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LAKE Charles Law Blog

How are class action settlements distributed?

The resolution of a class action lawsuit in Lake Charles can be a tedious process no matter what your level of involvement in the case may be. Hopefully, however, after all is said and done, a favorable ruling is issued and a settlement is awarded. Once that happens, it inevitable question then becomes “Now what?”

Your main interest then becomes what portion of that settlement you may be entitled to. As a class action lawsuit can potentially involve hundreds of plaintiffs, finding an answer to that question may not be easy. Thus, the decision of how to disperse the proceeds of a class action award is usually left to the court that issued the ruling.

Understanding CC&Rs

For those looking to buy a home in St. Charles, one of the main advantages of ownership that they likely hope to enjoy is the freedom to do what they want with their property. While most may understand that zoning laws and city ordinances mean that home modifications must be within reason, many new homebuyers still likely believe they have full control over landscaping as well as interior and exterior design decisions. However, that may not be true in some cases.

Those who move into a planned development (such as a subdivision or gated community) often become subject to certain rules known as covenants, conditions and restrictions. The real estate website Redfin.com defines CC&Rs as freedoms a homebuyer forfeits in order to be part of a shared community. Many associate CC&Rs with homeowners associations, when in reality they can also be mandated by builders, developers and community planners.  

Ways to increase your credit score before buying a house

Your home may be the biggest investment you ever make. If you are looking for your dream home, you could stay there forever and end up paying principal and interest for up to 30 years. When you apply for a loan, your credit score can directly affect your ability to borrow the money you need, and it may increase the interest rate you pay each month, increasing the actual price of your house by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If your score is above 580, you may qualify for an FHA loan, but a conventional mortgage loan often requires you have a FICO score of 720 or 740 in some cases. The importance of good credit brings you to the question of how you can build your credit score before buying a house.

Louisiana sees jump in auto accidents

Louisiana residents who take care to drive safely and defensively have good reason to feel frustrated with those drivers who choose to make dangerous choices. Whether a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol, sends or reads text messages while driving or drives at excessive speeds, the end result can be the same. Innocent people are put in harm's way and too often are injured or even killed because of it.

Distracted driving is just one of the things that some people are suggesting has contributed to a jump in the number of vehicle accidents in Louisiana. According to Louisiana State University's Highway Safety Program, auto wrecks increased by 12.4 percent from 2011 to 2015. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration indicates that nationally the increase during those five years was 18 percent. In Louisiana, a seven-percent increase was seen in one year from 2014 to 2015.

One dead, two hurt in suspected drunk driving crash

Louisiana residents may appreciate their state's zest for life and celebrations but they nonetheless deserve and want to know that they are safe when on the road. Sadly, when drivers make the choice to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheels of their vehicles, the safety of others takes a hit. Despite strong public awareness, drunk driving continues to cause heartache in Louisiana.

An example can be seen in a recent crash that happened in the latter part of a Thursday morning. A tow truck was stopped along the side of a stretch of Interstate 55 and the driver was helping a man with his vehicle that was disabled for some reason. The tow truck operator was reported to be standing outside of his vehicle on the road side, not the shoulder side, when he was hit by a 48-year-old drunk driver. The tow truck driver, who was only 34 years old, was pronounced dead at the crash site.

Americans see increased danger on roads

Louisiana residents who are concerned about vehicle accidents have good reason for their concerns. While accidents are in fact a part of life, newly released data indicates that the number of people dying on roads all across America has increased at a dangerous rate in the past couple of years. Injury accidents are also a significant problem.

In 2016, it is estimated that 4.6 million people were injured in automobile crashes. Those injuries have many consequences for individuals and companies alike. The impact includes lost time and potential income as well as lost productivity for employers. Medical expenses and costs associated with repairing vehicles or compensating for other property damages can add up.

Jury makes award in drunk driving accident

After a motor vehicle accident occurs in Louisiana, it is possible for both criminal and civil actions to be initiated. In some cases, only one form of action results but both are possible. While criminal actions may help ensure that people who have broken the law serve appropriate consequences, it is through civil actions that those injured may receive personal compensation.

An example of a case in which both criminal and civil actions resulted after a crash involves a mother and her two children. The family was in a vehicle on the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway in the spring of 2012 when hit by another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle was a doctor and, according to reports, the doctor was driving with a blood alcohol level of .021 percent. While criminal charges for drunk driving would be expected in a case like this, that actually never happened. Other criminal charges for vehicular negligent injury were pursued, however, and the defendant was sentenced to a five-year sentence of home incarceration.

Defining class certification requirements

People in Lake Charles likely hear news of class action lawsuits quite frequently. Yet even with the publicity that such lawsuits generate, many may know little about them other than the fact that they are brought by multiple plaintiffs. This may lead some to mistakenly believe that any case involving more than one complainant qualifies as a class action lawsuit.

Information shared by the American Bar Association states that in order to initiate a class action, one must first have an adequately defined class whose purposes are precise and unambiguous to the point that the court can feasibly determine who its members are. Furthermore, the definition of one’s class cannot be so broad that it allows for inclusion of parties that could not have been harmed by a defendant’s conduct. Those wanting to form a class must also show that there is an ascertainable way to identify members using objective criteria.

Recovering from a drunk driving accident

From speeding to texting while behind the wheel, there are many examples of reckless behavior that can lead to a motor vehicle accident. However, an unnaceptable number of drivers continue to get in their cars after drinking too much alcohol. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, your life may be thrown upside down in various ways and you should try to restore a sense of normalcy. At Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South, our Lake Charles law firm knows all too well how devastating DUI crashes are for families across Louisiana.

When a drunk driver puts lives at risk, entire families may experience unimaginable devastation. Even if you or a loved one were fortunate enough to survive an accident, you may be struggling with a permanent injury or tremendous physical pain. Because the consequences of a drunk driving collision can be so severe, drunk drivers must be held responsible and you should explore every resource that is available as you try to move forward.

Louisiana traffic accident leaves one hurt

Each day, people are injured across the country in various types of motor vehicle accidents. Sadly, many of these injuries never should have happened in the first place and were the result of reckless behavior, such as drinking and driving or speeding. In Lake Charles, LA, crashes caused by negligent behavior can leave victims with a host of problems that virtually destroy their life, such as debilitating pain, medical costs, an inability to work and lifelong complications due to a severe injury.

Law enforcement officials say that a motor vehicle accident that recently happened in Louisiana left one person injured. At the scene of the crash, a vehicle with a shattered windshield had flipped over. However, more details on the nature of the accident have not yet been released by authorities.

Lundy, Lundy Soileau & South, LLP

Main Office: 501 Broad Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 | Phone: 337-439-0707

Mailing Address: PO Box 3010 Lake Charles, LA 70602 | Fax: 337.439.1029