What Are Bed Sores?

by Dudley DeBosier | January 25th, 2021

Bed sores are a painful injury that as many as one in every 10 nursing home residents suffer, according to data collected by the CDC. However, bed sores aren’t caused by accident, like slips and falls. Bed sores are typically a sign of neglect by nursing home staff.

If someone you love currently lives in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, it’s important to know what bed sores are, how they happen, and how to recognize them, so you can learn if your loved one is being cared for properly or is instead being dangerously neglected by nursing home staff.

When left undiagnosed and untreated, bed sores can become exceptionally dangerous injuries, especially for elderly or disabled individuals.

What Causes Bed Sores?

Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers, are caused by skin rubbing against a surface continually or when blood flow is cut off from constant pressure against the skin or limb. This is usually from residents spending long hours at a time lying in a bed or in a wheelchair without moving.

Because some elderly and disabled people are unable to move without assistance, when they are neglected by caretakers, they can develop bed sores. Residents who are already experiencing neglect, such as malnourishment or dehydration, may even be more at risk of developing bed sores faster.

What Do Bed Sores Look Like?

Bed sores will look different depending on how long they’ve been left untreated. “Stage One” bed sores can appear after only a few hours, and may not look too different from a bruise. But when left untreated for days at a time, bed sores can progress through stages of severity. By the time they reach “Stage Four,” bed sores may never heal properly, and can even be fatal.

Stage One Bed Sores – These will be a discolored patch of skin on a part of the body that presses up against the bed or wheelchair, such as the backs of arms and legs, heels of the feet, the tailbone, shoulders, and back of the head.

It may appear red on lighter skin or purple on darker skin and won’t turn lighter when pressed. It may feel warm, swollen, or hard, and your loved one may complain that it’s painful or itchy.

Stage Two Bed Sores – At this stage, the sore breaks the surface of the skin. The spot will look like a bad blister or an open wound and may ooze pus or a clear fluid. This stage is very painful.

Stage Three Bed Sores – At this stage, the sore has broken through all layers of the skin and is now affecting the fat tissue. It will look like a crater in the skin, and the skin around it may begin to change color.

The wound may be hot to the touch and smell bad.

Stage Four Bed Sores – At this stage, the sore has broken through both the skin and fat tissue and is beginning to erode the muscle tissue and bone, which may even be visible through the gaping wound. The skin around the wound may begin to die and turn black, and the inside of the wound may turn brown, black, green, or yellow.

At this final stage, bed sores may require surgery to treat, and can become fatally infected.

How Are Bed Sores Treated?

Bed sores can be prevented by making sure the nursing home resident is moved at least every two hours, but if a bed sores forms, it’s important to treat it as soon as it’s noticed.

If in stage one, bed sores can be treated by moving the patient so the affected spot is no longer pressed against the mattress or wheelchair. If your loved one can’t be moved out of their bed or wheelchair, you can try to change their position by propping the affected body part with foam pads or pillows.

The affected area should also be gently washed with mild soap and warm water.

If the nursing home resident is moved often and the sore is allowed time to heal, it should fade in a matter of days.

Once the sore breaks the skin, it will need to be kept clean at all times and dressed with medical gauze to prevent infection. If tissue around the affected spot dies, the dead tissue may need to be removed, and healthy tissue grafted on. The patient may also need to be prescribed antibiotics to keep the wound from becoming infected. 

Bed Sores Are Usually Evidence of Neglect

Bed sores can form in as little as two hours, and when spotted and treated early, are not very harmful. But an unfortunate truth is that many nursing homes under-hire and under-train staff to save money, which means residents who need help moving from their bed or wheelchair aren’t given the help they need often enough, and when bed sores form, they aren’t noticed.

When nursing homes residents are left neglected for days and weeks at a time, allowing bed sores to develop and become painful and dangerous to the residents’ health, the nursing home should be held liable for their neglect.

If you visited your loved one in their nursing home recently and found untreated bed sores, report the problem to the nursing home immediately. Your family may also be eligible for compensation for the nursing home’s neglect and what your loved one suffered while their wound was left untreated.

At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we care deeply about the health of our elderly loved ones, and we know how scary and stressful it can be to try to get them help. A lawsuit may be able to get your loved one the compensation they need and deserve for their injuries. If you’d like to explore your options, contact our firm today for a free consultation.

What Makes Asbestos a Carcinogen?

by Dudley DeBosier | December 14th, 2020

Most people know that asbestos causes cancer, but not as many people are familiar with what asbestos is, how it’s used and where it’s found, and how it causes cancer. Not knowing these things makes it easier to be exposed to asbestos without realizing it.

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer associated with asbestos, you may be eligible for compensation if you were exposed through someone else’s negligence. But first you’ll need to be able to establish how you were exposed.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally forming fibrous minerals that have long been used in a wide variety of building materials and even some consumer goods due to their durability and strong resistance to heat. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that the general public became aware that exposure to asbestos puts people at an increased risk of mesothelioma and other cancers.

