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Best Scenic Motorcycle Rides in Louisiana

September 7, 2017 Motorcycle 0 Comments

motorcycles on the road

Louisiana is a magnet for motorcyclists from all over the country. It’s hard to beat its sweeping roadways with beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife. And of course, no visit to the Bayou State would be complete without a stop or two at the roadside eateries serving up scrumptious Cajun fare. Po’boys, jambalaya, and crawfish await you.

Natchitoches: Creole plantation country

If you only have time for just one long, leisurely ride in Louisiana, this is it. Natchitoches (pronounce it “Nack-ah-tish”) is teeming with reminders of long-ago times. In fact, it’s the oldest settlement of the Louisiana Purchase. It was founded in 1714, which was four years before New Orleans was officially New Orleans. Louis Juchereau de St. Denis was a French-Canadian lieutenant who came up from the Gulf to establish a fort. He became friendly with a local Native American tribe, which gave the settlement its name.

Set against the Cane River Lake, Natchitoches is peppered with Creole plantations, and the roads are lined with live oaks dripping with beautiful Spanish moss. Take some time to sightsee around the city. You’ll see plenty of French Colonial architecture.

Head out to the parish roads and state highways that border Cane River Lake, and enjoy the leisurely ride through the Cane River National Heritage Area. Most of the old plantations you’ll see are private residences. If you have time, stop for a visit at Melrose Plantation, which is owned by a cultural heritage preservation group, and Oakland Plantation, which is a National Parks Service property. If you’re a John Wayne fan, you’ll recognize the building from The Horse Soldiers.

Route 22 from Sorrento to Ponchatoula

This is another route much prized by well-traveled bikers. Located in southern Louisiana, this stretch of asphalt is 35-plus miles of riverside and bayou views. Do take your time on this route. It’s a fun, twisty road, but there are some very sharp corners, especially near the French Settlement area. This particular stretch of road has seen its share of mishaps, so try to keep your speed under 15 mph around these corners. Head out in the early morning, before the four-wheeled traffic picks up.

Longleaf Scenic Byway

If you’re in the western part of the Bayou State, the Longleaf Scenic Byway is a must. Look for State Forest Road 59 and get ready for 17 miles of incredible two-lane trails. Cruise through the Kisatchie National Forest, and take advantage of the numerous turn-outs, with sweeping views of rocky bluffs, buttes, and hills. Scattered along the byway are six campgrounds to choose from.

As you head out of the Kisatchie National Forest, head into the Red Dirt National Wildlife Management Preserve, and check out the 36-mile Sandstone Multi-Use Trail. It allows motorcycles, but do watch out for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. You’ll want to keep your speed low regardless, or you might miss the plethora of wildlife along this trail—everything from otters and turtles to bobcats and coyotes.

Need a lawyer after a motorcycle accident?

After a motorcycle accident, bikers near Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana trust The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers for exceptional legal advocacy services. Call today to request your free case review with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Baton Rouge or Lafayette.

More on “great scenic motorcycle routes in Louisiana”:

  1. Rider, Louisiana Motorcycle Rides: Nothing Like Natchitoches,
  2. My Scenic Drives, Longleaf Trail Scenic Byway,

Five Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

July 6, 2017 Motorcycle 0 Comments

motorcycle accidentRoughly 88,000 motorcyclists are injured every year, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 4,500 motorcyclists are killed each year.

Because motorcycles are relatively small vehicles and drivers and riders often very unprotected compared to cars and trucks, the injuries they sustain can be quite severe. Recovering from motorcycle accidents can take time, medical interventions, physical therapy, and more.

What are the most common motorcycle accident injuries?

Leg and foot injuries

The most common motorcycle injuries are to the legs and feet, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Thirty percent of all motorcycle-related injuries occur there. These can range from fractured legs to broken ankles.

Head injuries

Head injuries occur in 22% of all motorcycle accidents. They can range from a concussion, which can be temporary, to traumatic brain injury, which can be permanent. Traumatic brain injury can cause permanent mental impairment and paralysis. Unfortunately, in these type of accidents, much depends on the impact as a driver or passenger crashes or is thrown from the motorcycle, and where they land.

