horses serious personal injury

State Supreme Court Looks at Immunity Statute in City Park Horse Bite Personal Injury Claim

Louisiana “Equine Activity Immunity” Statute Examined in Serious Personal Injury Case

On September 23, 2013, Danielle Larson, an Illinois resident, but frequent visitor to New Orleans’ City Park horse facility was bitten by a horse.  On May 3, 2017, the legal odyssey for Ms. Larson continues with a ruling by the Louisiana State Supreme Court in Larson v. XYZ Insurance Company. Ultimately the court decides that Louisiana’s Equine Activity Immunity Statute did not apply.

On this day, as Larson was visiting with the horses, she arrived at a stall where a pony, Wesley, was standing at the gate. Larson placed a carrot in her hand and held it out, but the carrot was knocked from her hand by the horse, causing the carrot to fall to the ground. As Larson squatted down to pick up the carrot, Wesley also reached for the carrot. Instead of biting the carrot, however, Wesley bit off Larson’s thumb.

Larson required substantial medical care. Doctors attached her injured hand to her groin for four weeks to keep what remained of her hand viable. Larson will have to be fitted for a prosthetic thumb or transfer a toe to her hand.

Ouch!

Because of the serious personal injuries sustained, Larson filed a Petition for Damages alleging that Equest Farm and its insurer were liable for her injuries under theories of negligence and strict liability.  However, Louisiana provides immunity for “participants” of “equine activities” under certain conditions. The Horse Farm asserted that the Equine Immunity Statute, La. R.S. 9:2795.3 applied and that Larson, although seriously injured, should not be granted recovery against it.

It was stated that Larson, who visited Equest Farm for the purpose of visiting and feeding horses owned by that facility, was a “participant” and should not recover.

The original court dismissed Larson’s case, citing the immunity statute.  However, she appealed.

The court of appeal reversed the summary judgment, finding that Larson was not a participant engaged in an equine activity, and thus the farm was not afforded immunity under the statute. Larson v. XYZ Ins., 2015-0704 (La. App. 4 Cir. 3/23/16), 192 So.3d 181. The appeal court concluded that the definition of “engages in an equine activity” found in subsection (A)(1) of the statute, which must be strictly construed, does not include “a visitor to a stable who feeds treats to a horse.”

So then, the farm and its insurer appealed to the Louisiana State Supreme Court.

Here, the Louisiana State Supreme Court agreed with the court of appeal and found that more facts and examination of the immunity statute were warranted.

The bottom line, Danielle Larson might recover for her serious personal injures after all.

This type of case illustrates how important it is to hire an attorney who can handle your serious personal injury case. Insurers and others don’t want to pay money for claims if they don’t have to pay. Here, Ms. Larson had her case dismissed, then reinstated, and now affirmed by the Louisiana State Supreme Court.

Contact injuredGo.com Law Firm at (225) 933-1500 or visit injuredGo.com if you need legal advice regarding a serious personal injury. We offer free consultations and are glad to help you if we can.

 

Medical Doctor

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Bill Shelved

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Bill Proposed System Changes

Two Louisiana Medical Malpractice bills calling for an increase in the $500,000 cap on economic damages for medical malpractice has prompted lawmakers to consider broader changes in state laws.  The House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted Thursday to put the two measures on hold for the current legislative session.

House Bill 526 by Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Dubberly, and House Bill 51 by Rep. Steve Pugh, R-Tangipahoa, were held in committee. But there was a consensus that the measures raised issues that needed to be reviewed in a broader context, a scrutiny that would involve not only lawmakers but those involved, such as doctors and personal injury lawyers.

HB526 would have extended the amount of time plaintiffs have to file a medical malpractice suit from 12 months to 18 months after the discovery of the incident, and moving from three year to five years from the time of the incident.  The current laws have not changed in decades.

The bill also would have adjusted the cap on recoverable damages, which currently sits at a $500,000 limit, but limits awards for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, to $350,000. It defines the limit on economic damages to the “actual cost of past and future medical care and related benefits.”  This may or may not be an improvement for the recovery of the victims, whose recoverable damages are often lower than their actual losses.