What Kinds of Products Use Asbestos?

Asbestos was in wide use from the 1930s until the 1970s, and can be found in a variety of products, including:

  • Roofing
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Paint
  • Cement
  • Sealant
  • Rubber
  • Asphalt
  • Plastic
  • Textiles
  • Fireproof products such as fire blankets
  • Auto parts

Why Is Asbestos Harmful?

Asbestos is formed of tiny fibers that, when disturbed, break off and get into the air, forming dust clouds. When these microscopic pieces of asbestos get inside the body, they can become permanently trapped.

Once inside the body, they cause irritation, inflammation, internal scarring, and even genetic damage. As you can imagine, this causes serious health problems.

Both studies of people and lab studies of animals have shown that exposure to asbestos is linked to cancer.

Exposure to asbestos is one of the only known causes of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer affecting the membranes lining the chest and abdomen. However, asbestos has also been linked to other forms of cancer, including lung, larynx, colorectal, and ovarian cancers.

Signs of asbestos exposure include shortness of breath, chronic cough, coughing up blood, difficulty swallowing, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia.

How Are People Exposed to Asbestos?

Most people exposed to asbestos either work in industries that use asbestos, or live or work in buildings containing asbestos. The asbestos is breathed in through the air or carried to new areas by collecting on clothing. This is how family members of workers who are around asbestos may have also been exposed to asbestos.

People can also be exposed to asbestos by consuming food and drink that have been contaminated with asbestos – for example, drinking water that flowed through a pipe made of asbestos concrete.

Finally, asbestos is often mined near talc, so consumer goods such as cosmetics or feminine hygiene products that use talcum powder may also have been contaminated with asbestos.

Exposed to Asbestos and Diagnosed with Cancer? You Could Be Eligible for Compensation

Although asbestos is no longer mined in the U.S., it’s still legal to use it in products, and many workers in Louisiana, including workers in shipyards and oil refineries, continue to be exposed.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have a case for compensation for your cancer-related medical expenses and pain and suffering. Contact our Louisiana personal injury legal team today for more information.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

by Dudley DeBosier | May 25th, 2020

Deciding to move a parent or other family member into a nursing home or assisted living facility is never an easy choice. But it’s often necessary when a person knows their loved one has medical needs that make it difficult or impossible for them to live independently.

However, many people also worry about their loved ones’ health and happiness after moving them into a nursing home, and that’s because many nursing home residents will experience abuse or neglect.

If you’ve been following our blog, you may have already read how to recognize signs of abuse, and that means you know that nursing home abuse isn’t always physical. In addition to intentional injuries and illnesses caused by neglect, nursing home abuse can also include emotional abuse and even financial abuse like theft, extortion, and fraud.

Worse, research suggests most elder abuse goes unreported. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), incidents that put nursing home residents in harm or immediate danger rose by nearly 11% between 2013 and 2017.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused by nursing home staff or other residents, you need to act to keep them safe. But how?

Who to Contact When You Suspect Elder Abuse

Depending on the type and severity of harm you suspect your beloved family member has suffered, there are several different people and resources you can reach out to about your concerns. You may even decide to contact more than one to cover your bases.

Helpful resources when dealing with suspected nursing home abuse include:

  • 911 – If your loved one is in immediate danger, calling emergency services can get them the medical treatment they need, and bring police to the scene to file a report.
  • Your Loved One’s Doctor – Health care professionals and social service practitioners in Louisiana are legally obligated to report suspected cases of physical or mental abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Let your family member’s physician know your concerns, especially if they are not affiliated with the nursing home. If they find symptoms of abuse, they will be able to make a report to the correct agency.
  • The Nursing Home – The nursing home where your loved one lives may be unaware of abuse or neglect on the part of its employees. If the nursing home accepts Medicare or Medicaid, it is required by federal law to have procedures in place for when residents or family members of residents want to file a grievance, which they then must investigate.
  • The Louisiana Ombudsman Program – Ombudsmen protect the rights of residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and they’re trained to handle a variety of complaints and concerns. Additionally, ombudsman services are confidential and free of charge. You can reach your local Louisiana ombudsman representative by calling (866) 632-0922.
  • The Louisiana Elderly Protective Services – While most people are aware of Child Protective Services, they may not be aware that the state also runs Adult Protective Services (for disabled abuse victims age 18-59) and Elderly Protective Services (for abuse victims aged 60 and up). You can report abuse by calling (800) 898-4910 for APS and (888) 810-1819 for EDS.
  • The Louisiana Department of Health, Health Standards Section – This organization is responsible for licensing all healthcare facilities in Louisiana, including nursing homes, adult day cares, and residential care providers. It is also responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and extortion. You can report abuse at a nursing home by calling (888) 810-1819 or mailing in the attached complaint form to Health Standards Section, P.O. Box 3767 in Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
  • A Lawyer – Nursing home abuse is often very difficult to prove because victims may be afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation. Victims suffering dementia may also be unable to remember or recognize abuse for what it is. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will know how to collect evidence that proves the abuse or neglect happened, and fight to get your family compensation for the harm caused.

