Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Uber vs. Lyft: Which Is Better?

January 11, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

rideshare uber lyftWherever you’re headed in the Baton Rouge-Lafayette area, you now have increasing transportation options. Ridesharing service Lyft is expanding in Louisiana, offering families a more economical alternative to traditional taxis. Like its competitor Uber, which has been in Baton Rouge for nearly 3 years, Lyft lets you schedule (and pay) for a ride using an app on your computer or smart phone. Both Uber and Lyft apps let you know exactly where your driver is and what time they’ll be arriving. Simply plug in your destination, request a ride, and voila! The apps even let you rate and tip your driver accordingly.

Both Uber and Lyft employ “independent contractors” rather than employees, both charge more during high-demand periods and offer several tiers of service that come with certain privileges. If you’re wondering about quality of service, rates and availability, which is better: Uber or Lyft? Let’s take a look at some important factors.

Pricing is roughly the same

When it comes down to cost comparison, the general consensus is that both Uber and Lyft have similar pricing structures. Sure, an Uber ride may be cheaper in some cities, but there are numerous variables that influence your fare. It will all depend on what kind of vehicle your request, if traffic is heavy, and whether there’s a price surge for peak travel times. When ride share demand is heavy, both companies will raise their fees – Uber as much as 8 times the original rate. Some have argued that Uber raises their fares too much during peak times, giving Lyft a distinct advantage in the budget department.

How much does Lyft cost in New Orleans?

If you’re traveling around New Orleans, Lyft drivers operate under the following fee structure:

  • Base Fare: $1.25 – Cost Per Minute $0.18
  • Cost per mile: .96 cents
  • Cancel Penalty – $5 to $10

Lyft and Uber coverage areas in Louisiana

Uber has a global presence and a much more significant coverage area compared to Lyft, which is available in roughly 350 cities in the country. Although Lyft is gaining traction in Southern Louisiana, Uber has the upper hand when it comes to the sheer number of drivers throughout the state.  Uber also offers a larger range of vehicle types in many locations, such as UberXL and UberBlack.

Can Uber pick you up at MSY?

Can you use Uber at New Orleans airport? Yes, since 2014 travelers have been able to use UberBlack at the New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport (MSY). More recently, UberX has also been given permission to pick up and drop off travelers at MSY. Note that the New Orleans Aviation Board has levied a $4 per trip surcharge on all rides originating from MSY.

Can I hail Lyft at the New Orleans airport?

Yes, Lyft launched their service at the New Orleans airport in July of last year, providing some healthy competition for Uber. Both ride sharing services are substantially cheaper than airport cabs, costing roughly $33 from MSY to most parish locations.

Lyft and Uber safety concerns

While both ride sharing services have many similarities, Uber – statistically speaking– has had more safety incidents make headlines. From car accidents to violent driver assaults, these issues are somewhat rare, but still something to take into consideration when using Uber or Lyft to get around town.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash while riding passenger in an Uber or Lyft, reach out to Baton Rouge car accident lawyer Bart Bernard for a complimentary case review. Boasting decades of litigation experience in Southern Louisiana, Bart knows how to fight for maximum compensation and win! Call 1-888-GET-BART to protect your legal rights.

Additional “Lyft vs. Uber” Resources:

  1. The Advocate, Getting a Lyft in Baton Rouge starts Thursday as Uber ride booking rival enters the market
  2. Lyft, Lyft in Lafayette- How Lyft Works
  3. The Advocate, Statewide rules for Uber, Lyft in Louisiana clear first hurdle in Legislature
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Legal Issues Surrounding the Use of Granny Cams in Nursing Homes

January 11, 2018 Nursing Home Neglect 0 Comments

nursing home abuseIf you or a loved one is in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you may be concerned about potential abuse. Whether emotional, physical, or even sexual, nursing home abuse and neglect is all too common.