Neck injuries

Neck injuries also occur in 22% of motorcycle accidents, so head and neck injuries are tied for second place in terms of frequency. Like head injuries, neck injuries can be minor or result in major and lasting trauma.

While both head and neck injuries are less common than injuries to legs and feet, they can often be far more severe. A broken leg or sprained ankle will heal. Head and neck injuries can cause lasting damage. Because of the severity of head and neck injuries, all motorcyclists and passengers should always wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets when riding.

Upper trunk injuries

The fourth most common injuries on a motorcycle are those that medical professionals refer to with the term “upper trunk” — your chest, shoulders, and back. Like the other injuries, the severity of these depend on the impact severity and where the motorcyclist is hit.

Lower trunk injuries

Finally, the fifth most common injuries on a motorcycle are to the lower trunk, the hips and pelvis. Like the others, these injuries depend on the impact and nature of the accident.

Seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need attorneys seasoned in how to counsel you on a potential case. A motorcycle accident might involve personal injury and thus negligence on the part of another driver or on the part of the state in maintaining a road. Claims can be brought for damages related to medical care, prescriptions, physical therapy, lost wages, re-training, and more.

For your convenience, the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has two Louisiana offices, one in Baton Rouge and one in Lafayette. Our clients include local people and those from out of state who need advice from experienced LA motorcycle crash attorneys.

For a free consultation, call today or contact me online.

Additional “motorcycle injury” resources:

  1. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts. Motorcycles.
  2. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lower-Extremity Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes. August 2008.
  3. Siler, Wes. “What Body Parts Will You Most Likely Injure in a Motorcycle Crash?” December 24, 2013.

Four Worst Offshore Oil Rig Disasters

June 23, 2017 Maritime 0 Comments

oil rig offshoreWhen accidents happen on offshore oil rigs, they can happen quickly and without warning. The loss of life and injuries can be disastrous. Explosions, fires, and even drowning in the ocean waters threatens workers on the rigs.

The Piper Alpha, 1988

Just look at the worst oil rig disaster in history, the Piper Alpha disaster in Britain’s North Sea. It occurred in July 1988, and killed 167 rig workers.

It began with leaking gas from a platform pipe. Routine maintenance had caused a pressure safety value to be taken off earlier in the day. At shift change, maintenance was not complete and the incoming crew was supposed to have been informed not to turn on one of the affected pumps.

However, they were not informed. It was turned on when another pump tripped. A series of explosions hit the platform as gas caught on fire. The platform was completely destroyed. Fighting the fire took 3 weeks.

The Alexander L. Kielland, 1980

The Alexander L. Kielland, a semi-submersible platform for the workers on the Edda oil rig in Norway, capsized in March 1980. One hundred and twenty-three workers were killed, most due to drowning.

The Deepwater Horizon, 2010

On April 20, 2010, an explosion and ensuing fire on the semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon caused the death of 11 workers and injury to 17 more. The Deepwater Horizon was roughly 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Transocean owned and operated the unit. It was drilling oil for BP.

The accident also caused the biggest worldwide marine oil spill to date. It is considered the most significant environmental disaster in the history of the U.S.

The Abkatun Permanente, 2015

In August 2015, 4 workers were killed and 45 injured on the Abkatun Permanente platform due to an explosion and subsequent fire. The platform, in the Gulf of Mexico, was run by Pemex, the state-run Mexican oil company.

If you’ve been injured on an oil rig

People who have been injured on an offshore oil rig may be able to bring a lawsuit against the company or its contractors for negligence. If there were harmful or dangerous conditions or practices, or rules and regulations weren’t followed properly, and it can be shown that the company or its contractors knew or should have known about the conditions and did nothing to rectify them, you may be eligible to collect damages for negligence.

Plaintiffs may seek damages for expenses related to medical treatment, physical therapy, medications needed, lost wages due to recovery time, or training if the injured party requires a new line of work. A suit can also cover claims for pain and suffering.

