What Happens During the Discovery Stage of a Personal Injury Trial?

by wpengine | March 29th, 2021

After a claim is filed for a personal injury lawsuit, the pre-trial phase known as “Discovery” begins.

As the name suggests, this is when both parties “discover” all the relevant details of the case. Namely, the plaintiff (the injury victim) and their lawyer will discover how the defendant (the at-fault party) describes how the accident occurred, while the defendant learns how the plaintiff describes events.

Discovery is when testimony is given, evidence compiled, and so on. Neither party can withhold evidence to surprise the other side later on. Both parties need all available information from the start to fairly and accurately build their cases.

If the evidence revealed in Discovery against the at-fault party is overwhelming, the insurance company may not want to risk going to court and losing big, so they may agree to settle before going in front of a jury. 

You may be able to get more money in a jury verdict by going to trial, but trials can significantly drag out how long it takes to get compensation and it’s never a sure thing. If the insurance company offers to settle during the Discovery stage, make sure to discuss with your lawyer their opinion on whether the settlement offer is fair and how to proceed.

The Four Parts of Discovery in a Personal Injury Trial

There are four main types of supporting evidence in Discovery, and both parties (the plaintiffs and the defendants) can request any of these from the other.

Depositions: Depositions are your oral testimony. The at-fault party’s lawyer will question you under oath (although this is still pre-trial and will typically take place in the attorney’s office rather than in court). This is your official “on-the-record” testimony, and your answers will be recorded. If the case goes to trial, any additional testimony will be compared to this to make sure no details change.

Any witnesses to the accident will likely also be deposed, meaning questioned under oath. 

Interrogatories: These are simply questions that the opposing lawyer can send you and require you to answer. In Louisiana, you are limited to 35 interrogatories (although if you have more questions, you can request the permission of the court to send more interrogatories).

These must also be answered under oath, and if you receive new information that changes one of your answers, you have to update your answer and resubmit it to the other attorney. 

Requests for Admission of Facts: Similar to interrogatories, “admissions” are requests from the opposing party you have to answer, but you don’t have to go into as much detail. You are only required to say yes or no, essentially “admitting” or “denying” the statement.

This is to make it easier to admit certain uncontested statements as fact in the trial without needing to waste any time proving them first. For example, you might be asked to admit you were driving the vehicle, if there was more than one person in the car at the time of the crash.

Requests for Production of Documents: These are copies of any and all documents and evidence you have supporting your claim, including the police report, your medical history (showing your injuries weren’t a pre-existing condition), medical bills (showing you received treatment and how much it cost), documents from your employer showing how much time at work you missed and how much pay you missed out on because of it, photographs of your injuries and damaged property, and so on. 

Can Anything Be Used in Discovery?

You are not required to shared “privileged” information, meaning doctor-patient confidentiality and attorney-client confidentiality is upheld. You can also refuse to share private conversations or communications between you and your spouse, or between you and a religious advisor. 

Get an Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Case

Are you struggling with an uncooperative insurance company after an accident, and considering filing a lawsuit to finally get the compensation you need to get by?

At Dudley DeBosier, we know the personal injury field inside and out, and that includes knowing the right questions to ask to gather all the evidence we need to prove you weren’t at fault for your own accident.

Contact our Louisiana personal injury lawyers today for a free initial consultation, and allow us to go over the details of your case with you to see if you have a solid claim!

Who Is Liable in a Rental Home Fire in Louisiana?

by wpengine | March 22nd, 2021

When a house or apartment catches on fire and causes serious injuries or even death, who is responsible? Is it the people living there, or the person who owns the building (and is responsible for maintaining it)?

Roughly a third of all Americans rent, so it’s important to understand the answers to these questions, as they potentially affect millions of people in the U.S.

Unlike homeowners, renters are not generally responsible for the upkeep of the property, which includes the electrical system, plumbing, heat and air conditioning units, roof, and so on. Furthermore, tenants have the right to a “safe and habitable” rental.

This means you could be eligible for compensation if you were injured in a fire as a renter. But it might also be possible that your landlord could try to sue you instead! 

Is My Landlord Liable for My Burn Injuries?

Your landlord could potentially be liable for your burn injuries if they were found negligent in causing the fire. But if you are found negligent in causing the fire instead, you likely won’t be able to get compensation from the landlord.

Is My Landlord Liable for Repairs?

The landlord is legally responsible for repairs that are not the fault of the tenant.

If the home is completely destroyed by fire, your lease is effectively considered terminated and the landlord doesn’t have to repair it if they don’t want to. But if the building is only partially destroyed, your lease is intact, and your landlord is legally responsible for making repairs to make the rental habitable again as soon as possible.

Furthermore, you are not legally required to pay rent while the unit is being repaired to make it habitable again either, and you may also have the option to end your lease early rather than wait for repairs to be completed.

However, this only applies if you are not responsible for the fire. If you caused the fire, even accidentally, your landlord may not be required to pay for repairs, and you may still be required to pay rent while repairs are being made.

The above conditions apply to Louisiana. The law may differ in other states.

Is My Landlord Liable for My Personal Property Damaged in the Fire?

Unfortunately, your landlord is typically not responsible for the cost of replacing your personal property (furniture, clothing, electronics, and so on) that are damaged or destroyed in a fire.

However, most rental agreements include a requirement to purchase renters insurance. You can file a claim through your renters insurance to compensate you for all your personal property that was lost in the fire. Even better, most renters insurance agrees to compensate you for the cost to replace all property. Which means, you will get enough money to buy a brand-new couch, not just a check for what your couch was worth after ten years of use, and the same applies to all your other possessions.

In terms of filing a renters insurance claim, it doesn’t matter whether the renter or the landlord was found negligent in causing the fire; the renter can file a claim and get compensation either way.

What Are Examples of Landlord Negligence?

Even if a landlord doesn’t directly cause a fire themselves, they can be held responsible for negligence that makes it easier for a fire to start or spread, harder to extinguish, or harder for residents to escape a fire without injury.

Examples of negligent property maintenance include:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Overcrowding
  • Lack of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms
  • Defective smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms
  • Building code violations
  • Blocked fire exits
  • Gas leaks
  • Storing flammable chemicals
  • Pest infestations

When Could I Be at Fault?

This will primarily depend on how the fire was caused. The landlord can be held liable for negligence if they don’t maintain the property and that causes a fire, but in the same way, you could also be held liable if your own negligence starts a fire.

For example, if you left a dishcloth on a hot stove, and it catches fire, you could be considered liable if that fire spreads to the rest of the house or apartment.

You should also check your lease and make sure you didn’t take any actions that violated its terms and started the fire. For example, if your lease forbids smoking indoors, but the fire was started by a cigarette in the trashcan, you could be considered liable.

What to Do If You’re Injured in a Fire While Living in a Rental Home or Apartment

A fire is often a devastating event, and there are many actions you’ll need to take afterward. However, we go over some of the main items here.

  • Get medical attention: smoke inhalation and burns can both lead to serious complications if not treated right away.
  • Take pictures of your injuries and the damage: These can act as proof of your losses and when they occurred if/when you file for compensation.
  • Rescue any important documents remaining in the home once it is safe to do so: If you do not already own a fireproof safe, make sure to purchase one to store important documents such as your birth certificate and social security card.
  • Get a copy of the fire inspector’s report: This is vital evidence! The fire inspector’s report will include the results of the fire inspector’s investigation into how the fire started, and more importantly, who is negligent: you or your landlord.
  • Make a list of all items that were damaged in the fire: Include your best estimate of the item’s cost. This will be needed for your renters insurance claim to replace your damaged property.
  • Call a lawyer: Proving who was at fault for the fire will be all-important for your ability to get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills and get back on your feet after a devastating fire.

Victim of a Fire? Call Dudley DeBosier Today

We know how devastating burn injuries can be, and how they can rock your life off its moorings. If you are also experiencing the loss of your home, it can feel like too much to handle on your own.

That’s why we want to step in and help. Call our premises liability lawyers today to discuss how we help burn injury victims across Louisiana after fires that weren’t their fault.

What Does “Standing to Sue” Mean?

by wpengine | March 8th, 2021

Before you can file a lawsuit in a federal court, you must first have “standing.” But what does this mean?

“Standing to sue” is the legal concept, based on Article III of the U.S. Constitution (which is why it’s sometimes called “Article III Standing”), that describes whether or not a person meets certain requirements to file a civil lawsuit.

For example, if you are injured in a car accident and need compensation, you have standing to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. However, if your best friend is injured in a car accident, but is reluctant to file a lawsuit, you do not have standing to file one on their behalf.

What Is Required to Have Standing to Sue?

The three main requirements to have standing are:

  1. You must have suffered an actual injury. Hypothetical injuries, as in “I was incredibly lucky not to have been injured,” or imminent injuries, as in “it’s only a matter of time before this hazard or defective product injures me,” do not constitute standing.
  2. You must be able to prove your injury was caused by negligence. Essentially, your injury has to be someone’s fault. If you’re injured after another vehicle crashes into yours, it’s easy to point to the other driver’s negligence. But if you’re injured because your car fell into a sudden sinkhole or because a tree fell and landed on it in a storm, it’s a lot harder to prove who, if anyone, is at fault.
  3. Your injury must be redressable. This essentially means there must be a way to compensate you for your injury, usually by paying you for accident-related expenses like medical bills. That’s one reason why it’s hard to win a personal injury lawsuit if you never got medical treatment for your injury.

A lot of these concepts are also the same as the ones that will determine whether or not you have a successful claim. But just because you have “standing” doesn’t mean you are going to automatically win your claim, either. It just means you have justification to go in front of a judge or jury to have your claim heard.

It’s important to note that Article III Standing applies to federal court, and not state court. State courts are usually a bit more lax on standing requirements. However, it is best to make sure you can meet federal standing even if you only intend to go through state court. This is because if you win your claim, but the defendant appeals the verdict and wants to bring the case up to a higher court, you may get your case thrown out and verdict overturned because you don’t meet standing requirements.

Do I Ever Have Standing to Sue When I’m Not the One Injured?

There are a limited number of exceptions when you can file a lawsuit on someone else’s behalf.

If the injured party is your dependent, such as your child or an intellectually disabled adult who you have guardianship over, then you can sue on their behalf.

In cases of wrongful death, the deceased victim can obviously not file on their own behalf, so in those cases, family members can file a claim on behalf of the deceased. However, in most circumstances, only the spouse or children can file a claim. If there are no surviving spouses or children, it can be opened up to specific other family members, but it’s best to speak to a wrongful death attorney about how to proceed in those circumstances.

Do You Have Standing to Sue? Get a Free Case Evaluation to Find Out!

At Dudley DeBosier, we want all our clients to understand what is going on with their claim, what may happen throughout the course of their claim, and feel comfortable with how our attorneys are proceeding, which is why we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations, where we go over the details of your claim with you, including your standing to sue.

Contact us today to request your free case evaluation.

Can I Get Compensation If an Accident Makes an Existing Injury Worse?

by Dudley DeBosier | February 15th, 2021

In order to get compensation in a personal injury claim, accident victims must prove that they were physically harmed by someone else’s actions, or occasionally, inactions (such as if they were injured slipping on a wet floor because the property owner didn’t put up a “wet floor” sign).

Because of this, when the insurance company representing the at-fault party can’t prove that the victim isn’t injured, they will next attempt to prove that the injury wasn’t actually the fault of their policyholder. One way they do this is by claiming the injury was pre-existing. However, even if an injury is pre-existing, if an accident makes an injury worse, victims can still qualify for compensation.

What is an Aggravated Injury?

An aggravated injury is when a body part that has been injured in the past is re-injured, or a pre-existing injury or health condition is made worse. Although insurance companies aren’t responsible for paying for treatment for pre-existing injuries, they are responsible for treating the aggravation.

For example, let’s use the case of someone who had previously suffered a back injury. However, the injury was manageable, and didn’t affect their life too much, until they were rear-ended by another vehicle while waiting at a traffic light. Now they need spinal surgery.

The insurance company of the at-fault driver will usually attempt to argue that the only reason the victim needs the surgery is because they already had back problems, and a healthy person in the same accident would not need as much, or any, treatment.

However, Louisiana law protects people who have previously been injured or who are physically frail, and it allows them to still collect compensation if they are injured through someone else’s actions.

It’s called the “Eggshell” rule. It essentially says that even though the pre-existing condition made the victim’s injury from the accident worse than it could have been, they still suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and deserve to be compensated.

However, proving the degree of aggravation in these types of cases can be difficult, especially without a lawyer on your side.

Why You Need a Lawyer When You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

The insurance company is only responsible for the aggravation of the injury, and not the entire injury, since the initial injury wasn’t the fault of their policyholder. For example, if the severity of the pre-existing injury was considered 3/10, and after the car accident became 8/10, the victim would receive compensation as if the severity were 5/10, because that’s how much of the injury the accident contributed to.

So while victims of accidents with pre-existing conditions can still get compensation, the insurance company will try to pay as little as possible by claiming the amount of harm their policyholder caused was very small. 

This can reduce the amount of compensation you can get, unless you have an experienced personal injury attorney who can help prove through your medical records and other evidence that most of the pain and disability you’re currently suffering would not have happened, regardless of your pre-existing condition, had the accident not occurred.

