Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

What Is the Most Common Type of Construction Site Injury?

March 28, 2018 Construction 0 Comments

Construction sites are dangerous. Fatalities on the job in construction make up 20% of all the deaths related to work across the country, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 93 workers per week died in accidents and mishaps related to their jobs in all industries. Over 18 per week were in the construction industry.

What are the most common type of injuries on construction sites? Here are the top four.

#1 Falls

Injuries caused by falls outpace all other type of injuries on construction sites, making up 39% of fatalities.

Falls can occur almost anywhere in construction work. Workers fall from the building itself to the ground, from floor to floor, or from scaffolding. They can also fall off high equipment, such as ladders and cherry pickers.

While safety equipment that prevents extensive injuries from falls — such as helmets and harnesses — is required, some workers are not properly equipped by their employers.

The most often violated OSHA standard in construction areas last year was lack of fall protection.

#2 Struck by Object

The injuries OSHA terms “strike-bys,” when workers are struck by an object, are the #2 source of injuries on construction sites and cause almost 10% of fatalities.

Workers can be hit by equipment and materials that fall, like beams or hammers, or by moving equipment, such as trucks.

#3 Electrocution

Electrocution causes multiple injuries on construction sites and is the cause of over 8% of construction-related fatalities. Workers can be electrocuted by unfinished electrical wiring or by contact with overhead power lines.

#4 Caught in between accidents

OSHA terms one category of construction accident “caught between.” As the term implies, it refers to times when workers are caught between objects or construction or moving equipment. This can be walls, walls and trucks, collapsing structures, and more. Caught betweens are responsible for 7% of deaths on construction sites every year.

Construction Accident Lawyer Louisiana Trusts

If you or a loved one has been hurt on a construction site, we can help. We have experience in personal injury cases on construction sites, and in potential violations of OSHA standards.

If you need a construction accident lawyer Louisiana has come to trust, call the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers at 225-275-BART (Baton Rouge) or 337-989-BART (Lafayette) for a free consult today.

Additional Resources on Construction Accidents & Safety:

  1. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Commonly Used Statistics.
  2. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA Quick Card. Top Four Construction Hazards.
Read More

What To Do If You’re Hit By a Driver with No Insurance

March 19, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident looking at damageRoughly 1 in 7 drivers throughout the United States drive without insurance. This occurs despite the fact that many states require drivers to purchase insurance, including Louisiana. Drivers may be licensed in states that don’t require it, may be in a period without insurance coverage, or be in other circumstances where are behind the wheel without insurance.

What do you do if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance?

It’s an excellent question, because in most cases, injuries and damages caused by a vehicle collision are paid for by insurance companies.

If you are hit by a driver without insurance, you may not be able to get medical bills or repair of your vehicle covered — things that are paid for routinely if the other driver is at fault and has insurance.

Purchasing Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Is the Best Way to Protect Yourself

Frankly, the best way to protect yourself from a driver with no insurance is to follow the state requirement. Louisiana state law mandates that everyone who buys a car insurance policy include coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists (UIM).

It is part of the general requirements for vehicle owners, who are mandated to purchase liability insurance as well. This is done so that drivers have protection against claims by people who might be injured in a car crash.

Now, under Louisiana law you may decline UIM coverage. You must do so in writing, officially.

But doing so leaves you vulnerable to those 1 in 7 drivers without insurance. The UIM coverage that’s part of your own policy will help you if you or a family member is injured in a car accident, the other driver is at fault, and either has no insurance or carries too little insurance to coverage your damages.

Yes, UIM policies may cost a little more. But considering that hospital stays and lost wages from injuries can add up to thousands and even millions of dollars, it is worth it.

Personal Injury Claims Depend on Assets

We are sometimes asked if suing the at-fault driver for personal injury is a possibility.