The issue is complicated by the fact that some elderly people, especially those with dementia or other mental disorders, may tell their loved ones they are being abused because they don’t like the facility or want to come home. Others may be afraid to report abusive behavior, for fear of repercussions from the perpetrators on staff.

Family members and friends want to know for sure whether their loved ones in nursing homes are being neglected or abused. Many want to be able to monitor the interactions between patients and staff in nursing homes to protect their loved ones from abuse, and ensure a high quality of care.

Why Install a Granny Cam?

If your loved one is in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you may be tempted to videotape or record the room to monitor his or her interactions with nurses and staff. If your loved one has reported being abused or neglected, a hidden camera — often dubbed a “granny cam” — may provide evidence to justify those claims. Granny cams are installed where they aren’t visible, and nursing home staff do not know the cameras are there.

Privacy and Legality Could Be Compromised by Granny Cams

There is current no Federal law on granny cams specifically.

Several states do have granny cam laws, including Texas, Washington, and Maryland. Fifteen more have drawn up legislation, including Louisiana, but the legislation has not yet been passed into law.

Louisiana residents should know that most of the state laws that do exist do not allow secret devices or monitoring unknown to staff and other residents. Roommates must consent, and if they do not, the devices cannot be installed.

In addition, signs and notices must be prominently displayed throughout the facility.

Under the U.S. Federal Wiretap Act, a minimum of one participant involved in the taping of private wire, electronic, or oral communications must consent to the activity. Because of this, installing and using a granny cam without consent would be against Federal law, and the installer of any secret camera could be prosecuted.

Even if you obtain the consent of your loved one to install a hidden camera in his or her room, the legality of doing so may still be problematic. If, for instance, the patient suffers from dementia, mental illness, or certain cognitive disorders, he or she may not be able to give informed consent legally.

Many nursing home residents share rooms or common areas. Installing a granny cam could violate the roommate’s privacy.

Alternatives to Granny Cams

If you are concerned about physical abuse in a nursing home or care facility, first look for signs, such as bruises, scratches, or unexplained accidents.

Watch the social interactions between staff and patients to see if the staff is respectful, courteous, and friendly.

If your loved one seems anxious, frightened, withdrawn, or timid, it could be a sign of emotional or sexual abuse, especially if it’s a marked change from their customary behavior. Try to have a talk with your loved one privately about whether the nursing home is a safe space.

If there is cognitive debility, a counselor may help.

Speak With a Baton Rouge Nursing Home Abuse Attorney If You Have Concerns About Your Loved One’s Safety

If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, we can help. Nursing homes that employ abusive staff may be liable. We will investigate the circumstances of your case, determine who is responsible, and fight to see that justice is done.

For your convenience, the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has two Louisiana offices, one in Baton Rouge and one in Lafayette. Call Louisiana nursing home abuse attorney Bart Bernard today for a free consultation. We charge no fees unless we win money for you!

Additional “Granny Cam Law” Resources:

  1. Aging Options. “More States Consider ‘Granny Cam’ Laws for Resident Protection.” March 31, 2016.
  2. Cassens Weiss, Debra. “’Granny Cam’ Law Aimed at Curbing Nursing-Home Abuse Takes Effect in Oklahoma.” ABA Journal. November 20, 2013.
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5 Dog Breeds with the Strongest Bites

January 2, 2018 Animal Attack 0 Comments

dog attackEvery year, dog attacks send thousands of people to the hospital. According to recent statistics from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million dog bites are recorded every year in the U.S., and a large portion of those bites get infected, leading to further complications. Whether a dog is reacting to a stressful situation, feels threatened or is simply protecting her puppies, a bite can mean serious injury, disfigurement and even broken bones.

Believe it or not, some of the smallest canines are more prone to biting. Pekingese, chihuahuas, Lhasa Apsos and Jack Russel terriers top the list for dogs that bite the most, but when considering the potential dangers of a nip, which canine breed delivers the strongest bite? The most accurate way to answer this question is by looking at the PSI strength, which is the pound per square inch of biting force.