How to File a Complaint

When you file a complaint, it is important to do so in writing so there is a record of it. If you file a complaint by phone, make sure to submit a written complaint afterward that summarizes what was discussed on the call.

It’s important to include as much detail as you can in your complaint, including:

  • The name and location of the facility
  • The names and titles of facility employees who may be responsible
  • Descriptions and photos of any injuries
  • Descriptions and photos of unsanitary conditions
  • Descriptions of changes in behavior in your loved one that may be the result of abuse
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Dates of incidents
  • Any other important details

It may take up to 30 days for an investigation of your complaint. If more than 30 days go by without a response, make sure to follow up. You may also need to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to make sure your complaint is taken seriously.

The statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases in Louisiana is just one year – one of the shortest in the nation. That’s why you may want to consult a lawyer even earlier, so that if your complaint is concluded with the nursing home saying no harm was done, your family member has an advocate ready to assert their rights to safety and demand compensation. 

If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Dudley DeBosier today for a free consultation.

How to Choose the Right Bicycle for You

by Dudley DeBosier | May 18th, 2020

May is National Bike Month! The pleasant weather makes it an ideal time for bike riding. However, there’s more to buying a bike than simply pick out one that’s the right size and a color you like.

Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a bike, make sure you stop and think about what you’ll primarily be using it for. Then, depending on how you plan to use your bike, you’ll have several options to consider. You may even purchase a bike, and then swap out the seat, handlebars, or even the tires to suit your needs!

Types of Handlebars

Before we talk in depth about different types of bicycles, let’s talk about the various types of handlebars, and why they can make a big difference in your bike ride.

Drop handlebars

These are handlebars that curve downward at each end in a ‘C’-shape. This type of handlebar requires cyclists to lean forward, which creates a more aerodynamic shape and allows riders to go faster.

Flat handlebars

Flat handlebars extend straight out, allowing riders to sit upright, which is usually more comfortable. It is also very easy to attach bells, phone mounts, lights, and other accessories to this type of handlebar.

Upright handlebars

These handlebars swoop back in a wide ‘U’-shape. This type of handlebar offers great control when sitting upright, is the most comfortable on your wrists, and leaves room to place a basket at the front of the bike.

Specialized Handlebars

Other types of bike handlebars you might see are bull horn bars, which curve up and forward and are great for riding uphill but bad at making turns; aero bars, which are two parallel bars typically used in time-trial cycling; and butterfly bars, which loop around in an almost complete circle to allow a huge number of hand positions and even more space to add attachments than flat handlebars. 

Types of Bicycles

There are as many types of bikes as there are ways and places to ride them. That means the same bike that’s great for building up a sweat on weekends may not be the bike you want to use on your morning commute.

Road Bikes

Road bikes feature thin tires, lightweight frames made from aluminum or carbon fiber, and drop handlebars. Racing bikes and city bikes are examples of your typical road bike.

Road bikes are built for aerodynamics and endurance. They perform best on smooth pavement and are intended to help riders travel long distances very quickly.

Touring Bikes

Also called comfort bikes, touring bikes are considered a type of road bike because they are meant to be ridden on pavement. However, there are several important distinctions between touring bikes and other types of road bikes. 

Touring bikes often have attachment points to add accessories, such as lights, racks to carry bags or other items, water bottle holders, or mud flaps. Because of this, touring bikes typically have steel frames, which makes them slower but allows weight to be distributed more evenly so you can carry heavy items without overbalancing. They also have wider tires, a longer wheelbase, and a lower center of gravity, which make them easier to control.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes feature wide tires with heavy-duty rims, partial or full suspensions, heavy-duty brakes, and multiple gears designed for steep slopes (both up and downhill). Mountain bikes are designed for riding on uneven surfaces and are a good choice for taking on trails. Although they can be used for everyday riding, they’re not the best option because they are usually heavy and slow.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bikes are the best of both worlds. Partly road bike, partly mountain bike, hybrid bikes usually feature flat handlebars that let you sit comfortably, wide tires to improve handling, and stronger brakes that make it easier to stop suddenly in urban traffic. They perform well on both smooth and rough or wet surfaces, but it’s not recommended to take them truly off-road.  

