Posts by admin

Opioid Addiction Epidemic Continues to Cause Collateral Damage

June 22, 2018 Opioids 0 Comments

Premature newborn baby girl in the hospital incubator after c-section in 33 weekPerhaps the greatest tragedy of the nation’s current opioid crisis is that prescription painkiller addiction harms not only the individuals who have become physically dependent upon those drugs, but also their families whose lives have been upended by opioid overdoses and deaths.

The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is working tirelessly to recover monetary compensation for the most vulnerable victims of the opioid crisis: babies born addicted to the painkillers.

Scope and Origins of the Opioid Overdose Crisis

In the late 1990’s, the big pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, Allergan, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, launched aggressive marketing campaigns that touted the benefits of opioid painkillers while downplaying or ignoring known addiction risks. In turn, physicians began to freely prescribe both natural and synthetic opioids, including Percocet, Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone with few or no warnings to their patients of any addiction or overdose risks.

The consequences of these practices have been staggering:

  • Almost a third of all patients that have received opioid prescriptions have misused those drugs, and roughly 10% have developed addictions or other opioid use disorders.
  • About 5% of prescription opioid recipients have started using heroin.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, opioid overdoses increased by 30%.
  • On average, 115 people in the United States die every day as a result of an opioid overdose.

Collateral Damage from the Opioid Overdose Crisis

Immediate family members frequently experience adverse collateral effects of a loved one’s opioid addiction. The most tragic effects of that addiction affect family members that are least able to handle the ravages of addiction, namely, unborn children and babies.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported a fivefold increase in incidents of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) between 2000 and 2012. NAS afflicts infants that have been exposed to opioids during their mothers’ pregnancies. Infants that are born with NAS will experience tremors, gastric disorders, fevers, and seizures during the first few weeks or months after they are born. These symptoms are similar to what an opioid addict might experience while going through withdrawal.

Recovering Compensation for Opioid Overdoses and Deaths

Lawmakers are acknowledging that certain opioid manufacturers, medical clinics, and practitioners developed and implemented a deceptive marketing scheme that exaggerated the relief that opioids could offer to individuals who were suffering from debilitating pain. The marketing of opioid painkillers gave little thought to the physical dependency, addiction, and overdose risks that are inherent in those drugs. Following the lawmakers’ lead, court systems are entertaining a growing chorus of lawsuits alleging that pharmaceutical companies are liable for direct and collateral damages as a result of their false, negligent, and unfair marketing practices associated with prescription opioid drugs.

Was Your Child Born Addicted to Opioids? Call Bart Bernard

Bart Bernard represents families in Lafayette, Kenner, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere in Louisiana with infants diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome due to opioid addiction. Has your infant child become a victim of the opioid crisis? Please call today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Additional Opioid Epidemic Resources:

  1., Opioid Overdose Crisis.
  2. Democrat & Chronicle, May is deadliest month so far: 31 days, 104 overdoses, 16 deaths,
  3., Opioid addiction in U.S.: 7 in 10 say it’s a very serious problem – CBS News poll,
  4., Treating Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy.

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Opioid-Addicted Children

May 11, 2018 News 0 Comments

The United States has been facing a serious epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 115 people in the U.S. die every day from an overdose of opioids.

Now, it is becoming clear that children born to parents addicted to opioids suffer severe consequences.

Class Action Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

A class action lawsuit was filed in late February on behalf of babies born in the state of Louisiana addicted to opioids. The defendants are manufacturers and distributors of opioids, including Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, among others.

The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a child born addicted to opioids and diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which is common in children whose mothers abuse the drugs. The child is known by the initials K.E.R.

NAS can occur in babies who had chronic exposure to substances in the womb. Once the baby is born, they no longer have the exposure, and the abrupt cessation of the substances causes NAS.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 21,700 babies were born nationwide with opioid withdrawal in 2012. Between the years 2000 and 2012, the number of children born with NAS rose fivefold.

Damages for Therapy, Related Effects Sought

K.E.R. is currently 3 years old. The child has needed speech, hearing, and behavioral therapy as a result of the long-term effects of chronic prenatal opioid exposure.