Our Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

We’ve helped accident victims who have pre-existing conditions many times before, and we know how the risk of a devastating injury becomes more likely when you’ve already been injured in the past. When you’re careful about your health, understand your own limits, and have learned how to safely live with a condition or injury, but end up suffering anyway because of someone else’s carelessness, that’s not right or just.

We want to help you fight for the full compensation you deserve after an accident. If you’ve been rejected compensation for treatment you need for an injury you suffered, just because you have a pre-existing condition, call the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Dudley DeBosier today for a free case consultation.

The Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries

by Dudley DeBosier | February 1st, 2021

When you hear the phrase “burn injury,” you likely picture the small burns you might get from a drop of oil jumping out of the frying pan when you cook – painful, but commonplace, and usually no big deal – or more serious burns you might get from being trapped in a burning house, or in a car after a crash – horrifying, but highly unlikely to happen to you or someone you love.

However, there is a wide range of burns in-between the little and big, and most of them still require medical treatment to prevent infection, permanent scarring, or other serious and even life-threatening complications.

Knowing how burns happen – and they’re not always caused by fire – can help you protect yourself from these painful and potentially disfiguring injuries.

The 3 Major Types of Burns

In addition to being categorized as 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree according to their severity, burns are also commonly sorted into three different categories depending on what caused them. 86% of burns that require medical treatment are thermal burns, and are caused by heat, 4% are chemical burns, and 3% are electrical burns. The remaining 7% of burns include all other causes, including radiation burns. 

Thermal burns are caused by:

  • Contact with flame or fire, such as in a building fire or in an explosion (43% of burns)
  • Scalding injuries from hot liquid or steam, such as overheated beverages or extremely hot water from a household tap (34% of burns)
  • Contact with hot objects, such as metal pipes, engines, cooking equipment, soldering equipment, etc. (9% of burns)

Chemical burns can be caused by:

  • Household cleaners like bleach, ammonia, and chlorine
  • Some skin, hair, teeth, and nail products
  • Battery acid
  • Concrete mix
  • Some metals and minerals, such as lime

Electrical burns can be caused by:

  • Defective equipment, such as power tools or electronic devices
  • Extension cords with cracked or worn insulation, or that are used to carry more electric current than they are rated for
  • Contact with downed or insufficiently insulated power lines
  • Touching energized equipment that is not grounded

Where Do Burn Injuries Happen?

Accidents that cause burn injuries can happen anywhere, but they can be more common in certain situations or in certain professions than in others.

For example, electrical burns are more common at work than at home, and construction workers, utility workers, and tree service employees are more likely to be electrocuted than other types of workers.

Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Burn Injuries

While we can’t always protect ourselves from burns caused by other people’s negligence, we can reduce our own risk of burns by following these important safety tips:

  • Test the smoke alarms in your home once a month and replace the batteries in your smoke alarms every six months.
  • Don’t leave sources of heat unattended. That means unplugging your curling iron when not in use, and blowing out candles before leaving the room.
  • Install anti-scald devices on tub faucets and shower heads to prevent scalding injuries from too hot tap water. Children are especially at risk from this type of injury.
  • Keep all household cleaners and other chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
  • Don’t attempt to pour household cleaners and chemicals into new containers.
  • Don’t use power cords or extension cords with exposed or frayed wires.
  • Always plug major appliances like refrigerators and freezers directly into the wall outlet, not a multi-plug adapter or surge protector.

Who is Liable for My Burn Injury?

Sometimes, no one is at fault for a burn, or it may even be the result of the victim’s own momentary lapse in caution. For example, even if you were left with serious scalding injuries after dropping a pot of boiling water while carrying it to the sink, there usually isn’t any negligence at play on someone else’s part.

However, sometimes burns are caused by someone else’s negligence.

For example, people may be burned by defective products that heat up too fast, or to higher temperatures than they are supposed to. These products may even catch fire or explode. The exploding hoverboards from 2016, and the exploding vape pens from 2019, are both examples of this. When manufacturers fail to make products safe for consumers, they can be held responsible.

Likewise, if people are injured in building fires, they may be able to hold the construction company or property owner liable if the building didn’t meet fire code, causing the fire to spread or make it difficult to safely put out the fire or for residents to escape.

If you are unsure if someone else can be held liable for the costs of your burn injury, call the Louisiana burn injury attorneys at Dudley DeBosier for a free consultation.

What Type of Injuries Can You Get From Slipping and Falling?

by Dudley DeBosier | January 18th, 2021

When you picture slipping on a wet floor, you may imagine the worst thing that can happen is a sore behind and some bruised dignity. However, this isn’t always the case. Slips and falls can result in serious injuries, and in some cases, such as falls from heights, they may even be fatal.

In fact, the CDC estimates that millions of Americans are injured every year in slips, trips, and falls, and 20-30% of all slips and falls cause moderate to severe injuries that affect the victim’s mobility and ability to live independently.

At Dudley DeBosier, we’ve helped many victims who were injured after slipping or falling due to dangerous property conditions, but had their injury claims denied. That’s often because the insurance company didn’t believe that such serious injuries could result from “only” tripping, or because they believed these people were responsible for their own injuries due to clumsiness.

But thankfully for our clients, we’re experienced at proving these kinds of accidents can and do cause serious harm, and that negligent property owners are accountable for failing to correct dangerous conditions on their property.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused By Falls?

Broken bones and sprains – When you trip or slip on an uneven or slippery surface, it’s common to twist your ankle unnaturally, or throw out your hands to try to protect yourself. Both of these movements can result in broken or sprained ankles, wrists, and fingers. Broken bones typically take six weeks or longer to fully heal, which can impact your ability to work and earn a paycheck if you can’t put weight on your foot or use your injured hand until you recover.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, a category of injury that includes concussions. In fact, nearly half of all emergency room visits for TBIs are caused by slips and falls.

Knee and shoulder injuries – Bad falls can tear tendons and ligaments in the knees and shoulders, or even dislocate these joints. Unfortunately, damage to the knee or shoulder often requires expensive reconstructive surgery to regain full mobility.

Spinal cord injuries ­– When people land on their back, they can suffer slipped discs or even more serious and permanent injuries, including paralysis. Pain caused by spinal cord injuries can be debilitating and severely limit mobility.

Hip fractures – Hip fractures are serious injuries that are almost always caused by falls, and they often require extensive surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation. The elderly are extremely at risk of suffering hip fractures after a fall, and complications from the injury can often be fatal.

We Help People Injured in Slips and Falls

At Dudley DeBosier, we understand that people don’t just slip, trip, or fall for no reason. If you were injured because a floor was slippery, uneven, covered in loose carpeting, or featured some other tripping hazard, it’s not your fault. The property owner had a responsibility to make their property safe for visitors to walk on, and because they failed to do so, they can and should be held responsible for your injuries.

Contact our Louisiana premises liability attorneys today for a free case consultation.

5 Easy Ways to Help Your Lawyer Win Your Case

by Dudley DeBosier | November 9th, 2020

Insurance companies don’t like paying out fair settlements after accidents where people get hurt, which makes it extremely difficult to get fair compensation without a lawyer on your side. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do on your end to improve your chances of getting compensation.

It’s your lawyer’s job to compile evidence, calculate your damages, and build a convincing claim that ensures you get every dollar you’re owed. However, it can make your lawyer’s job easier, and make your case close much faster (which means getting that check in your hands faster!), if he or she doesn’t have to start from scratch.

There are five simple things you can do to help your lawyer win your personal injury claim.

Don’t Wait to File

The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana is just one year. You may think that’s a lot of time, but in the legal world, it’s not much time at all. You could lose valuable months before your injuries are even properly diagnosed or while you’re stuck in negotiations with the insurance company.

Document Everything

Immediately after the accident (if you are able), and in the days following, collect the following information:

  • Contact information for any witnesses
  • The contact information of the potentially negligent party
  • Photos of the accident scene and your injuries – the time stamps will help prove when the injuries occurred
  • The police report number and badge number of the responding officer
  • Receipts for your medical costs
  • Receipts for repair or replacement costs for personal property damaged in the accident
  • Notes on when you visited the doctor and what was discussed
  • Journal entries documenting your pain level and how your injury has impacted your life
  • Anything and everything related to your accident!

Some of these your lawyer will be able to request from other sources, but it saves time if you can provide it to your attorney at the start.

Be Honest

Don’t stretch the truth or make guesses about the circumstances of your accident, such as how fast the other driver was going before they hit you, if you were injured in a car crash. Conflicting details will cast doubt on the rest of your claim, even if you didn’t deliberately omit or misstate anything.

Attend All Medical Appointments

Your medical appointments are valuable evidence of the origin and seriousness of your injuries! If you miss appointments, the insurer will assume your injuries are not as debilitating or painful as stated, and this could reduce your settlement.

It’s in the best interests of your case, not to mention your health, to follow all doctors’ instructions until they decide you are completely recovered. This includes attending all appointments, including physical therapy sessions, and completing any course of prescribed medication.

Stay Off of Social Media

The insurance company doesn’t want to pay your claim, so it will find every reason to shift the blame for your accident onto you to justify a smaller payout or deny your claim altogether. If your social posts suggest you feel guilty about the accident (which could be twisted to imply fault), or your photos suggest you aren’t as injured as you really are, this will be used against you.

For All the Rest, Leave It to Dudley DeBosier

Following these five tips can significantly improve your chances of success when filing a personal injury claim. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we aren’t afraid to go to trial when the initial settlement offer isn’t enough to cover our clients’ accident-related expenses. And our Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers will work with you every step of the way so your needs are met.

Have questions about a potential injury claim? Call us today for a free case review.

How Is a Jury Chosen for a Personal Injury Case?

by Dudley DeBosier | November 2nd, 2020

While most personal cases can be successfully settled outside of a courtroom, not all insurance companies can be persuaded to do the right thing. So when negotiations fail, that’s when cases are taken to trial. 

When a personal injury case goes to trial, the defendant (the party accused of causing the victim’s injury) has the same right to an impartial jury that accused people have in criminal cases.

Juries are typically comprised of people who live in the area where the trial is being held, and they receive letters in the mail telling them to report to their local courthouses on a specific date for the jury selection process.

However, not everyone who gets called up for jury duty gets accepted to serve on the jury, and while those who are called up are selected at random from eligible citizens, those who are accepted are not.

Instead, they are chosen by attorneys on both sides in an effort to make the trial as fair as possible. In fact, the jury selection process is perhaps the most important part of any personal injury trial and can make or break your chances of receiving the full compensation you are owed.

What Happens During Jury Selection?

The jury selection process is known as Voir Dire, which in French means “to speak the truth.” It refers to the oath taken by jurors to truthfully bring up any opinions, biases, or prejudices that may affect their ability to act fairly or impartially as a juror.

While we call it jury selection, it is really much more about identifying and removing any bad options for jurors than it is about choosing good options. The goal of Voir Dire is to weed out jurors that, for whatever reason, may have already decided who they will side with in the trial before having heard any of the evidence.

Both the plaintiff’s (the injured party) and the defendant’s attorneys will have an opportunity to speak to and question all the candidates in the jury pool. The plaintiff’s attorney always gets to question the jurors first, then the defense’s attorney gets their turn.

After questioning the potential jurors, the attorneys will tell the judge which jurors they would like removed.

However, the judge must approve all requests to remove jurors, so the attorneys must be able to provide a reason why they think the juror won’t be able to do his or her job fairly and impartially. The judge also has the ability to limit how long the attorneys can speak to the jurors, prevent them from asking “unfair” questions, and limit the number of jurors they can remove.

What Type of Questions Are Asked in Voir Dire?

Questions during Voir Dire are supposed to root out existing biases, so they will usually refer to aspects of the case and the jurors’ knowledge or emotional reaction to the case.

For example, common questions will include, “Have you, a friend, or a family member ever worked for an insurance company?” or “Have you, a friend, or family member ever filed a personal injury claim before?”

If they answer yes to the first question, they are likely going to be more sympathetic to the defendant from the start, while if they answered yes to the second question, they will likely be more sympathetic to the accident victim. Jurors may also be asked about their personal life or taste in books or movies to see if these suggest sympathies in either direction.

Questions can also be specific to the type of case. For example, if the accident was a slip and fall injury in a restaurant, jurors might be asked if they’ve ever worked in a restaurant before. If the accident was a car crash, jurors might be asked if they are familiar with the intersection where the crash happened, or “Do you think most people are good drivers or bad drivers?”

Jurors will also be asked about how they feel about lawsuits in general. Examples of questions may include, “Do you think there are too many frivolous lawsuits?”, “Do you think it’s right to award money for pain and suffering?”, “Do you think someone injured in an accident always shares in the blame?”, and “How would you judge your ability to tell when someone is lying?”

For What Reason Can a Juror Be Removed?

Louisiana legal code allows potential jurors to be removed from the jury panel for five reasons.

These are:

  1. The juror lacks a qualification required by law.
  2. The juror has already formed an opinion about the case.
  3. The juror is previously acquainted with any party involved.
  4. The juror served on a previous jury which tried the same case, or one arising out of the same facts.
  5. The juror refused to answer a question during Voir Dire on the basis their answer might incriminate themselves.