Specialized Bikes

You might also consider BMX bikes, for trick riding; e-bikes, which use a small, lightweight electric motor to assist the rider; folding bikes, which as the name implies, can be folded up to take on a train or plane; fat bikes, a type of mountain bike with tires as wide as 5-in. across that is designed for riding on sand or through thick mud; and triathlon bikes, a type of racing bike for the serious cyclist. 

Women’s Bikes vs. Men’s Bikes

What’s the difference between women’s bikes and men’s bikes? It’s not a marketing scheme – women’s bikes are built differently to be more comfortable for women to ride, based on typical differences in body types between males and females.

Women’s bikes typically include:

  • A shorter distance from the ground to the seat
  • A shorter distance from the seat to the handlebars
  • Shorter and wider seats
  • Narrower handlebars
  • Shorter-reach brake levers
  • A sloping top tube in the frame instead of a horizontal tube

However, many women can comfortably ride a “man’s” bike, so don’t let these design distinctions stop you from purchasing a bike that is comfortable for you, even if it’s not labeled “for women.”

Stay Safe When Biking

Cycling is a great pastime, a great way to get around, to get exercise, or to just enjoy a nice day outside. However, when sharing the road with cars and other vehicles, cyclists face a lot of risk. Not many cities are bike-friendly, and bike accidents result in thousands of injures each year.

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Our Louisiana bike accident law firm has helped hundreds of bicyclists get the money they needed for their medical bills and pain and suffering after a negligent driver harmed them. If you ever find your loved one or yourself in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to call Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers. Your consultation is always free.

What to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home

by Dudley DeBosier | February 3rd, 2020

Ideally, all nursing homes would provide exceptional care. In reality, the level of care offered by nursing homes can vary greatly from one facility to another. If you’re searching for a facility, then you might be wondering which qualities you should look for.

We’ve compiled a guide for choosing a nursing home to help you in your search. You’ll learn which factors are most desirable and which ones could signal that a nursing home puts profit above resident happiness and health. You’ll also learn why scheduling a visit is so important when vetting nursing homes.

Click below to view your free guide…

What You Want in a Nursing Home

The right facility will offer exceptional care and do everything your loved one requires to live happily and healthily. It’s great to set your standards high. When you do need to make compromises, make sure you don’t make concessions that put your loved one at risk of receiving inadequate care.

For example, you might compromise how far a nursing home is from your current location. You want to avoid compromising on essential services that your loved one needs, such as rehabilitation.

What You Don’t Want in a Nursing Home

When you notice a few warning signs of bad care, you should not ignore them. Unclean facilities, poor hygiene of residents, and an overworked staff are all indicators that a nursing home won’t be able to provide your loved one with the attention they deserve.

Take a nursing home’s reputation seriously. If you repeatedly hear people talk about how a facility offers poor care, factor that strongly into your considerations. You should also trust your gut. If your instincts tell you that something is wrong, then weigh that heavily in your final decision.

Know When It’s Time to Call an Attorney

At Dudley DeBosier, we’ve worked with many clients who regretted waiting so long to reach out to an attorney. If you notice that your loved one has been harmed by neglect or abuse, then you should act immediately and call our team. The longer your loved one stays in a dangerous facility, the more likely it is they will suffer even greater harm.

Maybe you’re unsure whether it’s the right time to take legal action. In that case, simply contact our attorneys, so we can assess your case at no cost. If you don’t want to move forward with a claim, then you are under no pressure to do so. It never hurts to talk to an attorney. We know this type of case intimately, so we can help you determine whether your case warrants legal action.

Hopefully, you’ve found our guide for choosing a nursing home helpful. If you or a loved one has had the misfortune of suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home, schedule a free consultation with Dudley DeBosier today.

Deep-Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey – The Safe Way

by Dudley DeBosier | November 25th, 2019

Deep frying the turkey has long been a favorite method of cooking Thanksgiving dinner in the South, and recent years have seen this cooking method explode in popularity across the rest of the U.S. – sometimes literally. As deliciously juicy and crispy as fried turkey can be, it has also spawned a large number of fiery cooking accidents. You may have even seen some of these “deep fried turkey fails” on YouTube.

Deep frying a turkey can be incredibly dangerous when the proper safety measures aren’t followed. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), up to twice as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as on any other day of the year. The most recent data shows an average of 2,400 fires on Thanksgiving annually, with 25 injuries, 5 deaths, and $19 million in property damage.

Accidents Associated with Deep Frying

  • Pot tipping over and spilling hot oil
  • Overfilled pot spilling over and causing a fire
  • Oil coming in contact with the burner and igniting
  • Water coming in contact with the oil, igniting the oil
  • Oil overheating and igniting
  • Pot metal overheating and causing contact burns

If you are interested in testing out this cooking method for the first time this year, follow our recommendations to help avoid fire and burn injuries to yourself and your guests as you set up the fryer. Accidents happen, and we want to help save you the grief and trouble if we can! Click the image below to access our guide.

