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LAKE Charles Law Blog

Deadly days of summer for teen drivers

As families across Louisiana gear up for summer road trips, it is important to use caution on the road and to stay vigilant. As CNN reports, Memorial Day kicked off the "100 deadliest days" behind the wheel for teen drivers, which have seen more than 5,000 people killed in car crashes that involved teen drivers over this time period from 2010 to 2014.

In fact, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 16 percent more likely to end up in a car crash in these 100 days than the other 265 days of the year. Experts believe there are several factors that contribute to this increase. First, summer vacation gives teens more time to be on the road since they are out of schools and may have fewer activities, which means more time for cruising as compared to purposeful driving to and from school. This also means their friends likely have more availability as well, which adds to risks on the road. Many states have restrictions on passengers for newly-licensed drivers because the distractions teen drivers face when their friends accompany them in the car can be great. With a passenger in the car, a teen driver is 44 percent more likely to have a deadly crash than if they are alone in the car.

Concussion laws in Louisiana

As concussions in sports become a concern for parents across the nation deciding if they want their children to participate, it is worth knowing that Louisiana has laws on the books to help protect young athletes. According to The Advertiser, the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act was passed in 2011 and it established educational requirements for those involved in youth sports. Now, all officials, coaches, and staff, whether they are paid or volunteers, who are involved in youth sports for children between the ages of 7 and 17 to attend annual training on recognizing the symptoms of concussions.

Under the law, if there is any concern at all that a child has suffered a concussion they are to be removed from playing until a medical professional has cleared them to play again. This is meant to protect from a repeat injury because multiple concussions can result when the original injury was not properly treated and given the necessary time needed to heal. The training helps to set up a protocol to be followed, both to help the young athlete and to protect the organization from liability.

Louisiana's laws on distracted driving

Louisiana drivers who are concerned for their safety and the safety of those they love when faced with distracted drivers on the road should understand the state's laws on this topic. While 14 states around the nation have already banned the use of any cell phone in handheld mode by any driver, Louisiana has not according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Instead, Louisiana only restricts people with learner or intermediate driving privileges from the handheld use of a mobile phone while driving. When it comes to using cell phones in a hands-free mode, it is only school bus drivers and those persons in their first 12 months of being licensed who may not use a phone at all when behind the wheel. For these groups, this law is a primary law which means an officer could pull a driver over and cite them for that reason only. Texting while driving is expressly illegal for all drivers at all times.

Drunk driving death realities in Louisiana

Louisiana residents may have an infectious joy for life and a zest for celebrating but that does not negate the responsibility that every person who drives a motor vehicle has to act responsibly. People who make the choice to get behind the wheel of a car or other vehicle after consuming alcohol put themselves and countless other innocent people at risk. Just how big of a problem is drunk driving in Louisiana?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drunk drivers kill more people per capita in Louisiana than the rest of the nation. In 2012 alone, there were 3.3 people out of every 100,000 killed by drunk drivers around the country. In Louisiana, that number was 5.2 per 100,000. The disparity can be seen across all age groups as well.

How to find a good real estate agent

Once you decide to sell or purchase a home in Louisiana, you may find yourself at a crossroads about what you should do next. Regardless of the type of real estate transaction you intend to make, you should find a real estate agent you can trust to help. A good agent can mean the difference between you having a great and hassle-free experience and a troublesome one. 

Although real estate agents sell and show houses all the time, they may not necessarily represent your best interests. Here are some tips to improve your chances of choosing a good real estate agent for your situation. 

Ban on affordable housing requirement passes Senate

A bill in the Louisiana senate is trying to ban affordable housing mandates in real estate developments. According to The Times-Picayune, rising rents in new Orleans lead to a city ordinance for “inclusionary zoning” that would require 12 percent of condos or apartments to sell or rent for lower than market rate. This bill, which was approved by the Senate, will prevent that city ordinance from taking effect for fear that it will halt development.

Inclusionary zoning to ensure affordable housing became possible by law in Louisiana in 2006, but no city had put it into effect. New Orleans is considering the 12 percent affordable housing study because many of the workers at the city’s many tourist venues are being forced further and further away from the sources of their livelihood by the high cost of living. Those for the ordinance believe that keeping the housing available to members of the workforce in areas with access to neighborhood services and public transportation is beneficial.

Unleashed dog goes for postal worker

To some people in Louisiana, the image of a mail carrier walking down a neighborhood street carrying a bag of mail may harken back to past, more relaxed times. However, this is still a big part of many postal carriers' days as they often get out of their trucks and deliver letters or packages on foot and by hand. In the process, they have to navigate things like uneven pavement, lifted pieces of sidewalks and loose dogs.

All of these things can pose a hazard to a mail carrier who is simply trying to do their job and serve the public. When the people responsible for things fail to take care of them, a mail carrier may be injured. That is exactly what happened in New Orleans in the spring of 2016. An unleashed dog managed to attack a postal carrier who was walking along a stretch of Moss Street in New Orleans while on the job.

Does Louisiana have any dram shop laws on its books?

Say that while driving your car in or around Lake Charles, you are struck by another driver who later was found to be intoxicated. He or she claims to have been at a bar who served him or her enough drinks to logically assume that he or she was too intoxicated to drive. On top of seeking compensation from the driver and his or her insurance company, can you also go after the establishment whose service contributed to getting him or her drunk for negligence?

The legal doctrine of dram shop laws places vicarious liability on establishments for their part in contributing to the negligent actions of their patrons. This doctrine draws it roots from old English taverns that sold their gin by the dram. Many states have enacted dram shop laws that would allow you to sue the bar mentioned in the opening example that served the driver that struck you (in most cases, you would have to prove that it’s employees knew the driver was drunk and still continued to serve him or her, or that they knowingly served alcohol to a minor). Yet Louisiana does not have such a law on its books. In fact, Louisiana statutes clearly state that it views the action of drinking to intoxication as being negligent, not the sale or serving of the drinks that help one reach such a state.

Does Roundup really cause cancer?

Are you a cancer patient who has used the weed killer called Roundup in the past? If so, you may have heard about the potential link between Roundup and cancer. Whether you have overheard it around work or read something in the news, you are likely rightfully concerned.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer cited research that the weed killer is a potential carcinogen that can cause cancer. Below is an overview of safety concerns surrounding Roundup and some recent findings.

Use of pesticides inspires controversy and legislation

Many in Louisiana, and around the country, have heard about the Environmental Protection Agency rejecting their own scientific conclusions about the safety of a widely used pesticide. As the New York Times reports, the new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, reversed a ban on the use chlorpyrifos. This chemical is used on over 40,000 farms in the country, but has been banned for household use since 2000.

The petition asking the EPA to ban all forms of chlorpyrifos was originally filed 10 years ago, and studies, including one at Columbia University, found that the chemical had potentially harmful effects on children and farm workers who were exposed to it through various sources, including drinking water. Those people who suffered ill-effects had problems with memory and other learning issues. Early this year, the EPA declined a ban on the chemical, allowing chlorpyrifos to continue to be used on farms across the nation.

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