Get a Lawyer Who Can Pick the Right Jury

Because the jury selection process is so important, it’s absolutely vital to make sure you hire a lawyer who knows how to question jurors the right way to make sure the deck isn’t stacked against you before you even get a chance to share your story.

The media often portrays personal injury lawsuits as frivolous, but we know that’s not true. Accident victims simply want their lives to go back to normal, and for that, they need money to pay their bills, recover their lost wages, and compensate them for the needless suffering they went through. We’ll make sure the jury knows it, too.

If you have questions about a potential personal injury claim in Louisiana, contact our firm today for free.

What Happens After You Win Your Injury Claim?

by Dudley DeBosier | October 19th, 2020

We know the sense of relief that our clients feel once a settlement is agreed on, whether it’s pre-trial or after going before a judge or jury. It means the nightmare of their accident is finally over, and they can really begin to put it behind them.

But what happens next? When does the insurance company write the check, and more importantly, how long until you get it in your hands? And how do you begin to start paying off all the expenses you’ve racked up in the meantime? This blog goes into the details.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Processing a personal injury settlement is an involved process and may take up to six weeks (although usually shorter) to conclude. Why so long? There are several steps that must be completed before you can receive your check.

Step 1

After an agreement on a settlement is reached, you will be required to first sign a release stating the total amount to be paid and absolving the defendant from further liability.

This is why having a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf is so important – if the insurance company’s initial offer is too low and you accept, you won’t be able to ask for more money later after signing the release.

Step 2

The defendant’s insurance company will issue a check, typically made payable to you and your lawyer, and send the check to your lawyer.

Step 3

Your lawyer will deposit the check into an escrow account. This is not a decision your lawyer is making on your behalf, it’s the law. Having the money in escrow is also only temporary until any liens on the settlement are paid.

Step 4

Your lawyer will pay all liens you owe using the money in the escrow account – these are typically medical liens.

Because personal injury settlements often don’t conclude until after the victim is recovered and the final medical bill is paid (to accurately calculate how much compensation is needed), most accident victims will pay their medical bills initially through their own health insurance. You are required to report to your insurance when the treatment being billed is for injuries from an accident. The health insurance company will then issue a lien for the amount they paid the health care provider, since subrogation laws in Louisiana prevent injury victims from getting compensation from two sources for the same accident-related expenses (i.e., first from your own health insurance, and later from the at-fault party’s auto insurance once your settlement is awarded).

If you don’t have health insurance, you may have a lien with the healthcare provider itself.

Your lawyer will typically negotiate with the healthcare providers to try to reduce the lien amount you are required to pay.

Other types of liens on the settlement could include spousal or child support that the injury victim owes and couldn’t pay while unable to work due to their injuries.

Step 5

Your lawyer will subtract their fees and court costs from the money in the escrow account.

Attorney fees vary, and can depend on the type of case and whether or not the case went to trial, but they usually range from 33%-40%. Your attorney’s fees reflect the time and work they put into your case. Refer to the contract you signed for the attorney fee percentage you agreed to pay.

Court costs are different from attorney fees. These include the amount charged by the hospital and police department for requesting copies of your medical records and police report, cost of postage, and if you go to trial, filing fees, paying expert witnesses, and so on. These are the responsibility of the person filing the personal injury claim, but your lawyer will typically pay these charges up front and take reimbursement out of the settlement.

Step 6

Once all liens and fees have been subtracted, the injury victim will receive the remaining amount. This will include compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Typically your lawyer will write you a check for the amount remaining in the escrow account, which can be picked up at the lawyer’s office or delivered by mail.

What to Do If Your Settlement is Delayed

Settlements can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including reasons as simple as the claims adjuster being out of office and not having signed or filed your release paperwork. Typically, delays are due to waiting on confirmation that all liens have been settled.

If your settlement is significantly delayed, talk to your lawyer. They may be able to issue a partial payment while continuing to negotiate your liens.

When You Need Compensation After an Accident, Contact Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers

At Dudley DeBosier, our personal injury attorneys know how important compensation is after an accident that leaves you seriously injured and in debt. That’s why we work hard to settle claims professionally, quickly, and for the maximum amount.

Contact our team today for a free consultation.

Does Louisiana Have a Cap on Damages?

by Dudley DeBosier | October 5th, 2020

Accidents are costly. After totaling up your medical bills, the paychecks you missed while recovering, and your vehicle repair or replacement costs after a car crash, you could easily be in the hole for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s not unheard of for victims of catastrophic or permanent injuries to incur millions of dollars in costs when lifetime treatment is required.

So, does that mean you are eligible for millions of dollars in compensation? It depends. Generally, victims in Louisiana can get all the money they’re owed after accidents and injuries, but the state does have some restrictions on the amount of compensation injury victims can get for certain types of injuries.

Damage Caps on Personal Injury Claims

Louisiana doesn’t cap the amount of money an injury victim can receive in compensation for most personal injury cases, including car accidents, slips and falls, and injuries caused by dangerous products or medications.

Are there exceptions? If the at-fault party is a government agency, then the amount of compensation the injured victim can receive is capped at $500,000.

Additionally, a bill passed in July 2020 may limit the amount of money an injured car accident victim can receive in compensation for their medical expenses. If the insurance provider is eligible to pay a discounted price for a medical service, the injured party can only receive compensation for the discounted amount plus up to 40% of the difference between the discounted amount and full price, rather than full price.

For example, if a treatment costs $2,000, but the insurance provider received a discount and only had to pay $1,000, then the injured victim would receive between $1,000-$1,400 in compensation, not $2,000.

Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims

In medical malpractice claims, injury victims can receive no more than $500,000 in total damages. That means the total compensation for economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages) plus any non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) can’t be more than $500,000 when added together, not when added up separately.

However, the cap does not apply to future medical expenses arising from the same accident, so victims who suffer lifelong injuries may be eligible for additional compensation. Talking to a lawyer about your injury at the hands of a negligent healthcare provider could help determine if your case falls into this category.

Damage Caps on Workers’ Comp Claims

In workers’ compensation claims, injured workers will only be able to receive compensation for their economic damages, such as their medical bills and lost wages. They will not be able to receive any compensation for pain and suffering.

Why Do Damage Caps Exist?

Damage caps exist for two reasons. First, tort reformers have long pushed to reduce the amount of money injured victims can receive after accidents. Their goal is to prevent people who are faking or exaggerating injuries from getting compensation, but by doing so, they are hurting countless people with legitimate injuries from getting the compensation they desperately need.

Secondly, damage caps are passed in an effort to try to reduce operating costs of businesses so they can pass the savings on to consumers. For example, the thinking is if medical providers don’t have to pay as much in malpractice lawsuits, they can afford to lower their prices for treatment. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t work.

We Fight for Max Compensation

When you are injured through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t be left in debt. Our goal is always to get our clients the compensation they need to get their lives back to the way they were before their accidents. That doesn’t mean just most of their bills covered, or all their medical bills but none of their lost wages. Instead, it means fighting to get injured victims everything they lost recovered, so they can move forward with their lives. 

Contact our Louisiana personal injury lawyers today for a free case review and learn what we can do for you and your family. 

Lump Sum vs. Structured Settlements

by Dudley DeBosier | September 7th, 2020

Which Settlement Disbursement Option Is Better?

When you receive a settlement after a civil lawsuit, whether for a personal injury, medical malpractice suit, workers’ compensation claim, or wrongful death, you may have more than one option for how to receive your money: as a lump sum or a structured settlement.

Lump sum disbursements are the most common, but structured settlements are typical for catastrophic injuries or accidents involving minors.

So, what do these options mean, and is one preferable to the other?

Pros and Cons of a Lump Sum Settlement

As the name suggests, a lump sum settlement is a large, one-time payment. Many accident victims prefer lump sum payments because it allows them to put their accidents behind them and be finished dealing with the insurance company once and for all.

Lump sum settlements also offer the most freedom. After all liens for medical expenses are deducted, the remainder of the settlement (pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages, if any) can be used however the accident victim wishes, at any time they wish, and at their full discretion.

One downside is that many accident victims may experience friends, family, and acquaintances pressuring them to share their settlement.

In addition, victims may have trouble managing the windfall of money themselves. For very large settlements, they may need to hire a financial advisor to determine how best to invest the money.

Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

When accident victims experience severe or permanent injuries that require lifelong treatment or that prevent them from working again, they may opt for a structured settlement.

In this type of settlement, victims receive a series of smaller payments through an annuity purchased by the insurance company, rather than one large payment. For example, instead of a one-time check for $500,000 dollars, they may receive a $50,000 check every year for 10 years.

Structured settlements are incredibly flexible. You could opt to receive your payments for a set period of years, or for the rest of your life. You can also choose how often you receive them, whether that’s every month or once a year. 

You can even decide how much you want to receive in each payment (within the bounds of your settlement). For example, you could choose to receive one very large payment right at the start, and then divide up the remainder of your settlement into a series of smaller, regular payments, or you could decide to start with small payments that gradually increase in size as you grow closer to retirement age. Some accident victims even choose to defer their settlement payments so they only start once they reach retirement age.

However, it is best to discuss your structured settlement plan with your lawyer or a financial advisor before committing to it, since you won’t be able to change it later or receive a payment early, even if you need it.

Structured payments can also accrue interest; however, unlike the rest of your personal injury settlement, the interest will be taxable.

Severely Injured After an Accident? We Want to Help.

However you choose to receive your settlement, our biggest priority at Dudley DeBosier is making sure you receive the full amount you are entitled to after an accident that severely disrupts your life.

Our experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys know what it takes to fight back against insurance companies that try to reduce or deny settlements, and we have the knowledge and tools to calculate exactly how much you may be owed after an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. Even more, we never charge unless we win, so contact us today for a free case review.

Why You Should Never Leave a Child or Pet in the Car Alone

by Dudley DeBosier | August 24th, 2020

When it comes to experiencing heat and humidity, there are few places that compare to Louisiana in the summertime. Everyone who lives here knows how hot it can get, and that is compounded immensely when sitting in a car without the air on, regardless of whether you park in the sun or the shade.

A quick glance at the weekly forecast and daytime highs means it’s time to bring up an important reminder every parent, and pet parent, needs to hear–children and pets left in cars are at a high risk of heat stroke and death. This preventable tragedy doesn’t only happen in summer: even when temperatures outside are at just 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a closed car can reach as high as 105 degrees in only an hour, which is hot enough to kill a child.

Between 2018 and 2019, 105 children died from being left in hot cars, and at least 82 dogs and cats perished due to overheating inside vehicles (many animal deaths go unrecorded, so the actual numbers are likely much higher). Louisiana has the second-highest rate of vehicular heatstroke deaths per capita at 31.66 for every 1 million residents age 14 and younger, falling behind only Mississippi (32.46), and above Arizona (29.32), according to statistics provided by noheatstroke.org.

Don’t Take the Risk

When your child is sleeping or your pet is rowdy and your errand is short, it can be very tempting to leave them behind for a few minutes in the car.

However, even a short amount of time can have deadly consequences.

When a vehicle heats up, two-thirds of the most rapid heating occur within the first 20 minutes. That means temperatures can increase by as much as 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes, and as much as 40 degrees in an hour. Furthermore, a child’s body temperature heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, putting them in even more danger.

In 2019, The Zebra conducted a national survey, and found that 25.4% of people in the Southern U.S. believe that cracking a window mitigates the threat of heatstroke completely. Unfortunately, the truth is that leaving the window open can make as little difference as only two degrees, which is not enough to prevent heatstroke and death.

How to Prevent Forgetting Your Child in the Car

It’s more common than you think to forget your child is in the car with you, especially if they are very young, quiet, or asleep. One good way to ensure you never forget is to place an item you can’t leave the car without, such as a purse or your shoes, in the backseat with the child to make sure you always check the backseat before getting out.

Not All Hot Cars Deaths Are the Fault of Forgetful Guardians

More than a quarter of all child hot car deaths (26.3%) between 1998 and 2018 occurred when the child climbed into the car on their own and got trapped inside.

Make sure your vehicle is always locked when not in use, and the keys are out of reach of children to prevent these and other similar types of accidents.

How to Recognize Heat Stroke

Signs of Heat Stroke In Children

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Headache
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Cold, clammy skin and increased sweating, which progresses to flushed, hot and dry skin and lack of sweating
  • Seizures

Signs of Heat Stroke In Dogs

  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Decreased energy
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of coordination
  • Bright pink gums
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you encounter the signs of heat stroke in a person or animal after being in a hot car, get medical attention immediately. While waiting for help, move the affected person or animal to a shaded area and give them small sips of cool water. 

Was Your Child Killed in the Care of Someone Else?

As painful as it is to contemplate, at least 8% of all child vehicular heatstroke deaths happen in the hands of childcare workers. If you believe you have a wrongful death claim against a babysitter, day care center, or other caretaker, contact the team at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers.

Our team is compassionate to the needs to families affected by injuries and wrongful death, and we’ll never charge you for an initial consultation.

