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Simien & Simien Personal Injury Law Blog

Simien & Simien Selected for Inclusion in Acadiana Profile Magazine's 2018 Top Lawyers List

Our firm is humbled and honored to once again be included in the 2018 Top Lawyers List in Acadiana Profile magazine. The list recognizes the top attorneys in the Acadiana region of Louisiana, also known as the Cajun homeland.

What You Need to Know About Offshore Injuries

Working offshore is one of the most dangerous kinds of employment in the world. One of the most notable examples that shows the dangers of working offshore is the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The explosion killed several workers and injured many others.

Differences Between FELA and Workers' Compensation

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Most employees who are injured on the job are covered by Louisiana's workers' compensation laws. However, if you are a railroad worker, you are covered by the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA).

There are key differences between FELA and the Louisiana workers' compensation system. Our experienced Federal Employers' Liability Act attorneys in Baton Rouge explain some of these differences below.

If you are a railroad worker who sustained an on-the-job injury, contact us to discuss your claim in a free, no obligation consultation. We have a detailed understanding of FELA and how it applies to the specifics of your claim.

Negligence

One of the main differences between FELA and workers' compensation laws is the role of negligence.

In a workers' compensation claim, the injured worker does not have to prove that the personal injury was caused by the employer's negligence to recover compensation.

However, FELA requires the injured employee to prove that his or her employer was negligent and the employer's negligence caused, at least partially, the employee's injury or illness. If you cannot establish negligence, you will not be able to recover compensation.

When Will My Workers' Compensation Benefits Start and How Much Will I Receive?

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One of the most common questions about workers' compensation is: when will my benefits start and how much will I receive? The answer depends on a number of factors, including when the benefits are approved and the extent of your injuries.

Below, the Baton Rouge workers' compensation attorneys at Simien & Simien explain how these and other factors determine how your workers' compensation benefits are paid.

If you were injured on the job, we may be able to help you file a workers' compensation claim. We can evaluate your situation during a free initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we only collect legal fees if you are compensated.

Los Angeles Jury Rules Against Johnson & Johnson, Awards $417M Verdict

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A Los Angeles jury recently ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay $417 million in damages to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer because she used J&J's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene for decades. This is the largest verdict to ever be issued in a talcum powder lawsuit alleging a link between talcum powder-based products like Baby Powder and ovarian cancer.

If you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using products containing talcum powder, the Baton Rouge defective product lawyers at Simien & Simien may be able to help you file a lawsuit to obtain compensation. We offer a free, no obligation case review to help us determine if you have a viable talcum powder and ovarian cancer lawsuit.

Details of the Case

The injury victim who recovered the massive verdict is a 63-year-old woman. She had used the powder as part of her feminine hygiene routine since she was 11 years old.

She continued using the powder even after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. However, she stopped using the product in 2016 after reading about another woman who used it and had ovarian cancer.

The verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages, intended to compensate the victim for damages caused by her injuries, including pain and suffering. J&J also had to pay $347 million in punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and help deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

Other Talcum Powder Cases

This case was the first to be decided out of hundreds of similar cases that are currently lined up in California.

Across the nation, more than 1,000 similar lawsuits have been filed against J&J. Some have gone to trial, resulting in the following verdicts:

  • A federal judge threw out a class action talcum powder lawsuit filed by a California woman in July
  • A Missouri jury awarded $110 million to a victim in Virginia in May of this year
  • Another Missouri jury awarded $55 million to a woman with ovarian cancer in May 2016
  • The family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer was awarded $72 million in Feb. 2016

What You Should Know About Car Accident Liability

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You cannot recover compensation after a car accident unless you can prove that another party was liable for the crash.

Below, our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys explain the many factors involved in determining car accident liability, including who can be held liable, evidence that can help build a case and Louisiana's comparative negligence doctrine. Contact our attorneys for assistance pursuing your car accident claim.

Who Can be Held Liable for a Car Accident?