Yes, it is a possibility if personal injury was caused by that driver’s negligence. But a personal injury claim needs, ultimately, to be paid for from the assets of the defendant. If your damages from an accident are significant, the other driver’s assets may not cover them. This is especially so since medical bills and hospital stays can outstrip even the price of a house and savings.

Ultimately, there is no guarantee that another driver will have any significant assets. The less risky strategy is to sign up for UIM insurance.

It is a good idea to consult an attorney if you have been in a collision where the other driver had no insurance.

When You Need a Louisiana Attorney

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an accident, Lafayette and Baton Rouge car accident attorney Bart Bernard can help. Bart has enormous expertise in cases where the other driver has no insurance.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. For a free consultation, call 337-989-BART (Lafayette) / 225-275-BART (Baton Rouge) or contact me online today.

More information on accidents with no-insurance drivers:

  1. Brinson, Linda C. What happens if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver? How Stuff Works.
  2. State of Louisiana. Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of Motor Vehicles. Required Proof of Liability Insurance Prior to Registration of Vehicles,
Read More

Roadside Safety Tips for Breakdowns & Accidents

March 14, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

Man upset next to wrecked carThe tragic scenario is all too common: a motorist whose car has broken down is struck by another vehicle as he tries to inspect the problem. Whether you’re in a minor fender bender or are experiencing engine troubles, it’s important to remember some basic tips to prevent injury and keep safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur on highways, where fast-moving traffic is the norm.

In the event of a collision or vehicle breakdown, you can avoid becoming another unfortunate statistic by following these guidelines.

Preparedness and Prevention

  • Routine maintenance can help ensure your vehicle is in good working condition. Always check your lights, brakes, windshield wipers, belts and ensure your oil is topped off.
  • Have emergency contacts programmed in your phone, whether it’s a friend, family member or your roadside assistance provider.
  • Keep a cell phone charger in your vehicle
  • Equip your vehicle with a basic safety kit including: jumper cables, reflective triangles or orange cones, a car jack, rope, first aid kit and an instant tire inflator.

Call for Assistance

If your car is seriously damaged in a collision or won’t run, call for help as soon as possible. If you are in a dangerous neighborhood and don’t have emergency roadside assistance, call the police and remain in your vehicle.

Make Yourself Visible

Visibility is essential to staying safe, especially on busy highways where the average speed is 70mph. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and activate emergency flares if you have them.

Moving to Safety

Try and move your vehicle off the road and as far away from traffic as possible. This may be an emergency lane, or the very far side of the shoulder. If you are on a heavily trafficked interstate or freeway, try and make it to the nearest highway exit. If you are unable to move your vehicle away from traffic and worry that you may be struck from behind, carefully exit the car and move to a safer locale. Open the car hood so police or tow trucks will know roadside assistance is needed.

Roadside Personal Safety

Standing next to, in front of or behind a broken-down vehicle is a recipe for disaster, warn AAA experts. If there is no danger of another vehicle striking your own, it is safer to remain inside until help arrives—especially when you’re surrounded by fast-moving traffic.

Collecting Information

If you were involved in an accident, remain with the vehicle until the police arrive. Be sure to gather information from other motorists involved, including their full names, address, policy number and license plate numbers.

How an Auto Accident Attorney Can Help

No matter what the circumstances, car crashes and breakdowns can be frightening, stressful situations. If you were hurt because of another driver’s reckless or negligent actions, you may have a claim for monetary damages. Louisiana attorney Bart Bernard is dedicated to achieving the best possible results for his clients. To schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a skilled car accident lawyer in Lafayette or Baton Rouge, please contact our offices today! 

Additional Resources on Roadside Safety: 

  1. AAA, What To Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down
  2. Nationwide, Allied Insurance roadside safety tips
  3. AutomotiveFleet, What to Do (And Not to Do) After a Highway Breakdown
Read More

What Parents Must Know About the Dangers of Escalators

March 9, 2018 Slip And Fall Injuries 0 Comments

escalator Escalators are a regular sight at family-friendly locations like shopping malls and museums, so a significant portion of the riders of the estimated 90 billion annual rides are children. Though there are more elevators than escalators in the United States, escalator injuries are about 15 times more common and young children are the most likely to be injured by them. Understanding the causes can help parents be prepared to keep their kids safe.