Can You Be Sued if a Trespasser Injures Themselves on Your Property?

by Dudley DeBosier | July 6th, 2020

Have you ever heard the rumor about a burglar getting injured while breaking into someone’s home or business, and then suing for their injuries? How likely is this situation? Could it ever happen? Would they ever win?

The short answer is, no. They could try, but they wouldn’t get far.

In most circumstances, property owners are required to protect visitors on their properties, whether those are guests at their homes or customers at their businesses. This means actively identifying any potential hazards and either removing the hazards or sufficiently warning visitors about them if they can’t be removed.

This legal duty to protect visitors from hazards doesn’t apply to trespassers. However, you may still have a responsibility to warn potential trespassers of hazards if you know there is a high probability your home or business will be broken into. Think of a “Beware of Dog” sign as an example of this. 

Are There Exceptions?

There are two big exceptions to this rule where you may still be held liable for a trespasser’s injuries.

Intentional Injuries

Trespassers can’t sue you for injuries they incur from accidents, such as slipping and falling on your property. However, if you injure the trespasser intentionally, such as by setting out booby traps like in Home Alone, then you won’t be protected by the law.

For example, have you ever seen a sign saying, “Private Property: Trespassers Will Be Shot”? Posting this sign is not a legal defense for shooting someone. Even Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground laws say you have to believe your life is in danger before acting in a violent manner. Someone simply entering your property isn’t enough. 

Child Trespassers

Most states, including Louisiana, have something called Attractive Nuisance laws. These laws say that children are not capable of recognizing danger and can be expected to trespass to get to something that is attractive to them, such as swimming pools and trampolines.

Other examples of property that may qualify as Attractive Nuisances are playgrounds, treehouses, dangerous animals, and construction sites. If it looks like it could be a fun place to play, consider it an attractive nuisance.

This means that property owners have a legal duty to take extra precautions to keep children out and safe from the danger. Installing a fence with a locked gate that can’t be easily opened or climbed by children is a good example of how to protect yourself from liability in this type of trespassing case.

What’s Needed for a Premises Liability Compensation Claim?

To successfully file a lawsuit after being hurt on someone else’s property, an injured person will need to prove the following:

  • They were injured by a dangerous condition on the property.
  • They were on the property legally (excluding the exceptions discussed above).
  • The property owner knew about the dangerous condition, or at least should have known (for example, after a strong storm, it’s reasonable to assume there may be downed tree limbs or power lines).
  • The property owner didn’t do anything to remove the danger after learning about it, or didn’t take steps quickly enough to prevent someone from being injured.

At Dudley DeBosier, Your Case Consultation Is Free

Many injury victims hesitate to get legal representation because they are afraid they can’t afford it, especially when they may already be going into debt over their injury-related expenses. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we never charge for initial consultations, and even after hiring our team, you pay us nothing unless we win.

Contact us today to talk about your case.

What is the Difference Between a Tort and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

by Dudley DeBosier | June 1st, 2020

Here at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we’ve helped many Louisianans who have been injured through no fault of their own due to the carelessness of others. This is true whether the at-fault parties were distracted drivers, negligent property managers, or the manufacturers of harmful consumer products.

We call ourselves personal injury lawyers, but another word you may have heard tossed around in relation to your injury claim is “tort.” So, what is a tort, and how is it different than a personal injury claim?

What is a Tort?

A tort is any wrong committed against someone that causes injury or harm, and that can be tried in a civil court. That sounds a lot like a personal injury, but the definition of a tort is a bit wider.

All personal injury lawsuits are torts, but not all torts are personal injury lawsuits. There are three main types of torts.

  1. Intentional Torts: This is harm or injury that is intentionally caused. Common examples include assault and battery, trespassing, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  2. Negligent Torts: This type of tort occurs when someone fails to show a reasonable amount of care and injures or harms someone else as a result. Most personal injury claims fall into this category. Examples include car accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice.
  3. Strict Liability Torts: In this type of tort, it doesn’t matter if the defendant took a reasonable amount of care or not, only that the injury occurred, and the defendant was at fault. This type of tort is common for abnormally dangerous activities (such as blasting dynamite), ownership of certain animals (such as dogs that have bitten before), and product liability.

What is a Mass Tort?

When we talk about torts here, we typically mean mass torts surrounding defective products or drugs that have caused significant harm to users. For example, claims against the manufacturers of feminine hygiene products containing talcum powder that may increase a user’s risk of ovarian cancer are considered mass torts.

Unlike a car accident where you were the only victim, or a multi-car pileup where many people contributed fault, a mass tort is a single action that harms many people.

What’s the Difference Between a Mass Tort Lawsuit and a Class Action Lawsuit?

When you are part of a mass tort, you are still treated as an individual. This means the court will hear about how you, specifically, were injured by the product or drug. In a class action, just one person from the whole group stands in as everyone’s representative.

Why to Consider Joining a Mass Tort Lawsuit After an Injury

When a large group of people have been harmed by the same defective product or drug, coming together in a mass tort can help improve their chances of getting the compensation they deserve.

One member of a mass tort can use any of the evidence gathered as part of the mass tort in their own trial, but the success of their case isn’t tied to someone else. That means the opportunity for compensation is greater than in a class action, where you could potentially receive only a small amount of money or no money at the conclusion, and never go in front of a judge yourself.

How to Win a Tort Claim

Most of the cases we try are negligent torts, and we’ve perfected the process of both compiling evidence that proves you were not at fault for your own injuries and calculating the full damages you are owed for the defendant’s negligence.

There are four key things we’ll prove throughout your case.

  1. Duty – The defendant had a duty to provide a reasonable amount of care toward the people around them, whether that meant driving within the speed limit, or warning shoppers when the floor is wet and potentially dangerous to walk on.
  2. Breach of Duty – The defendant failed to exhibit a reasonable amount of care.
  3. Injury – You suffered injuries or harm.
  4. Causation – Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty of care. 

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Injury Claim for Free

Suffering an injury that wasn’t your fault, and knowing you have no way to pay your bills until you can get back to work, is a horrible feeling. Believing you have no way to hold the people who caused your accident responsible and have no choice but to go into debt is worse. But we want you to know that isn’t the cause.

When someone injures you, even unintentionally, you can file a negligent tort claim, otherwise known as a personal injury lawsuit, to get the compensation you need from their insurance.

And at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, our No Fee Guarantee® means you pay us nothing, unless we win. Even your initial consultation is free.

Don’t put off getting the help you need; contact us today to discuss your claim.

How Long Does a Settlement Take After a Demand Letter?

by Dudley DeBosier | May 11th, 2020

When injured victims come to us for help after accidents, they have usually two questions on their minds: how much money are they owed, and how soon can they get it? We get it; medical bills wait for no man, and they’re often more than anyone can reasonably afford.  

The answers to both of those questions depend on many factors, including the severity of the injuries, the impact the injuries have on the victim’s ability to work, and the insurance companies’ level of cooperation or pushback against our demands.

When we build claims for our clients, our primary goal is ensuring that they get fair compensation for what they’ve been through. That means collecting plenty of evidence, calculating how much money they’re owed based on their current and estimated future accident-related expenses, and telling the insurance company to pay up. The last part involves writing and sending a demand letter, which is a document that outlines exactly how much money our client deserves for everything they’ve experienced.

Once a demand letter is in the insurance company’s hands, the ball is in their court to either pay up or face trial. This can be a frustrating time for clients, especially when they’ve waited for weeks or months to get the money they’re owed. Every claim is different, and every insurance company’s response to demand letters is different, but estimating how long it will take to get a settlement after this important step depends on a few factors.

What’s in a Demand Letter?

First, it’s important to explain what’s in a demand letter. Although insurance companies are reluctant to pay settlements to injured victims, they’re even more reluctant to go to trial. Demand letters written by attorneys on behalf of their clients get insurance companies a chance to review the facts and evidence that has been compiled and avoid a trial by cutting a check right then and there. At Dudley DeBosier, it’s our goal to ensure all demand letters are as convincing as possible by including information such as:

  • The cause of our clients’ injuries
  • The impact their injuries have had on their lives
  • The medical treatments they’ve needed and the costs of those treatments
  • Evidence that pinpoints who is liable for their injuries and why they should be held accountable
  • The total amount of income that our clients have lost as a result of their injuries
  • The total amount of money that our clients need to be fairly compensated

Included in each demand letter will be a monetary amount that is determined by our lawyers and client. In some cases, insurance companies will immediately agree to pay this amount. But in most cases, they will negotiate the settlement until a fair amount is agreed upon by all parties, including our clients, our attorneys, and the insurance company.

Factors that Affect Demand Letter Response Time

There are four primary factors that can affect how long it will take for you to get your check after we send our demand letter to the insurance company, and they include:

  1. The insurance adjuster’s workload—Insurance adjusters are individuals who work for insurance companies and who are tasked with managing claims from policyholders or from people who were harmed by policyholders. When adjusters are working through many claims at the same time, their responses may be delayed.
  2. The amount of evidence and documentation in the demand letter—If the insurance company believes the demand letter is lacking in information or evidence, it may request additional information. That can delay the time it takes for them to agree to pay. Our lawyers work hard to ensure that our demand letters are airtight to avoid this delay.
  3. The amount of money requested in the demand letter—Although it’s our goal to ensure our clients get paid fairly, we also want them to get paid on time. For that reason, we work hard to determine settlement amounts that are fair and reasonable, while also ensuring that they’re sufficient to cover our clients’ injury-related expenses both now and in the future.
  4. The number of potentially liable parties—When multiple parties may be considered liable for an accident or injury, insurance companies may be less likely to act right away. That’s because they may try to shift or assign more blame to other parties, while minimizing the blame on their policyholders.

It’s important to note that getting paid immediately isn’t always in your best interests. For example, insurance companies are known for offering “lowball” settlements immediately after accidents to make it impossible for victims to pursue additional compensation in the weeks or months to come.

They may do the same even after receiving demand letters by negotiating significantly reduced settlements. Some law firms will accept these offers to minimize their workloads, but we fight to ensure our victims get paid fairly. This is because once you accept a settlement, you likely will not be able to get any more money, even if it becomes clear later that the amount you received wasn’t enough for all your accident-related bills.

Dudley DeBosier Has Your Back from Day One to Pay Day

The Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier know that time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury claims. Mounting expenses and no income are a bad combination, but it’s even worse to accept a settlement that barely covers the expenses you’re facing today—let alone the ones that will continue building months or years down the road.

When you contact us, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that you get your life back to normal—and that means getting you paid in full and on time. We don’t let insurance companies get away with delaying payments indefinitely or paying our clients less than what they deserve. Call (866) 338-4649 today and see how we’ll take care of you and your loved ones. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

How to Calculate Pain & Suffering

by Dudley DeBosier | May 4th, 2020

The purpose of any personal injury lawsuit is to compensate a victim after an accident that was someone else’s fault. The goal, meanwhile, is to get enough compensation to help the victim get as close as possible back to what their life was like before it was disrupted by the accident.

Part of that is making sure the victim doesn’t have to pay accident-related bills out of their own pocket. It is easy to prove how much a victim is owed for medical expenses and lost wages just by looking at the total of their medical bills and missed paychecks. But bills are far from the only consequence of an injury-causing accident, and other consequences may have a far greater impact on your life.

How do you calculate the value of physical pain? What about the stress and emotional harm an accident causes? No amount of money can ever take away that pain. But we can get close to assigning a monetary value by examining what effect your injury has had on your life.

How Did Your Life Change After Your Accident?

Accidents have many consequences, both short-term and long-term. It is important to be as open and honest with your lawyer as you can about all the ways that your injury has disrupted your life. This will help us accurately judge how much compensation you are owed. Keeping a daily journal after your accident can also help you document these post-accident changes.

Questions to Ask Yourself after an Injury

  • Has your injury prevented you from staying physically active? This could impact your health further down the road, and since it is a result of your accident-related injuries, you may be able to get compensation for any detrimental effects on your health and well-being.
  • Has your injury prevented you from doing the type of work you used to do, from working as many hours, or from working at all? You are eligible for compensation not only for the paychecks you missed while hospitalized or recovering, but also for lost future wages, if your injuries have impacted your ability to work.
  • Has your injury caused you to miss out on any significant opportunities? Take, for example, a young person who loses a full athletic scholarship after an injury caused by someone else. Or consider an adult who is up for a big promotion at work, but after an injury is no longer able to perform the duties of the job. In these types of cases, we can make a case for compensation that includes the money and/or benefits they would have received.
  • Has your injury prevented you from continuing your hobbies? When your injury stops you from doing the things you enjoy, whether that’s playing baseball or taking on DIY projects, you can sue for compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Has your injury impacted your relationships with others? Severe injuries can affect your ability to have a physical relationship with a spouse or significant other.  

The stress of a severe accident can also harm the emotional health of your relationships with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.

  • Has your injury caused permanent damage? Accidents can result in injuries that leave victims partially or totally disabled or disfigured, including loss of limbs, injuries requiring reconstructive surgery, and injuries that result in chronic pain or loss of mobility.

Head injuries can also cause loss of memory and attention, mental acuity, and even any of the five senses.

