Baton Rouge Personal Injury Law Blog

The concerns with distracted driving

We tend to have a lot going on in our lives. If it is not work or school, it is the growing demands of raising a family or taking care of yourself.

Because of technology, it can be much easier to get through the day. However, there are some places where technology can actually be harmful, such as when a driver is using it while trying to focus on the road. Distracted driving is a growing concern in Louisiana and other states across the nation, and for a good reason.

Helping you determine the cause of a truck accident

Commercial trucks play a vital role in intrastate and interstate commerce. Because of that, motorists in Louisiana and elsewhere can frequently see the roads filled with these massive vehicles transporting goods short and long distances. Truck drivers also play a vital role and are entrusted with the responsibility to get their loads to the intended destination on time. Because there is the constant need to get shipments made on time or ahead of schedule, many truck companies push their drivers to drive long hours and through the night.

While it is expected that truck drivers will work many hours, even traveling during the night, there are federal trucking regulations that detail how many hours a truck driver can travel in a given timeframe, how often they must take breaks and how to address truck driving fatigue. Nonetheless, many truck drivers and trucking companies fail to comply with these regulations, increasing the risk of truck accidents.

What makes a driver reckless rather than negligent?

It is often the case that when a car accident happens on a Baton Rouge road that one or more of the involved drivers were acting negligently. A negligent driver is not necessarily one who wants to harm others, but through their carelessness or inattention, create the hazard that leads to the injuries of others. Negligence is a common basis for many personal injury legal cases.

However, recklessness is a different form of conduct than negligence. While negligence is clearly inadvertent, recklessness is more deliberate. If a person is conducting themselves recklessly, then they do not care if their actions harm others; they may recognize that individuals may be harmed by what they do but that threat does not stop them from engaging in dangerous actions that disregard the welfare of others.

Drunk driving accident victims have legal rights

Just recently, this Baton Rouge personal injury legal blog discussed the very serious topic of drinking and driving. The post offered a brief overview of the many ways that alcohol may impact a person's ability to drive, from the way it may dull their reflexes and reaction time to the manner in which it inhibits their decision-making processes.

Alcohol affects different drivers in different ways, but the potential for harm that may result when an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a car has pushed legislators to criminalize the act in jurisdictions across the nation. However, criminal sanctions for drinking and driving are not the only legal issues that a person may confront if they cause a drunk driving crash. Their victims may also have rights to sue them in civil court for the recovery of their accident-related losses.

How does alcohol impact a person's ability to drive?

It is a scary sight to see on a Baton Rouge highway: a vehicle traveling too fast for traffic and conditions, swerving in and out of its lane, following too closely to other vehicles and passing with too little space in between it and other automobiles. A likely reason for the vehicle's erratic and dangerous actions is the condition of the driver, as when alcohol is in a driver's system, it can cause them to make these and other dangerous driving decisions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even a small amount of alcohol in a person's system can cause them to make poor driving choices. With a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent a driver may have a decline in visual capacity and a decline in their judgment processing. When their blood alcohol concentration rises to .05 percent they may also experience a loss of muscle control, a decrease in their alertness and other serious complications.

Distracted drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers

For years, we have known that drunk drivers present one of the biggest threats on the road. But now that texting is prevalent throughout society, drunk driving now has a rival. Some studies suggest that texting while driving is actually just as dangerous as driving while impaired.

You may already know that drivers who text behind the wheel and drivers who are intoxicated display similar driving behaviors. To find out how texting while driving compares with drunk driving, read further.

Common carriers and the role of negligence in accidents

Many Baton Rouge residents use their personal vehicles to travel to the locations that they must visit. Whether it is for their daily commute to work, shuttling their kids to school or just getting to the store to purchase groceries they rely on their cars, trucks and SUVs to carry them where they need to go.

From time to time, though, individuals may choose to rely on other forms of transportation. Instead of driving to an event they may choose to take a taxicab to avoid the hassles of parking, or they may ride a bus to work if their personal vehicle is in the shop. When a Louisiana resident pays a transportation entity to take them where they need to go they are enlisting the services of a common carrier.

What role does negligence play in a car accident claim?

Generally, a Louisiana resident cannot sue another person if the other person owed them no duty of care and caused them no harm. In the personal injury context, a victim is considered a person who suffers due to the actions or omissions of another person and who should have been protected from the responsible party's conduct through the presence of a duty between the parties. It is usually when negligence is involved that civil legal claims may arise and victims may pursue their damages.

One of the most common types of negligence-based harm that a person can suffer is an accident while driving their car. A victim may be one their way to work when out of nowhere another car rear ends them, causing their vehicle extensive damage and the victim's body pain and injury-related harm. Drivers who operate motor vehicles on Baton Rouge roads owe each other a duty to act reasonably and avoid causing each other harm; as such, a driver who rear ends another may not have met their duty and the cause of their failure to protect others may have been negligence.

Drivers of commercial vehicles must hold special licenses

It is a rite of passage for most teenagers to obtain their driver's licenses. Most cannot wait to experience the freedom of getting behind the wheel of a car and taking off on their own. Each and every day, Baton Rouge teens earn the privilege of operating motor vehicles on Louisiana road and freeways.

Most individuals maintain their driver's licenses throughout their lives so that they can continue to operate personal motor vehicles. For many, standard driver's licenses are enough to allow them to drive the vehicles they want so that they may travel to where they want to go. However, individuals who want or need to drive large commercial vehicles are required by law to possess additional licenses that demonstrate their capacity to handle massive trucks.

Short days and dark nights pose risks to motorcyclists

Many Louisiana residents enjoyed the time shift that occurred just a few weeks ago. As most Americans fell back an hour and relished in an extra hour of sleep, they were simultaneously forced to transition to days in which the sun sets earlier and the nights start much sooner than they grew accustom to over the summer.

Early nights pose risks to motorists because as the sun sets earlier it can be harder and harder for drivers to see obstacles and each other in the darkness of night. One population of motorists may become especially hard to see in the new early hours of darkness that come with the change of season: motorcyclists.

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