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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Use these 3 tips if you're caught in a thunderstorm while driving

If it's starting to look dark and the winds are picking up, there's a chance that you might get caught in a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are a natural part of life, so you probably don't worry too much about them. However, the way you drive does need to change if one is headed your way.

It's good to remember that you can take steps to be safer on the roads, but that doesn't mean that everyone else will. Remember that storms are frightening to some people and may make others drive erratically or extremely slowly. You need to adjust your speed and actions to account for the ways that others react, so you can stay as safe as possible.

How to prevent an accident with a commercial truck

No one really wants to drive in close proximity to a commercial truck, but avoiding this altogether is unlikely. Every time you take to the road, especially the highway, you're likely to find yourself sharing the road with these large vehicles.

You don't have any control over commercial truck drivers, but there are personal steps you can take to enhance your safety and avoid an accident. Here are some of the things you need to do:

  • Leave more space: The more space you leave between your vehicle and commercial trucks, the safer you'll be. There is no such thing as too much space, so don't be afraid to go overboard. This way, if the trucker makes a rash decision, such as changing lanes without using a signal, you're in position to avoid trouble.
  • Make yourself visible: There are no two ways about it. Commercial trucks are big. This makes it difficult for truckers to keep your vehicle in sight, especially if you're driving in their blind spot. If you have to drive closely to a commercial truck, don't do so directly next to or behind it for an extended period of time.
  • Take care when passing: It can be frustrating to find yourself driving slowly behind a commercial truck for an extended period of time. When you finally get your chance to pass it, do so with caution. This means using the left lane, using a turn signal and leaving enough space when you pull back in front of the truck. Unsafe passing, both by passenger vehicles and commercial trucks, is a top cause of highway motor vehicle accidents.

Barges collide on Mississippi River in South Louisiana

Rescue efforts along the Mississippi River after a January barge collision near Luling turned to recovery operations after three crew members on one the towing vessel remained missing more than 24 hours after the accident. One crew member was reportedly picked up in the water by a private citizen in their boat on the water.

Events unfolded on Sunday, Jan. 26, at approximately 5:37 a.m. That's when the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) got notification that there had been a collision on the river near mile marker 123. Apparently, two towing vessels, the Cooperative Spirit and the RC Creppel, struck one another on the water.

Are you aware of inherent risks of petrochemical plants?

Jobs in the petrochemical industry typically pay better than other jobs for those without a college degree or other specialized training. But there is a darker reason for that, as those who work in the industry are exposed to dangers that workers employed in other industries do not face.

Research and analysis done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicates that in addition to the very real physiological dangers caused by exposure to environmental hazards of petrochemical plants, there is a psychological component at play as well.

Beware of "Black Wednesday" drivers

When you think of the days of the year when people are more likely to drive after drinking, you probably wouldn't even consider Thanksgiving Eve in your top 10. Regardless, it is a dangerous time to be on the roads.

The night before Thanksgiving is sometimes called "Black Wednesday." It is a night when bars and restaurants that serve alcohol typically are busiest. Here's why.

What is it like to work in the petrochemical industry?

South Louisiana and Southeast Texas are major players in our country's petrochemical industry. In fact, it's likely that you may work there yourself or have close family members and friends who do.

But what is life really like for those who work in this booming energy industry? While these jobs are typically better paying than many, they are not always the easiest to hold.

How maritime law affects compensation for worker injuries at sea

Most workers in the United States are covered by workers' compensation when they are injured at work. This enables them to gain back damages for any expenses associated with their work injury, from medical bills to lost wages. This compensation is generally awarded regardless of the cause of the accident, as long as the worker was engaging in a work-related activity when the injury occurred.

Maritime workers are subject to different laws, however. Maritime law governs how operations are carried out on water, and this affects the rights of river, lake and sea workers. Before 1920, it was not possible for seamen to recover damages if they became injured due to employer or coworker negligence. However, when the Merchant Marine Act, otherwise known as the Jones Act, was passed in 1920, this changed. It allowed seamen to sue their employer for injuries that they suffered while working.

Use your head and be smart about driving safely

Accidents can and do happen out of the blue, but far more often, an accident has been in the making for a while. Consider the person who knows that they are driving around on bald tires but is surprised when the blowout at 70 mph causes a multi-car pile-up.

Yes, it was an accident, but the driver's irresponsibility and disregard for safety were choices that created the conditions that led to the accident. Don't be that guy (or gal). The below tips can help you to prioritize safety when you are driving.

I live in Texas and got in a wreck in Lake Charles. What do I do?

Because there are so many petrochemical plants dotting the landscape along the Louisiana and Texas borders, there are a lot of workers commuting to jobs in one state from the other. That inevitably translates to numerous accidents on the interstates during the commute.

It also raises questions of jurisdiction for some people. After all, if you live in Texas, wouldn't that mean that is the jurisdiction in which to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident?

What are the most common causes for commercial truck wrecks?

Staying safe on the modern roads involves not just committing to sober and attentive driving but also to taking direct steps to mitigate the risks involved with driving. To prevent a collision, you need to understand what primary causes create the risk for that collision.

Given that commercial trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road, educating yourself about the causes of trucking crashes can help you stay safer on the road. Once you know what to watch out for, you can identify the commercial vehicles that pose the greatest risks and avoid them while driving.