What to Do if You’re Injured on Thanksgiving

While some accidents are unavoidable, others happen because people, even friends or family members, may cut corners when it comes to safety measures. When this happens, we want to help injury victims get the compensation they need for their medical expenses.

In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance, not the at-fault party themselves, is responsible for paying out after an accident claim. This means no one should disregard hiring a lawyer as an option for getting compensation after an injury caused by a loved one. Seeking help for paying your medical bills does not have to financially harm your loved ones.

At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we’ve helped many Louisianans get the money they need to pay their medical bills and recover lost wages after injuries that weren’t their fault. And with our No Fee Guarantee®, you pay us nothing unless you win. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

by Dudley DeBosier | November 11th, 2019

If your loved one lives in a nursing home, you may worry about their health and well-being. It can be difficult to trust doctors with the lives of family members for treatments and procedures—let alone trust strangers to care for a loved one 24/7. While most nursing homes provide residents with excellent care and attention, some knowingly or unknowingly put residents’ health and even their lives in danger because they focus on profits over safety.

Nursing homes are supposed to be safe places for elderly residents and residents with serious health problems that need frequent treatment and constant monitoring. But because nursing homes are a big business that make a lot of profit off their residents, some operate with a desire to make more money by keeping expenses down rather than making sure they provide adequate care. That means they may hire underqualified employees, or they may fail to hire enough staff members to give all residents the care they need.

When nursing homes aren’t adequately staffed, residents may be abused and neglected. And when that happens, those nursing homes should be held accountable. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana nursing home abuse attorneys have helped many families get compensation after their loved ones’ rights were violated in nursing homes, and we know what it takes to build strong claims that get results.

How to Recognize Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home residents are vulnerable to mistreatment, especially elderly residents and residents with serious health problems that affect their cognitive abilities or their mobility. However, all nursing home residents are at risk of different types of abuse including:

  • Physical abuse—This type of abuse occurs when residents are physically harmed by staff members or even other residents. It may involve punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, biting, or other types of violent contact. Physically abused residents may bear bruises, cuts, scars, and even broken bones.
  • Sexual abuse—This type of abuse involves residents being sexually harassed, assaulted, groped, or raped by others in their nursing homes. Symptoms of sexual abuse include bruising or bleeding in and around the genital area, infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Emotional and mental abuse—This type of abuse involves residents being harmed psychologically. Residents who are victims of this type of abuse may be screamed at, humiliated, degraded, harassed, insulted, or made to feel unwanted and unwelcome in their home.
  • Financial abuse—This type of abuse involves residents being taken advantage of financially by staff members or other residents. It can include being victims of theft, fraud, or coercion, and it may involve personal property, assets, or even the modification of living wills.

Neglect can take on a different form than abuse. However, it can be just as devastating and harmful to residents. Types of neglect include:

  • Deprivation of living necessities—Everyone requires food, water, clothing, shelter, bedding, and the ability to practice personal hygiene to be happy and healthy. Residents who are deprived of these essentials may suffer physically and psychologically, and they may even be at risk of serious health problems.
  • Abandonment—Many nursing home residents require constant assistance and supervision. When they’re left on their own, they may be unable to care for themselves. Residents who are left alone for long periods of time, whether it’s in their rooms, in common areas, or in public places, are victims of abandonment.

If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated at their nursing home, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs or symptoms that can be used as evidence in an abuse claim. However, not all cases of abuse and neglect are obvious. Playing an active role in your loved one’s care can help you quickly spot when something isn’t right—and allow you to get them help as early as possible.

Get an Experienced Louisiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer on Your Side

Accusing a nursing home of abusing or neglecting your loved one is a difficult process—and it can be even more complicated if you try to get compensation. Having a law firm with the resources and experience to take on big nursing homes is often essential for maximizing your chances of getting the money and justice your family deserves after your trust was violated.

At Dudley DeBosier, we know the steps to take to help affected families and their loved ones when they experience nursing home abuse, and that includes compiling evidence that leaves no doubt about what happened or is continuing to happen in the facility. You’re going through enough already—the last thing you need to deal with is the nursing home trying to refute your claims when there’s plenty of evidence that shows what happened.

Contact our firm today and let us start building your claim. We’ll be here to answer your questions and address your concerns every step of the way. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

Tailgating Safety

by Dudley DeBosier | November 4th, 2019

The days are getting shorter, leaves are starting to fall, and the race for the playoffs is fully underway. Yes, football season is in full swing, and with it comes tailgates with friends, family, and fellow fans. Tailgating is a great way to spend time with those you love and meet new people, but it’s not without its share of dangers.

At Dudley DeBosier, we love everything about tailgating—in fact, we even host our own! But we also know that tailgating should be done properly and safely to prevent guests and bystanders from suffering serious injuries.

