Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

What is PlanLafayette 2035?

January 6, 2020 News 0 Comments

Lafayette, Louisiana is one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States. It is expected to grow by an additional 40% by the year 2030. With the growth comes challenges including but not limited to flooding, traffic, and inadequate infrastructure and community services.

What is PlanLafayette 2035?
PlanLafayette 2035?

PlanLafayette 2035 is the parish-wide vision for Lafayette over the next 15 years. It lays out an action plan to handle the struggles that come with growth. It was adopted by the Lafayette City-Parish Planning Commission on June 14, 2014. 

There are ten elements to PlanLafayette 2035. 

  • Land Use

The plan focuses growth in mixed-use centers with greater access to transit, jobs, walkable neighborhoods, and parks and recreation. The growth will occur in a connected fashion, which will enable the city to use less land and reduce costs.

  • Community Character

Lafayette is unique because of its rich Cajun and Creole heritage and its authentic “joie de vivre.” The plan seeks to preserve and capitalize on Lafayette’s authentic culture. It proposes to accomplish this goal by creating new housing and retail spaces along with bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets. The plan wants to avoid the development of sterile commercial spaces and roads that are solely for automobile use.

  • Housing and Neighborhoods

PlanLafayette 2035 strives to provide high quality, affordable, and diverse housing choices across the urban, suburban, and rural areas of the parish. It will encourage the rehabilitation and reuse of declining housing.

  • Historical and Cultural Resources

Lafayette’s culture is at the center of its identity, and the plan seeks to highlight and promote key historical and cultural resources. Additionally, the proposal aims to increase community arts and cultural access across the region. New parks, plazas, and community buildings will be designed to celebrate Lafayette’s cultural heritage.

  • Economic Development

PlanLafayette 2035 recognizes the need to broaden employment sectors and produce more skilled workers locally for local jobs. Right now, Lafayette depends on three primary industries, petroleum, health care, and higher education. Further, the plan also wants to leverage research and development activity at the University of Louisiana Lafayette to grow local businesses.

  • Transportation and Mobility

With the increasing population, congestion on roadways is worsening. The plan wants to address this problem by increasing road network connectivity and expanding the availability of alternative travel options.

  • Utilities

The plan recognizes that Lafayette must make timely investments in electric, water, wastewater, and telecommunications systems to handle future growth and continue to provide reliable service at competitive rates.

  • Community Facilities and Services

The plan identifies that Lafayette must continue to provide high-quality police, fire, and EMS services as the community grows. Additionally, school facilities needs must be addressed to ensure that local graduates are receiving the training and skills they need to compete in the job market and contribute to the community. The plan hopes to improve coordination across all parishes in the Acadiana region. 

  • Recreation and Open Space

PlanLafayette 2035 wants to maintain and expand Lafayette’s parks, recreations, and open spaces to provide opportunities for all residents to enjoy Lafayette’s natural resources. The plan seeks to promote a healthy community. 

  • Resource Conservation

Currently, the region is at high risk of flooding, which is a significant concern to citizens and local businesses. To address this issue, the plan seeks to monitor and maintain the existing drainage network and conserve and protect natural resources.

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Famous People From Lafayette, LA

January 3, 2020 News 0 Comments

Many famous actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians are from Lafayette, Louisiana.

Personal lnjury Lawyers, Lafayette, LA


  1. Angela Kinsey

Angela Kinsey was born in Lafayette, LA in 1971. She is known for her role playing Angela Martin on the hit TV show “The Office.” She also had a role in “Your Famous or Mine” and “Haters Back Off.”

  • Danneel Ackles (Danneel Harris)

Danneel Ackles was born in Lafayette, LA in 1979. She had a reoccurring role on “One Tree Hill” for two seasons as Rachel Gatina. She also has had roles in the daytime soap “One Life to Live” and “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay.” 

  • Richard Keith

Richard Keith was born in Lafayette, LA in 1950. He famously played Little Ricky on the popular sitcom “I Love Lucy.” He also had roles in “The Andy Griffith Show” (1960), “Route 66” (1960), “Shirley Temple’s Storybook” (1958), and “Hazel” (1961). His original Cajun last name “Thibodeaux” was changed by his producer to “Keith” because he believed it was too difficult to pronounce. Richard Keith graduated from Lafayette High School.


  1. Nnamdi Asomugha

Nnamdi Asomugha was born in Lafayette, LA in 1981. The Oakland Raiders drafted Asomugha in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers during his career. He was voted All-Pro four times during his 11-year NFL career.

