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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Signs that a concussion may be serious

A person who is in a car accident in Louisiana may suffer from a traumatic brain injury. This injury may not always be immediately apparent, so it is important to know the signs. It is also important to note whether someone who has been diagnosed with a concussion has lingering symptoms. In some cases, symptoms may appear weeks or months later, and people may be unaware of them. Children, teenagers and older adults are the most likely to suffer from long-term symptoms.

There are four major categories of symptoms. These are sleep disturbances, problems with thinking and remembering, emotional or mood disturbances, and physical symptoms. Physical symptoms include fatigue, issues with balance, noise or light sensitivity, headaches, blurry vision and dizziness. In the early stages, there may also be nausea and vomiting.

New training to be mandated for truck drivers

Some people are criticizing a new federal rule for truck driver training in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. because they say it doesn't go far enough in ensuring new drivers have sufficient behind-the-wheel time. The new federal rules went into effect as of June 5. However, there is a lengthy implementation period, as carriers and trainers will have until February 2017 to be in compliance.

The new federal trucking regulations were delayed by five months due to regulatory reviews imposed by the Trump administration. They will apply to all applicants for a commercial driver's license who receive their license on or after Feb. 7, 2020.

Annual safety inspection campaign will span 72 hours

Louisiana motorists who plan to be driving during the 2017 International Roadcheck event may want to know more about the annual safety inspection spree. Set to begin on June 6, the inspection blitz is scheduled to take place over 72 hours across the U.S. and in Canada. Safety inspectors will check approximately 15 commercial vehicles per minute for safety violations.

Planned by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the event takes place each year around this time. In 2016, CVSA inspectors placed 9,080 trucks and 1,436 drivers out of service during the International Roadcheck enforcement program. These totals represented 21.5 percent of all trucks and 3.4 percent of all drivers inspected.

Child motor vehicle deaths

Parents in Louisiana who are concerned about the welfare of their children should know that the South has the highest number of child fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents. This is according to research from the UT Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard University. Factors such as accidents on rural roads and using restraints improperly are thought to contribute to the high rate of child deaths.

The study is the first of its kind to examine state-based trends in child deaths due to auto crashes. It is also the first to take into account the variations in geography as well as state regulations and statutes.

Supreme Court paves way for sleep apnea regulations

Louisiana truck drivers might be likelier to face new regulations about sleep apnea following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court declined to hear a case in which a truck driver claimed that his employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by asking him to get tested for sleep apnea.

In the case, the driver had a body mass index of more than 35, which prompted his carrier to ask him to get tested for sleep apnea. He presented a letter from his doctor that stated the testing was unnecessary. When he refused the testing, his carrier fired him. The court's decision not to hear the case allows the lower court's ruling to stand. In that ruling, the lower court found that testing does not violate the ADA.

What to know about motorcycle accidents

Louisiana residents may be aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, there were 4,976 deaths caused by motorcycle crashes in 2015. This was an 8.3 percent increase from 2014. Although motorcycle fatalities were up in 2015 compared to 2014, there was a 4.3 percent decrease in the number of motorcycle injuries with a total of 88,000 in 2015.

In 2015, there were 8.6 million motorcycles on the road, which was up from 8 million in 2009. In that same year, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than occupants in a car to die in a crash per mile traveled. There were also five times more likely to be injured in a a crash per mile traveled. When looked at per the number of registered vehicles, motorcyclists were far more likely to die in a crash compared to someone in a car.

Saliva test shows which kids have prolonged concussion symptoms

Louisiana parents may be interested to learn that a spit test could help determine whether a child's concussion symptoms will last for several days or weeks. The spit test was shown to be about 90 percent accurate while a commonly used concussion survey is accurate in about 70 percent of cases.

To conduct the test, all the pediatrician has to do is collect a small amount of the child's saliva via a swab. The sample is then sent to the lab. The results could be given to the family the next day, meaning the child can receive the needed treatment very quickly. The test may also help determine which kids are more likely to suffer from prolonged concussion symptoms and which kids should return to normal within a shorter time frame. With the current tests that are available, there is no way to predict how long the concussion symptoms will last.

Court determines Home Depot. can be held liable for death

Louisiana workers may be interested to learn that Home Depot Inc. was sued for negligence after a pregnant employee was murdered at an offsite event in 2012. The employee's murderer, who had been her supervisor, was convicted of homicide and sexual assault in 2014.

The company had argued that it was not responsible for the employee's death as the murder did not occur on the company's property. However, an appellate court ruled that the supervisor had the authority to reduce the employee's hours or fire her altogether, which essentially gave him power that he may not have otherwise had. Additionally, store managers knew that the supervisor had a history of sexual harassment. In fact, the supervisor had even been ordered to take anger management classes, though the company reportedly never followed up on it.

Types of distracted driving

Distracted driving takes many forms. Along with changing the radio station, fiddling with climate controls or eating, Ma ny Louisiana motorists use their cellphone while behind the wheel. It is the last type of distracted driving that has led lawmakers to enact legislation geared towards reducing the behavior.

While it's not against the law to eat while driving, legislation has made it so that if someone is doing so and an accident takes place, the driver will probably be held liable for the crash. One reason that lawmakers are cracking down on distracted driving is that it is potentially very dangerous.

Determining if a tailgating driver can be held liable

If a Louisiana driver becomes involved in a car accident that involved tailgating, the driver that was tailgating will most likely be held liable for the crash as it is illegal to follow other vehicles too closely. However, there are certain liability issues that the driver who was not tailgating will have to prove in order for the other person to be held liable.

There are four main elements that must be met for a negligence claim involving tailgating to be successful. First, a person must show that the other driver owed a duty of care to drive responsibly. It must be shown that the driver failed to meet this duty by following too close. It must be proven that the person suffered injuries that were directly caused by the tailgating incident. Finally, the injuries must be proven either through medical records and bills or by some other manner.