to come – as one of the biggest causes of an increase in elder abuse in nursing homes.



Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

If you know how to spot nursing home abuse, then you can be the one to put an end to it. Our elderly population is at a higher risk of abuse than younger populations due to physical or mental health issues that can make it difficult for them to stand up for themselves, and are less likely to be taken seriously when they do.

This is why it is essential for everyone to be aware of the signs that a person is being abused or neglected in a nursing home. They include:

  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Repeated physical injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Serious, untreated bedsores
  • Head injuries
  • Bruising
  • Dehydration
  • Malnourishment
  • Poor hygiene
  • Soiled bedding
  • Sudden and unexplained personality changes
  • Changes to a person’s emotions
  • Fear, nervousness, or withdrawal
  • Crying

While many of these signs are not substantial evidence on their own, several of these signs together should prompt a worried party to contact the authorities – and an attorney. For example, a person who suddenly has a mood change, has an unexplained injury, and seems withdrawn might be the victim of abuse.

Medical Malpractice

A nursing home abuse lawyer can be called in to help with many types of nursing home abuse, including medical malpractice such as medication errors. If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice in a nursing home, contact an attorney immediately.

Nursing Home Neglect

Louisiana law makes it clear that nursing home neglect is unlawful and that victims can sue to recover damages caused by their neglect.

There are three general types of nursing home neglect

If the staff of the nursing home does not uphold a reasonable standard of care and a resident suffers harm as a result, then the resident has been the victim of neglect. Generally speaking, nursing home neglect falls under one of three categories:

  1. Medical neglect. Failing to provide residents with medication on time, not attending to broken bones or bedsores, or not calling 911 in an emergency are all examples of medical neglect.
  2. Living needs neglect. Examples of this type of neglect include not providing food or water to residents, not giving them enough bathroom visits, or other actions that lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and even death.
  3. Hygiene neglect. Allowing residents to stay in beds that are soiled, not bathing residents, and not changing their clothing are examples of hygiene neglect.

Who can sue the nursing home for neglect?

The elders who themselves were the victim of the neglect can sue, as can their family members in certain cases.

Is nursing home neglect the same thing as nursing home abuse?

Not exactly. Negligence is generally not intentional and occurs when a person fails to take actions that they should take. Abuse is generally intentional and comes from direct action. Regardless of the intention of the guilty party, both types of abuse can have serious consequences.

Physical and Sexual Abuse

A person who is physically or sexually abused while a resident of a nursing home or care facility should contact the police for immediate help. They should also contact an attorney who can determine if there are grounds for a civil lawsuit.

The Worst-Case Scenario is Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If your loved one has passed away due to neglect or abuse by a nursing home, then you are living with a terrible burden. Depending on the circumstances in your case, we might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit that would hold the at-fault parties accountable.

Your Claim Has the Best Possible Chance When We Build the Strongest Possible Case

In order to win your claim, your nursing home abuse lawyer will need to prove the following:

  • That the nursing home had a legal duty of care for the victim
  • The nursing home did not meet the minimum level of care required
  • The staff’s abuse and/or neglect harmed the victim
  • The victim suffered injuries and/or damages due to the harm
  • The victim or their family is owed compensation to cover medical costs, to heal from emotional pain and suffering, to pay for funeral costs, and other damages

Civil Lawsuits Hold Nursing Homes Accountable

To file a lawsuit against a nursing home or long-term care center, you’ll need to work with a nursing home abuse attorney. Our first step will be to file a complaint that includes:

  • Details of how the injury occurred
  • All the facts related to the incident
  • The names of all parties who took part in the abuse
  • A list of all witnesses

Evidence is Crucial to Winning Your Case and Holding the At-Fault Parties Accountable

You will not win your case if you do not have evidence. Your nursing home abuse attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence such as:

  • Pictures of the neglect
  • Pictures of injuries from the neglect or abuse
  • Medical records
  • Contact information for witnesses of the abuse
  • Testimony from expert witnesses
  • Surveillance footage
  • Log books and records from the nursing home

When can a nursing home be held liable for neglect or abuse?

