Topic: Injury

Slip and Falls in Louisiana

Slip and Fall in Louisiana

In Louisiana, Rain can Make it Easier for You to Slip and Fall if Property Owners Don’t Maintain their Businesses

It rains in Louisiana year-round and while the rain keeps the sugar cane growing, it can sometimes result in injuries for you or someone you know.

Remember to take extra precaution during rainy days and know what you and property owners are responsible for when it’s raining. Caution is required from both sides or slip and fall injuries may be the result.

How Rainy Days Create the Perfect Storm for Slip and Fall Injuries

Frequent rainfall can lead to dangerous walking conditions in Louisiana. Your normal day at the grocery store could lead to an injury if you are not cautious and the store doesn’t take appropriate precautions.

1_01-slipandfall-rainWith Louisiana being prone to flooding and water build up in low areas, it is important to watch your step when walking outside. Potholes, uneven stairs, and cracked sidewalks can all be hidden or forgotten when it’s raining. Remember to tread carefully when it’s raining to avoid an accident.

Walking indoors can be just as dangerous. Water is tracked into stores and businesses regularly during downpours. With wet shoes and dripping umbrellas, floors can easily become a hazard. Be careful when walking on slippery, wet floors.

Responsibility to Prevent a Slip and Fall Accident

Avoiding a slip and fall accident is a joint effort from both you and the owner of the property you are on.

You have a responsibility to avoid obvious dangers that can put you at risk for injury. For example, if you see that a floor is wet, you cannot purposely walk through the wet area and expect it to be the property owner’s fault when you are injured. If you see a wet floor and decide to walk through it then you accept the risks and outcomes that may occur as a result of your decision. You must act as a reasonable, prudent person and avoid putting yourself at risk.

Steps for preventing slip and fall accidentsA property owner’s responsibility comes in when addressing the maintenance of the property. Landowners are expected to keep their property in good shape and to fix problems that could cause injuries. Stores and restaurants should also take active measures to protect their patrons from falling on a wet or slippery surface.

Louisiana law on this subject states that a property owner is responsible for damage caused by his or her property if it is a result of neglect. If the owner of a property knows or should have known about a broken step or loose handrail and refused to fix it, then they will likely be responsible for any resulting injuries.

During the rainy Louisiana days, remember to be extra careful when walking so you avoid a slip and fall accident. If you do slip and fall and believe the property owner is at fault, call Scott T. Gegenheimer. He will help you get the compensation you need to heal from your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

Filing a Claim for a Dog Bite

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

A dog bite can lead to a confusion of events and processes. Understanding the process for a dog bite claim will help you better navigate through your injury. Know what to do within certain amounts of time to help secure your compensation for any injuries you received during the attack.

Immediately After the Dog Bite

seek medical attention before pursuing a dog bite claimDirectly after a dog attacks, you should obtain medical treatment and notify authorities. Contact both animal control and your local police force and report the dog attack.

Seeking medical treatment will not only ensure your health, but also create a professional record of the attack that occurred. Reporting the attack to the local authorities will help minimize the risk of the dog attacking someone else. If the owner of the dog is unknown at the time, the report will also ensure the dog is secured for owner identification.

48 Hours After the Dog Bite

After you are medically stabilized, the doctor can create a preliminary medical report of your injuries, which will include the extent of your injuries and the cost related. At this point, you will need to contact a dog bite attorney, such as Scott T. Gegenheimer, who will assist you in pursuing a claim against the owner of the responsible dog.

Louisiana, being a strict liability state, places responsibility of the dog’s actions on the owner, regardless of past behavior. Barring that you did not provoke the dog by trespassing on private property or with animal cruelty, you are entitled to compensation.

Within 1 Week of the Dog Bite

Your attorney will send notification of the claim to the owner of the dog. This notification allows the dog owner time to seek representation and respond to the complaint. Normally, the dog owner will have 15 days to file an answer.

Within 4 Weeks of the Dog Bite

The continuation of the process will depend on the dog owner’s answer to your complaint. If the dog owner chooses to settle the claim outside of court then your attorney will help you receive the compensation you need based on your injuries and future treatment requirements.

If the dog owner decides to take the claim to trial then you and your attorney will compile evidence of the attack. You and your attorney will gather your medical records and police reports, contact any eyewitnesses, request depositions, and gather any additional evidence.

Scheduling a Trial

1_01-FilingaClaim_statecapitolYour attorney will proceed to continue the process of the claim by scheduling a court date. As availability differs based on the number of current claims, your court date and length of the trial will vary.

When the trial concludes, you will be awarded your monetary compensation or the dog owner will be found not at fault. If you wish to challenge the court on the ruling, you may file an appeal.

A Reminder for Dog Bite Injuries

Louisiana allows you to file a personal injury claim for one year after the incident. It is best to file the claim as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence and get the compensation you need for your injuries. You also do not have to wait to file a claim until you are finished receiving treatment.