The child’s mother had been prescribed opioids, which are frequently prescribed as pain medication, to treat lower back pain caused by a vehicle accident prior to her pregnancy. She became addicted to opioids and continued to use during her pregnancy.

The class action suit seeks damages to cover long-term therapy and other treatment for K.E.R. and other babies born with NAS. The amount of damages sought are not currently known.

However, it is thought that the number of children with NAS in Louisiana is high. The suit estimates that 1 out of every 5 mothers on Medicaid, a Federal program for low-income people, took opioids during pregnancy.

Our state currently has over 1.4 million people enrolled in Medicaid.

Was Your Child Born Addicted to Opioids? Call Bart Bernard!

Opioid addiction has unfortunately touched an enormous number of lives in Louisiana. If you or a loved one has had a baby born with NAS, Bart Bernard is a seasoned Louisiana personal injury lawyer who can help.

Bart Bernard we will handle your situation with care, concern and the utmost professionalism. He is a veteran attorney with lots of experience helping clients recover damages for the life-altering side effects of dangerous prescription drugs.

Your initial consultation is free and we have offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette for your convenience. Call today to see how much your case could be worth!

More information on lawsuits filed on behalf of infants born addicted to opioids:

  1. Adamson, Allan. “Lawsuit Seeks Money To Cover Treatment Of Babies Born Addicted To Opioids.” Tech Times. February 28, 2017.
  2. Clark, Maria. “The family of a Louisiana infant born addicted to opioids is suing drug makers.” New Orleans Times-Picayune. February 27, 2018.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Expands!

March 5, 2018 News 0 Comments

The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers is expanding its brand and client reach throughout Louisiana and has hired Eric Richard as the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer of Louisiana.

“I am thrilled and honored to partner with Bart Bernard and to be entrusted to help grow the firm, expand the brand and execute on optimum client reach and services. Bart Bernard is an expert in his field. It is great to see how clients are treated as family with their best interest in mind. Bart Bernard is all about helping people, reaching out and giving back. This effort is only to maximize on his already impressive success with an aggressive approach to help take The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers to another level, through many facets, approaches and strategies. Community outreach, involvement and giving back to our communities will remain a top priority. Bart simply cares about people. Bart loves people and is a great lawyer,” says Richard.

Bart Bernard says “Our office is dedicated to providing world class client service and to provide the best legal representation throughout the state of Louisiana. We hire only the best team to work for our clients thus adding Eric to our team was the right decision. We are constantly improving our system and striving for exceptional service. With Eric, he brings a vast knowledge in business and marketing which will not only be a benefit to our clients but also for the future of Bart Bernard Injury Lawyersyers.”

Richard joins the firm with more than 20 years of extensive experience in Brand Marketing, Advertising, Mass Market promotions, Consulting and Business Development, throughout Louisiana. Eric believes in taking aggressive and highly engaged approaches to forward the vision and purpose of an organization.

Bart Bernard is a personal injury attorney who stands by his slogan “I am with you every step of the way” during legal representation. He also has the experience and the vast network of experts to help you build a strong enough case to win. All legal counsel is on a contingency basis only, so you pay nothing except for a small pre-determined fee based on your winnings. Call 900-9000 any time, day or night, for more information on pursuing a legal claim for your personal injury.

Bart Bernard
Personal Injury Law Firm
Anywhere in Louisiana

3 Common Car Accident Injuries

February 16, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

car accident head injury victimMore than 3 million people are injured in U.S. vehicle accidents each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Victims have been hospitalized for injuries at speeds as low as 5-10 miles per hour. The degrees and types of injuries sustained vary, but an estimated 10 percent of all motor vehicle accident victims become disabled for the long-term. Louisiana Car Accident Attorney Bart Bernard has seen all kinds of devastating injuries resulting from vehicle crashes. Here are three of the most common.

Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries

Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury where the body’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons are stretched due to sudden movements, causing strains, sprains, and tears. Rear-end collisions frequently lead to hyperextension and hyperflexion in the neck and back. More than “just a pain in the neck,” the worst cases lead to bone fractures, herniated discs, complete ligament ruptures, instability in the spine, and traumatic brain injury. Damage to surrounding nerves can trigger a host of adverse effects.

Most people will recover from whiplash within three months, but disability claims experts have found a third of all whiplash injuries persist longer than a year. The average auto insurer spends $2.7 billion a year on whiplash injuries.

Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries

One study found that 39 percent of people in motor vehicle crashes sustained head injuries, with nearly half of these injuries constituted as “severe.” Head injuries can be open lacerations or closed wounds with swelling inside the head. The worst head injuries are sustained when unbelted drivers and passengers are struck head-on, causing the head and face to hit the steering wheel, instrument panel, and glass. Passengers in side collisions also sustained serious head injuries when struck by the door panel.

Mild brain injuries occur with loss of consciousness and disorientation of 30 minutes or less. Scans appear normal, but victims frequently report cognitive problems like headaches, memory problems, attention deficit, and mood swings.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries occur when the brain is struck by an outside force, causing loss of consciousness for over 30 minutes, memory loss greater than 24 hours, and substantial impairment. These patients may encounter headaches, muscle spasms, sleep disturbances, blurry vision, higher cognitive function impairments, anxiety attacks, debilitating fatigue, abnormal burning sensations, and ringing in the ears. Some victims of TBI end up in unresponsive states for long periods of time.

Chest and internal organ injuries

While air bags and seat belts were designed to decrease chest injuries, they still occur with alarming frequency. One study reported that two-thirds of car accident victims suffered chest injuries, with just under half of these considered “severe.” In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of blunt force trauma to the chest, responsible for up to 80 percent of all cases.

Blunt chest trauma ranges from bruising and minor soft tissue wounds to fatal pulmonary and cardiac damage. Chest injuries were most commonly reported by the drivers on the struck side of a vehicle. Fractured ribs or clavicles can puncture the lungs or essential veins. Multiple fractures of the ribs or sternum can result in an unstable chest wall, causing difficulty breathing. Accumulation of blood and inflammatory mediators can compress the heart, increasing pressure and reducing output. Most people with chest injuries heal within 4-6 weeks, but victims may be more susceptible to chest infections, or experience lifelong arrhythmias and pain symptoms.

Contact Baton Rouge and Lafayette car accident lawyer Bart Bernard within one year of a car accident to explore your full set of legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for hospital stays, rehabilitative costs, medications, surgeries, loss of income, disability, and pain and suffering.

Additional Vehicle Crash Injury Resources:

  1. NSW Government – Anatomy of a Crash,
  2. Traumatic Brain Injury – What Are The Effects of TBI,
  3. Back 2 Health Bellevue – Auto Injury Related Statistics,
  4. Modern Medicine – Trauma Nursing Blunt Chest Injuries,
  5. National Health System Patient Guide – Chest Injury,
  6. Alliance Insurance Group – Filing a Whiplash Claim,

5 Things You Should Never Do When Driving Near Trucks

January 24, 2018 Truck Accidents 0 Comments

Truck on freewayLarge semi tractor-trailer trucks make up almost 5% of all vehicle traffic on the nation’s highways. That density increases in large metropolitan areas and congested corridors, where almost every fourth vehicle may be a truck. A fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, as opposed to 4,000 pounds for a car. At that weight, a truck traveling at 55 miles per hour can require up to 100 yards, or the entire length of a football field, to come to a full stop. Given these facts, a car will be at a severe disadvantage in a collision with a truck or other large vehicle.

Defensive driving should be a priority when you are driving anywhere near a truck, a bus, or any other long, heavy commercial vehicle. You can improve your safety by practicing these five cautions when driving near trucks:

Don’t ignore a truck’s blind spots and no-drive zones

Even with dashboard cameras, proximity sensors, and large rearview mirrors, commercial drivers are not immediately able to see everything on the road around them. Stay at least 30 feet behind a truck or bus, and be careful while driving in the one lane on the driver’s side of the truck and in the two lanes on the passenger side, particularly if you are behind the truck’s cab. The 20 feet of roadway in front of a truck or bus is also a high-risk zone. When you pass a truck, drive well beyond the front of the cab before shifting back into the lane in front of the truck.