  • Paul Bako

Paul Bako was born in Lafayette, LA in 1972. He is a former MLB player. During his 12-year MLB career as a catcher, he played for 11 different teams. Bako went to Lafayette High School and attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

  • Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier was born in Lafayette, LA in 1979. He is a mixed martial artist and former Olympic wrestler. Cormier is the current reigning champion of the heavyweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He attended Northside High School where he won three Louisiana State Championships in wrestling.

  • Ron Guidry

Ron Guidry was born in Lafayette, LA in 1950. He is a former MLB pitcher. Guidry played his entire 14-year career with the New York Yankees where he was given the nicknames “Louisiana Lightning” and “Gator.” Guidry won the Cy Young Award in 1978 and won five Golden Glove Awards. He attended Northside High School, and he went to college at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.


  1. Cupid (Bryson Bernard)

Bryson Bernard, known by his stage name Cupid, was born in Lafayette, LA in 1982. He has released four albums and is best known for his hit single “Cupid Shuffle.” He attended Northside High School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

  • Lauren Daigle

Lauren Daigle was born in Lafayette, LA in 1991. She is a contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter. Her third studio album, “Look Up Child,” and the album’s lead single, “You Say,” each earned Grammy Awards. She attended Louisiana State University.

  • Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes was born in Lafayette, LA in 1991. He is a popular country music singer and songwriter. Hayes has had enormous commercial success and has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist.


  1. Jimmy Hayes

Jimmy Hayes was born in Lafayette, LA in 1946. He is a Republican politician and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana’s 7th congressional district from 1987 to 1997. Hayes attended Southwestern Louisiana University and was a sergeant in the Louisiana Air National Guard.   

  • Jerry Luke LeBlanc

Jerry Luke LeBlanc was born in Lafayette, LA in 1956. He was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989 to 2004. He is currently Vice President of his alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 

  • Beth Rickey

Beth Rickey was born in Lafayette, LA in 1956. She was a Republican political activist who exposed the neo-Nazi connections of David Duke. Rickey attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she studied government.  

Your Lafayette Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car, motorcycle, or 18 wheeler accident and are looking for a local Lafayette accident lawyer, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers can provide you with the help that you need.

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A Profile of Lafayette, LA

December 31, 2019 News 0 Comments

Lafayette, Louisiana, nicknamed the Hub City, is located at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country. The city’s locals are known for Les Bons Temps Rouler or letting good times roll, and the Wall Street Journal’s recently named Lafayette the “Happiest City in America.”

personal injury lawyers Lafayette


Lafayette is located along the Vermillion River in the southwestern part of Louisiana. It is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish. Lafayette is a two-hour drive west from New Orleans. The area is known for its beautiful bayous and swamps teeming with wildlife.

The People and Culture

Lafayette, LA has a population of 127,657 according to the 2015 U.S. Census estimates, and it is the fourth largest city in Louisiana.

The Cajun and Creole cultures are heavily represented in Lafayette. Lafayette’s Cajun heritage is a result of “Le Gran Derangement” in 1755 when thousands of French Canadians settled in the area after being forced from their homes after refusing to renounce their Catholic religion. A significant portion of the Lafayette population is still Catholic today. The Cajun and Creole cultures can be seen in the city’s food, music, and art.


The Lafayette Parish School System serves the Lafayette community. The school district has 40 total schools, including seven high schools. With a large Roman Catholic population, Lafayette also has many parochial schools.

Lafayette is also home to the second largest university in the state—the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Over 19,000 students are enrolled at the research university, which is among the nation’s leaders in areas like computer science, environmental biology, and nursing. Additionally, Lafayette is home to South Louisiana Community College.

Things to Do

There is much to do Lafayette whether it is eating at the many restaurants serving flavorful dishes, listening to Zydeco or Cajun music, or exploring the outdoors. You do not have to look far to find great food; Lafayette has more restaurants per capita than most cities in the United States. Be sure to try local dishes like crawfish, boudin, gumbo, and étouffée.

Dance to Zydeco and Cajun music in one of the many dancehalls around the city. Many restaurants, like Randol’s or Prejean’s, offer live music nightly along with great food and drinks.

Lafayette offers plenty of outdoor activities. Swamp tours are available to explore the outdoors and companies, such as Cajun Country Swamp Tours or McGee’s, offer airboat swamp tours, paddling excursions, sunset tours, birding and wildlife tours, and photography trips.