If you’ve suffered a permanent injury, you will likely be owed far more money if you are in your 20s than you would if you are in your 60s, since your compensation will be based on how many years you will live with your injury.

  • Has your injury worsened a pre-existing condition? Damage to the body often compounds. Someone who suffered their third ever concussion in an accident will likely experience far worse side effects than someone who suffered their first. Meanwhile, someone who has frail hips or knees may suffer a permanent injury after a bad slip and fall, while an otherwise healthy person may recover easily.

This means we can’t judge the amount of compensation you may be owed solely on the injury, but rather on how the injury affected you specifically. 

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case for Free

At Dudley DeBosier, we believe everyone deserves a chance for fair compensation when they’ve been injured through no fault of their own. That’s why we offer free, no-obligation consultations, and if you decide to hire us, you don’t owe us anything unless we win you money.

We know that no injury is just an injury. It’s a severe disruption to your life that can persist for weeks or years down the road. We want to help you get back to where you were before, and where you should have been all along. Call today, and we’ll fight to get you the full compensation you deserve.

Wheelchair Accidents: What You Need to Know

by cbeesing | April 13th, 2020

When one thinks of wheelchairs, one may think of a medical device that is designed to provide independence, mobility, and freedom to some of the most vulnerable members of society.  Wheelchairs assist people with disabilities to become productive members of their communities. About 10% of the global population, i.e. about 650 million people, have disabilities. Studies indicate that, of these, some 10% require a wheelchair. 

(Publish Date: 2013/04/22 – (Rev. 2018/09/28), Author: The University of California – Disability Statistics Center)

Just over 6.8 million community-resident Americans use assistive devices to help them with mobility. This group comprises 1.7 million wheelchair or scooter riders and 6.1 million users of other mobility devices, such as canes, crutches, and walkers.

(Publish Date: 2013/04/22 – (Rev. 2018/09/28), Author: The University of California – Disability Statistics Center) https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/mobility-stats.php

When considering the numbers, it doesn’t cross your mind that according the Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 3.3 of every 1000 persons in the United States who use a wheelchair, an estimated 3.3% per year have a serious wheelchair-related incident.

(Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1990 Aug;69(4):184-90.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2383378

While wheelchair related injuries are not unheard-of, they can be easily prevented. However, sadly with so many companies flooding products on the market, there are bound to be wheelchair related injuries due to a defect with the chair itself.

In 2017 in Baton Rouge Louisiana, a woman who was dependent upon her motorized reclining wheelchair experienced an event that would forever change her life. While attempting to recline her chair to its rest position, the brackets on the base of the chair sheered away from the seat resulting in the chair breaking in half and violently depositing its occupant on the ground. She struggled for over an hour to call for help before assistance ever came. It has since been discovered that a major manufactures defect existed within the chair before she was ever put into possession of the product.

While the company who manufactured the chair takes the position that it was a onetime occurrence, the truth is one wheelchair accident is simply one too many. People of all ages, sizes, and genders are injured in wheelchair mishaps each year, which is why it is important to target the reasons why these events happen and put a stop to the numbers!

Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe. While products liability law differs slightly from state to state, the four main types of product liability claims are based on:

(1)  The product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition as provided in L.A. R.S. 9:2800.55;

(2)  The product is unreasonably dangerous in design as provided in L.A. R.S. 9:2800.56;

(3)  The product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided as provided in L.A.R.S. 9:2800.57; or

(4)  The product is unreasonably dangerous because it does not conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer about the product as provided in L.A.R.S. 9:2800.58.  

Many wheelchairs are made electrically and motorized these days, which means injuries could happen on a whole new level due to technological defects that we see day-to-day. A wheelchair could be improperly designed, poorly manufactured, or lack the proper warnings and instructions, leading to dangerous or deadly events; in which case, the manufacturer could be liable for any injuries or damages.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a wheelchair related incident, we would like to help. Please reach out to Dudley DeBosier Injury Attorneys and let us show you, the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

Are Personal Injury Lawsuits Taxable in Louisiana?

by Dudley DeBosier | April 6th, 2020

Tax season is upon us once again, bringing up a question that worries many of our clients, whether they successfully won a settlement this year, are in the middle of a lawsuit for compensation, or need compensation after a recent injury:

Will I need to pay taxes on my settlement?”

Thankfully, for many of you, the answer is “no.”

What the Federal Tax Code Has to Say About Personal Injury Settlements

Just about everything from inheritance to lottery winnings is taxable as income, including money won in a lawsuit. However, the U.S. tax code (Section 104) specifically makes an exception for personal injury lawsuits. This includes workers’ compensation settlements as well.

Examples of lawsuits that are NOT tax-free include:

  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Defamation
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Essentially, any lawsuit that doesn’t result from or include physical harm will be taxed. However, accident victims can still sue for compensation for their lost wages and emotional distress (which are typically taxed) without paying taxes on the settlement as long as these damages are the result of a physical injury or illness. It’s important to note the opposite is not true: physical injuries resulting from emotional distress (such as migraines, ulcers, and so on) are considered taxable.

This tax-free status is true for settlements reached through negotiation with the insurance company without going to court, and settlements ordered by a judge or jury.

What the Louisiana Tax Code Has to Say About Personal Injury Settlements

Personal injury settlements do not qualify as income, so they will not affect your Louisiana state tax filing either.

What Are the Exceptions?

As in any circumstance, there are a few cases in which you may need to pay taxes on a settlement.

  • If you accumulate any pre-judgment or post-judgment interest on your settlement, the interest can be taxed. However, only the interest can be taxed. The settlement itself will be tax-free.
  • If the court awards you punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages (which include medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering, etc.), the punitive damages are always taxed. This is because punitive damages are not intended to compensate you for your injuries, but instead to punish the offender.
  • If you claimed medical deductions for your accident-related medical bills prior to receiving your settlement, you will owe taxes on your settlement up to the amount you previously deducted.

Have Questions? That’s What We’re Here For

If there is any question over whether a portion of your settlement (such as interest or punitive damages) is taxable, contact your attorney at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers. During the settlement process, your lawyer will specify exactly what portions of what your settlement may be taxed when discussing possible damages with you, the at-fault party, their insurance company, and their attorneys, so you aren’t surprised by a 1090 tax form in the mail after your case ends.    

Injuries are stressful, and lawsuits are even more so. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we want to  help reduce your stress so you can focus on getting healthy and putting your life back to how it was before the accident. That includes working hard to ensure the money you win stays in your pocket—not the IRS’s. When you contact the team at Dudley DeBosier, you’ll get peace of mind knowing we’ll take care of all those details, so you can get the money you deserve, no strings attached. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

by Dudley DeBosier | March 2nd, 2020

Few injuries have the potential to be as devastating as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Research continues to teach us more and more about how even minor TBIs, also referred to as concussions, can impact sufferers for the rest of their lives.

Brain injuries disrupt our lives in significant ways. They can cause personality changes, severe memory loss, and physical disability. The more we learn about brain injuries and why they happen, the better equipped we’ll be to deal with or avoid them in the future.

Raising Awareness of Brain Injuries

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to start the conversation about TBIs. We’ve put together a guide to help people understand the basics of brain injuries. In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What is a TBI?
  • What are the most common causes?
  • How do TBIs affect people’s lives?
  • What steps should you consider after suffering a traumatic brain injury?

This guide is a quick but important read. Recognizing a traumatic brain injury is essential to preventing serious long-term consequences, so if you notice signs of a TBI in yourself or a loved one, seek medical attention right away.

Click below to view this informative guide.

Brain Injuries Have Dramatic Effects on Sufferers

As you’ll learn in our guide, people who suffer TBIs can experience life-changing consequences. It’s common for severe brain injuries to cause personality changes, physical impairment, and memory loss.

TBIs also increase the risk of brain and central nervous system disorders, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. TBIs also commonly result in overwhelming medical bills. The lifetime costs of a serious brain injury can result in millions of dollars in direct and indirect expenses.

Dudley DeBosier Has Helped Brain Injury Victims for Years

Dudley DeBosier represents clients with serious injuries, and we also do everything we can to get our clients the best care possible. We’ve witnessed how hard life can be in the wake of a serious brain injury, which is why we connect our clients with professionals that make their lives easier.

We believe the best way to deal with brain injuries is to avoid them entirely, but that’s simply not an option for people that have suffered an injury because of someone else’s careless actions. When that’s the case, it’s time to call an attorney who knows how to get results so you can get your life back to as close to normal as possible.

If you’ve considered reaching out to an experienced Baton Rouge brain injury attorney to explore your legal options, give Dudley DeBosier a call. We’ll review your case for free, and you can decide what happens next.

How to Handle Medical Bills While Waiting for a Settlement

by Dudley DeBosier | February 10th, 2020

When you or a loved one are injured in a car crash, you’ll do anything for a quick and full recovery. For many victims, that means calling an ambulance, opting for any recommended surgeries, and long periods of physical rehabilitation. Unfortunately, those aspects of the recovery process aren’t cheap—and paying for them is often made even more difficult when injuries prevent you from working and earning paychecks.

Even if the crash has left you permanently disabled, your medical bills will keep coming, regardless of whether you can pay for them out of pocket or not. Calling an experienced Baton Rouge auto accident lawyer soon after the accident can get you started on the path to compensation, but claims take time to build, process, and settle. In the meantime, your bills may be going past their due dates and turning into second, third, or final notices before being sent to collection agencies.

The time period between your crash and the day you get your check can be difficult, but being unable to pay bills in full or even make the first payment on your own doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. There are other resources you can utilize to keep your head above water while you wait for your settlement, and our lawyers can help you review all your options.

Keep These Options in Mind While You Wait for Your Check

Knowing you’re on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills after a crash can be hard to deal with, especially if you aren’t able to work. Your attorneys are working hard on your claim, but you don’t know when you’ll get a check. In the meantime, these resources are available to help you stay on top of your bills:

  • Your health insurance coverage—Health insurance is designed to pay for all types of medical bills, whether they’re incurred due to illness or injury. To ensure your health insurance is properly utilized during the billing process, provide the hospital with your information or card as soon as possible.
  • Medicare and/or Medicaid—Both Medicare and Medicaid can be used to pay for some healthcare costs after crashes. Keep in mind, however, that you may be required to reimburse them for anything they paid toward your bills after you receive a settlement check.
  • Subrogation—If your auto insurance provider believes you have a good chance of winning your compensation claim, it may pay for your medical bills upfront under the assumption that it will be reimbursed by your settlement check.
  • Your supplemental auto insurance policy—If you purchased supplemental injury coverage for your auto insurance policy, such as med pay or personal injury protection (PIP), it can be used to pay for some of your medical bills.
  • Fundraising services and charities—Online fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe are becoming a more commonly used resource for victims and their families after crashes. Traditional charities also provide help for families that can’t afford their medical bills.
  • Bill negotiation and payment plans—The amount owed on your bills isn’t always the amount you have to pay, especially if you can’t afford it. Negotiating with the hospital or its billing service for a reduced payment or for a payment plan can help you manage your bills.

At Dudley DeBosier, our legal team is here to make sure you’re taken care of after an accident that wasn’t your fault. And while our primary focus is on building a claim that will get you paid, we’re also here to address your concerns and answer your questions about your compensation through every step of the process. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

Trust Our Experience and Track Record of Success

Having many options to manage your medical expenses after a crash that wasn’t your fault is important. But for true peace of mind, you need money to pay off your bills, replace your lost income, and compensate you for everything you’ve gone through. And at Dudley DeBosier, that’s exactly what we’ll set out to get for you.

The sooner you contact us, the better. That means more evidence may be available for us as we build your claim, and you’ll wait less time for your claim to settle and to get your check. To us, seeing innocent victims pay out of pocket for crashes that aren’t their fault is simply unacceptable. That’s why we do everything in our power to help our clients get every penny they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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.

How to Safely Put Up Holiday Decorations

by Dudley DeBosier | December 9th, 2019

Whether your family goes for a lighter touch when it comes to Christmas decorations, or you prefer to turn your home into a true Winter Wonderland, safety should always be your biggest priority when dealing with Christmas trees, ornaments, and lights. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers know that injuries can occur anytime, anywhere, and Christmas decorations—and the act of putting them up—are a common source of serious accidents and mishaps.

From falls off unstable ladders, to tripping over errant power cords, and to fires started by faulty Christmas lights, the holiday season isn’t always full of cheer, especially when the right precautions aren’t followed. The holidays should be a time of giving and thankfulness—not hospital visits and big medical bills. Thankfully, protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your home this holiday season is as simple as following a few “Dos” and Don’ts” when buying and putting up your decorations.