As Louisiana personal injury lawyers, we know what can go wrong at tailgates, and that’s why we’re dedicated to being as safe as possible whenever we watch the Saints or the Fighting Tigers play. To stay safe at your own tailgate this football season, check out the tips below in our Tailgate Safety infographic:

If You Get Hurt at a Tailgate, We’re Here for You

Accidents and injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Tailgates are no exception, and in fact, they can be dangerous places when proper safety precautions aren’t taken by everyone. Unfortunately, not all tailgaters are concerned about their own safety or the safety of others, while others may be unaware of how to tailgate safely.

If you or someone you love was hurt at a tailgate because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s important to call a lawyer right away after a tailgate injury, as collecting evidence and proving who was at fault are critical aspects of successful personal injury claims.

Dudley DeBosier is Louisiana’s Personal Injury Attorneys

Our passion for Louisiana football is exceeded only by our passion for helping injured Louisianans. Tailgate injuries can be serious, and they can result in significant medical expenses and long periods out of work without the paychecks that you and your family depend on.

It’s important to have an experienced law firm on your side that knows what you’re going through and has the resources and dedication to help you. At Dudley DeBosier, our Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers can collect evidence that proves the other party’s negligence caused your injuries, and fight to get you maximum compensation.

Contact us today for a free consultation. From the moment you call us, we’ll be there to answer your We’ll be here to answer your questions and address your concerns. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

What You Need to Know About Dog Bite Laws and Compensation Claims

by Dudley DeBosier | July 18th, 2019

Dogs have lived with people for thousands of years and hold the storied title of “man’s best friend.” Still, as friendly as dogs can be, a dog who feels threatened or is in an unfamiliar or stressful situation may react by biting. Also, some dogs may have a propensity towards biting because they have been abused and/or were never properly socialized. Because any dog can bite, it is important for both dog owners and their neighbors to know the risks.

According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog will require medical attention. Children are at the highest risk for dog bites, and small children should never be allowed to play with dogs unsupervised. Dog bite injuries can puncture the skin causing bleeding and leaving unsightly scars. The initial medical treatment may require shots for rabies and tetanus.

Depending on the severity and location of the wound, the victim may need reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. In addition to the physical pain, many victims report feeling continued stress and emotional trauma following the bite. These feelings may be triggered when the victim sees another dog.

Still, with proper love, training, and supervision, most dog bites can be avoided. Louisiana law establishes that the dog’s owner is liable for the injuries caused by their dog. A dog’s owner has a basic duty to prevent the dog from biting other people.

To prove this case, the victim must show that the defendant owned the dog and that the victim did not provoke the dog. Louisiana courts have also held that the victim must prove the dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm, such as past violent behavior or a failure of the dog’s owner to have the dog contained or on a leash.

Louisiana Civil Code article 2321 establishes that the owner of an animal is answerable for the damage caused by the animal. However, he or she is answerable for the damage only upon showing that he or she knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his or her animal’s behavior would cause damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he or she failed to exercise such reasonable care. 

Nonetheless, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for damages for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person’s provocation of the dog.

It sounds like an injury case involving a dog bite should be cut and dry, right? Not always. Things get complicated when the dog’s owner is not the homeowner. In this common scenario, there may be no insurance coverage and the bite victim can only sue the dog’s owner personally. Collecting a personal judgment can be more complicated and time consuming, and you may not be able to collect everything that is due. 

But victims may have another route to recovery in the courtroom. That is because a landlord or property owner may have separate liability to the victim for a dog bite, even though the property owner or landlord did not own the animal. This is a different theory than the strict liability against the dog’s owner.

In order to pursue a claim against a landlord for injuries caused by her tenant’s animal, the victim must show that the landlord knew or should have known that the tenant was harboring an animal with vicious propensities. Additionally, the landlord may be responsible for some defect in the property which allowed the dog to escape, such as a broken fence.

A dog bite victim may benefit from a lawyer who can discover the available insurance coverage and uncover facts revealing additional parties responsible for the injury.  

DUI Boating Accidents in Louisiana: What You Need to Know

by Dudley DeBosier | July 18th, 2018

For some people, a day on the water isn’t complete without a few drinks. But drinking while boating is a serious offense in Louisiana, and for good reason—it’s extremely dangerous.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reports that alcohol is the most significant contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, even outweighing other common causes such as operator distraction and inexperience.

It’s easy to dismiss or downplay both the risks and ramifications of drinking while operating or riding in a boat, but both should never be taken lightly. It’s common knowledge that boat owners and operators who are under the influence of alcohol can be and often are held responsible for accident-related injuries, but even intoxicated boat passengers can also be held liable when others are hurt during boat accidents.

How Can Boat Operators and Passengers Cause Accidents?