Filing a dog bite claim quickly and getting assistance from a personal injury attorney will help ensure you are compensated for your injuries. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today for assistance in your dog bite incident.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

 

Common Slip and Fall Causes

Slip and Fall Causes

It happens to everyone, we trip on a foreign substance or slip on a wet floor, and most of the time we recover with nothing more than embarrassment or a small bump. Sometimes however, the trip or slip and fall causes us to receive injuries far worse than a minor bump. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 800,000 people a year end up hospitalized because of a fall injury. Often, slip and fall incidents stem from similar causes and may even have been avoided if the proper maintenance was followed.

The Common Slip and Fall Causes

Building Code Violations

Homes and company buildings must meet specific code requirements to be considered safe for people to use. A common cause of a trip and fall accident is a staircase not meeting regulations in height standards. The International Council Code states that the optimum height increase for stairs is between four and seven inches, any more or less can result in an injury due to unusual heights. The stair treads and risers should also be the same.

Other surfaces within a building, such as uneven or loose flooring, may also cause you to slip and fall. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, requires ground surfaces, including floors, to be stable, firm, and slip-resistant in residential property. The United States Department of Labor keeps work areas safe with regulation 1910.22(a)(3) stating, “Walking-working surfaces are maintained free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.”

1-01-SlipandFall_RootsLiftingSidewalkUnsafe Walking Areas

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property both inside and out. Doorways, hallways, sidewalks, and lawns need to be taken care of in order to prevent a dangerous situation to others. As stated in the United States Department of Labor regulation, walkways and store aisles need to be kept free of hazards. Weather conditions are not an acceptable excuse for dangerous walkways. Property owners who fail to make surfaces safe increase the risk of causing an injury to someone on their property. Property owners must create slip-resistant surfaces while it’s raining to prevent slips and falls.

Another aspect of keeping safe walking areas safe is proper lighting. Without enough light in an area, people have little chance to spot dangers or even choose to avoid dangers such as holes, uneven surfaces, or obstacles. While the requirement changes for different areas, the USDOL demands that workspaces such as offices have a minimum of 30 lumens per square foot. One lumen is the amount of a light a single candle gives to a one-foot square that is one foot away.

Rain can cause unsafe walking conditions. Other Causes

You may also find more unusual instances to be the cause of a slip and fall accident. Elevators not aligning with their designated floors or tree roots lifting sidewalks may cause someone to trip and receive a painful injury. In these instances, if the owner of the property failed to warn you of the potential hazard or should have known about the unsafe condition and failed to fix the problem, then they could be responsible for your injury.

When a slip and fall accident is caused by one of these more common reasons, it is likely you are not at fault and could receive compensation for your injury. If you slip and fall because of uneven stairs or walkways, slippery surfaces due to weather conditions, poor lighting, or a more unusual reason, you may not have to pay for your injury yourself. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today if you were injured during a slip and fall accident for a free consultation.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

What Should I do if a Dog Bites Me?

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Man’s best friend isn’t always friendly. Sometimes our furry companions turn against us and become aggressive and violent. Dogs can be unpredictable and put you or others you know in harms way. It doesn’t matter whether you are familiar with the dog or have never seen it before. If a dog becomes aggressive there are certain steps you should take to ensure you or your loved ones are safe and covered for the injuries incurred during the incident.

Treatment

Dogs have sharp teeth and can deeply puncture your skin to cause serious damage. Don’t wait to see if the wound will heal by itself; seek medical attention immediately after the incident. A physician will examine the wound for muscle, tendon or even bone damage, and administer the proper treatment. Additionally, you run the risk of infection when bitten. If the health of the dog is unknown, you may contract rabies and a rabies shot will be needed. A physician may also prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection.

Get witnesses after a dog biteProof

After you are out of harms way and have calmed down you’ll need to document proof of your attack. Have someone you know and trust get the following information while you are seeking medical treatment. Have them talk to the witnesses of the attack and get their contact information for future reference. You should also take pictures of any wounds you received during the attack so you have evidence of the extent of the wound after you receive treatment. If the owner is present, have someone get their contact information too and ask for copies of the vaccinations their dog has received. Contact their vet shortly after the attack to verify the vaccination record.

Report the Incident

Contact the police after a dog biteYou’ll need to report any dog attack to animal control or the police and give them the information of the owner and the information of any witnesses. You may also get a call from an insurance company if the owner is insured. Be sure to collect the information of the insurance company as well, including the claim number and the amount of money set aside for your medical expenses.