Don’t forget to exercise extra caution when passing a truck

If you cannot see the truck or bus driver’s mirrors, the driver will not be able to see you. Make sure you can see the mirrors before you shift into a passing lane. Use your turn signals to indicate that you are passing. Accelerate smoothly and evenly while in the passing lane and do not linger in the driver’s blind spot immediately behind the cab. Confirm that you see the entire front of the truck in your own rearview mirror before you shift back into the truck’s lane. Understand also that you will require more roadway to pass a long truck or bus. Never begin a pass on a two-lane or a curving road if you have any doubts about how clear the passing lane is in front of you.

Never cut off or brake-check a truck or bus

Remember that a fully loaded truck may need 100 yards to come to a complete stop. When you cut off a truck, you are taking an extreme risk that the truck will not be able to stop in time behind you if you suddenly slow down. Further, drivers that have road rage issues might be tempted to “brake check” a truck, where the driver pulls in front of a truck and suddenly slows down or brakes to force the truck to do the same. Brake checking can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and to cause disastrous accidents.

Do not tailgate or draft off of a truck or bus

Again, if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, the driver cannot see you. You might be tempted to improve your highway mileage by riding in a truck’s draft, but if the truck slows suddenly you can easily crash into the trailer’s rear impact guard. Federal regulations require trailers to have a guard that is no more than 22 inches above the surface of a roadway. Depending on the height of your vehicle, a collision with that guard can cause serious damage or injury.

Do not fail to heed wide turns from trucks and buses

Give trucks and buses enough room to maneuver through wide turns. A truck or bus might need to start a right turn, for example, from a middle lane. When you are pulling up to an intersection and a truck is turning from another road into your roadway, anticipate that the truck may need to come into your lane while it executes the turn.

Accident? Call Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer Bart Bernard

If you have suffered property damages or injuries in an accident with a truck or bus in Baton Rouge, or anywhere else in Louisiana, Bart Bernard can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our offices as soon as possible after the accident to give our legal team an opportunity to investigate and preserve the evidence.

Contact Baton Rouge and Lafayette truck accident lawyer Bart Bernard today to schedule a free consultation about your accident. Bart charges no fees unless he is able to get you fair and just compensation.

Additional Resources on “What Never To Do When Driving Around Trucks”:

  1. Tips for Driving Safely Around Large Trucks or Buses.
  2. Why You Never, Ever Brake Check Another Driver.

5 Unusual Causes of Car Accidents

January 23, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

Solar Eclipse. The moon moving in front of the sun. IllustrationDistracted driving and driving while impaired by alcohol or other drugs are the top causes of car accidents. But even people who are teetotalers, and who strictly avoid distractions while behind the wheel, can end up in a ditch or worse. The following list proves that crashes may be attributed to virtually anything—from SpaceX rocket launches to apples.

1. The SpaceX rocket launch

In December 2017, SpaceX carried out its final, and successful, launch of the year by sending out a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Its payload was 10 communications satellites. The launch wrapped up an impressive year for SpaceX, and a few area drivers were so impressed by the rocket launch that they caused a multi-car wreck on the 10 Freeway in Banning, presumably because they were busy gawking at it. Thankfully, no one was killed in the accident.

2. The movements of celestial bodies

Everyone knows you’re not supposed to look at the eclipse unless you’re wearing those nifty eclipse viewing glasses. But some people can’t resist the temptation to self-inflict vision loss. After the eclipse of 2017, a woman in San Francisco blamed her car accident on temporary blindness caused by looking at the sliver of sun. A mother and her young daughter were crossing the street in front of the car, and were both struck. Fortunately, neither was killed, but the girl sustained a broken arm.