Boat operators who are under the influence of alcohol can increase the risk of serious accidents by:

  • Operating a boat in a reckless or dangerous manner
  • Failing to abide by maritime laws
  • Speeding

Intoxicated boat passengers can also increase the risk of serious accidents by:

  • Distracting boat operators
  • Acting recklessly or dangerously

Accidents are unpredictable and can happen at any time and any place, even when all safety precautions are followed. Louisiana boaters can significantly reduce their liability and their risks by never operating their boats after consuming alcohol and by limiting or forbidding alcohol from being consumed on their vessels.

It’s also important to be prepared in the event of an emergency. To comply with Louisiana maritime law, all children 16 years of age or younger must wear USCG-approved personal floatation devices (PFD) while on vessels less than 26 feet in length. In addition, all boats must have at least one wearable PFD per passenger. Boaters should make sure they have a range of PFD sizes to fit different passengers based on their weights and body sizes.

Hurt in a DUI Boating Accident? Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Is Here to Help.

Alcohol-related boat accidents can and often do lead to serious and disabling injuries. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana boat accident attorneys know how to build strong claims for victims that get results. Get in touch with our legal team today—call us at 225-224-8465.

You’re injured and just hired a lawyer. What happens next?

by Dudley DeBosier | July 4th, 2018

If you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you know you need a lawyer to help you file a claim for compensation. But what happens after an attorney has agreed to help you?

At Dudley DeBosier, we know that victims like you may feel anxious and uncertain after accidents, even after you get legal advocates on your side. Knowing what to expect during the days, weeks, and months after you call a lawyer can give you the peace of mind you deserve during this difficult time.

It’s our goal to make the post-accident recovery period as stress-free as possible for victims. We do that by fulfilling these responsibilities:

  • We’ll handle all correspondence with the insurance company. You won’t have to worry about phone calls or letters from adjusters after we take over your claim. All communication will be directed towards our attorneys instead.
  • We’ll prove the accident wasn’t your fault. Our investigators will track down all evidence related to your accident, including witness statements, accident scene debris, security camera footage, and even expert testimony to help prove you weren’t at fault.
  • We’ll negotiate to get you full compensation. Insurance companies make billions of dollars every year by reducing or denying payments to victims. We won’t let that happen. We’ll calculate how much the accident has cost you, and we’ll make sure the insurance company knows how much you’re owed for what you’ve gone through.

Ready to take the next step? Call our Louisiana personal injury lawyers today.

You shouldn’t have to worry about calls from the insurance company, collecting evidence, or negotiating how much money you deserve after your accident. Let us handle that while you focus on getting better and spending time with your family.

Call our legal team today at (866) 897-8495 to find out how we can put our years of experience to work for you.

What To Do After A Dog Bite

by Madison King | July 28th, 2017

Big or small, furry, cuddly, and cute – dogs are not nicknamed “man’s best friend” for no reason. However, even the sweetest pet can bite if provoked. Each year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; and at least half of them are children, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Fortunately, Louisiana has a dog bite statute that holds the owner of the dog responsible. When you suffer from a dog bite injury, it should be taken seriously.

Follow this list of steps to help protect those that have been bitten:

  • Identify and obtain contact information from any witnesses.
  • Keep records of any injuries that have been sustained: cuts, bruises, or any other type of injury received from the attack.
  • Obtain insurance and contact information from the owner of the dog.
  • Take pictures of the scene where the bite occurred.
  • Write down all of this information and specific facts of how the attack occurred.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

We want to protect your legal right and get you the help you need. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, don’t wait to take action – call us at 866.897.8495 or contact us online to get started.

Boating Under The Influence

by Madison King | May 24th, 2017

Memorial Day is always a popular time for boating, however it is important to practice safety when on the water. Boating under the influence is a dangerous thing that, unfortunately, happens way too often.

Boating under the influence is similar to driving under the influence however, alcohol is more dangerous when consumed on the water than on land, according to the US Coast Guard.

Operating a watercraft under the influence increases boating fatalities by 34 percent and is hazardous to everyone on the boat. Alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgement, balance and vision greatly. Exposure to sun, wind, noise, vibration, ocean’s glare and motion may intensify the effects of alcohol.

Your ability to respond to an emergency quickly could also be impaired while boating under the influence. This is especially important on holidays when more people are boating. Passengers who are consuming alcohol should be careful since it can cause slips, falls overboard, and other dangerous accidents.

Not to mention, the consequences of boating under the influence are very serious. Some of the consequences include:

  • Losing your boating license
  • Gaining a criminal record
  • Death or serious injury to you and/or those on the watercraft

Take extra precaution this Memorial Day weekend to prevent boating fatalities and to keep your family safe. Never drive a boat under the influence.

Officials Issue Bacteria Warnings for Gulf Coast Beaches

by Alyssa Perot-Heltz | July 1st, 2016

While many of us are excited to hit the beach this hot 4th of July holiday weekend, travelers should be aware of potential water contaminants in some locations. Officials in several Gulf Coast states have issued warnings on beaches due to the presence of harmful Enterococcus bacteria.