Not surprisingly, the dogs with the strongest bites are not tiny toy breeds – they are medium and large-sized canines that are common pets in many households.

Which dogs have the strongest bites?

There are two main breeds that are associated with the most severe dog attack injuries, the pit bull and the Rottweiler, the latter of which has one of the strongest biting forces at a whopping 328 PSI.


Renowned for their endurance, agility and intelligence, Rottweilers have a stout, powerful build and are often used in police work due to their dependable guarding instincts, trainability and strength. The bite force of this popular breed is 328 pounds per square inch – more than double the average Rottweiler weight.

English Mastiffs

In terms of sheer body mass, the English Mastiff is the largest dog breed. The biggest of these gentle giants tipped the scales at nearly 350 pounds, roughly the size of a small donkey. Thankfully this breed is praised for its loving nature as its bite force is 556 pound per square inch.


This medium-large breed is cherished for its fierce loyalty, and often used for protecting property and family. Dobermans have earned a reputation for being vicious and overly aggressive, but the personality and temperament of each dog hinges on how it was raised and trained. One thing is for certain: with a bite force of 245 PSI, their jaws are capable of breaking bones.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are among the most popular canine pets, thanks to their keen intelligence, loyalty and ability to learn new tasks. Shepherds are often used in search and rescue missions, police operations and as service dogs, and can be wonderful companions. While they can be docile pets, German Shepherds have an extremely powerful bite force of 238 PSI.

American Bulldogs

This breed is known for its stocky, muscular build and confident nature. Historically bred as a utility dog for catching animals on working farms and protecting the owner’s property, American Bulldogs can also make nice family pets if properly trained and socialized. When threatened or provoked, they may be prone to attack, and have a bite force of 305 PSI.

Despite good training and responsible ownership, even family pets with no history of aggression can lash out and bite. If you suffered injuries from a dog bite or animal attack in Louisiana, you may be entitled to legal compensation from negligent parties. Discuss your options for legal recourse with Lafayette dog bite lawyer Bart Bernard. Call today for a free case review with no obligation to proceed!

Additional Resources:

  1. PetComments, Top 12 Dogs with the Strongest Bite
  2. CanineJournal, Dog Bite Statistics
  3. PuppyToob, 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds Based on Biting and Fatality Statistics
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What to Do If You’re Bitten by a Dog

December 20, 2017 Animal Attack 0 Comments

dangerous dog barking aggressivelyEvery year, 4.5 million dog bites happen in the United States. While we tend to think of dogs as friendly and furry, many dog bites occur in the home — as many as half. Even more worrisome, 20% of the injuries caused by dog bites become infected. Infections can be serious and even lead to death.

One-half of the victims of dog bites every year are children between 5 and 9 years old.

What to Do If a Dog Bites

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it’s very important to remain calm. Do not strike or raise your voice to the dog.

Dogs bite for multiple reasons, including their own fear of being attacked. They may perceive being struck or spoken to loudly as an attack, and bite again or attack. If they are biting because they have rabies, striking or screaming at them may exacerbate their behavior.

Remove yourself immediately from the dog’s vicinity.

Then, take the following steps.

  1. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Put an antibiotic ointment on the injury after the area is washed and dried. Re-apply as indicated on the packaging.
  3. If the area the dog bit is bleeding or has torn the skin, place a sterile bandage on any wound.
  4. Elevate the area.
  5. Call a physician immediately if you are bleeding or there is damage to skin, muscles, or other tissues. It is also highly advisable to call a physician if you have not had a tetanus shot within five years or if the dog was acting strangely. The latter can be a sign of rabies. Note that frothing at the mouth is not necessarily present if a dog has rabies.
  6. If you do not call a physician because the wound didn’t cause bleeding or break the skin, monitor the area for signs of infection. If the area becomes painful, red, or warm to the touch, you need to see a physician. It may be infected.
  7. If the dog was acting strangely or the attack was extreme, consider calling the police or your local animal control authority. Authorities need to be notified if an animal poses a danger to the community.