3. Little green Martians

The total eclipse and SpaceX rocket launches are objectively verifiable events. Even though insurance agents and police officers might not let those drivers slide, they at least had a concrete excuse for the crashes. Things get a little trickier when drivers try to convince their insurance companies that they weren’t at fault because the crash was caused by UFO sightings. Ghosts, apparitions, and other paranormal phenomena have also been blamed for car accidents.

4. Using your feet to stop a car

Even if The Flintstones was before your time, you’re undoubtedly familiar with this Stone Age-version of “Friends”. It even managed to convince some people that humans and dinosaurs co-existed during the same time period. So it might not be too surprising that it also apparently managed to convince at least one man that he had the capacity to stop a car with his feet.

The 24-year-old man was arrested near Detroit for the failed use of this unconventional braking technique. He’d found that his brakes weren’t working, but decided to drive his pickup anyway. When using his feet as a brake didn’t work, he drove into four other vehicles.

5. Apple chunks

Big rig accidents can be among the most deadly, but in one case, a crash saved a truck driver’s life. In 2011, a truck driver from Pennsylvania was munching on an apple while behind the wheel. He choked on an apple chunk and passed out. Unsurprisingly, the truck crashed through a concrete barrier, throwing the unconscious trucker against the steering wheel. Investigators found an apple chunk on the dashboard, and concluded that the crash performed its own version of the Heimlich maneuver.

The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has secured millions in jury awards and settlements for our clients, many of whom sustained injuries and property damage in car accidents in Rouge and Lafayette. Louisiana car accident lawyer Bart Bernard never charges a fee unless your case is successful. Call today to request your free case review.

Additional car accident resources

  1. Los Angeles Times, Dashcam video shows three-car crash as freeway drivers brake for SpaceX rocket launch,
  2. 10 News Tampa Bay, Idaho woman blames car crash on sasquatch,

Bart Bernard Receives TWO “Best Lawyer” Awards from Times of Acadiana

November 9, 2017 News 0 Comments

times of acadiana best of 2017The people have spoken! Times of Acadiana readers have voted Bart Bernard “Best Personal Injury Lawyer in 2018”. In addition to “Best Personal Injury Lawyer,” Bart was also voted “Best Law Firm” in Cajun Country. Winners were announced June 7 at the Victoria Plantation in Broussard.  The results of the vote, and a prominent feature on the firm, were published the following day in both the print and online editions.

The Times’ “Best of” recognizes the top people, places and things to do in Acadiana. Winners are determined by Times of Acadiana readers who nominate and vote for their favorite businesses, people and destinations in each category. During the voting period, ballots can be cast once a day and nominations are added to the list of entries once they are approved by the Times of Acadiana.

Bart Bernard’s Commitment to Community

In an article titled, See Why Bart Bernard Was Named Best Lawyer in Town, Bart was asked what he thinks made his practice stand out this year. He told the newspaper that he’s “been working harder than ever at making a difference in people’s lives … and likes to get personally involved in community and state projects that make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

He cites a program he actively participated in earlier this year, called “Dreams Come True in Louisiana,” an event that helps fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

He also rolls up his sleeves to help with Thanksgiving food donations for multiple non-profits in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, as well as supporting:

Bart Bernard: Dedicated to Helping Others

Louisiana personal injury attorney Bart Bernard works every day with people from all walks of life whose lives have been forever altered by unfortunate events, helping them get the justice they deserve. These accidents include those involving vehicles, construction, maritime injuries, slips/falls, workers compensation, wrongful death, bankruptcy and more.

After graduating from University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Louisiana State University’s Law Center, the Lafayette native got his start clerking for Judge Gerald Schiff who acted as a mentor to him.

“The best advice I received [from Schiff] was to lose my ego and work hard,” he said.

He proceeded to do just that — opening his own personal injury law firm in 1997 and dedicating his practice to helping others. Now a successful lawyer with offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Bernard is now a mentor himself, and tells young lawyers, “Work on something that motivates you every day, you’ll be surprised where it takes you.”

Bernard is greatly humbled to be voted by Acadiana, for not one, but two “Best of 2017” titles. He is honored to represent his community with these accomplishments, and will strive to be the best for years to come.