Nursing homes are not always responsible for abuse or neglect that occurs within their walls. For example, if a visitor abuses a resident of a nursing home and the staff was not made aware of the abuse nor did anything to lead to the abuse, then the nursing home might not be held accountable.

In order for the nursing home to be held liable for the abuse, we must show that the nursing home or its employees acted negligently. This might include:

  • Negligent hiring. If the nursing home did not do adequate background checks, did not require necessary academic degrees or training, or hired people with a record of abuse or violence, then they could be found negligent in their hiring process.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the average staff in a nursing home is one for every 1.64 residents. If a nursing home does not staff enough people to reasonably care for their residents, then they could be found negligent for understaffing.
  • Lack of training. Employees at nursing homes must be adequately trained in order to do their jobs correctly. If they are not, then the nursing home that employs them could be found negligent.
  • Third-party abuse. While a nursing home is not always found negligent in the event that a third-party unaffiliated with the nursing home abuses a resident, they could sometimes be. For example, if there was a lack of security at the facility that allowed third-party access to the victim, then the nursing home could be found negligent.

These are only a few examples of the many ways a nursing home could be found negligent for the abuse or neglect their residents endure.

Time Could Be Running Out – Call Today for a Free Legal Consultation with a Louisiana Nursing Abuse Attorney

You do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your complaint. In most cases, the statute of limitations for Louisiana personal injury claims is just one year from the date of the injury. Acting fast is essential to ensuring you can pursue all available legal remedies to the abuse or neglect you or your loved one has sustained.

Huber Thomas offers a comprehensive approach to your case

The key to winning your case is an in-depth investigation that can uncover all available evidence. We look at all potential factors that were involved in the abuse or neglect, including staffing issues, unsafe practices, and background checks.

We will also schedule depositions with other parties involved, including witnesses, doctors, the police, other residents, and anyone else involved. The more information we’re able to gather about a particular case, the better our chances of success.

Trust our long history of courtroom success

About 95% of personal injury claims settle outside of court. Though we know that this is the most likely outcome, we treat every case and prepare every case as though it is going to trial. We are committed to aggressively seeking fair settlements that hold guilty parties accountable. If the at-fault parties are not willing to agree to a fair settlement, then we will be ready to take them to trial.

You can read our long list of previous case victories to learn more about the hundreds of cases we have successfully litigated and the millions of dollars we have secured for our clients. We believe that holding companies financially accountable is an essential part of stopping and preventing elder abuse.

Contact Huber Thomas Law today and let us help you find the best way to respond to this terrible situation.

You don't have to spend much time in Louisiana to know that it's truly a unique state. What many people don't realize is that Louisiana law has its own structure. While every one of the 49 other states in the country follows common law, Louisiana is the only state to follow civil law.

What does this mean, and what could it mean for your case? Keep reading to learn the facts about what makes Louisiana law so unique. If you believe you have grounds for a personal injury case or for any of our other areas of practice, contact us today for your free legal consultation.

The Main Distinction Between Common Law and Louisiana Law is the Way the Judges Make Decisions

In common law, judges follow what's known as precedent when making decisions. Precedent refers to court decisions that the judges use as an authority when deciding further cases. Attorneys bring up precedents (i.e., previously decided legal decisions) with facts similar to the case they're presenting to the judge.

The hope with common law is that everyone will be treated the same way by applying the law in the same way to cases with the same or similar facts. In Louisiana law, judges make decisions based on the Civil Code.

A Deeper Dive into the Specifics of Louisiana Law

The civil law system is code-based, and Louisiana legislators look to address specific legal areas through statutes or codified rules. When a judge hears a case, they are tasked with interpreting the code rules and applying them to the case in front of them.