Twelve beaches here in Louisiana are under watch. This includes Grand Isle, Holly Beach, Lake Charles, Fountainebleau State Park, and Long, Martin, and Rutherford Beaches.

Enterococcus is a bacteria that can be a sign of fecal pollution. There are several different reasons water could contain this bacterial contamination, including shoreline developments, septic tanks, treatment facilities, runoff and human waste left behind by boaters. The Enterococcus  bacteria can cause disease, infection or rashes. People who have open wounds, cuts, scrapes and burns should especially avoid gulf waters while this advisory is in place.

For those traveling, please take note of these water monitoring websites:

We hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July weekend. If you or someone you know is traveling to a beach this weekend, please share this post on Facebook to help spread the word.

The Do’s and Don’ts of ATV Riding

by Alyssa Perot-Heltz | June 29th, 2016

Since they first hit the market in the early 1960’s, all terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become very popular for recreational activities as well as occupational endeavors. As the popularity of ATVs grows, so does the increase in accidents and injuries.

ATV accidents have many causes; however, most result from the ATV being overturned because of its soft tires and high center of gravity. Many people do not realize ATVs are only designed for off-road use and do not handle well on paved surfaces. Furthermore, riding on unknown or new terrains puts a rider at a large risk for accidents.

“Injuries caused by an ATV can include cuts, burns, fractures, broken bones, spinal injuries, internal organ injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.”

Many accidents involving ATVs are also due to mishandling. For example, riding on an ATV that is not the right size or riding with two passengers on an ATV designed for only one rider can lead to dangerous situations. Also, most ATVs are not designed for dangerous stunts and maneuvers, so attempting these could have serious consequences.

Injuries sustained from ATV accidents range from minor injuries to fatalities. Injuries caused by an ATV can include cuts, burns, fractures, broken bones, spinal injuries, internal organ injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.  Children under the age of sixteen make up 25% of accidents involving ATVs, children twelve and under make up 43% of this 25%.  Injuries from these vehicles can be very serious, so it is extremely important to take precautions to keep yourself and others around you safe.

As listed in the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, these tips can help riders stay safe and help prevent accidents:

  • Always wear a helmet and protective gear such as boots, gloves, long-sleeves, and eye protection while on an ATV.
  • Avoid riding on paved roads.
  • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride an adult ATV
  • Never ride a youth ATV or a single-rider ATV with a passenger.
  • Only have passengers on tandem ATVs and make sure passengers are at least twelve years old.
  • Always ride the correct size ATV.

If you own an ATV, we hope you will consider the tips above and take every precaution to minimize your risk of injury. Please talk to your children to make them aware of these tips before riding with a friend. If you found this blog helpful, please share it on Facebook!

Seven Summer Boating Safety Tips

by Alyssa Perot-Heltz | June 8th, 2016

As the Louisiana summer heat starts beating down, more and more people are escaping to their recreational boats to enjoy their leisurely time. However, as people enjoy their time out on the water, safety can sometimes take a back seat to the fun being had. This is especially true for recent years; in 2015, the number of boating accidents increased 2.3% and the number of deaths increased by 2.6% compared to 2014. Overall, the Coast Guard counted approximately $42 million of damage to property result of recreational boating accidents.

The number one cause of death from boating accidents is drowning followed by trauma. The importance of lifejackets can not be stressed enough: After an accident, people are six times less likely to die from drowning if you are wearing one. Of the 562 deaths from boating accidents in 2015, 424 victims were not wearing a lifejacket.

Boating safety is important all the time; however, it is extremely important during these hot summer months. As the temperature rises in the summer, so does the number of boats in the water. With the increase of boaters, the number of accidents greatly rises. It is extremely important to always be aware of your surroundings while boating, and be conscious of the boats around you.

We advise the following seven safety tips while boating:

  1. Wear a lifejacket at all times and insist that your guests do the same.
  2. Limit alcohol use while boating. Alcohol is one of the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
  3. Take a boating safety course. Only 12% of boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had received a boating safety certificate. You can view classes here.
  4. Don’t boat and text. Just like on our roads: talking,
  5. texting and other use of smartphones while operating a vehicle is highly dangerous.
  6. Operate at a safe speed and always
  7. maintain a proper lookout. Take note of visibility, boating traffic density, and hazards such as shoals, rocks, or floating objects.
  8. Always tell a friend or family before leaving on any boat trip.
  9. Have your vessel checked for safety for free! The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offer vessel safety checks free of cost.

Whether you are boating on False River, Lake Pontchartrain, or anywhere else in Louisiana, we hope these tips help keep you and your family safe on the water this summer. For more summer safety tips, be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow our Facebook page!