Corey Shadd, who testified in favor of the legislation and noted his grandmother died because of misdiagnosis, emphasized the current cap was enacted 43 years ago and has not been changed since.

Story

Expert Testimony personal injury

Abraham Lincoln – Quality Legal Services

When Abraham Lincoln practiced law, he provided quality legal services.

Perhaps Lincoln’s greatest asset as a lawyer was his ability to simplify cases, and provide quality legal services. He was able to reduce even complex cases to a few key points. He put legal disputes into simple focus. He had a gift for brevity and clarity. Lincoln’s special talent was logical oral argument and not legal research. He had an uncanny ability to ‘read’ juries and influence them with his persuasive arguments. Lincoln always had a law partner. Lincoln’s fees were usually in the $5 to $20 range, but he once charged $5,000. Lincoln represented the Illinois Central Railroad throughout the 1850’s. In the McLean County Tax case, a case Lincoln won for the railroad, he charged his largest fee ever: $5,000, but he had to sue the railroad to collect his money.  Full Story

Some firms today, represent personal injury victims in a settlement mill fashion.

Today’s times are far more complex.  At InjuredGo.com Personal Injury Law Firm, LLC, Ed Kramer strives to give you the personal service and attention that you deserve from a professional.  But, unlike Abraham Lincoln, InjuredGo.com knows that a pool of talent is better for your case- to simplify the issues and help prove your damages.Abraham Lincoln

Expert witnesses are essential in many personal injury cases.

Expert testimonies usually occurs in cases involving:

  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Statistics
  • Violation of standards
  • Violations of safety rules
  • Violations of custom and practice
  • Permanent injury
  • Causation
  • Issues pertaining of standard of care in medical or legal malpractice cases

The most common use of an expert in a personal injury case is probably the treating physician.  He is needed to place the issue of permanent disability and causation before the jury.  For example, to prove that a plaintiff has a permanent back injury and that it was caused by the accident in question, the plaintiff’ attorney needs to call either a treating physician or a hired expert to testify that the injury is permanent and caused by the accident.   In most personal injury cases, a treating physician or hired expert may be called to testify, or at least their records and opinions therein obtained.   The more complex the case, the more experts will generally be called, or otherwise utilized.

Ed Kramer has worked with many experts in many fields.  In preparing your case, we use expert testimony when necessary to let the insurance company know that we are ready bring your case before a jury.  If the a reasonable, or even maximum award is not offered, the insurer knows it is likely to face a trial, which is more expensive and involves more risk.  But your case is worth putting all efforts toward it, and to achieving the highest possible settlement or award.

Call us today at (225) 933-1500 or visit InjuredGo.com

Auto Accident Ed Kramer

Which Car Accidents Can Raise Your Insurance Rates?

Some Car Accidents Can Raise Your Insurance Rates

From NASDAQ, Inc.  HERE

Accidents happen, and assuming no-one was hurt, the most important issues in their aftermath might be their impact, if any, on your auto insurance rates for next year. Knowing what affect is likely can help you decide whether to make claim for a fender-bender, or allow you time to brace yourself for a premium increase next year. Alternatively, you may want to take preemptive steps now to minimize a hike, such as enrolling in a defensive driving course.

Here’s how insurance companies generally determine whether a mishap will in fact be found “chargeable” to you and your record. Whether that finding actually raises your premium depends on a host of factors, including your driving record in other respects and if and when you have made other claims in the recent past.

The Claim’s Cost Is A Factor
The factors we found best determine whether you’ve had an accident that’s “chargeable”–as in one that will go on your record, and perhaps trigger a rise in your premium when you renew your insurance–begin with the mishap’s financial severity.

Our research finds that a claim needs to be at least $500 to be considered a chargeable accident with the major companies, but you should check with your company to confirm their threshold. Our research finds it to be $500 for some companies, and $750 for others–with those totals typically reflecting property damage including to the vehicles involved), liability coverage and collision coverage combined.