Festivals are celebrated in Lafayette throughout the year. In the fall, thousands of people arrive in Lafayette for the Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, which celebrates the region’s indigenous music and culture. In the spring, Festival International de Louisiane is celebrated in downtown Lafayette with Francophone musicians and artists coming in from all over the world. In between these two huge festivals, Lafayette celebrates the Le Festival de Mardi Gras á Lafayette, the Boudin Cook-Off, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, and the Acadiana Po-Boy Festival, among other events.  

Your Lafayette Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident and are looking for a local Lafayette, Louisiana attorney, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers at 888-GET-BART. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers can provide you with the help that you need.

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When Should You Sue After a Car Accident?

November 8, 2019 Auto Accidents, Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

If you suffered a serious injury after a car accident, it is natural to want to take time to heal before seeking legal advice. Although focusing on recuperation is critical, you do not have the luxury of waiting too long before filing a personal injury lawsuit. That is due both to Louisiana law and the fact that an accident investigation should begin as soon as possible.

To protect your rights, obtain legal counsel promptly. A Bart Bernard Lafayette Personal Injury lawyer will fight for your rights while holding those responsible for your injuries accountable.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations

Unfortunately, Louisiana’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is one of the shortest in the country. If it is not filed within one year of the accident date, the court will not allow it to go forward.

If other vehicles involved in the accident belonged to a municipal, parish, state, or federal agency, the statute of limitations is even more limited. While Louisiana does not put a cap on damages for standard car accidents, when a government agency is involved, the limit on compensation is $500,000.

Evidence Collection

A successful personal injury lawsuit depends on evidence. In the aftermath of a car accident, evidence can disappear quickly. The sooner you engage an attorney, the faster the process of collecting evidence and building a case can begin.

Evidence in personal injury lawsuits resulting from car accidents may include:

  • Photos or videos of the scene
  • Police reports
  • Medical reports
  • Eyewitness accounts

Totaling your expenses relating to the car accident is also imperative. In addition to medical bills, include time lost from work, property damage to your vehicle, the need to hire caregivers or household help after your injury, the cost of transportation to and from healthcare provider appointments, rental vehicle fees, and the like. These are known as economic damages.

Non-economic damages also play a role in compensation. Such damages take into consideration:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship or affection

Figuring out the value of non-economic damages is more complicated, and a lawyer can best determine the amount for the individual client. Once you add up these costs, you will have a better idea of whether it makes sense to file a personal injury lawsuit, or whether you should file a claim with the insurance company.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Perhaps you think that just letting the insurance companies handle the particulars of the accident is a good way to proceed. Unfortunately, that often means a lowball settlement offer. Insurance companies are in the business of paying a little as possible for claims.

To the layperson, what sounds like a reasonable settlement offer proves inadequate. At the least, a lawyer will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to ensure the client’s compensation pays for present and future accident-related needs.

There is another crucial reason to let a lawyer handle insurance negotiation. The injured person could inadvertently make a statement to the insurance company that the insurer will then use against them to deny or significantly reduce the claim. When an insurance company knows that an accident victim has retained an attorney, they are more willing to negotiate.

Maximum Medical Improvement

While the short statute of limitations in Louisiana governs part of the decision-making process when filing a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party and the lawyer should know whether the person had reached “maximum medical improvement” before filing the lawsuit. That means the person has improved as much as can be expected based on their injuries. If maximum medical improvement leaves the person with permanent or long-term impairment, their ongoing financial needs become clearer.

Contact a Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer

After suffering injuries in a car accident because of another driver’s reckless or negligent actions, you need the expertise of a personal injury attorney.  We will review your case and advise you of your options going forward.

A Lafayette car accident lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers can help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us 24/7 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Most cases are settled, but we will go to trial if the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement amount.

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Opioid Epidemic Revealed: 76 Billion Pills, 130 Deaths a Day

July 25, 2019 Opioids 0 Comments
close up of a group of white tablets with an out of focus prescription bottle in the background

Two years ago, opioids accounted for two-thirds of the 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States. More than 130 people died from opioid abuse each day, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data.

Thirty-six percent of opioid deaths involved prescription drugs like buprenorphine, codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone.

While more than 100,000 Americans died from an opioid painkiller overdose, manufacturers were busy increasing distribution by over 50 percent, pumping an additional 8.4 billion hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into commercial pharmacies. Newly released federal data analyzing the nation’s peak addiction crisis from 2006 to 2012 revealed that a total of 76 billion pills were distributed during this time period.