If an oil rig accident has caused fatalities, the deceased person’s family can bring a suit for wrongful death. Family members can bring a lawsuit for the pain and suffering, as well as medical treatment, physical therapy, medications, and lost wages of the deceased. 

When you need an experienced attorney

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an offshore oil rig disaster, we are here to help. We are experienced in maritime law and offshore oil rig cases. The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers maintains two Louisiana offices, one in Baton Rouge and one in Lafayette. Our clients include locals and those from out of state who need advice from an experienced maritime attorney in Louisiana.

For a free consultation with a Louisiana oil rig accident attorney, call or contact me online today.

Additional “biggest oil rig disasters” resources:

  1. Mohney, Gillian. “Oil Rig Explosion Kills 4 in Gulf of Mexico, No Spill Reported.” ABC News. August 1, 2015.
  2. The World’s Worst Offshore Oil Disasters.

3 Serious Injuries That Result in Lawsuits

June 10, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

Three of the most serious injuries that lead to personal injury lawsuits are traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), and bone fractures. Read on for an overview of all 3.

Traumatic Brain Injury

TBIs can occur when someone’s head is hit, bumped, or jostled severely. If this occurs, the brain can be bumped and jostled severely as well. As a result, those affected can suffer multiple symptoms, ranging from unconsciousness and memory loss to blurred vision. These symptoms can last just a few minutes or be long term and permanent. Causes can range from a tackle in football to a car crash or falling on a sidewalk.

A concussion is a form of TBI.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 30% of all injury-related fatalities stem from TBIs. Roughly 153 Americans die daily due to TBIs. About 2.8 million people went to emergency departments, were hospitalized, or died due to TBI-related symptoms in 2013. The number of people going to emergency departments alone rose 47% between 2007 and 2013.

For children 14 or younger and adults 65 or older, falls are the leading cause of TBIs. Being hit by or thrown against an object is the second leading cause of TBIs, for all age groups. Vehicle accidents are the third leading cause, again, for all age groups.

Spinal Cord Injury

SCIs occur when the spinal cord is injured in some way. The spinal cord affects the nervous system and muscles. Injuries to spinal cords can result in symptoms from full immobility of the body (paralysis) to trouble moving arms or legs to loss of control over bodily functions.

Worldwide, from a quarter million to half a million people suffer SCIs each year.

Unfortunately, 90% of those are due to traumatic causes, such as falls, vehicle crashes, or other accidents. They are preventable.

SCIs also result in long-term health effects. People with SCI are from 2 to 5 times more likely to die than those who don’t have an SCI. They may be prone to chronic infections, need a caregiver, and be in chronic pain.

Bone Fractures

While bone fractures are less life-threatening and life impairing than either TBI or SCI, they are also caused by trauma, such as a fall or a vehicle accident.

Despite this, they can require extensive medical treatment, especially if the fracture is complicated or the bone doesn’t set correctly. Fractures can require physical therapy to regain the full use of affected areas.

Treatment and a fracture can also cause people to lose time from work and thus result in economic loss. Fractures can also damage the patient’s ability to perform the activities of daily life.

People have, on average, 2 fractures in a lifetime.

Speak with a Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer

If you or a loved one has experienced one of these three injuries, a seasoned Louisiana personal injury lawyer can help. For your convenience, Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA. We assist both people who are long-time residents of our communities and out-of-state residents who need advice on Louisiana law.

Our initial consultation on your case will happen at no cost to you. Call or contact me online today.

Additional serious injury resources:

  1. Spinal Cord Injury. World Health Organization. November 2013.
  2. Understanding Bone Fractures. The Basics. WebMed.
  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. Basic Information. TBI: Get the Facts.

Dog Attacks: The One-Bite Rule in Louisiana

May 31, 2017 Animal Attack 0 Comments

dog attackIf you’ve ever heard someone refer to the “one-bite rule” in reference to being bitten by a dog, you may have wondered what it was. It’s very simple.

The one-bite rule is related to establishing negligence in personal injury claims for dog bites. Owners can only be deemed negligent for a dog bite if they knew or had reason to know that their dog would bite someone. In other words, if a dog bites you or a loved one but had never bitten a person before, or acted in a threatening manner before, you may not be successful in pursuing a claim for negligence and personal injury.