The decision the judge makes may very well have an impact on future cases. Still, that judge's reasoning and interpretation of the law will have little to no effect outside of that specific case they are deciding. In other words, the decision the judge makes on one case does not create a precedent that requires a future judge to decide a case in a certain way.

More on the Common Law System

In contrast, the common law system that is used in the other 49 states is based on the judicial interpretation of laws. In other words, courts interpret laws to ascertain the politicians' intentions when passing them, and this interpretation directs how the law should be used in a certain situation.

The judiciary has the chance to issue opinions outlining how the law should be interpreted during the appellate review of cases. These rulings serve as a guideline for the court and any lower courts that fall within its purview. This is known as sit decisis, which means "let the decision stand" in Latin.

The common law in that region is based on the court's interpretation. By doing this, the court creates a body of common law that operates in conjunction with the statute.

The History of the Civil Code

The Napoleonic Code, often known as the Civil Code, originated in two countries with civil law systems: Spain and France. Because both Spain and France once owned Louisiana, the Napoleonic Code was developed by combining legal systems from the two nations, creating the melting pot that is Louisiana law today.

The term "codified" refers to the civil legal system in Louisiana, composed of a compilation of laws and legislation. Certain laws must be adhered to when a case is presented before a court.

The court considers these laws, "dissects," and renders a decision in accordance with that understanding. To put it simply, Louisiana Civil Law favors judicial interpretation over a more objective or traditional view of the law.

The History of Common Law

The common law system was developed in England and adopted by the United States. Today it is used in every state but Louisiana. The sitting judge decides which precedents will be used in the resolution of each new case, demonstrating the significant influence that each judge has on American and British law.

There Are Significant Differences in the Vocabulary Used for Either Type of Law

A Louisiana laywer reviewing paperwork and case files.

The vocabulary and techniques used in various sorts of legislation differ noticeably. Some legal ideas and laws that are known by one name elsewhere in the nation are known by a different name in Louisiana.

A great example is the term "statute of limitations." This term refers to limits established regarding how long a party has to bring legal proceedings. In Louisiana, statutes of limitations for civil cases do exist but are referred to by an entirely different name: prescriptions.

Another example covers trust and estate law, real estate law, and inheritance. Under Louisiana Law, these categories of law are referred to as "Succession and Donations" instead of "Trust and Estates," as they are referred to in other states.

In Louisiana Law, Criminal Cases Are an Entirely Different Thing

Note that everything above is specific to civil cases in Louisiana. Criminal cases in the state do follow the more commonly used common law method.

Criminal law refers to cases that are usually prosecuted by the state for crimes that have been committed. Civil law is brought by plaintiffs (which can be individuals, groups, or organizations) as a result of their belief that another party's actions (or inactions) led to injuries and/or damages to them.

Generally speaking, criminal law's consequences include jail time, fines, and other forms of punishment, while civil law's consequences include solely monetary punishments. A person can face both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit for the same action.

It should also be noted that in criminal law, a person must be found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt," whereas civil law requires only a "preponderance of the evidence." Essentially, this means that in civil law, the judge or jury must only believe that it is more likely than not that the defendant is "guilty" of the actions (or inaction) the plaintiff accuses them of.

Huber Thomas Law is Here to Help with Your Civil Case

If you or a loved one has been injured due to another party acting recklessly or negligently, you might have grounds for a civil case. It is essential that you work with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer who knows the specifics of this state and how to build the strongest possible case for you. That is what you have found in Huber Thomas Law. Reach out to us today and let us help you move forward with your case.

HENDERSON, Louisiana (Reuters) - When Hope Rosinski's father gave her a six-acre plot in Louisiana more than a decade ago, she was surprised to find oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the property. The Bayou Bridge pipeline was born.

Pipeline companies later secured her permission for two more lines, one of which has since caused flooding and consistently leaves her land saturated.

Now she's had enough. Rosinski is fighting the latest request for a right-of-way, this time from Energy Transfer Partners - the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. She said ETP declined to make contract changes she wanted or to properly compensate her for lost property value.