The Police Report Is Also Important
Insurance companies generally use accidents in which you are at least 50% at-fault to determine your quotes, and you can be sure most of them will increase your rates.

To do, they typically draw on the official report from police at the scene in your accident. Within that report is an officer’s objective analysis of the situation, including an opinion on whether a specific traffic violation was broken, or whether drugs or alcohol played a role. The report may even specify whom the officer thinks was at fault.

Fault Is Clear-cut For Some Accidents
As we noted, who is deemed at fault is generally key to an accident’s “chargeability.” For a few types of accidents, there’s little or no grey area regarding fault. One such accident is a “rear end collision”. Highway laws generally say that a driver needs to maintain a safe stopping distance. Rear-ending someone is generally presumed to be a violation of that law, giving the person who was struck a legal reason to prove the other person’s fault.

Even so, while the majority of rear end collisions assign fault to the rear driver, there are instances where fault will not be assigned at 100%. If the front driver has a broken tail light, was distracted, the driver at the rear can point out those factors, which may result in the fault assigned to dip from full to partial, or even to none at all. Another claim that is hard to fight is a “left turn accident,” in which a driver making a left turn collides with a driver coming in the opposite direction. Rules of the road dictate that a driver waiting to make a left hand turn must wait until traffic is clear, meaning you are almost always at-fault if you were the left-turning driver. Some exceptions will of course exist- including if the other driver was going over the speed limit, or they ran a red light.

Some Accidents Are Exempted From Fault
Car insurance companies may not assign fault to you for certain types of accidents. Those may include those in which a bird or animal struck the vehicle, a hit-and-run driver was involved, or the other driver was charged with a moving violation. Accidents that resulted from tire failure are also often exempt. You’re also generally off the hook if you’re a full-time firefighter or law enforcement officer of a municipality who had an accident while you were performing your duties.

injuredGo.com represents personal injury car accident victims.

Jury Trial InjuredGo.com

Insurance Company Refuses Offer to Settle

Insurance Company Refuses Offer to Settle of $25,000; Jury Awards $4.4 Million

Following a 2015 Gwinnett County, GA verdict awarding $3.7 million to a man whose back was injured in an auto accident, his lawyers collected another $700,000 in attorney fees after the insurance company refuses offer to settle under Georgia’s offer of settlement statute.

The insurance company refused multiple offers to settle for her policy limits of $25,000 early in the litigation, and later declined a $475,000 settlement offer. The insurer offered to pay $11,000 in response to the early demands meant it was aware that its driver bore some liability.  The plaintiff had $13,000 in medicals and made a $25,000 demand.

The lead attorney for the defendant insurer, Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout partner Daniel Prout, Jr., did not respond to requests for comment concerning the settlement.

The accident happened in 2012 when a Chevrolet Colorado driven by Walter Smalls was struck by a Lincoln Navigator driven by Maria Camarillo. Smalls’ 18-year-old daughter, a passenger in the pickup truck, was the more seriously injured, although Smalls suffered abrasions to his face and a leg injury. After he was released from the hospital, Smalls experienced a sharp pain in his back that continued to worsen despite treatment. Then a 47-year-old electrician, Smalls ultimately required surgery and had to give up his profession, his lawyers said.

Camarillo’s insurer, Omni Indemnity, paid her $25,000 policy limits to Smalls’ daughter after a pretrial demand but refused four policy limit demands on Smalls’ behalf. The insurer responded with an offer of $11,000 and continued to decline policy limit demands as Smalls’ medical bills mounted. After Smalls sued in Gwinnett County State Court in 2013, the insurer offered Camarillo’s $25,000 limit during a mediation, which was declined. In 2014, Omni Indemnity turned down the $475,000 offer of judgment, and a few months before trial it rejected a demand for $1.2 million.

Following a four-day trial before Judge Pam South, the jury returned a $3.7 million verdict in November 2015.  Full Story

Call InjuredGo.com if you feel that you have a case and want to be treated fairly by the Insurance Company.  (225) 933-1500

Fracking, damages, ed kramer, attorney, Baton Rouge

$4.2 Million Fracking Award For Groundwater Contamination Overturned by Judge.