The distribution data is a key element of more than 2,000 lawsuits filed by state, local, and tribal governments looking to hold drug companies accountable for a largely preventable crisis that has spiraled out-of-control.

Drugmakers Role Put Into the Spotlight

“There’s been massive overprescribing, overconsumption of opioids in the United States,” explained Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Doctors have found themselves in the crossfire for years, but Dr. Kolodny told CNN the recently released data places the spotlight on the role distributors, retailers, and drugmakers have had in the crisis.

Roughly half the pills distributed from 2006 to 2012 were distributed by McKesson (14.1 billion), Walgreens (12.6 billion), and Cardinal Health (10.7 billion). More than two-thirds were manufactured by Actavis Pharma (26.5 billion) and SpecGx (28.9 billion). Purdue Pharma received a $635 million federal fine in 2007 for falsely claiming OxyContin was less addictive than other opioids, but their 2.5 billion pills accounted for just 3.3% of the overall market share.

Scott Higham, an investigator with the Washington Post, says the data confirms some of what we already knew – that West Virginia is the epicenter of the crisis. However, they were surprised to see the level of saturation in places like Nevada, Tennessee, South Carolina. “This is an epidemic that… knows no bounds, and it has just spread everywhere,” he explains.

Most tellingly, millions of drugs were being pumped into very small communities, where only two or three thousand people reside.

In rural Mingo County, West Virginia, pharmacies distributed 203 pills-per-person each year. Nearly every family has been affected by the opioid crisis in some way. They’ve lost high school friends, coworkers, neighbors, parents, and children.

Many doctors were misled by aggressive marketing tactics and false reassurance from pharmaceutical companies. Time and time again, drug-makers turned a blind eye to “suspicious activity” that led to the rise of pill mills and drug diversion. Now two dozen drug companies are faced with thousands of lawsuits, consolidated in the U.S. District Court of Cleveland.

First Opioid Trial Scheduled for October

While the nation grapples with questions of “how we got here,” the courts take on the monumental task of determining how far liability should extend and how similar suits should proceed. Attorneys from across the country are testing their legal strategies in Oklahoma, where a trial is expected to last for most of the summer. The central argument is that Teva Pharmaceuticals and Janssen violated the state’s public nuisance law by creating a substantial health harm in small communities. So far, the testimony has focused on manufacturers’ role in getting patients hooked on opioids through aggressive and often misleading marketing.

Purdue Pharma settled with the state for $270 million in March. Teva Pharmaceuticals settled for $85 million in June. Janssen continued on as the sole defendant, with parent company Johnson & Johnson losing a plea to drop the lawsuit this month. Larger federal litigation involving 1,900 lawsuits is scheduled for October.

Babies Born Addicted to Opioids

Part of the epidemic includes women who became addicted to opioids before becoming pregnant or while pregnant, and whose children, as a result, were born addicted. If your child was born addicted to prescription opioids, contact personal injury lawyer Bart Bernard for a free consultation.

No money is necessary upfront to pursue compensation through civil courts. You only pay for representation if you win your case and recover monetary damages. Call today to see if you qualify to file an opioid lawsuit.

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History of Acadiana and Lafayette, LA

June 3, 2019 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

Acadiana is the official term for the south and southwest regions of Louisiana. The area is roughly considered to contain the region west of the Mississippi River east to Lake Charles, LA. The northern boundary is considered to be Alexandria, LA. Lafayette, LA is regarded as the heart of Acadiana, which includes twenty-two parishes in total. Acadiana is also sometimes referred to as Cajun Country.

Acadiana riverboat in Lafayette, LA

Early History of the People

The name Acadiana is derived from the term Acadian, which refers to the people who left France in the 1600s seeking religious and cultural freedom. The Acadians settled in the French colony of Acadie (present-day Nova Scotia). Less than two centuries later after the colony was ceded to the British, the Acadians were again forced to leave their home after they refused to pledge allegiance to the British Crown and renounce their Catholic religion. This period, which began in 1755, is known as the Great Expulsion or the Grand Dérangement.

The resilient group of Acadians traveled south in waves with Joseph Broussard leading the first group to Louisiana in 1765. Many followed and the Acadians finally settled and flourished in the bayous, marshes, and prairies of what today is known as Acadiana.  