6 Christmas Decoration Dos and Don’ts

When decorating the inside and outside of your home this holiday season, DO:

  • Secure the area around your Christmas tree—Christmas trees are irresistible to pets and small children. Children may try to push over or pull on trees, while pets—especially cats—like to climb their way to the top, knocking off ornaments and lights with each step. At best, you’ll end up with a bent tree after your child gets ahold of it, and at worst, you may end up with a toppled tree, a big mess, and even serious injuries if the tree lands on someone or someone steps on a broken ornament. To prevent this, secure your tree with a safety gate and keep it away from furniture.
  • Double check lights before hanging them—Whether you’ve just purchased brand-new lights, or you’re using lights that have decorated your house and tree for years, it’s important to check them every season before hanging them up. Lights can degrade over time, or they can become damaged by elements, pets, and general wear and tear. Worn lights may have exposed wires or faulty covering, which can create the risk of electrical shock and even fires.
  • Use a surge protector for electrical decorations—Between Christmas tree lights, electric candles, light-up wreaths, train sets, and other wired decorations, you may need to use all of your outlets this holiday season. When plugging in decorations, be sure to use high-quality surge protectors. In addition to providing you with more outlets, surge protectors can also protect your home’s wiring, your decorations, and your home itself from damage due to overloaded circuits.

In addition to following those tips, make sure you:

  • Don’t create a trip hazard with wires and cables—Lighting the inside and outside of your home can result in a jumbled mess of wires and cables. Those cords aren’t just unsightly—they can also be dangerous when they’re in the middle of walkways. When hanging lights outdoors, make sure to run them along gutters, eaves, and natural lines of your home to power sources to keep them tidy and safe. Indoors, place Christmas trees, lights, and other wired gadgets near electrical outlets to minimize visible wires and to reduce the risk of you, your family, and your guests tripping and falling.
  • Don’t use a ladder that isn’t balanced and secured—One of the most dangerous parts of decorating your home for Christmas is working on a ladder. Whether you’re putting up wreaths, Christmas lights, or even a festive reindeer display on the roof, test your ladder before you climb up. In addition to making sure it’s in good working condition, you should also ensure that it’s placed on a solid, stable, and level surface. For added safety, have someone hold onto the base of the ladder to help stabilize it while you climb up or down.
  • Don’t place your Christmas tree near a space heater or furnace—The National Fire Protection Association says that around 160 home fires are started every year because of Christmas trees. One-quarter of those fires were due to trees being too close to heat sources, including candles, heaters, and fireplaces. Even non-flammable synthetic trees and well-watered live trees can be fire hazards when exposed to significant heat or open flames, so be sure to keep yours well away from potential fire hazards.

Injured During the Holidays? We Want to Help.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous and relaxing time. But for many Louisianans, they’re a painful and uncertain time when they suffer severe injuries caused by accidents. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana injury lawyers help people who were injured through no fault of their own, whether it’s Christmas, the Fourth of July, or any day in-between.

If you or someone you love was hurt through another person or party’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your accident-related expenses, and it’s our goal to help you get the money you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll be available to answer your questions every step of the way—that’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

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 Halloween Means for Premises Liability

by Dudley DeBosier | October 28th, 2019

October is the month when witches and ghouls come out to play, but for all who love a scary good time, an injury is exactly the wrong kind of scare when you want to have fun. Unfortunately, people are injured at Halloween attractions and while out trick-or-treating every year. So how you can prevent it, and what can you do if it happens to you?

Assumption of Risk

Whenever someone enters a haunted house, they take on “assumed risk.” Assumption of risk is a legal term meaning a plaintiff can’t sue for damages if they willingly exposed themselves to a danger they knew about. In the case of haunted houses, where people go to be scared, this means you can’t sue for “fear-based injuries” such as panic attacks or heart attacks. Likewise, you may have difficulty getting compensation if you trip and fall while running away from a haunted house actor because they scared you.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get compensation at all if you are injured in a haunted house. If your injuries were caused by a hazard that the average person would not reasonably expect to find in a haunted house, the haunted house operator may still be found negligent and liable for your injuries, even if you signed a waiver before entering.

Haunted House Injuries

Haunted houses aren’t open year-round, which means they are often hastily constructed, and though they are legally required to meet building safety codes, ADA compliance laws, and fire code regulations, many do not. Visitors to haunted houses can be injured by weak walls and uneven floors, exposed nails or extension cords, missing or broken guardrails, poor lighting, and lack of clearly marked exits. Because many haunted houses also use artificial fog, visitors may be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if the venue does not have sufficient ventilation.

Other risks may include:

  • Trampling
  • Overaggressive cast members
  • Tripping over props
  • Being struck by falling props
  • Seizures caused by strobing lights

When haunted house operators expose visitors to risks outside of what they agreed to when they entered, or fail to warn visitors about all potential risks, they may be liable for any injuries that may occur.

What to Do If You’re Injured at a Haunted House

Most Halloween attractions carry liability insurance to cover the medical costs of any guests who are injured on the property. However, insurance companies will often fight injury claims by arguing the injury falls under the assumed risk. To protect your rights to compensation, follow these steps: 

  1. Take pictures of the dangerous conditions at the accident scene.
  2. Speak with a manager and get the names of any employees who may have witnessed the injury happen.
  3. File an incident report as soon as possible.
  4. Seek medical attention and inform the medical staff how you received the injury.
  5. Contact a personal injury lawyer. Your case review is always free at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers.

Make Your Home Safe for Trick-or-Treaters

Premises liability doesn’t only apply for business owners like haunted house operators. Homeowners can also be sued if someone slips and falls on their property. Protect yourself from an injury lawsuit this year by making your home safe for trick-or-treaters with these tips.

  • Make sure your homeowner or renters insurance is up to date and includes personal liability protection.
  • Clear your sidewalk and driveway of wet leaves that may cause visitors to slip.
  • Clear your yard and porch of tripping hazards such as extension cords, potted plants, hoses, toys, and other debris.
  • Secure porch railings and patch or clearly mark divots in your yard or sidewalk that may cause visitors to stumble.
  • Keep the outside of your home well-lit but replace any open flames with electric light (this includes replacing the candles in your jack-o-lantern with flameless LED candles).
  • Firmly secure Halloween decorations so they can’t tip over or blow away.
  • Avoid Halloween decorations that move, as they may badly startle a visitor into falling and injuring themselves.
  • Keep pets inside and away from the door when greeting trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Activity Safety Tips

Whether you plan to go trick-or-treating or are buying tickets for a haunted house this October 31st, make sure to always follow these safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and free of injury.

  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes with good traction.
  • Avoid using flammable material in your costume.
  • Avoid masks that limit your vision or ability to breathe.
  • Consider including reflective material in your costume to make yourself more visible in the dark.
  • Inspect candy before opening and eating, and throw away any candy if the wrapper appears tampered with.
  • Closely monitor any children in your group.
  • Arrive to any activity free from the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Follow all posted safety rules at any attraction you visit.
  • Travel in a group.
  • Always follow clearly marked paths.
  • Be conscious of your own limits and avoid activities that may aggravate a pre-existing medical condition.

From all of us at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we wish you a safe and happy Halloween! If you or a loved one suffered injuries while visiting a Halloween attraction, don’t hesitate to call our team.

What You Need to Know About Post-Accident Shock

by Dudley DeBosier | October 21st, 2019

Auto accidents affect victims in many ways. In addition to causing serious injuries, they can also lead to psychological issues that are difficult to treat or even diagnose. The physical and mental complications associated with the aftermath of auto accidents can often be attributed to shock. Physical shock can manifest itself through various symptoms, and it can be life-threatening. Psychological shock can be apparent immediately after a crash, or it may take time to show up, but in either case it can severely interfere with victims’ lives.

If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident, it’s important to have an experienced legal team on your side that knows what you’re going through, including the effects that both types of shock can have on your life. Insurance companies don’t always fully understand the impact that crashes can have on victims, and that is often reflected in the settlements they offer.

At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana auto accident attorneys have helped many victims who experienced shock-related symptoms after crashes that weren’t their fault, and we want to put our track record of success to work for you, too. We treat our clients like family—not like numbers—and we do everything in our power to help them get the money they deserve. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

When you call us, we’ll investigate your crash, prove it wasn’t your fault, calculate how much money you’re owed for your accident-related expenses­––including psychological trauma, and negotiate to get you maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Watch for These Symptoms of Physical Shock

The most common type of post-accident shock is hypovolemic shock. It occurs when victims experience significant drops in blood pressure. It’s often associated with severe or rapid blood loss caused by cuts, wounds, and internal organ or arterial damage. It also can occur after incurring severe burns.

When people experience hypovolemic shock due to low blood volume or low blood pressure, their hearts struggle to pump sufficient blood throughout their bodies. That can result in organs failing to operate properly. If shock is severe enough, victims can even experience life-threatening complications.

Commons symptoms of hypovolemic shock include:

  • Weak or irregular heartbeat and pulse
  • Rapid, shallow, or labored breathing
  • Feeling faint, dizzy, or losing consciousness
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting

Hypovolemic shock is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. First responders frequently check auto accident victims for hypovolemic shock, especially if they have open wounds. However, internal injuries can also result in hypovolemic shock due to internal bleeding. Unfortunately, victims aren’t always aware of internal injuries until symptoms become evident.

Other types of auto accident-related shock include neurogenic shock, which can be caused by spinal cord injuries; cardiogenic shock, which can be caused by damage to the heart, such as a heart attack induced by a car accident; and obstructive shock, which can be caused by blood flow blockages.

What Should You Do if You Experience Physical Shock?

If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of physical shock, it’s important to get medical treatment right away. Physical shock may take time to manifest, but by the time it does, you may be at risk of severe complications.

In addition, you should also contact an experienced auto accident law firm. In addition to the pain and disability caused by your injuries, physical shock can lead to long-lasting physical complications that can result in expensive medical bills and time away from work. Our Louisiana car accident lawyers can evaluate your accident, determine how it affected you, and work hard to help you get the money you deserve for past and future medical expenses related to your accident.

Watch for These Symptoms of Psychological Shock

Many people associated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with combat veterans. However, it’s a common condition that can occur after extremely stressful events, including auto accidents. PTSD is strongly associated with crashes, including those that don’t cause serious injuries.

Victims who experience PTSD may develop the following symptoms:

  • Repeating and intrusive thoughts about the accident
  • Emotional flatness or numbness following the crash
  • Constant fear and anxiety
  • Phobia of driving or riding in vehicles
  • Anger and irritability

The consequences of psychological shock can be just as debilitating as those caused by physical injuries. Victims may experience difficulties in their daily lives, and they may find it difficult or impossible to concentrate at work or do their jobs. That can result in termination and long periods without income.

What Should You Do if You Experience Psychological Shock?

Because psychological shock can be just as disruptive to your life as physical injuries and shock, it’s vital to have a legal advocate on your side who can maximize your chances of getting compensation.

When you call Dudley DeBosier, we’ll determine how your auto accident has affected your ability to work and enjoy life, and we’ll calculate exactly how much money you’re owed for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. Then, we’ll negotiate with the insurance company to get a settlement offer that’s fair for what you’ve been through.

Don’t go it alone after an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, and don’t trust just anyone with your financial recovery. Get in touch with us today, and let us put our experience to work.

The Biggest Myths about Personal Injury Lawsuits

by Dudley DeBosier | September 25th, 2019

What do you think you know about personal injury lawsuits? You may be surprised to learn some “facts” aren’t true. Our mission is to help Louisianans who’ve been injured through no fault of their own get compensation, and that means making sure they won’t hesitate to call a lawyer when they need to. So make sure to get the scoop on these personal injury myths before you settle with your insurance company. 

After an Injury, Call Dudley DeBosier  

If you are injured through no fault of your own, don’t believe the myths you’ve heard about personal injury lawsuits. You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering, and we want to help you get it. Contact our team today for a free consultation. 

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week

by Dudley DeBosier | September 16th, 2019

Join us in celebrating National Child Passenger Safety Week as we learn more about the proper use of child car seats to protect kids from harm in car accidents. National Child Passenger Safety Week 2019 kicks off on September 15 and ends on September 21, which coincides with National Seat Check Saturday.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with car seat laws and regulations, because they may have changed since you first learned them. Louisiana just passed a new, stricter set of car seat laws that went into effect August 1st, 2019.

  • All children under the age of 2 are required to ride in rear-facing car seats.
  • All children age 2-4 must ride in forward facing seats with an internal seat belt.
  • All children age 4-9 must ride in booster seats.

If you want to learn more about car seat safety in Louisiana, open our presentation below. 

Who Are You Actually Suing?

by Dudley DeBosier | September 9th, 2019

Injuries aren’t just painful—they can also be expensive. If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, you likely need extensive medical treatment, and you may be disabled and unable to work for weeks, months, or even years. The costs associated with your injury can quickly add up, and that’s what causes many victims like you to seek compensation via personal injury claims. 

Filing a personal injury claim is an effective way to get damages for things like medical bills and lost wages, but where does the money come from? Some victims are hesitant to file claims, especially when their accidents or injuries were caused by people they know, such as family members, friends, or co-workers. At Dudley DeBosier, we understand this hesitancy, and our Louisiana personal injury lawyers want to help victims like you better understand the legal process.  

How Personal Injury Claims Typically Work 

When an activity or profession carries risks, the people involved are typically required to purchase insurance to protect themselves and any others who may be at risk of injuries. That’s why drivers in all 50 states must purchase auto insurance and why almost all employers nationwide must carry workers’ compensation insurance.  

In most cases, injured victims file compensation claims against at-fault parties’ insurance providers. They may even be able to file claims against their own insurance policies for additional compensation or if the at-fault parties aren’t adequately insured.  