Fracking Allegedly Caused Groundwater Contamination

Dimock, Pennsylvania has been called ground zero in the fight against fracking. It’s the location that became the basis for the movie Gasland by anti-fracking activist Josh Fox. Last March, a federal jury awarded $4.2 million to a pair of Dimock families that had sued over alleged pollution of their drinking water. Today that award was reversed on appeal. The $4 million award was given to just two families who refused to settle with the company.

Only two families out of the original 44 plaintiffs in the case against Cabot Oil and Gas went to trial after years of delays, lack of representation, and legal setbacks. Lead plaintiff Scott Ely worked for the driller before becoming a whistleblower.  Full Story.

“I saw so much on these job sites,” he said after the verdict. “I’m not only working for them I’m also a resident and as I’m working for them, I end up becoming a victim of it.”

Judge Martin Carlson wrote that the evidence presented at last year’s jury trial by a pair of families in Dimock, Pa., “was spare, sometimes contradictory, frequently rebutted by other scientific expert testimony, and relied in some measure upon tenuous inferences.”

He said there were multiple “weaknesses” in the case, along with “serious and troubling irregularities in the testimony and presentation of the plaintiffs’ case — including repeated and regrettable missteps by counsel in the jury’s presence,” necessitating that Carlson vacate the jury award against Cabot Oil and Gas Co….

“We do not take this step lightly, and we recognize the significance of voiding the judgment of a panel of jurors who sat through nearly three weeks of trial and reached a unanimous verdict,” he wrote.  injuredGo.com Personal Injury Law Firm has written postals about groundwater contamination before.  Here and Here.

You generally get one chance to chose the right lawyer for you.  Attorney Ed Kramer is happy to discuss your options.  (225) 933-1500  www.InjuredGo.com

texting and driving personal injury

Texting Accident Injuries Caused by a Distracted Driver More Common than Ever

Shocking Statistics: More Texting Accident Injuries Than Ever

The numbers illustrating the dangers of cell phone texting accident injuries while driving are downright startling. In fact, at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.

Cell phone distraction rates are alarmingly high. We hope with a little information, you’ll make the right decision when you’re on the road.

General Cell Phone Statistics

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
  • 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
  • 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.
  • Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics

11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.

  • According to an AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
  • 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
  • Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.
  • 2013 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics

In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distraction-related crashes. About 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2013, 10% of all drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.Researchers from the University of Washington monitored

Injured By a Texting Driver? Contact Us Today

As cell phone use and driving become a national problem, the chances of being involved in a car accident with a distracted driver increase. If you’re ever injured by the carelessness of another driver, contact our law firm for a free consultation.

There’s never a fee to call and speak with us, and you’re never obligated to hire our law firm after you call. Get the answers you need.  InjuredGo.com Law Firm stands ready to help you.  Contact us at (225) 933-1500 or visit www.InjuredGo.com

personal injury Ed Kramer bus accident

$250 Million Lawsuit Filed for Bus Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Accident

Bus Accident Personal Injury Claim Tops $250 Million

Fifteen passengers who were aboard the charter bus hit by a freight train on March 7, 2017 in Biloxi, Mississippi have filed a $250 million dollar lawsuit. The cases were filed in Harris County state court, in Houston, Texas. The bus in question was traveling from one Mississippi casino to another Mississippi casino when it became stuck at a steep grade crossing on tracks owned and maintained by CSX Corporation. See story HERE.

The 20 plus ton charter bus was pushed more than 200 feet. Four were killed in the crash, and more than forty were injured. At least seventeen accidents had occurred previously at the crossing, including at least two accidents within the last two years where large vehicles were stuck on the tracks while trying to cross. The charter bus, which originated in Austin, Texas, was operated by Texas-based Echo Transportation. Echo Transportation is part of the TBL Group, based in Houston, Texas. The trip was organized by Diamond Tours, Inc.

The named Defendants in the cases are: Echo Transportation, Inc., Diamond Tours, Inc., TBL Group, Inc., CSX Transportation, Inc., and ABC Companies. The lead case is: Hall v. Echo Transportation, Inc., et al.; Cause No. 2017-17413; In the 151st District Court, Harris County, Texas.

