Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

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,
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3 Places Where Slip and Fall Accidents Commonly Occur

February 14, 2018 Slip And Fall Injuries 0 Comments

caution wet floor sign at a corridorSlips, trips and falls leading to serious, long-lasting injury are all-too-common. Here are three places where slips, trips and falls commonly occur.

Icy Sidewalks and Parking Lots

When sleet or freezing rain falls, or temperatures drop below normal levels, places where people have to walk can become dangerously icy. Sidewalks and parking lots can become slick with ice or even snow. As a result, people can slip and fall very easily.

This is especially true in Louisiana, where merchants and the state often don’t prepare for chilly temperatures that could make pedestrian areas dangerous, because low temperatures and freezing precipitation are so infrequent.

Retail Stores

Floors in retail stores can become dangerously slippery very easily. If someone drops a glass bottle in a grocery or convenience store, for example, the liquid — not to mention the glass — will be on the floor.

While the store’s employees should clean up the area and put barriers around it so customers don’t slip, they don’t always get to it as quickly as they should. Customers and bystanders can slip and fall.

At Work on Boats or Construction Areas

Some occupations present dangers of slipping and falling. Workers on fishing boats, for example, must often work on surfaces that are slick with the catch, water, and other substances. Construction workers work on surfaces that may be uneven and under construction.

As a result, workers in both these occupations have a higher danger of slipping and falling than workers in other occupations.

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

Under the law, those responsible for these areas have a duty of care to keep them safe. That means that a retail establishment’s parking lot and sidewalk need to be kept free of ice, so pedestrians can walk safely. Store floors need to be cleaned up promptly if something has been spilled. Boats and construction areas should be safe to work on without danger of slipping and falling.

If those responsible do not keep these areas safe, they may bear liability for a slip and fall accident if it can be proved that:

  1. They knew or should reasonably have known that conditions were unsafe.
  2. There had been sufficient time to correct the conditions.
  3. They did not correct the conditions.

Do You Need a Slip and Fall Attorney?

Louisiana slip and fall attorney Bart Bernard has decades of experience winning cases where the plaintiff was hurt due to a property owner’s negligence. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, take advantage of your legal rights to compensation for medical bills and more! Call Bart Bernard today in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA. All initial case consultations are free, and we charge you no fees unless we win money for you.

More information on common slip and fall accident sites:

  1. Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. State of Louisiana. Winter Weather. Winter Storms.
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workplace Solutions. Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in Wholesale and Retail Trade Establishments.
  3. National Floor Safety Institute. Slip and Fall Quick Facts.
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3 Best-Paid Construction Jobs

January 25, 2018 Construction 0 Comments

Worker Injured on the jobWorking in construction can be a prudent career choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the yearly median salary for construction and extraction occupations, as the BLS calls it, hit $43,610 in May 2016. The median yearly salary for all occupations is $37,040, so construction workers make roughly 18% more.

Construction salaries expected to rise

Not only that, but employment in the construction industry is expected to rise 11 percent in the 2016-2026 period. That’s a more robust gain than the average for all jobs across all sectors, and equals more than 758,000 new jobs.

Finally, the jobs are especially well-paid when you consider that most require a high school diploma and some on-the-job training or apprenticeships, rather than a four-year college degree.

Here are the top 3 best-paid jobs in the construction sector.

1. Elevator Installers and Repairers

This group is by far the best-paid among all construction workers. The 2016 median salary was $78,890, or nearly $38.00 per hour. Not only that, but projected job growth is 12%, higher than construction as a whole.

Elevator installers and repairers work not only on elevators, but on all intra-building transportation that moves people, such as escalators and moving walkways.

2. Boilermakers

The second mostly highly paid job in construction is that of boilermaker. They make $62,060 annually, or nearly $30.00 per hour.

Boilermakers assemble, install, and repair containers that hold liquids and gases, such as boilers. The job requires an apprenticeship. It is expected to grow 8% through 2026, slower than the sector as a whole.

3. Building Inspectors

Building inspectors are the third most highly paid construction job. Annual salaries are a median of $58,480 per year, or $28.12 per hour.

Building inspectors, as the title implies, inspect buildings for compliance with local regulations, laws, and zoning codes. They also inspect buildings for compliance with contracts.

The job is expected to grow 10% through 2026.

Building inspectors need a minimum of 5 years working in construction jobs and generally learn on the job.

Hurt on the Job? Call Construction Accident Lawyer Bart Bernard

As well-paid as construction jobs can be, they can also be dangerous. Construction workers are exposed to multiple hazards, from falling debris to electric shocks from exposed sockets and wiring, to falling from great heights as they work on buildings and infrastructure. And those are just three possibilities.

Construction accidents can cause injuries that cause a breadwinner to lose wages and imperil family security. They can make a hard-working construction worker unable to work again.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or even killed on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, re-training, and more. Get in touch with a dedicated and tenacious construction accident lawyer in Baton Rouge and Lafayette: Bart Bernard. For a free consultation, call today. Bart charges no fees unless he wins money for you!

Additional Resources on Highly-Paid Construction Jobs:

  1. Doyle, Alison. “The Top 10 Best Paid Construction Jobs.” The Balance. August 31, 2017.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Construction and Extraction Occupations.
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Elevator Installers and Repairers.
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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.
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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,
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3 Ways You Can Get Hurt in the Supermarket

January 19, 2018 Slip And Fall Injuries 0 Comments

supermarketTo most people, the supermarket may not seem like a dangerous place. After all, it’s where you go to get the necessities of everyday life: food, household products, and so on.