If, on the other hand, a dog has bitten someone previously, and it bites you or a loved one, the owner may be found responsible for damages. According to the one-bite rule, once a dog has bitten someone, the owner must take steps to make sure that the dog cannot harm people. If the court finds that reasonable care to restrain the dog and protect people was not taken, and that failure was responsible for the injury, the owner is liable for damages.

Louisiana law on dog bites

Louisiana law uses the one-bite rule, but also has several other requirements for the owner to be found liable for damages.

  • First, the owner needs to have known or should have known that the dog was dangerous to people. This might include dangerous behavior other than biting, such as growling or striking at people.
  • Second, it needs to be a fact that any injury or damage could have been prevented had the owner taken reasonable care to prevent it. For example, putting a dog in a back yard with a fence surrounding it might be deemed reasonable care to avoid injury.
  • Third, the owner did not take sufficient care to prevent injury.
  • Fourth, the animal was not provoked by the person injured or other persons.

Louisiana law does not pertain only to bites, but to other injuries as well. If an animal knocks a child down and causes injury, for example, it falls under the “dog bite” statute.

The statute also covers animals other than dogs. If, for instance, a horse causes an injury to a person, it is covered by this statute.

Defenses against Louisiana dog bite law

The owner can use several defenses. The first is that the injured party or another party provoked the animal. If a dog is fenced in, for example, and neighborhood teenagers are poking at it with a stick, resultant dog bites, occurring through the fence or as a result of a dog jumping the fence, might be considered the result of provocation.

The second is comparative negligence. An owner could argue that the injured party bears part of the blame. If neighbors cut across a backyard despite “Beware of Dog” signs prominently displayed, it can be argued that they were partially to blame for being attacked by a dog. Any monetary damages, if that argument is successful, are reduced by the percentage the court finds the plaintiff at fault.

Need a dog bite attorney?

If you have issues with a dog bite or other injury involving an animal, we can help. Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has offices for your convenience in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana.

For a free consultation with a Baton Rouge or Lafayette dog bite attorney, call today or contact us online.

Additional “Louisiana one bite law” resources:

  1. Dog Bites. WebMD.
  2. State of Louisiana, Department of Health and Hospitals. Center for Community and Preventive Health. Protocol for Animal Control and Law Enforcement Agencies Addressing Animal Bites and Potential Rabies Exposures. June 6, 2013.
  3. Louisiana Civil Code. Book III. Of the Different Modes of Acquiring the Ownership of Things. Title V. Obligations Arising Without Agreement. Chapter 3. Of Offenses and Quasi Offenses. Art. 2321. Damage caused by animals.

Questions of Liability in Louisiana Animal Attacks

May 31, 2017 Animal Attack 0 Comments

beware of dogWhile dog bites are responsible for a significant proportion of lawsuits brought over animal attack injuries, an alarming number of incidents involving other animals such as ferrets, snakes, birds and cats also lead to litigation. Regardless of the type of animal responsible for causing serious harm, it is important for victims to familiarize themselves with the liability rules which may help them secure fair financial compensation.

Dangerous animal attacks

The unfortunate truth is that even pets who appear to be fully domesticated and well-behaved can sometimes act on their natural attack instincts and produce serious injury to unsuspecting visitors. In addition, there are also situations in which individuals negligently attempt to keep wild animals on their property, in violation of local laws and regulations. Too often the result is an animal attack injury that leaves the victim to contend with costly medical bills, lasting disability, lost wages, physical agony and emotional trauma from which it can be difficult to completely recover.

Liability when animals attack in Louisiana

Louisiana statute provides that an animal’s owner is answerable for any harm it does to others, provided there is a showing that he or she knew or should have known that harm would likely ensue, that reasonable care could have prevented the harm and that such care was not taken.

Individuals who take it upon themselves to house animals typically considered to be wild in nature, including alligators and monkeys, are typically considered liable for the harm those animals cause to others.