After you’ve obtained proof, received treatment, and reported the incident, consider obtaining an attorney versed in dog bite cases to help ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

A Loose Dog Caused Me to Crash My Car

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Many people automatically think a dog injury only occurs when a dog bites a person, which forces them to seek medical attention. While this is one type of injury caused by a dog, it’s not the only type of injury. When a driver swerves or brakes to avoid hitting a loose dog, it can cause serious property damage or bodily injury to you, your car, and others in the area. These types of injuries that are not a result of direct interaction with a dog but are still caused by a dog are considered dog-related damages.

Louisiana Law

Louisiana addresses the negligence of a dog owner with specific legal doctrine. When a dog owner does not take precautions to prevent their dog from causing injury to others then they can be held liable. Louisiana doctrine states that dogs must be secure at all times, either on a leash or behind secured fences, and that a dog does not have to bite anyone in order for the doctrine to apply. If a dog causes someone to injure him or herself through directly targeted behavior, then the owner can be liable for the resulting damages and injuries. This means that if a dog causes a car wreck then the owner is responsible.

Responsibility of the Accident

While Louisiana is a strict liability state, meaning a dog owner is responsible for any injuries their dog causes, a situation can become complicated if more than one car is involved in a wreck.

If a dog causes a car crash it is considered a dog-related injury.If your car is the only one affected when a dog causes a car wreck then the owner of the dog is likely responsible for the accident. The resulting injury and/or property damage caused by the negligence of the dog owner to properly secure their dog means that it is the owner’s responsibility to pay for the damage.

If several cars are involved while avoiding the dog then two or more parties could be held responsible for the accident, including the dog owner. If someone rear-ended you after you hit the brakes, the dog owner and the person who rear-ended you could both be responsible.

Filing a Claim

A car wreck can lead to serious expenses and that’s something you don’t want to be on the line for by yourself. This is especially true if you didn’t cause the accident in the first place. Getting the responsible party, in most cases the dog owner, to cover your expenses will be your top priority. If the dog is a strange dog you are unfamiliar with, try to identify it by its nametag. If the dog is aggressive or skittish, ask around the area where you wrecked to see if any neighbors know who the dog belongs to and avoid further injuries. After you find the owner, you can file a claim.

In the case that you know the dog and whom it belongs to then all you need to do is file your claim with the owner’s information. While you may be hesitant to cause strain in your relationship by filing a claim, you don’t need to worry about putting a financial strain on them. Their homeowners insurance will cover the costs of the damage and your injuries. You’ll be able to get the compensation you need to repair your life.

A car accident caused by a loose dog in the street is no laughing matter. Swerving into a light pole, mailbox, or other object will result in extensive property damage and can result in great personal injury. If you have experienced an accident due to a dog roaming the streets, contact Gegenheimer so he can help you get the compensation you need to restore your life. Whether you need help making sure the claim includes all damage and costs or you need help getting the dog owner or other party involved to cooperate, Gegenheimer can help you with your accident claim.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

 

My Neighbor’s Dog Just Bit My Child

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It happens more often than you think; you’re attending a social event at your neighbor’s house and your neighbor’s dog bites your child. This situation can become pretty awkward due to your relationship with your neighbor. Because this can be a delicate situation, you should hire a lawyer to help you navigate the situation and get the compensation you need to pay for your child’s medical bills. If you’re worried about this incident stressing the relationship, don’t. Getting the compensation you need for your child doesn’t have to cause strain between you and your neighbor.

You can get compensation after your neighbor's dog bites. Paying the Bills

Medical bills for a dog bite injury can be expensive. You’re worried about being unable to afford it yourself, while also not wanting to put the burden on your neighbor. The good news is that the burden to pay for your child’s medical bills will not fall on you or your neighbor when you sue for a dog bite injury. Normally, medical costs from claims for dog bite injuries will fall to your neighbor’s homeowners insurance company.

What Happens to the Dog

Another concern you may have about filing a suit against your neighbor after the attack is what will happen to your neighbor’s dog. The last thing you want to do in this situation is cause more pain, and you don’t want to make your neighbor put down their beloved dog. Most likely however, that won’t be the case. Your neighbor will have to report the attack and the dog may be placed on a dangerous dog list, but the chances of it being put down is minimal.

When your neighbor's dog bites you talk to an attorney first. Talking About the Injury

This will be the hardest and most straining part of the situation. Your neighbor will want to talk to you about the incident and your child’s injuries. You should consult with an attorney before speaking about or discussing the consequences of the dog bite incident with your neighbor. Exchanging contact information and the medical records of the dog is advised, but nothing beyond that should be discussed before your consultation with an attorney.

Being familiar with a dog will not always save you or your family from a bite. Having a friendly relationship with the dog owner doesn’t have to complicate the process of getting the compensation you need. While this won’t be a happy situation, it doesn’t have to strain your relationship with your neighbor. Speak with an attorney today to find out how to proceed with getting the compensation you need for your child following a dog bite.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

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When you enter a business or place of residence you have the expectation to leave in the same condition that you entered.

