General Duty of Care

General Duty of Care – Louisiana Motorists

Louisiana law requires a motorist to keep his vehicle under control, at a proper speed, and to maintain a proper lookout for hazards, which by the use of ordinary care and observation, he should be able to see in time to avoid a collision.


Proper Lookout:

Driver is under a duty to keep sufficient lookout to see a herd of 65 cows in the road on a clear day at high noon, and to avoid hitting them. Southern Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co. v. Gay, 276 So.2d 893

Driver breached his duty to use reasonable care, which encompassed within it a risk that an approaching driver could be simultaneously present on the road traveling at an excessive rate of speed where driver should have seen the police cruiser, and should have not entered the intersection before yielding the right of way. Fontenot v. Patterson Ins., 23 So.3d 259

Driver found free from fault where she was stopped in the far right-hand lane on an incline. When the signal changed to green, she proceeded into the intersection. Her view to the left was somewhat limited by her position on the hill and vehicles in the adjacent lane. Crownover v. City of Shreveport, 996 So.2d 315

Control of Vehicle:

Furthermore, a motorist is held to a higher degree of care in adverse conditions, and her duty to keep his vehicle under control increases in periods of low visibility. A driver does not have the right to assume her course of travel is free from danger if she cannot see clearly ahead. If she continues to travel as if she knew there was perfect clearance, she does so at her own risk and peril. If conditions warrant it, a motorist may be required to stop her car and remain at a standstill until conditions warrant going forward. Kimble v. East Baton Rouge Parish, 673 So.2d 682

Proper Speed:

Driver breached her responsibilities through her failure to keep a proper look out and by driving her vehicle at an excessive rate of speed, albeit the posted speed, for the dangerous road conditions. She neglected to sound her horn to provide notice to the pedestrians and, ultimately, was unable to maintain control of her vehicle. Clarkston v. Louisiana Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co., 989 So.2d 164

If you need help or have any questions about your motor vehicle accident, call me at 866-558-9151 or submit your inquiry online. Please be advised that you may be facing important legal deadlines, so don’t delay.

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