In other cases, victims may file compensation claims against larger parties, including businesses, corporations, and even governmental agencies. Examples of these types of claims include defective product injuries, defective drug injuries, or auto accident injuries caused by defective roads. 

Rarely, victims may file claims against at-fault parties in a more direct fashion. These claims can include situations where at-fault drivers don’t carry adequate auto insurance coverage or if they acted maliciously or with an intent to cause victims harm.  

Our Lawyers Will Do What’s Right for You and Your Family 

Your injury claim is unique, and it’s important to have a law firm on your side that understands your situation and the facts of what happened. While most personal injury victims get compensation from at-fault parties’ insurance policies, that’s not true in all cases.  

Our legal team can investigate your injury, analyze the parties involved, and determine a path forward that maximizes your chances of getting full compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.  

What to Tell Your College Student About Drunk Driving

by Dudley DeBosier | September 4th, 2019

If you have a college-aged child, you’re probably worried about their grades, their tuition fees, and their safety—especially if they go to school far from home. You may feel like you’re helpless to keep them safe, but one of the biggest risks that college students face can be reduced with parental involvement. 

That risk is drunk driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that impaired driving impacts young people more than any other age group, and nearly 10,500 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2016 alone. That accounts for almost 30% of all fatal accidents in the U.S. that year.  

3 Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Child’s Risks 

Even if you think your child doesn’t listen to you, studies show that positive reinforcement from parents can help reduce dangerous behaviors in children, regardless of their age. Remaining consistent and persistent with these safety-oriented steps can help your child stay safe during this important stage in their life: 

  1. Emphasize the consequences of drunk driving—Your child may be aware of the potential risks of a drunk-driving crash, but they may not know about the severity of a DUI. Getting arrested for impaired driving means expensive fines, jail time, a suspended license, and even academic consequences such as loss of scholarship or dismissal from school. 
  2. Talk about other ways to get home—Appointing a designated driver, using ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, calling a cab, using public transportation, or even calling you or your spouse are all safe and reliable ways to get home after drinking. Make sure your child knows their options. 
  3. Be responsible with alcohol—Set a good example for your child by never driving while intoxicated. In addition, avoid serving alcohol to your child and their friends if they’re under 21 or they’re planning on driving. Finally, keep alcohol in your home locked up and inaccessible.  

Were you or your child hurt in an auto accident? If so, our Louisiana car accident lawyers want to help. We have years of experience assisting injured victims after crashes, and we know what it takes to win. Contact us today for a free consultation

School Transportation Safety

by Dudley DeBosier | August 28th, 2019

Another summer has come and gone, and that means it’s time for kids throughout Louisiana to head back to school. While your child may be anticipating new clothes, new subjects, and new friends, you’re concerned with keeping them safe. Here’s a handy list of tips to help your child reduce their risks when they travel to and from school.

What to Expect: Truck Accident Claims

by Dudley DeBosier | August 21st, 2019

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, big trucks were involved in 107,000 injury-causing accidents and 4,657 fatal accidents in 2017 alone. Because of their weight and size, semi-trucks can cause significant damage to other vehicles during collisions, putting the occupants of those vehicles at risk of serious and even life-threatening injuries.

At Dudley DeBosier, we know how dangerous big trucks can be to other motorists. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, it’s important to get experienced and dedicated legal representation on your side. Big truck accident claims can be difficult to prove, and insurance companies often put up a fight when victims pursue compensation.

You’ve got enough to deal with after your truck accident. We’re here to protect your rights and help you get the money you deserve while you focus on getting better. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.

We’ll Make the Legal Process Easy for You

Getting a lawyer and pursuing damages after an accident can seem intimidating. You may be worried about how you’ll prove the accident wasn’t your fault, how much money you can get, and whether you’ll have to go to court.

Our Louisiana truck accident lawyers are here to take the stress of the accident and your compensation claim off your shoulders. We’ll put our experience to work for you in the following ways:

  • We’ll collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault—We’ll gather witness statements, the accident report, dashcam footage, and even accident reconstruction data to prove you didn’t cause the crash while also determining who is liable for your damages. For example, whether to demand damages from the driver or trucking company owner.  
  • We’ll prepare a demand letter to get you the money you deserve—We’ll investigate how the crash has affected you, and then we’ll prepare a demand letter for the insurance company of the responsible party or parties that shows how much money you and your family need for your accident-related expenses and how much you deserve for your pain and suffering.
  • We’ll handle all communication with the insurance company—We’ll handle all phone calls and emails from the insurance company and review any of their settlement offers with you to ensure you don’t accept an offer that isn’t sufficient for what you’ve been through.

From the day you contact us until the day you get your check, you can count on our legal team to treat you like family. We know that you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, and we also know that you deserve experienced and understanding legal representation. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference. Contact us today.

7 Glyphosate-Free Ways to Treat Weeds

by Dudley DeBosier | August 14th, 2019

Glyphosate, the major herbicidal ingredient in  Roundup, has been linked to increased risk of cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Roundup is the world’s most popular weed killer, and many homeowners have trusted this product for years, so if you aren’t sure what your other options are for keeping your garden or lawn free of weeds without using chemicals, this is for you.

We’ve compiled seven easy ways to kill weeds with non-harmful products you may already have in your home. Select the image below to learn more.

If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer and believe Roundup may be responsible, contact the legal team at Dudley DeBosier to learn about your options for getting compensation.

How Music May Affect Your Risk of a Car Accident

by Dudley DeBosier | August 7th, 2019

Looking away from the road to mess with the radio dial or to try to find the perfect song on your playlist is a form of distracted driving and one of the leading causes of car accidents, but did you know one study has suggested that just listening to music without looking at the audio source is distracting enough to affect your driving performance? There have been several studies conducted attempting to measure the effect of music on drivers, and the results may surprise you.

The Pros of Listening to Music while Driving

Listening to music you like is a major mood-booster! When you are stuck in traffic, a good tune can reduce stress and aggression, and at the same time, reduce traffic errors and road rage. 

Listening to music is also shown to elevate your heartrate and keep you awake and entertained on long trips, decreasing the risk of accidents caused by drowsy driving. Some studies have even shown listening to music can actually improve a driver’s ability to perform some driving tasks, such as matching the speed of the vehicle ahead and staying within lane markers.

The Cons of Listening to Music while Driving

If you can’t find music you enjoy anywhere up or down the radio dial, it can actually increase your stress levels, which has a negative effect on driving behavior. But music you love can also cause bad driving behavior, especially for younger and less experienced drivers. You may start to pay more attention to the song than the road, and begin making simple errors that can result in devastating consequences, such as forgetting to signal or check blind spots.

Fast music and loud music are also shown to have a negative impact on driving behavior. Drivers may subconsciously speed up to match the tempo of a song, while loud music is shown to reduce reaction time. Any music played at over 85 decibels can influence driver behavior for the worse.

What This Means for Your Playlist 

In general, music with a tempo of 60-80 beats per minute (BPM) is the safest to drive to, because it mimics the average human heart rate. Music with a tempo of 120 BPM or more can result in faster driving speeds and more traffic violations.

Researchers have suggested jazz, soft rock, and easy listening are the best options to listen to while driving, but if those aren’t your speed, we’ve created a Safe Driving Playlist for your next commute. Interested in how the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 scan? We’ve also charted out the top five safest and most dangerous on the radio now.

Today’s Hits – Top 5 Safest Songs to Drive To

  1. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – 67 BPM
  2. Suge by DaBaby – 75 BPM
  3. Beer Never Broke My Heart by Luke Combs – 77 BPM
  4. Earfquake by Tyler, The Creator – 80 BPM
  5. 7 Rings by Ariana Grande – 70 BPM

Today’s Hits – Top 5 Most Dangerous Songs to Drive To

  1. bad guy by Billie Eilish – 135 BPM
  2. Talk by Khalid – 136 BPM
  3. Sucker by Jonas Brothers – 138 BPM
  4. If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes – 124 BPM
  5. Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max – 133 BPM

Have You Recently Been in a Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident where you were not at fault, we want to help. Regardless of what music was playing, you deserve compensation. Contact Dudley DeBosier today for your free consultation.

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.  

Electric Scooter Safety for Drivers

by Dudley DeBosier | July 17th, 2019

If you’ve ever hopped on an electric scooter for a quick trip, you know how fun and convenient they can be. Scooters also help decrease traffic congestion, making it easier for drivers to get to their destinations on time. But sharing the road can be a dangerous prospect for scooter riders, as even low-speed collisions can result in dangerous injuries. Help make Louisiana roads safer for everyone by following these simple tips. 

The Dangers of Dry Drowning and What to Do About It

by Dudley DeBosier | July 10th, 2019

Delayed drowning is every parents’ worst nightmare – death by drowning long after a child leaves the water. Although this phenomenon is extremely rare, it does happen, and it’s important for parents to understand what they can do to protect their children any time they enter the water. Learn more about delayed drowning, how it’s treated, and general water safety tips by selecting the image below.

If you or a loved one were injured due to someone else’s negligence when you should have been enjoying your summer, we at Dudley DeBosier understand how severely your life can be affected. Contact our legal team today to learn what compensation you may be entitled to after an injury-causing accident.

How to Handle an Injury When You’re on Vacation

by Dudley DeBosier | July 3rd, 2019

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer lounging under a palm tree with a cold drink, suffering a serious injury while you’re on vacation probably isn’t part of your itinerary. Unfortunately, vacation accidents are something that many Louisianans deal with when they travel seeking fun and relaxation.

Accidents and injuries don’t abide by anyone’s schedule, and they can happen anytime and anywhere. Determining what to do after an injury when you’re far from home can be intimidating, but following just a few simple steps can help you get the medical care you need while protecting your rights to file a compensation claim.

6 Essential Steps to Take After a Vacation Injury

Take these steps after a vacation injury to protect your health and maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve:

  1. Report the accident—Notify the manager on duty or property owner of the location in which you were hurt. If you were injured in a car accident, call 911 or alert the police.
  2. Take pictures—Use your smartphone or a camera to photograph the accident scene, your injuries, and anything that may have contributed to the accident.
  3. Get names and phone numbers—Get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident, including bystanders, employees, and the manager on duty.
  4. Get medical attention—Getting medical treatment not only puts you on the path to recovery, but it also creates an official record of your injuries—which may be valuable evidence for your claim.
  5. Call your insurers—If you were hurt in a car accident while traveling, report the crash to your auto insurance company. If you purchased travel insurance, report your injury to them as soon as possible.
  6. Contact a lawyer—Evidence can quickly disappear after accidents, especially when they happen in public places. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the stronger your claim may be.

While these steps may seem simple, they can be difficult to remember when you’ve just suffered a serious injury—especially when you’re on vacation. That’s why we created a free downloadable wallet card that contains all the information you’ll need to protect your health and your rights to compensation after an accident when you’re away from home.

Get Experienced Legal Representation for Your Vacation Injury

At Dudley DeBosier, we know all about vacation and travel-related injuries. With an office located in New Orleans, home of Mardi Gras, the Saints, and the French Quarter, we frequently encounter tourists and vacationers from all walks of life who need help after an injury.

In our years of practice, we’ve helped many people who were hurt through no fault of their own when they were traveling, whether it was just around Louisiana or to distant parts of the country. Contact our New Orleans personal injury lawyers today to find out how we can put our years of experience to work for you. It’s our goal to help you get the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses—that’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

5 Independence Day Safety Tips

by Dudley DeBosier | June 26th, 2019

July Fourth is just around the corner. Many Americans will celebrate with boating, beaching, or backyard get-togethers, but it’s important to remember the unique risks those activities pose. As you plan your Independence Day festivities, remember the following safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way.


What to Expect: Workers’ Compensation Claims

by Dudley DeBosier | June 19th, 2019

If you are injured on the job or become ill due to conditions at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Most employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees to help cover the costs of medical treatment, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and lost wages due to a work-related injury. Firing an employee for filing a claim or otherwise discouraging an employee from filing a claim is illegal.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not the same as suing your employer. Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, you are not required to prove negligence, only that your injury was acquired on the job. If you become injured on the job, you must inform your employer and your employer’s insurer of your injury in a timely manner. Once a claim has been accepted you have three additional years in which to assert a claim for additional medical benefits, or one year if you do not.

Be prepared to explain how the injury occurred, provide the date and time of day of the injury, and the names of any witnesses. In non-emergency situations, you may be required to submit to an evaluation for the injury from a doctor of your employer’s choice.

What We Can Do to Help

Most workers’ compensation claims are denied because the employer is put on notice of the injury too late or without sufficient information, but hiring an attorney to help with your workers’ compensation claim can help you maximize your chances of approval. When you work with the Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys at Dudley DeBosier, we’ll do everything we can to ensure your claim is approved. This includes completing all necessary paperwork, meeting all deadlines, compiling evidence to support your claim, and calculating your lost wage claim and level of disability.

Your employer may try to dispute your version of events or claim your injury was due to a pre-existing condition. If you choose us to handle your claim, we’ll do everything we can to protect your rights. If your claim is denied, our attorneys can work to resolve your case through mediation or bring it before a workers’ compensation judge in an official court hearing.

After an On-the-Job Injury, Call Dudley DeBosier!