The liable party is the one that caused the accident. Various parties could be held liable for the accident, including:

  • The other driver, particularly if he or she was drunk, distracted or disobeyed traffic laws
  • Government authorities, if poor road conditions were a factor in the accident
  • Vehicle manufacturers, if defective equipment contributed to the accident

What You Need to Know About Your Rights Under the Louisiana Mineral Code

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The Louisiana mineral code governs the ownership and excavation of minerals under land you own. Minerals include oil, gas, soil, gravel, shells, underground water, and other naturally-occurring substances found in soil or geological formations on or beneath land.

Our seasoned attorneys have compiled answers to common questions about different aspects of the mineral code. This will help you understand your rights if an oil, gas or mining company approaches you about excavating minerals under your land.

If you believe your mineral rights were violated or your land was damaged when companies extracted minerals, contact our environmental damage lawyers for a free, no obligation legal consultation. We can review all of your legal options.

Do I Own the Minerals on My Land?

Under Louisiana RS 31:6, you do not own the minerals under your land. The law grants ownership only after you extract minerals from the ground and have physical control, which allows you to deliver them to another entity. For example, landowners would have possession of oil only after pumping it from the ground and putting it into a tank or pipeline.

How to Prove Another Party is at Fault in a Personal Injury Case

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You cannot recover compensation in a personal injury case unless you prove another party is at fault for the accident that led to your injury.

You will not be able to prove another party is at-fault unless you gather evidence to support the four elements of negligence.

Below, our experienced Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers explain how to establish the four elements of negligence along with the different types of evidence you can use to support your claim.

If you suffered a personal injury that you believe was caused by another party's negligence, contact us today for a free legal consultation.

Four Elements of Negligence

These are the four elements of negligence that must be proven in a personal injury claim:

1. The Other Party Owed the Victim a Duty of Care

A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in the way a reasonable person would to prevent injuries to others. The specific duty of care depends on the situation. For instance, all drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and avoid reckless driving to keep other drivers safe.

2. The Duty of Care was Breached

A duty of care is breached when someone fails to act the way a reasonable person would if he or she were in a similar situation. For example, a reasonable person would follow traffic signals and signs and not disregard them.

3. The Breach Caused Your Injury

There must be a causal relationship between the breach of duty of care and your injury. This means you need to show that your injury would not have occurred without the breach of duty of care.

4. You Suffered Damages Because of the Other Party's Actions

You cannot recover compensation in any personal injury case unless you show that your injuries caused damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

5 Motorcycle Safety Strategies to Prevent an Accident

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Unfortunately, there is nothing motorcycle riders can do to guarantee they will never be involved in an accident or suffer injuries if a crash occurs. There are simply too many factors that are out of their control.

However, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident attorneys have compiled a list of motorcycle safety tips to help keep you safe.

If you are ever involved in a crash, do not hesitate to contact our firm to review your legal options.

1. Always Wear a Helmet

This is more than a common-sense safety tip, it is the law in Louisiana. Under Louisiana Revised Statute 32:190, anyone riding a motorcycle on a Louisiana roadway must wear a helmet made for motorcycle riders. The helmet must be secured by a chin strap and have padding, lining and a visor.

Statistics from various organizations show that riders who do not wear helmets make up a large percentage of those who die in motorcycle crashes.

For instance, of the 14,283 motorcyclists killed in crashes between 2008 and 2010, 42 percent were not wearing helmets, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In Louisiana, 21 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2013 were not wearing helmets, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.

Helmets may not prevent all head injuries if you are involved in a crash. However, a helmet can help ensure your injuries are less severe than they would be if you were not wearing a helmet.

2. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wearing appropriate clothing and gear can help protect you from road rash, bugs and road debris.

Avoid wearing things like T-shirts, sandals or shorts. You should opt instead for long pants, footwear that covers your ankles and a jacket. If you want maximum protection, wear leather clothing, including a reinforced jacket, boots and gloves. Like helmets, these things may not prevent injury, but they could help make injuries much less severe.

Many riders like to buy dark-colored clothing, but this is a bad idea because it makes it harder for drivers to see you. Try to find jackets and other clothing in bright colors as it makes you more visible.

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