Slip and fall accidents are a serious concern and can cause serious injury. Businesses and individuals are obligated to provide a reasonably safe area to others. If an incident does occur and you are injured, you’ll need to know if it was caused by the other person’s negligence or if it was something that was a normal part of life.

Providing a Safe Premises

Businesses and individuals that open their property up to the public have an obligation to provide a safe environment to their guests. They need to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of anyone on their property.

This means they cannot ignore problems that are obvious safety concerns and must take steps to fix and warn people of potential injuries. When people know about problems before they encounter them they can decide whether they want to take that risk or not.

The owner of a property that has unsafe conditions could be liable for injuries that occur on the property. If they are liable they will have to compensate the victim for injuries.

1-01_Gegenheimer-Blog-slipAndFall_safeEnvironmentsAct Within Reason

A factor that affects who is liable for an injury after a slip and fall is whether the injured person was acting within reason and with care. If an alert person would’ve noticed the danger and avoided it, or was acting recklessly or was in the area without a reason, then the chances of the building owner being liable is low.

While the owner has an obligation to provide a safe area, you have an obligation to act within reason and with reasonable care. The property owner will not be liable for an injury that was a result of reckless behavior.

When it comes to determining who is liable and whether or not you have a case concerning your personal injury, it is best to consult a lawyer. To get an idea of whether or not you may have a case, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did the owner of the property cause the danger?
  2. Did the owner of the property know about the danger or was the danger obvious to a reasonable person and did the owner refuse to fix it?
  3. Did the object that caused your injury have a legitimate reason to be in the place that you were injured?
  4. Were there any signs indicating the spot could be dangerous?
  5. Were you distracted or doing something else when you were injured?
  6. Would an alert person have avoided the danger?

There are many factors that go into determining who is liable in situations and a lawyer can help you figure out whether or not you have a claim.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

 

Understanding the Compensation Surrounding Dog Attacks

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If you’re a victim of a dog bite, you’re entitled to compensation for your damages and losses. But how do you know what you’re entitled to? There are many parts of losses and damages, but they can be generally put in two categories: economic (damages that cost you money) and non-economic (damages that to put to an exact number).

You can get compensated for economic damages after a dog attackEconomic Damages

Economic damages include medical costs such as emergency vehicle transportation, compensation for future operations or cosmetic scar treatment, loss of past and future income or opportunity, defensive measures (such as putting up a fence), and past counseling expenses. It also covers less obvious expenses like future psychological costs, funds expended on a vacation that could not be taken, torn clothing, and more. Essentially, economic damages are explicit expenses incurred as a result of the dog attack.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages include but are not limited to the pain of the injury and the treatment, mental suffering when confronted by dogs or remembering the attack, humiliation caused by scars, and loss of quality of life due to disability. Non-economic damages are implicit costs.

The owner of the dog is usually responsible for damages.In some states and cases, the defendant may not be solely liable for the injury. Louisiana however is a strict liability state. This means that the owner of the dog that attacked is liable for the injury, as long as the plaintiff was legally allowed to be where he or she was when the attack occurred, and did not provoke the dog.

Your lawyer should establish the full measure of your damages. Medical bills and records, opinion letters written by your primary physicians, and letters from employers are used as the starting point for the case. A private, experienced attorney is the only one who can advise a dog bite victim as to what evidence is needed in any particular case. They will help determine which experts need to be retained to present their opinions, how much a victim should receive for pain, suffering, humiliation and loss of income, and all of the other items of possible loss mentioned above.



This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Where Does Your Compensation Come From After a Dog Attack?

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You are finally safe after being attacked by that strange dog that was wandering through your neighborhood. You’ve sought medical attention, reported the incident, and contacted an attorney, but now you’re wondering how you can pay for those medical bills. So where exactly does your compensation come from?

The Insured

Even though Louisiana has a strict liability statute and the owner is technically liable for damages, the dog owner’s insurance company will most likely pay for the medical bills you’ve incurred. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, more than one-third of homeowner’s insurance claim dollars in 2014 were paid out due to dog-related injuries. Whether it is homeowner’s, renter’s, landlord’s, motor vehicle or other types of insurance, you generally won’t have to pay for your medical bills if the owner is insured.

Insurance usually covers dog attack injury expensesThe Uninsured

Some insurance companies will only pay up to a certain dollar amount or they might only cover certain dog breeds. If you find yourself attacked by a dog that is not covered by the dog owner’s insurance or you go over the dollar limit, don’t panic. In the case that the insurance is inadequate or even non-existent, the owner of the dog is responsible for paying for damages with their own money.

Many dog bite lawsuits will never reach court because the dog owner’s insurance company or the owner will settle them before it reaches that point. Finding an attorney with a background in dog attack cases, whether it reaches court or not, will help ensure you are fully compensated by insurance companies or the dog owner for all your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.