If you or someone you love was injured or became disabled while on the job, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Dudley DeBosier are ready to help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.

What to Expect: Car Accident Injury Claims

by Dudley DeBosier | June 12th, 2019

After a car crash, the most important thing you can do to protect your health and your rights to compensation is get medical attention. Even if you don’t think you have injuries, it’s important to still get evaluated by a first responder at the scene of the accident or at your doctor’s office after the crash. Getting medical attention can address any serious injuries immediately, as well as rule out any internal injuries that might show up later on. It also creates a medical record that links your injuries to the car accident.

But even after you get initial medical help, you may be facing weeks—or even months—away from work, and you may not know what to do next. At Dudley DeBosier, we don’t think you should have to pay out of pocket for injuries caused by another person’s negligence, and we’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve to move forward with your life. Read on to find out what happens when Louisiana car accident victims come to us for help.

How We Help Louisiana Car Crash Victims

When you contact the Louisiana car accident attorneys at Dudley DeBosier, we’ll listen to your story to learn more about your claim. If we decide to take your case, we’ll start collecting and analyzing evidence, such as photos from the accident scene, witness testimonies, and police reports, to support your claim and determine who can be held responsible for your injuries.

It’s our goal to help you get every penny you deserve for what you’ve been through. That’s why our legal team calculates the total cost of your injury-related expenses, including your current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages, and pain and suffering, to determine a fair settlement offer. We then present that offer to the responsible party’s insurance company. If they refuse to pay you the money you deserve, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial.

After a Crash, Demand Dudley DeBosier!

If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an auto accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the Louisiana car crash attorneys at Dudley DeBosier are here to help. We put our clients first throughout every step of their injury claims, and it’s our goal to help you get maximum compensation for what you’ve been through. Contact us today for a free case review, and let us put our passion and experience to work for you today.  

Series Introduction: What to Expect When You File a Claim

by Dudley DeBosier | June 6th, 2019

A serious injury can happen at any time and to anyone. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded more than three million injuries from traffic accidents alone. The aftermath of an injury can be a stressful and confusing time, and victims may not be sure what to do next—especially if their injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. At Dudley DeBosier, we know the idea of hiring an attorney may be intimidating. We want to change that.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by another person or party’s negligence, we don’t think you should have to pay out of pocket for your injury-related expenses, and we want to help you get maximum compensation. Our Louisiana personal injury attorneys know the last thing you need after an injury is more stress. Let us handle all the red tape and paperwork for you so you can focus on your health.

Over the course of the next few weeks, this series will guide you through several of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits to give you a clearer understanding of what to expect when you file a claim. If you have questions about your rights after an injury, don’t hesitate to call Dudley DeBosier. Our staff is available 24/7, and your initial consultation is always free.

Be sure to check back next week to learn about what to expect when you file an auto accident claim.

Why Bother Calling an Attorney?

by Dudley DeBosier | May 15th, 2019

After an accident, you may not be sure what to do next. Do you really need to call a lawyer? How will your injuries affect you in the long term?

At Dudley DeBosier, we know that making the decision to hire an attorney isn’t always easy. But we also know that insurance companies don’t always pay victims the money they deserve.

As profit-driven businesses, insurance companies don’t always put victims’ best interests first. They’re often focused more on making money than they are treating victims fairly, and they offer victims lowball settlements that only cover a fraction of their injury-related expenses. When victims accept those initial settlement offers, they may be unable to collect additional compensation later on—even if they discover their injuries require more medical treatment.

We don’t think that’s right, and that’s why it’s our goal to help victims like you get maximum compensation for what you’ve been through. When you hire Dudley DeBosier, we know how to calculate the cost of your current and future injury-related expenses, including your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Then, we’ll fight to help you  get the money you deserve—even if that means taking your case to trial.

Get the Dudley DeBosier Difference

After an injury in Louisiana, don’t settle for anything less than what your claim deserves. Get the Dudley DeBosier Difference. We’re ready to help you determine the true cost of your injuries, and it’s our goal to help you get every penny you’re owed. Call us today for a free case review.  

What Exactly Is “Pain and Suffering?”

by Dudley DeBosier | April 17th, 2019

When people get hurt because of others’ negligence, they can pursue compensation for the damages they incur, including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. The latter term is one that most people have heard or read in attorney advertisements, and it can be confusing and vague. However, it’s important to understand what it means if you decide to pursue a compensation claim after suffering an injury.

Put simply, pain and suffering refers to the prolonged effects that accidents and injuries have on victims’ lives. There are two types of pain and suffering that victims often experience:

  • Physical pain and suffering—Injuries are painful and disabling, and many victims continue to experience pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility for years after their injuries heal. It’s common for serious injuries to make it difficult or impossible for victims to take part in their favorite hobbies and activities, and some may even struggle to complete everyday tasks.
  • Mental pain and suffering—For many injury victims, the biggest scars are mental. Psychological complications associated with serious injuries include depression, anxiety, fear, mood swings, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Victims may develop phobias and have difficulties coping with their daily lives.

You Deserve Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering

It’s easier to calculate accident-related losses when they’re in the form of medical bills and lost wages. However, we believe that victims’ pain and suffering should never be ignored or downplayed after injuries. That’s why we always get to know victims to find out exactly how their injuries have affected their lives.

If you or someone you love was injured because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for everything you’ve gone through, including any and all physical and mental pain you’ve experienced. Contact the Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation to find out how we may be able to help.

3 Tips to Stay Safe on St. Patrick’s Day

by Dudley DeBosier | March 13th, 2019

St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with green clothing, shamrocks, and yes—alcoholic beverages.

For many people throughout Louisiana, the holiday is an ideal day to spend time with friends and families in bars, pubs, taverns, and restaurants while enjoying a few drinks. But the increased alcohol consumption among revelers on St. Patrick’s Day means that there’s a corresponding increase in the risk of accidents.

If you’re planning on joining in on the festivities during the upcoming holiday weekend, keeping the following tips in mind can help you and your loved ones stay safe:

  • Don’t drive while impaired—Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is one of the most dangerous decisions you can make, holiday weekend or not. If you plan on drinking before leaving home or while you’re out, appoint a designated driver, utilize a ridesharing app, or call a cab.
  • Watch where you’re walking—Got plans to pub crawl? It’s a popular activity on St. Patrick’s Day, but pedestrians face numerous risks—especially when other drivers may be intoxicated. Sidewalks and crosswalks are the safest place to be when traveling on foot, and be sure to avoid distractions in order to remain alert and cautious.
  • Drink responsibly—Alcohol not only affects judgment and decision-making, it can also pose threats to your immediate health. Limiting the number of drinks you consume, eating before you go out, and drinking plenty of water can reduce your risks of being involved in an accident and experiencing a rough morning the next day.

Need Help After an Accident? We’re a Phone Call Away.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only time that drunk, impaired, or negligent drivers are out on Louisiana’s roadways. If you or someone you love was injured by a careless motorist, we want to help. Call us today for a free consultation—we’re ready to put our years of experience to work for you.

3 Tips to Help You Stay Safe This Mardi Gras

by Dudley DeBosier | February 21st, 2019

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Burn Injuries?

by Dudley DeBosier | January 28th, 2019

Burn injuries are painful, disfiguring, and disabling. At Dudley DeBosier, we believe that victims of those debilitating injuries deserve maximum compensation for what they’ve gone through.

If you or someone you love suffered a burn injury, you may need extensive medical treatments, including surgeries for both medical and cosmetic reasons. The costs you’re facing may be enormous, especially if your injuries make it difficult or impossible for you to return to work.

Our Louisiana burn injury attorneys have helped many victims like you. We know that burn injuries are often caused by negligence, and we can collect evidence that proves the other party’s liability.

3 Parties That Are Often Liable for Burn Injuries

Although there are many potential causes of burn injuries, there are three parties that are often involved in those types of injuries due to their negligence or oversights:

  1. Employers—Workers who are around flammable liquids or materials are susceptible to burn injuries when their employers fail to provide adequate protection, training, or safe environments for them.
  2. Drivers—It’s easy to forget that vehicles produce significant amounts of heat—not to mention the many gallons of gasoline they carry. When negligent drivers cause crashes, victims may suffer severe burn injuries due to engine or vehicle fires.
  3. Property owners and managers—Residential and commercial buildings should be free from fire hazards and should be equipped with adequate safety measures, including unobstructed hallways, fire escapes, and fire exits. When they fail to do so, serious injuries can occur.

After a burn injury in Louisiana, you deserve a team of experienced attorneys fighting for you. The legal team at Dudley DeBosier is ready to investigate your injury and to hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm they caused you. If you or someone you love needs help after a burn injury, contact us now to get started. There’s no cost or obligation, and your initial case review is free.

Don’t Overshare After the Accident

by Dudley DeBosier | December 26th, 2018

Insurance companies spend big money every year convincing the public that they’re on their side, but in reality, they’re in business to make big profits. And those big profits aren’t generated by paying victims the money they deserve—instead, they make their money by denying or reducing payments whenever and wherever they can.

If you were recently involved in an auto accident, you may still be dealing with the shock, trauma, and stress of the crash. It’s natural to want to reach out to others to talk about what you’re going through and what lies ahead, but it’s important to remember that the things you say and post online can be used against you by the insurance company if you pursue compensation.

Insurance Companies Look at Victims’ Social Media Accounts

All insurance companies have teams of adjusters whose job is to find ways to dismiss claims or to get victims to accept “lowball” settlements. One method they use to achieve that is to observe claimants’ social media pages and accounts for posts or pictures that are either related to their accidents or that show them partaking in normal activities. They then use those posts as evidence against victims, whether to show that victims were at fault for their injuries or that their injuries aren’t serious enough to deserve compensation.

Don’t give the insurance company any advantages after your accident. Avoid social media and get an experienced lawyer on your side right away. At Dudley DeBosier, we know the tricks and traps that insurance companies use against victims like you, and we know how to keep you protected. Call today.

Frying a Turkey? Avoid Danger With These Tips!

by Dudley DeBosier | November 15th, 2018

What’s Thanksgiving without a plump and juicy fried turkey? It’s a staple of the Thanksgiving dinner table for countless families in Louisiana and throughout the U.S., but experts warn that frying turkeys can put homes, people, and pets in significant danger.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fire departments responded to around 1,760 home cooking fires nationwide on Thanksgiving Day in 2015. In addition, Thanksgiving is regarded as the peak day for all home cooking fires annually. In fact, the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers, which work by immersing the birds in hot oil.

Intent on Frying Your Turkey the Old-Fashioned Way? Here’s How to Do it Safely.

Despite the safety risks associated with turkey fryers, countless families will cook their birds the traditional way. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends following a few important tips to reduce dangers it may pose to your home and your loved ones:

  • Watch the fryer closely. Fryers can cause fires in a matter of seconds. One of the biggest risks is due to oil overheating and splashing outside of fryers. Hot oil can ignite flammable materials if it comes into contact with them.
  • Place the fryer away from walls, fences, porches, and other structures. To further reduce the risks associated with fryers, place them away from flammable objects or structures, including patios, porches, and decks.
  • Turn off the fryer immediately if you see or smell smoke. Turkey fryers are designed to cook meat quickly, but they aren’t supposed to produce smoke. If you notice smoke, turn off the fryer right away, as that’s indicative of the cooking oil burning and the fryer overheating.

Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers wishes everyone in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Wage Loss After an Injury Can Be Catastrophic. We Can Help.

by Dudley DeBosier | November 8th, 2018

Suffering an injury that was caused by another person’s or party’s negligence is traumatic and painful. You may need expensive medical treatments, physical rehabilitation, and even surgeries to repair the damage to your body. And while medical bills are top of mind for many injury victims, lost wages have the potential to be even more disruptive to your life.

Serious injuries aren’t just painful—they can also be disabling. People who suffer disabling injuries may be unable to work for weeks, months, or even years. And when they’re not working, they’re not earning the paychecks they and their loved ones depend on. That means it can be difficult to stay on top of everyday living expenses—let alone the big medical bills associated with traumatic injuries.

At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we know how difficult this time is for you and your family members. That’s why we’ll do everything in our power to help you get maximum compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.

Helping Injury Victims Get the Money They Deserve

Pursuing compensation on your own can be difficult. That’s because the insurance company makes big profits by reducing or denying claims whenever it can. When you choose us to handle your injury claim, our legal team can help you improve your chances of getting compensation for your lost wages and medical bills by:

  • Proving you weren’t at fault for your accident and injuries
  • Calculating how much the accident has cost you in medical bills and lost wages
  • Demanding additional compensation if your injuries permanently and prematurely ended your career

In addition, we’ll also review any initial settlement offers you get from the insurance companies. Many insurers send offers to victims immediately after injuries, but they’re rarely enough to cover all injury-related expenses. And if you accept their offer, you may be unable to pursue additional compensation. We’ll help you make the right choice.

Stay Safe While Trick-or-Treating: Avoid These 5 Costume Pitfalls!

by Dudley DeBosier | October 24th, 2018

5 Ways You Can Keep Your Property Safe for Trick-or-Treaters

by Dudley DeBosier | October 23rd, 2018