Opposition to the company's planned extension of the Bayou Bridge pipeline has made Louisiana bayous the latest battleground in a nationwide war against new pipeline construction.

The pushback here is one example of the increasingly broad and diverse base of opposition nationally, which now extends beyond traditional environmental activists. In Louisiana, opponents include flood protection advocates, commercial fishermen, and property owners such as Rosinski.

Their fight follows high-profile protests in North Dakota that were led by Native Americans and joined by military veterans, who together succeeded in convincing the Obama administration to delay construction.

Although the new administration of President Donald Trump has since cleared that project's completion, pipeline companies are nonetheless taking the rising political opposition seriously. Alan Armstrong, chief executive at pipeline firm Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB), told a conference in Pittsburgh that Trump's action would not hamper the protest movement.

“It may even enhance it,” he said the day after Trump cleared the Dakota pipeline in January.

Bayou Bridge pipeline supporters argue that more infrastructure is essential for the oil and gas industry to provide affordable energy and reduce dependence on foreign imports and dirtier energy sources such as coal.

Opponents counter that Bayou Bridge pipeline companies can't be trusted to prevent leaks. Technology designed to detect spills only accomplished that goal in 20 percent of known pipeline leaks between 2010 and 2016, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Energy Transfer and its affiliates had among the most spills of any pipeline company, with nearly 260 leaks from lines carrying hazardous liquids since 2010, according to the Reuters analysis. An ETP spokesperson said most of those spills were small and occurred on company property.

The company said in a statement that it seeks to work with landowners and communities to “build the pipeline in the safest, most environmentally friendly manner possible."

ETP's relations with Rosinski, however, have apparently broken down. She told Reuters that the firm has threatened to take her to court for the right of way, citing legal rights of pipeline companies to build infrastructure for broader public benefit.

Rosinski wants to resist but knows a court battle could be costly and lengthy.

“I’m a single mom," she said. "I don’t have the finances."

ETP declined to comment specifically on Rosinski's case but said it typically gets voluntary agreements on easements from owners in about 9 out of 10 cases, without legal action.


pelican sitting on bayou bridge pipelineSome pipeline protesters are driven by opposition to any expansion of fossil fuel development, but many have more local and specific concerns.

Many protests so far - including the encampment in North Dakota, led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe - have focused largely on fear of water contamination.

Similar objections have cropped up in West Texas from protesters of Energy Transfer's Trans-Pecos gas line, and in Arkansas and Tennessee over the Diamond Pipeline operated by Plains All American Pipeline.

Activists in Pennsylvania have been fighting a Williams Companies pipeline plan for three years. The company is looking to add 185 miles of new pipeline to its Atlantic Sunrise line, connecting the northeastern Marcellus natural gas shale region with the southeast part of the state. Opponents have argued the expansion could cause an explosion or taint the local water that supplies farms.

They're borrowing tactics from the Standing Rock tribe's standoff. Malinda Clatterbuck, 46, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who leads the group Lancaster Against Pipelines, said residents are setting up a camp in Conestoga, where a right-of-way has been granted and plans to live on and off at the camp with her family.

“I’m exhausted and angry about this," she said. "Why do we have to upend our lives just to try to get justice for our community?"

Williams said it has operated 60 miles of pipeline safely in Lancaster County and that the company plans to exceed federal safety standards for the extension.

“We’ve also heard from thousands of people who support the project - individuals, chambers, and business groups - who recognize the economic benefit,” the company said in a statement.


In Louisiana - home to massive oil refineries and about 50,000 miles of pipelines - ETP's planned Bayou Bridge extension would run across southern Louisiana for about 160 miles, between Lake Charles and St. James.

The state has a mutually beneficial but testy relationship with the oil industry, which is widely blamed for cutting through wetlands and contributing to coastal erosion that has left Louisiana more vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding.

Some opponents of the Bayou Bridge are concerned that its construction will pollute drinking water and constrict drainage systems during heavy rains. Others want to see pipeline companies take better care of the environment during and after construction.