When a Dog Attacks in Louisiana

Owners of dogs who bite can be held liable under Louisiana state law if they knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous, and did not take reasonable care to prevent an animal attack.

The law also specifies that the dog cannot have been provoked. A child poking a neighbor’s animal with a sharp stick, for example, could be considered provocation in court.

Do You Need a Louisiana Dog Bite Attorney?

Animal attacks can be serious, causing injury and even death. The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers is experienced in dog bite law in Louisiana. We will conduct an exhaustive investigation of the circumstances of your dog bite to make sure you are fully compensated for the injuries and losses you sustained, and to make sure that a dangerous dog is not allowed to harm others in the same way.

We have offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette for the convenience of our clients. Our initial consultation is completely free, with no obligation. Call Lafayette dog bite attorney Bart Bernard today to see how much your case is worth!

More on what to do after a dog bite:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing Dog Bites.
  2. WebMD. Dog Bites.
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One of the 5 Most Dangerous Jobs May Surprise You

December 19, 2017 Maritime 0 Comments

commercial fishingEvery job comes with risks, but some are inherently more dangerous than others. Desk jockeys may be more prone to suffering cardiovascular problems, tension headaches and poor circulation, but some professions are considered downright hazardous when it comes to workplace accidents and fatalities. Jobs that involve extreme weather, grueling hours, heavy equipment, toxic chemicals and harsh environments increase the danger level by a few notches.

According to the most recent statistics available from the United States Department of Labor, there were 4,836 work-related deaths in 2015, not including those who died while serving in the armed forces. Certain industries dominated the list for most fatal workplace accidents, and the lion’s share of these jobs are performed by men.

Here’s a look at some of the most dangerous professions today.


Statistically speaking, logging is the most hazardous industry in the United States with a fatal accident rate of 132 per 100,000 workers. To put this in context, logging is nearly 40 times more dangerous than the average job. Experts say that one of the biggest dangers faced by workers is hidden tree limbs and branches that can suddenly topple.

Commercial fishing

Falls overboard and vessel malfunctions/sinkings are the primary dangers to commercial fisherman. The industry’s fatality rate is 29 times greater than the national average, according to a recent analysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than half of all commercial fishing deaths are a result of a “vessel disaster.” The number of deaths has been steadily increasing over the years, to a staggering 127 per 100,000 workers.

Pilots and aircraft engineers

Charged with operating and repairing planes, helicopters and other aircraft, pilots and flight engineers are exposed to numerous hazards. Crashes and other dangers set the stage for a high fatality rate of  40 per 100,000 workers.

Sanitation workers

Maybe the biggest surprise on the list of most dangerous jobs is “sanitation worker”. Sanitation workers deal with unwieldy hazardous materials on a daily basis, as they collect, compress and transport refuse and recyclables. This occupation is another dangerous profession with approximately 39 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Offshore drilling

Offshore rig workers are seven times more likely to be killed on the job than those employed in other professions, reports the CDC. Many drilling operations take place in remote locales with rough seas and harsh conditions that make it challenging for emergency evacuations. Offshore rig workers often suffer catastrophic injuries from fires, machinery malfunctions and explosions.

Maritime accident attorney in Louisiana

If you were seriously harmed or lost someone you love in an oil rig or commercial fishing accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation for mental anguish, lost wages, physical disability, loss of future earnings and medical costs. Maritime accidents and related injuries are governed by a unique set of regulations and laws. Bart Bernard is an experienced offshore injury lawyer serving the Lafayette and Baton Rouge communities who can outline your rights to legal damages. When you are saddled with medical bills and life-changing injuries, you need to focus on your recovery, not the litigation process.

