Autonomous Vehicles: A New Legal Landscape

Autonomous Vehicles: A New Legal Landscape

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during 2016 alone roughly 3.1 million men, women and children in the U.S. were injured in motor vehicle accidents. Tragically, 37,461 lives were lost in traffic-related accidents during this same year. Many traffic accidents and related fatalities and injuries are the result of dangerous driving behaviors, including drivers who were impaired by alcohol or drugs, or distracted by a cellphone or other stimuli both inside and outside a vehicle. Additionally, many traffic accidents were caused by drivers who failed to obey traffic laws and engaged in dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, running red lights and failing to yield the right of way. If personal injury or damages are involved, one or both parties may need to retain a car accident lawyer to represent their interests. In the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents, some type of driver error is to blame. While the enaction and enforcement of stricter or additional traffic laws are somewhat effective at curbing dangerous driving behaviors, far too many people still drink and drive, text and drive, and speed. Seeking a solution to reduce accidents that require the services of a car accident lawyer, federal safety agencies like the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration have discussed taking action to require the use of car to car technology which would essentially enable motor vehicles to communicate and react accordingly to avoid a collision. Taking things a step further, Google and Tesla have recently been in the news for their efforts in developing fully autonomous cars, thereby completely removing drivers and their propensity to make errors from the equation. Statistically, autonomous vehicles are significantly safer than human drivers, with many of the distractions and errors that commonly afflict human drivers (texting, speeding, failing to yield) negated once a computer is in control of the vehicle. Due to recent tragic (and fatal) incidents involving “driverless” cars—one caused by a self-driven Uber vehicle, and one involving a Tesla Model X—autonomous vehicles are receiving more attention than ever. The legal ramifications of such incidents are significant, with precedent for personal injury suits potentially being set over the resulting litigation. How will these incidents affect the future of personal injury litigation? To say the least, it will be interesting to see how these cases shake out in court, with typical “at-fault” judgments made significantly more complex due to the involvement of autonomous vehicles. Auto accident lawyers will be watching closely to see how these events affect legal practice, with cases involving autonomous vehicles only set to increase as the technology becomes more...

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How the Hours of Service of Commercial Vehicles Affect Personal Injury Suits

How the Hours of Service of Commercial Vehicles Affect Personal Injury Suits

Because of the size, weight and speed of their vehicles, drivers of large commercial trucks and buses are held to a higher standard of safety than drivers of smaller passenger vehicles. In addition to restrictions on the size of payloads and rules for vehicle maintenance, truck drivers and trucking companies must prevent driver fatigue by abiding with hours-of-service regulations. Failure to ensure that proper rest time is enforced can lead to dangerous and expensive accidents that require the involvement of a car accident lawyer. When investigating a truck or bus accident, an important thing to understand is that the rules are different for truck and bus drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which sets the rules for commercial carriers, categorizes truck drivers as property-carrying operators and bus drivers as passenger-carrying operators. In terms of hours of service, there is an 11-hour driving limit for property-carrying drivers. However, not all of a truck driver’s duties take place behind the wheel, so the FMCSA specifies that truck operators are not permitted to drive after the 14th consecutive hour on duty. Note, though, that neither of those limits may be met unless the driver has been off duty for 10 consecutive hours. For bus drivers, there is a 10-hour driving limit. Like truck drivers, bus drivers also have duties outside of operating a vehicle. Passenger-carrying drivers are therefore prohibited from driving after being on duty for 15 hours. Truck and bus accidents tend to be more complicated than passenger vehicle crashes, not only because of the special regulations involved, but also because there may be multiple parties that are liable for injuries. Those parties may include the driver, the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer and the insurance company. If you or a loved one has been commercial vehicle accident, then don’t hesitate to work with a car accident lawyer with experience in investigating these types of...

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How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help After a Truck Accident

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help After a Truck Accident

The cause of a truck accident is not always easy to determine.   The truck driver may have been overworked and suffering from a lack of sleep.   Perhaps the driver was not properly trained or qualified to drive a commercial truck.  Whatever the reason, after a truck accident has left you—or a loved one—with injuries, you understandably want to know more about what happened and why. This is where personal injury lawyers in Lafayette LA come in. Victims of trucking accidents hire attorneys to investigate the cause of their accidents because it is almost impossible for them to uncover the truth on their own.  After hiring an attorney, the person injured can concentrate on recovering from their injuries, while the attorney works to uncover the cause of the crash. Getting to the bottom of what really happened is not easy.  An experienced attorney knows he must work quickly to preserve and collect all relevant evidence.  Such an attorney knows what evidence is needed and will request and often insist that trucking companies preserve important evidence before it is lost forever.    In addition to taking witness statements and obtaining photos from the scene of the crash, trucking accidents often require the collection data from electronic devices installed on all of the vehicles involved in a crash.  Understanding the role of technology in trucking accidents and how to find evidence stored in various electronic recording systems is often vital to any trucking accident claim. Competent personal injury lawyers in Lafayette LA understand the complexity of trucking accidents and the importance of thoroughness in conducting an investigation in these cases.  By hiring such an attorney, you will have a better chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. Experienced attorneys start building your case for just compensation from moment you hire them.  Compensation, includes, among other things, payment for medical treatment, reimbursement of wages lost while recovering from injuries and payment for pain and suffering.  Working with experienced personal injury lawyers in Lafayette LA can mean the difference between having your medical expenses paid, or having to foot the bill yourself. To learn more about J. Brent Barry, Attorney at Law, L.L.C., and our approach to accident claims, see our personal injury law page, and if you’re in need to representation in a personal injury case, contact the experienced attorneys at Boyer,Hebert, Abels,& Angelle....