How escalator injuries happen

When it comes to escalators, to say that there are a lot of moving parts is more than just a figure of speech. Potential points of failure include:

  • Steps
  • Handrails
  • Comb plates
  • Belts
  • Screws and other fasteners

When any of these parts is broken, defective, poorly maintained, or improperly installed or adjusted, it opens up the possibility of injury. The most commonly-reported ways these happen include:

  • Slipping or tripping
  • Falling, including over the side rail
  • Entanglement due to motorization

Children are among most likely escalator injury victims

Children are particularly vulnerable to entrapment accidents, where the moving parts of the escalator trap a piece of clothing or body part. Of the 10,000 annual escalator injuries in this country, most are to children under the age of 12 or seniors over 65.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, falls account for 75% of the injuries while entrapment between the escalator sidewall and the top or bottom of the escalator or its moving stair makes up about 20%. About half of these entrapment type accidents injure children under the age of 5.

Avoiding escalator injuries

Children’s escalator injuries are most often attributable to something getting caught between the stair and sidewall or in the comb plate at the bottom or top of the escalator. Small hands and footwear are among the common hazards.

When riding with small children, remember the following:

  • Make sure shoes are tied before riding
  • Stand in the middle of the escalator stair and do not let children ride too close to the side
  • Hold the rail with one hand and firmly hold the child or the child’s hand with the other
  • Tuck away any loose clothing or dangling accessories
  • Do not allow children to ride while sitting
  • Step over the comb plate rather than riding into it

If an injury does occur, seek medical help. As soon as possible, also try to take some photos of where the accident happened and obtain the contact information for witnesses.

What happens if you are injured on an escalator?

An escalator injury can result in physical pain, emotional suffering, and mounting medical bills. Louisiana slip and fall lawyer Bart Bernard is dedicated to helping personal injury victims recover from these losses by holding property owners accountable. Call today to schedule a free consultation in our Baton Rouge or Lafayette offices.

Additional Escalator Injuries Resources:

  1. Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health,
  2. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Know the Steps to Safety When Using Escalators, Some shoes more likely than others to pose risk,
  3. Schindler, Escalator Tips,
Read More

March is TBI Awareness Month

March 9, 2018 Brain Injuries 0 Comments

Every year in the United States, some 2.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI), reports the Brain Injury Association of America. Brain injuries are among the leading causes of disability and death in America, accounting for one-third of all injury-related fatalities in children and adults. TBIs impact neurological processes and functioning and often leave victims with long-lasting or permanent damage that can affect memory, coordination, thinking and reasoning.

March has been designated Brain Injury Awareness Month by the Brain Injury Association of America to help highlight the serious ramifications of traumatic brain injury.

TBI statistics

Traumatic brain injuries occur when a sudden jolt or blow to the head, or a penetrating head injury, disrupts neurological function. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and firearm injuries are the four major causes of TBI. Research suggests that traumatic brain injuries are associated with a higher incidence of both Alzheimer’s and dementia, due to changes in brain chemistry. Anecdotal evidence has also shown that people who suffer repeated concussions (a mild form of TBI) have a greater risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy – a condition that can lead to erratic behavior, personality changes, memory loss and depression.

  • Every year, 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injury
  • 3 million Americans live with long-term disabilities caused by TBI
  • Falls are the leading cause of TBI in the elderly
  • Men are more likely to sustain TBI than women
  • Car accidents are the leading cause of TBI among young adults
  • Children ages 0-4, teens aged 15 to 19 years, and adults over the age of 65 are most likely to sustain a TBI

The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury vary from person to person but are often profound in nature. Depending on the severity of damage to the brain, victims may be left in a minimally conscious or vegetative state. Even with mild to moderate injuries, changes in brain chemistry and function can have a negative impact on every aspect of life – from family and social to workplace interactions.