For a free consultation and case evaluation with a Louisiana attorney who specializes in maritime law, please call our law offices today.

Additional Resources on Dangerous Jobs:

  1. Forbes, America’s Deadliest Jobs
  2. CNBC, The 10 most dangerous jobs for men
  3. Ranker, The Most Dangerous Jobs in America
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Bart Bernard Giving Back to Acadiana Families For The Holidays

December 17, 2017 News 0 Comments

Nominate a Family for our Christmas Giveaway !

Bart Bernard is spearheading a campaign aptly named , to help make sure children in Acadiana have a great Christmas.

Bart Bernard recently featured in the “What’s Happening” segment on  KADN-TV News 15.    More information on the Christmas Giveaway here in this video:

Bart Bernard Christmas giveaway Acadiana

If you know a child that might be deserving of a Christmas gift this year, or a family that may need some help, we want to hear from you.   We’re collecting toys to distribute to children and helping to feed families in our community.    To find out how you can participate, donate, or nominate a child or children or family who might benefit from this program,  email the details  to

This is an idea that someone gave us and we thought it was a great addition to the other annual campaigns that we currently run.  We’ve seen from the outpouring of responses that there is a real need for this here in Acadiana as many families have been hard hit by the recent economic conditions.  We also live here in this community, and we are committed to helping our neighbors this holiday season.”   


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3 Leading Causes of Injury and Death in Older Americans

December 13, 2017 Slip And Fall Injuries 0 Comments

slip trip and fall injuryEver wonder what the 3 leading causes of injury and death in Americans aged 65 and over are?

#1. Falls

The leading cause of injury and death for older Americans is falls. Twenty-five percent of senior citizens fall annually. A fall is not a minor accident for the elderly. Over 2.8 million injuries stemming from falls are treated in emergency rooms every year. More than 800,000 people 65 or over are hospitalized every year due to falls.

Sadly, falls cause more than 27,000 deaths every year among senior citizens. That’s one death every 19 minutes.

While falls strike the elderly disproportionately, the second and third leading cause of injuries and deaths in the elderly are also issues for the population as a whole.

#2. Heart Disease

The second leading cause of death in the elderly is heart disease, including strokes, arrhythmias, and heart attacks. Senior citizens need to eat healthily and exercise regularly to keep heart disease at bay.

#3. Cancer

The third leading cause of death is cancer. The elderly are at higher risk for cancer, although there is no current general agreement about what contributes to the higher risk. Breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer are three of the most common cancers across all age groups.

Preventive measures can help increase your chances of not getting cancer, including regular screenings for breast and colon cancer after the age of 50 and, for lung cancer, not smoking or quitting if smoking is a habit.

Your Recourse in a Slip and Fall Accident

If you or an older loved one has slipped and fallen due to the actions of another, contact Louisiana slip and fall lawyer Bart Bernard to see if you are eligible to bring a suit for damages. The law in Louisiana holds that another party was negligent if a situation would be recognized by a reasonable person as clearly dangerous, the other party had a responsibility to keep the area where the accident took place safe, knew the situation was dangerous, had time to rectify the situation, and did not do so.

So, for example, if an elderly person slipped and fell in a store in which milk had been spilled but not cleaned up properly, the owners of the store could be liable. The situation is clearly dangerous, the store owners have a duty to make it safe, and did not.

Do You Need an Attorney Experienced in Slip and Fall Accidents?

The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers is seasoned in litigating slip and fall accidents. Slip and falls harm far too many senior citizens in Louisiana. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a fall, don’t delay — make sure you take full advantage of your legal right to compensation!

Your initial consultation is completely free of charge. We charge no fees unless we win money for you. Call or contact us online today!

More Resources on the Dangers of Falls for the Elderly:

  1. National Council on Aging. Fall Prevention Facts.
  2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls Are Leading Cause of Injury and Death in Older Americans.
  3. Very Well. Top Health Conditions for Adults Over 65.
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