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Estate Planning: An Essential Preparation

Estate Planning: An Essential Preparation

As 2017 comes to a close and we reflect on another passing year, and our many blessings, our family and loved ones are foremost in our thoughts.  It can be a difficult subject to approach, but estate planning is an important part of leaving one’s legacy for future generations. Estate planning is the process of legally identifying the exact plans for one’s assets once he or she passes away. This procedure is important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it saves the time, frustration, and potential familial tensions associated with the difficult and sensitive process of dividing one’s assets when there is no legal outline to do so. Estate planning is not just for those with extensive assets or property—everyone has an estate, and can benefit from the estate planning process. Many people don’t think they have enough assets to make the process worthwhile, or are too unfamiliar with it to even know where to begin. The truth is that tragedy can strike at any time, and it’s always better to be prepared rather than leave your loved ones to pick up the pieces. Consulting an estate planning attorney need not be a cause for anxiety or stress. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help talk you through the process from beginning to end, covering related concepts including wills, trusts, guardianships, powers of attorney, and health care directives. These legal documents serve various purposes and can seem daunting at first, but experienced estate planning lawyers, such as the attorneys at Boyer, Hebert, Abels & Angelle, can explain the differences in easy-to-understand terms and ensure that the most appropriate documents are prepared for your specific situation and to ensure that all possibilities are covered. It’s never too late to plan for the future. Contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Boyer, Hebert, Abels & Angelle to discuss options for estate planning, and to find out how the process can benefit you and your loved ones....

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Consulting a Family Law Attorney: A Sensitive Topic

Consulting a Family Law Attorney: A Sensitive Topic

From the desk of Family Law Attorney, Lesley Beam: Lesley Beam, Family Attorney with Boyer, Hebert, Abels & Angelle understands from her many years representing Family Law clients, that this area of the law is one of the most delicate areas of legal practice, requiring an empathetic and understanding attorney to undertake the oftentimes complex and emotionally-involved issues that require litigation. Family law is a broad practice, but is most commonly associated with divorce, division of property incident to a divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support (alimony). If you’re in need of a family law attorney in the Lafayette or St. Martin Parish area you’ll want to work with someone who is not only compassionate during this stressful time, but also capable of navigating the procedural complications and difficult legal issues associated with this practice. A competent family law attorney in Lafayette LA area should have the specialized skills required to bring such litigation to a satisfying and equitable conclusion. Intelligence and knowledge of precedent and legal literature are vital, as well as intangible qualities such as capable negotiation skills and the ability to communicate and argue effectively in a courtroom setting.  An effective family law attorney will be sensitive to the needs of the client, and consistently provide the client with thorough advice regarding his or her goals, so that the client can be an active participant in his or her outcome. For example, in cases involving child custody, a family law attorney in the Lafayette LA area should be familiar with all options for bringing custody disputes to a conclusion which may be beneficial before resorting to scheduling the matter for trial, including but not limited to pursuit of family counseling, mediation, or retention of a professional evaluator to analyze the case and determine the most beneficial arrangement for the child. A competent family law attorney in a child custody case will always be aware of the court’s goal of determining the child’s best interests while utilizing all the legal possibilities to secure a satisfying conclusion for the client. If you find yourself dealing with the sensitive topic of family law and in need of an attorney in Lafayette or St. Martin Parish, consider a consultation with Lesley Beam with the law firm of Boyer, Hebert, Abels & Angelle.  Quality representation is just a call away at...

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Is it Possible to Recover Your Lost Wages After an Accident?

Is it Possible to Recover Your Lost Wages After an Accident?

If you have been hurt in an accident, you know how quickly your life can change. Just one incident could leave you with life-altering injuries, affecting your ability to work, provide for your family or live a normal life. In addition to the medical bills and other accident-related expenses you will face, you may also feel the financial impact of lost wages. This situation likely feels overwhelming, but we know what you are facing. As personal injury lawyers Lafayette LA, we help Louisiana accident victims find a way out of their post-accident financial distress by seeking maximum compensation for all of the losses that they have suffered at the hands of other drivers. We begin by carefully evaluating your case and preserving pertinent evidence. We build strong cases on behalf of our clients by being thorough and using our extensive experience to achieve positive results. Lost wages are just one of the unfortunate consequences of an accident, but it is can have a long-reaching and serious impact on your life. This is why it’s so important to work with personal injury lawyers Lafayette LA to ensure that you are compensated for your time away from work as you recover. Your family should not have to bear the financial consequences of another driver’s irresponsible and reckless actions. If you were hurt in an accident due to recklessness or negligence, we are on your side. The legal process is complicated, and it can be difficult to secure the full and fair financial recovery, including the lost wages you deserve to recover. Reach out to Special Counsel, Brent Barry, a personal injury lawyer Lafayette LA as soon as possible after your accident and discover the legal options available to you at...

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