Jody Meche, 47, of Henderson, fears economic damage. He has fished in the Atchafalaya Basin for a quarter-century. For years, he has been pushing companies to remove spoil banks caused by pipeline construction and oil exploration because they hurt the commercial fishing industry.

The spoil banks act as dams inside the basin, damaging the local ecosystem by stopping water flow.

Meche can see the impact in the crawfish traps he pulls up from the bayou daily during the season, from February to early summer. The critters resemble tiny lobsters and are in high demand at bars and backyard boils from New Orleans to Houston.

“The stagnant water is not good for them at all," Meche said. "They don’t grow as well, they don’t eat as much, they are very lethargic."

Meche can sell large, healthy crawfish for about $1.50 a pound. But the smaller ones he often catches these days fetch half that, and many in his traps these days are dead and worthless.


Rosinski, meanwhile, is still fighting with Enterprise Products Partners, the pipeline company she said damaged her property during the construction of an ethane line a few years ago. She said she has spent the last year trying to get Enterprise to restore her land and stop the flooding.

The cost to fix it could be as little as $1,200, she said.

Enterprise told Reuters it hopes to resolve the issue amicably, but that it has not gotten clear guidance from an attorney hired by Rosinski.

Rosinski received the right-of-way request from Energy Transfer Partners as she was squabbling with Enterprise. She suggested 30 changes to the contract and requested more compensation. ETP refused, she said and told her it may take up the dispute in court.

"I've done my part," she said of her previous agreements to allow pipelines through her property. "They’re consuming my land."

Story by Liz Hampton at Reuters.

If you’d like to discuss the details of your case with a personal injury lawyer, please contact us to set up a consultation.

A coalition of 21 states, including Louisiana, sued the U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday over a new overtime pay law that would make about 4 million higher-earning workers eligible for overtime pay, slamming the measure as inappropriate federal overreach from the Obama administration.

“Once again, the president has circumvented Congress and attempted to legislate through executive mandate. Like Obamacare before it, this latest overreach will force employers to hire fewer people and cut hours of their existing workers,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement the Republican posted on his website. “This red-taped bureaucratic edict will especially hurt the Louisiana workforce in the education, retail, government, health, hospitality and professional service industries. For their sake and the sake of federalism, I have joined attorneys general from across the country to stop this job-killer.”

Republican Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas, urging it to block implementation before the overtime pay law takes effect on Dec. 1. Laxalt, a frequent critic of President Barack Obama's policies, said the rule would burden private and public sectors by straining budgets and forcing layoffs or cuts in working hours.

overtime pay law contractLabor Department officials did not immediately respond to telephone and email requests seeking comment.

The measure would shrink the so-called "white collar exemption" that exempts workers who perform "executive, administrative or professional" duties from overtime and minimum wage requirements.

It would more than double the salary threshold under which employers must pay overtime to their white-collar workers. Overtime protections would apply to workers who make up to $913 a week, or $47,476 a year, and the threshold would readjust every three years to reflect changes in average wages.

"This long-awaited update will result in a meaningful boost to many workers' wallets, and will go a long way toward realizing President Obama's commitment to ensuring every worker is compensated fairly for their hard work," the Labor Department said in May when it announced the new rule.

Business groups say the changes are too much and too fast, especially as states continue to recover from the recession.

But some attorneys have said they didn't expect the new overtime pay law to lead to widespread raises. Most Louisiana employers will try to keep their employment costs stable, with solutions that include reclassifying management jobs to hourly positions and capping workers’ hours, Thomas R. Peak, a partner with Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips LLP, told The Advocate in May.
“I don’t think what is going to happen will be automatically anybody that’s making $24,000 a year and is exempt that their employers are going to give them a raise up to the new level," Peak said.

Other plaintiffs include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

ADVOCATE STAFF AND WIRE REPORT, originally appearing SEP 20, 2016.

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