But there are many ways to get hurt in the supermarket. Three of the most common are slip and fall accidents, cuts from flying glass, and getting caught in the doors.

1. Slip and Fall Accidents

The supermarket floor will get wet and slippery if:

  • Someone drops and breaks a bottle or package containing liquid.
  • Food or other material is dropped and spilled.
  • Employees have been mopping or cleaning the floor and haven’t sufficiently dried it.

The store employees should put warning signs or cones around places that are wet so people have ample warning that they shouldn’t walk there. They should also clean up any spilled liquid or other material that makes the floor dangerous as soon as possible.

If the store fails to do this, they could be liable for any injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents. Stores have a responsibility to make sure their premises are as safe as possible for the public.

If an area is clearly dangerous to the point where someone could slip and fall, and the store’s employees have had enough time to put warning signs around it and clean it up, injured parties could have a claim.

2. Cuts From Broken Glass

Not all injuries from broken bottles and dropped glass packages stem from slip and falls. If someone drops a glass container, it can break and send pieces of glass flying.

Both the person who drops it and passersby in the store could be injured by pieces and shards of glass.

In this case, the store would not be liable, unless the container was dropped by a store employee. Depending on the circumstances, the person who dropped it could be liable. If the packaging was unsafe, the manufacturer could be liable.

3. Injuries Stemming From the Supermarket’s Doors

Supermarkets often have automatic doors. They open when people step on a certain area adjacent to the door. Some supermarkets have revolving doors.

In both cases, people can be injured. In the first type of door, the unexpected opening or closing of a door can injure people, especially children or the elderly.

In the second, people can be injured if the door is revolving too quickly. Again, the people most likely to be injured in this type of door are children or the elderly.

For all these types of injuries, it is important to have a record of the type and extent of the injury. If you have a cell phone with a camera, take pictures of your injuries and the supermarket area where you were injured as soon as possible.

Call Bart Bernard Immediately If You Are Hurt In a Slip and Fall

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a supermarket, Baton Rouge slip and fall lawyer Bart Bernard can help. You may be entitled to compensation to cover medical bills, physical therapy, time lost from work, and more.

For your convenience, the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has two Louisiana offices, one in Baton Rouge and one in Lafayette. For a free consultation, call Bart today or contact him online. Bart Bernard charges no fees unless he wins you money!

Additional “Supermarket Slip and Fall” Resources:

  1. Han, Nydia. “Consumer Reports: Nation’s best, worst supermarkets.” Channel 6 ABC Action News, WPIV Philadelphia. April 3, 2015.
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Most Dangerous Equipment on a Construction Site

January 16, 2018 Construction 0 Comments

construction site craneBuilding sites are rife with hazards, making the construction industry one of the nation’s most dangerous professions. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that construction workers have a 300 percent greater likelihood of sustaining fatal occupation-related injuries compared to employees working in other sectors.

It is no secret that construction workers put their lives on the line every day as they face the risk of equipment malfunction, falling debris, scaffold collapses and every mishap in between. Regardless of what type of machinery used on the job, proper training and safety should always be the number one priority.

Most dangerous construction site equipment

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 6.5 million people work at building sites across the country on any given day.

Some of the most hazardous tools and equipment at construction sites include:

  • Ladders – Nearly 25,000 construction site injuries and more than two dozen death each year are attributed to falls on ladders or stairways used on construction projects. Roughly half of ladder-related injuries were serious enough to warrant medical treatment and extended time off of work.
  • Saws – Motorized circular saws, chain saws and table saws are common on just about every type of work site. Despite built-in safety features, this type of machinery is responsible for some of the most gruesome injuries, including deep lacerations, loss of fingers and even limbs.
  • Scaffolds – scaffold collapses, falls and failures frequently make headlines, as these accidents often result in catastrophic injury or death. Scaffold-related accidents account for at least 50 construction accident deaths every year, reports OSHA, and another annual 4,500 injuries. When scaffolds are not regularly inspected, maintained or equipped with guardrails and toeboards, contractors and other entities may face legal liability.
  • Nail guns and power drills – Staple and nail guns have explosive force, and any mistake or mishap in use can cause major injury to oneself or a co-worker. Along these lines, power drills can pierce through skin and bone, or cause third-degree burns.
  • Cranes – Year after year, falls from heights account for the highest number of construction site deaths in the U.S. However, crane operators and those who work around cranes are also at risk of serious injury. In some cases, workers are struck by the crane’s arm during operation, electrocuted when the boom makes contact with a power line, or are crushed beneath the machine when heavy winds topple over an improperly-secured crane.

Get legal help after a construction injury

Statistically speaking, Louisiana sees its fair share of construction site accidents and fatalities. Every year, dozens of workers suffer life-threatening harm or fatal injury resulting from the malfunction, inadequate training or improper use of machinery and equipment.

If you live in the Lafayette or greater Baton Rouge areas, chances are you probably know someone who works in construction. When tragedy strikes, and negligence is suspected, it’s vital to retain the counsel of an experienced attorney. To schedule a free case evaluation with a talented Lafayette construction accident lawyer, contact Bart Bernard Personal Injury Lawyers. During a private consultation, we can determine if you have grounds for pursuing a worker’s compensation or personal injury claim.

Reach out to any of our three Louisiana office locations toll-free by dialing 1-888-GET-BART.

Additional Resources on Construction Site Dangers:

  1. OSHA, Construction Worker Safety
  2. Inside Paper Trail, Construction: The 10 Most Common Health and Safety Risks
  3. ConstructConnect, 10 Construction Site Safety Tips
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