While the Cajuns are the most predominant population in Acadiana, the region is also home to people of Native American, Creole, German, and Spanish descent among others. Lafayette is one of Louisiana’s most cosmopolitan cities and the region’s diversity has contributed to its vibrant and unique culture.

Origin of the Acadiana Name

Although the Acadiana region has such a long storied history, the name Acadiana is actually a relatively recent development. Surprisingly, the term was an accidental invention, the result of a typo. The name was first used unofficially by local radio station KATC-TV 3 around 1963, according to the station’s general manager at the time. The station was locally owned by Acadian Television Corporation.

After an invoice addressed to the studio accidentally inserted an extra “A” at the end of Acadian, the studio decided to embrace the term and used it in its radio shows to describe the area that covered its broadcast signal. The station believed it to be the perfect combination between the words Acadie and Louisiana.

The station never copyrighted the term and people and businesses across the area began to adopt the name. Today there are dozens of businesses in the area with the Acadiana name. In 1971, less than ten years after its origination, the name became official when then Governor Edwin Edwards signed the bill designating the region Acadiana.

Your Acadiana Attorney

If you live in Acadiana or Lafayette and are looking for a personal injury attorney, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. The attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers are experts in personal injury law, including car, motorcycle, and 18-wheeler accidents. Call or visit our website to schedule your free, private consultation with The People’s Trial Lawyer™.

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Notable Cases From the Western District Court in Lafayette, LA

May 22, 2019 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

The Western District Court of Louisiana is the United States federal court with jurisdiction over the western portion of Louisiana. The Western District of Louisiana has five courthouses which are located in Lafayette, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe, and Shreveport. The Lafayette Division serves the parishes of St. Martin, Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Mary, St. Landry, and Vermillion. Below are some notable cases from the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division.

Scales of Justice and a Gavel in the background in Western District Court in Lafayette, Louisiana.
  1. Lafayette Court Cracks Down on Cockfighting

Prior to 2003, thousands of roosters were shipped in and out of Louisiana every year as part of the cockfighting industry. But in 2003, the U.S. Congress passed a law that made it illegal to ship birds across state lines for cockfighting. The United Gamefowl Breeders Association, a national cockfighting group, challenged the law in the Western District of Louisiana arguing that it was an unconstitutional interference of commercial rights and was discriminatory against Cajuns, Hispanics, Filipinos, and others.

In May 2005, the District Court disagreed with the United Gamefowl Breeders Association and held that the law prohibiting the shipping of birds for cockfighting was constitutional. The case is UGBA v. Veneman, No. 03-970 (W.D. La. 2005). Cockfighting was later banned by the Louisiana State Legislature in 2008.

  • Lafayette Court Orders School Desegregation

On November 11, 2016, the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division issued a final Superseding Consent Order in a school desegregation lawsuit originally filed in 1965. The case is Thomas v. St. Martin Parish School District.

In the 1960s, the District Court held that St. Martin Parish had an intentionally discriminatory school system. Under the U.S. Constitution and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, St. Martin Parish is required to provide educational programs and services without discriminating on the basis of race.

Since that original ruling, the District Court has entered numerous desegregation orders, but the school never earned unitary status. Unitary status is a legal term which means the school is no longer providing a dual education based on race. Once unitary status is achieved, the school will no longer be subject to court oversight.  

The Superseding Consent Order set forth the remedial measures that must be taken by the St. Martin Parish School Board to eliminate the traces of the formerly segregated school system. In order to be granted unitary status, the school must eliminate discrimination in six key areas: student assignment, teacher assignment, principal assignment, transportation, facilities, and extracurricular activities.

  • Lafayette Court Awards Punitive Damages to Big Pharma

In April 2015, Takeda, one of Asia’s largest drug makers, and Eli Lilly & Co., its Indianapolis-based partner, were ordered by the Western District of Louisiana federal court in Lafayette pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages after they hid the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes medicine. The $9 billion jury award was the 7th largest in U.S. history at the time it was given. The W.D. of Louisiana court also found that the company destroyed evidence relevant to the lawsuit and acted in bad faith to preserve documents.

The $9 billion award was later reduced by the U.S. District Judge to $36.87 million because it was in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause. Under the Due Process Clause, punitive damage awards cannot be grossly excessive in relation to the state’s legitimate interests in punishment and deterrence.  The $36.87 million punitive award was still believed to be significant enough to deter such wrongful conduct by pharmaceutical companies in the future. The case is In Re:  Actos [Pioglitazone] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 6:11/md-2299, W.D. La., Lafayette Div.).

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