Bus and truck accidents cause many personal injuries due to their size and frequent use. As you can see from this report, there are often many party defendants involved.

If you are hurt in a bus accident call the InjuredGo.com Law Firm.  Attorney Ed Kramer stands ready to help you. (225) 933-1500.  www.InjuredGo.com

motorcycle personal injury

Most Common Causes of Fatal Auto Accidents

Fatal Auto Accidents

This infographic illustrates common causes behind fatal auto accidents. Since 1970, auto accident deaths have been steadily declining. This is partly because of stricter safety measures in automobile design. However, this hasn’t stopped alcohol, speeding, distracted driving, and reckless driving from becoming the top contributors to deadly automobile incident.

Auto accidents caused by distracted driving skyrocketed with the introduction of smart phones and other electronic mobile devices. Several states have banned cell phone use while driving; yet 28% of all auto accidents still involve cell phones. Whether texting, making a phone call, or just browsing your favorite mobile app, using cell phones while operating a vehicle drastically increases your chances of being in an accident.

Big Trucks are also a cause of fatal car accidents.  This is because the relative size of the truck, compared to a car, is significant. It is not unusual for a big truck accident to result in a fatality. Although driving time is limited for truck drivers, there is still a large number of truck accidents occurring because of driver fatigue.

Motorcycle Accidents are also a cause of fatalities. A motorcycle is far less likely to be seen by a truck or a car. There is also far less protection for a motorcycle driver involved in an accident than the driver of a car.

Personal Injury demand letter

How to Write a Personal Injury Demand Letter

A personal injury demand letter serves to memorialize your position in the matter. It sets forth how much YOU think that you are entitled to in a personal injury claim.  The demand letter will be the main focus of the negotiation process.  The injured victim not only needs to propose their strongest arguments to the insurance company, but be certain to include ALL items of damage, past, and future.

At InjuredGo.com Law Firm, these settlement demands can come in various forms. From a simple letter to complex computer-driven presentations including things such as life-care plans and ‘day-in-the-life’ videos. For most claims, a simple letter will suffice.

You should consider including the following in your letter:

  • The reason the other party is legally responsible
  • The injuries the injured person faced and currently faces
  • The information about medical treatment and how much it costs
  • The income loss
  • Any other damages suffered

Sometimes, you will want to ‘bargain’ a bit.  Like most negotiations, the insurer generally won’t offer, if they offer anything, they almost certainly won’t offer what you are asking. Apart from presenting the injured person’s side of the case, the letter also establishes how the injuries occurred, information about those injuries, details of the treatment for those injuries and how those injuries have impacted the claimant. There is also a specific ‘demand,’ or a dollar amount in the letter, that the injured person is willing to accept to successfully resolve the case and no longer hold the other party liable.

InjuredGo.com Law Firm’s Personal Injury Demand Letter to Insurers

At InjuredGo.com Law Firm, LLC, we stand behind our settlement demands and are prepared to back them up with (1) provable facts in your case; (2) case law citing previous awards in similar matters; (3) a trial team that the insurer knows can back up our demand.  This is generally effective in allowing us to recover the maximum amount for your personal injury claim. A personal injury demand letter sometimes also begins the clock for a claim of an insurer’s bad faith.

After an individual sends the demand letter, the insurer has a few options. Amongst them are to pay the demand, deny the claim, counter-offer or ask for more information.  Generally speaking, you want to wait until you know what all of your damages are before you send a demand letter.

You should also recognize that there is a time-limit on when you can file a claim in a court of law. If you don’t settle your case, or file a suit beyond that date, your case will be lost. The insurer cannot even agree to extend it.

If you have any questions, or, are looking for a professional to handle your case, call us at InjuredGo.com Law Firm, LLC.  (225) 933-1500 or www.InjuredGo.com

We handle personal injury cases from car accidents to Big Truck Wrecks, to Offshore and River accidents, Wrongful Death and even Medical Device claims.