Brain injury awareness – symptoms to watch for

A concussion is a type of mild TBI associated with physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms that may develop days or weeks after the accident:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Slower processing skills
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

While there have been significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of mild to severe traumatic brain injury, the fact remains that TBI is frequently a life-altering incident.  Relationships with family members and friends will often change, and in more dire cases, the victim may lose independence and be wholly dependent on caregivers.

Due to their high rate of occurrence in the U.S., TBIs are a grave public health problem. For those who suffered TBI due to the negligent actions of another, there are legal resources for obtaining compensation.

If you or someone you love sustained a TBI in a workplace accident, a car crash or fall, you may have a viable personal injury claim for damages. An experienced traumatic brain injury attorney can help victims seek fair compensation while holding the at-fault party liable.

Contact Bart Bernard Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review and find out how a Louisiana brain injury lawyer can secure the compensation you need and deserve. 

Additional Resources on Traumatic Brain Injury:

  1. NCTSN, National Brain Injury Awareness Month
  2. org, Traumatic Brain Injury
Read More

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

Read More

The Most Dangerous Highway in Louisiana

March 2, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

semi tractor trailer driving on the highway in the eveningA recent study found that that the most dangerous highway in Louisiana was U.S. 90 in the southern part of the state. It also holds the #13 spot among the most dangerous roads across the United States.

U.S. 90 = Average of 27 Fatal Collisions Each Year

Geotab, a consulting company, compiled data from two government sources, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration, to determine the yearly tally of fatal vehicle accidents on every highway. It then compared those results to the average amount of traffic the roadway gets. The resultant figure is called the “Fatal Crash Rate.”

According to the data, an average of 27 fatal vehicle accidents occur yearly on U.S. 90. U.S. 90 at Exit 202 to Houma generally has approximately 20,000 vehicles traveling in both directions daily.

Most fatal crashes on U.S. 90 occurred in in St. Mary, St. Charles, and Iberia parishes during 2017.

Multiple Access Points an Issue; Would an Upgrade Help?

Local officials noted that these areas have multiple access points to the highway. Most accidents happen as people enter the freeway, with collisions occurring with drivers already on the roadway or directly behind the entering car.

To make travel safer in the corridor between Lafayette and New Orleans, U.S. 90 could be upgraded to interstate standard, which would result in fewer defined access points, and thus likely fewer accidents. The new highway would be called I-49 South. Local politicians and businesses have wanted the upgrade for years.

However, money has been a sticking point. Regional Economic Models and CDM Smith for the Community Foundation of Acadiana estimated that the road from Raceland to Des Allemands would cost about $150 million (assuming a 2023 completion date) and that the road from Des Allemands to Interstate 310 would cost of $838.5 million in St. Charles Parish (assuming a 2021 completion date).

Neither the state nor the Federal government has come up with money for upgrading the road.

However, J-turns are being implemented in the stretch of U.S. 90 that runs through St. Mary Parish. Officials believe that these will lead to a downturn in the number of collisions, as they will make access to U.S. 90 safer.

Still, the same officials believe that Federal freeway access routes, such as on-ramps and acceleration lanes, would be the optimal solution. J-turns will help, but not as much as freeway traffic control methods.

Road Accident? Call Bart Bernard Today!

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in the state of Louisiana, attorney Bart Bernard is here to help. He and his team of investigators can determine the causes of your accident and gather strong evidence to prove who was at fault. Statutes of limitation restrict the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit, so please contact Baton Rouge and Lafayette car accident attorney Bart Bernard today for a free case review!

More information on the dangers of U.S. 90 in Louisiana:

  1. Boudreaux, Dan.  “U.S. 90: Louisiana’s most dangerous highway?” Houma Today. July 17, 2017.
  2. Geotab. The Most Dangerous Highways in America.
Read More