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Two Bicyclists Killed; Five Other Injured on Saturday Before Mardi Gras, The Most Active Day for New Orleans Car Accidents

A drunk driver killed two bicyclists Saturday night.  The drunk driver was reported to be a New Orleans Police Officer’s son.  Five others were taken to University Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.  The incident happened in the 3200 block of Esplanade Avenue, a few blocks away from the Endymion parade route.   Most of the victims were bicyclists.  Saturday is known to be the most active day for Car Accidents in the City of New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season.

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2019 Study Shows Spike In Car Accidents in Two Weeks Leading Up To Mardi Gras; Saturday Before Mardi Gras Is The Most Active Day For Accidents

New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras.  Fat Tuesday is often seen as a time to celebrate and overindulge before the Lenten season.  Success of a New Orleans Mardi Gras is often measured by the amount of alcohol and food consumed and by the number of tons of trash collected during the parade season, 1,200 tons in 2018.   New Orleans Mardi Gras also helped set the  record breaking year for tourism in 2017 with visitors coming from across the United States but primarily from within Louisiana and from Texas, Mississippi, California, Florida and New York. Along with the increase in visitors to the City looking for a good time, comes an increase in the number of Car Accidents.    A 2019 study conducted using Accident Report data provided by the New Orleans Police Department, City of New Orleans shows an increase in traffic accidents in the two week period leading up to Mardi Gras of  17.8% (2018),  39.6% (2017) and 7.26% (2016) over the same two week period a year earlier (that does not including the two week period leading up to Mardi Gras).  The Saturday before Mardi Gras is the most active day for New Orleans Mardi Gras car accidents with 136 in 2017, the record setting year for tourism, and 126 in 2018.  Learn more about the locations and number of accidents each day by hovering your mouse (or on mobile, your finger) over the interactive maps and graphs below to explore the data.    Where Do Mardi Gras […]

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Louisiana Court Holds Insurer’s “Garage Policy” Offered Car Service Repair but did not Provide Coverage to Plaintiff Injured in Two-Car Collision

In an insurance coverage dispute following a car accident, the Louisiana Third Circuit affirmed a judgment finding that the plaintiff was not insured under either insurance policy, and it dismissed her claims against the insurance company.  A “garage policy” had been issued to a car dealership that provided uninsured motorist coverage and medical payment coverage.   The issue in this case was whether the plaintiff was in fact “insured” for the purposes of UM coverage.  Specifically, the court here looked at the policy language defining coverage and whether the definition of “insured” violated Louisiana law. In Lake Charles, Louisiana, in August 2013, the plaintiff in this case was involved in a two-car auto accident on I-210.  She contended that she suffered injuries as a result of the accident.  At the time of the accident, the plaintiff had been driving a borrowed car from Service Chevrolet, while her own car underwent repairs. A “garage policy” had been issued to Service Chevrolet, and the car driven by the plaintiff was a “covered auto” under the policy. The plaintiff settled her claims against the other driver and the other driver’s insurer.  She then pursued a claim against the insurance company for Service Chevrolet for the remaining damages under the uninsured/underinsured (UM) “garage policy” and the medical payments coverage.  The insurer moved for summary judgment, contending that the plaintiff was not “insured” because she maintained her own insurance.  The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment.  The plaintiff appealed.

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Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment Motion in Favor of Insurance Company When Defendant Driver Failed to Renew Insurance Policy Before Motor Vehicle Collision in Louisiana

In a recent automobile accident case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal addressed choice-of-law provisions as well as the question of whether the defendant driver had been covered by her automobile insurance policy at the time of the accident. The plaintiffs in this case brought a lawsuit for damages against the driver of the vehicle that struck them, their automobile insurance company, and the uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier.  The trial court granted the defendant insurance company’s summary judgment motion, based on the argument that the insurance policy had been cancelled before the accident because the defendant driver had not renewed by paying the required premium.  The plaintiffs argued the trial court erred, and the defendant driver had not properly canceled the insurance policy, according to law. While the accident took place in Louisiana, on March 1, 2014, the automobile insurance policy had been issued in Mississippi.  The policy terms made clear that the policy would terminate on January 10, 2014, if the insured did not accept an offer to renew the policy and to timely pay the required renewal premium.  On appeal, the plaintiffs’ argument was that the insurance company had not mailed a notice of cancellation 10 days before canceling the policy, as required by Louisiana law.

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