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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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Court Denies Plaintiff Compensation Following Accident in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Since Plaintiff’s Conduct Violated the Law and Created Higher Level of Risk

Recently, a Louisiana Court of Appeal addressed the issue of liability in a personal injury lawsuit following injuries to a bicyclist struck by a car.  The bicyclist plaintiff and the defendant driver presented their own versions of the incident, since there were no witnesses. In their opinion, the appellate court stated the rules of tort liability in Louisiana and the requirement that a plaintiff prove fault, causation, and damages in a negligence claim. Here, the lower court had found that the plaintiff failed to meet this burden, since there had not been physical evidence introduced by either party, and the court did not necessarily find the testimony of either party credible. Procedurally, when the trial court judge held the plaintiff had failed to meet his burden of proof and dismissed his claim, the plaintiff appealed that judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the lower court should have applied Louisiana law regarding comparative fault, among other issues. The defendant countered by stating that the judge had not researched the issue of fault when she had found the plaintiff did not meet his burden of proof. The appellate court stated that tort liability is set forth in La. CC. art. 2315. When a plaintiff brings a negligence action under Louisiana law, they must prove fault, causation, and damages. The court also stated that causation is a factual finding. On appeal, the standard is that of manifest error, meaning that the issue is whether the judge’s conclusion was reasonable. Here, the question was whether […]

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Judgment Against Defendants in Consolidated Cases Following Truck Accident in Louisiana was Not Valid, Appealable Judgment

In order for appellate courts to have jurisdiction, or the ability to review and determine the merit of an appeal, there must first be a valid final judgment from a lower court. In a recent opinion, the Fourth Circuit made clear that a judgment must contain specific, “decretal” language in order to be considered valid. In this opinion, the issue was whether the judgment was in fact valid, since two lawsuits had been consolidated and judgment rendered against multiple defendants. The appellate court made clear that in order to have jurisdiction, they must have specific language that makes clear against whom the judgment has been rendered, and in which amount.  When the court lacks jurisdiction to consider the merits of an appeal, it will be dismissed without prejudice or converted to an application for a supervisory writ. The facts indicated that Larry Spencer’s tractor-trailer collided with a truck in which Joseph Urquhart was a passenger. Urquhart filed a Petition for Damages against Spencer, as well as Mr. Spencer’s employer (the owner of the rig) and their liability insurer.  Urquhart then amended his Petition to add the driver of the vehicle in which he was traveling, James Nye, as well as his insurer. Then, Mr. Nye filed a Petition for Damages against Spencer, the owner of the rig, and the liability insurer. The lawsuits were consolidated, and Urquhart’s claims against Mr. Nye and his insurer were dismissed after reaching a settlement.

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