In cases involving dog attacks, a clearly stated strict liability standard has been legislatively imposed on owners across the state. This means that a dog’s owner is liable for injuries to property or persons stemming from an attack which are not traceable to the victim’s own provocation of the animal. This is true even if the dog in question exhibited no prior history of aggressive behavior.

Potential defenses to animal bite claims

Despite the strict liability standard applied in dog attack cases across Louisiana, certain defenses do exist which may be raised by animal owners in order to escape responsibility for paying damages. For instance, a dog owner may argue that he or she had no ability to prevent what ultimately occurred, that the victim engaged in behaviors which provoked the injurious behavior, and/or that the victim was not lawfully on the premises where the incident took place. As in all injury cases, a comprehensive examination of the underlying facts conducted by a knowledgeable attorney is critical to formulating effective counterarguments in the face of such defense tactics.

Fighting on behalf of animal attack victims

Nobody expects to be the target of a vicious animal attack. Because every type of animal attack requires thorough investigation and sound legal strategies, the aid of a seasoned injury attorney can be vital to obtaining the outcome victims deserve. If you have suffered due to the actions of a dangerous animal and the potential negligence of the person responsible for housing and controlling it, Louisiana dog bite attorney Bart Bernard is prepared to help assert your right to justice. To learn more, call the firm’s Baton Rouge or Lafayette location.

Additional Resources on Louisiana Dog and Animal Attacks:

  1. Louisiana State Legislature, Art. 2321 – Damage caused by animals,
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preventing Dog Bites,
  3. American Veterinary Medicine Association, Infographic: Dog Bites by the Numbers,

Top Road Hazards That Cause Motorcycle Accidents

April 27, 2017 Motorcycle 0 Comments

motorcycle accidentFatalities from motorcycle accidents comprise 5% of all traffic deaths per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle crashes claimed the lives of nearly 4,700 people in 2015, which was more than double the number in 1997, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Road hazards are one of the most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents.

Road hazards exist for all forms of vehicles, of course. But road conditions that pose little or no danger to cars, such as highway expansion joints, can cause major accidents for a motorcycle. This is especially true in inclement weather.

And, of course, motorcyclists are relatively unprotected in the event of an accident. Helmets can reduce injuries, particularly to the head. But not all states mandate helmets. There are not several thousand pounds of metal protecting motorcyclists as there are with cars.

As a result, motorcyclists should watch out for the top 5 road hazards that cause motorcycle accidents. Being aware of road hazards is an essential part of a motorcycle driver and rider safety plan.

Road Hazard #1: Rough Roads

Roads that are rough and bumpy are the #1 road hazard for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists should make every effort to avoid construction work, resurfacing, or just roads in poor condition.

Road Hazard #2: Gravel

Gravel can cause a motorcyclist to spin or a driver to lose control. It is particularly dangerous when turning a corner. It tends to be more prevalent on rural, winding roads. Bikers like to use these roads because they’re scenic, but need to pay close attention to the gravel hazard.

Road Hazard #3: Edge Breaks

Edge breaks occur when two adjacent traffic lanes are not the same height. This can be noticeable in a car, but isn’t dangerous. It can be dangerous for motorcyclists, though, as it affects operation of the vehicle.

Road Hazard #4: Expansion Joints

Expansion joints suture two sections of a road together, or a road to a bridge. They are a means for the road to expand or contract as needed without cracking the surface. These are especially dangerous for motorcyclists in inclement weather.

Road Hazard #5: Open Bridge Joints

Joints are also used to hold separate sections of a bridge together, for the same reason expansion joints are used on roads. On bridges, though, some joints are quite wide. The width and the variability in surface also can make it hard for motorcyclists to maintain control of their vehicle. Inclement weather increases the danger here as well.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers is experienced in motorcycle accident law. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligence of another party on a Louisiana road, we can provide advice on your rights at no charge to you.

For a free consultation with a Baton Rouge or Lafayette motorcycle accident lawyer, call today or contact us online.

Additional “road hazards and motorcycle accidents” resources:

  1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. Motorcycles. Motorcycles and ATVs.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle Safety.
  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Safety. Motorcycle Safety.