The Johnson Firm Lawyers

Call Today (337) 433-1414

Lake Charles Legal Blog

Louisiana license suspended, trucker wreaks havoc in Maine

His driver's license was suspended in Louisiana and his right to drive in Virginia had been revoked. Nevertheless, a 55-year-old truck driver was on the road, although law enforcement officials say he was in no shape to be behind the wheel of a 1998 Freightliner tractor-trailer, hauling a load of lumber in Maine.

In March of last year, the trucker allegedly drove after consuming alcohol and drugs, rolled his big rig and triggered a four-vehicle chain-reaction wreck that killed two people. The Tennessee truck driver recently asked a court to suppress comments he made to police officers following the 18-wheeler accident.

Two big rigs involved in fatal Lake Charles crash on I-210

Anyone who has driven on I-210 knows that the most dangerous vehicles going through Lake Charles are 18-wheelers. The enormous trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than passenger cars and are significantly more difficult to maneuver and bring to a stop. When big rigs collide with passenger vehicles, the results are often dire for the occupants of the smaller vehicles.

That was apparently the case in a recent truck accident on the interstate. Lake Charles law enforcement officials are looking for the driver of a black 2007 Dodge Ram pickup that was involved in a crash with two 18-wheelers and another passenger vehicle on eastbound I-210. A 37-year-old woman was killed in the wreck, officials said.

3 tips for divorcing parents in Louisiana

No matter who you are, going through divorce could make you behave in ways that are uncharacteristic. This is understandable: divorce is extremely difficult; emotions can run high; and sometimes people do things they would not have done otherwise.

Still, parents going through divorce need to be especially careful about how they conduct themselves. Here are some things to keep in mind to protect your child's well-being and your own parental rights before, during and after the divorce.

Dozens of drug arrests, drug seizures north of Lake Charles

If you drive north of Lake Charles for about 3 and a half hours, you will come to Ouachita Parish. The area is home to the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge and a portion of the D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge. It is also where law enforcement officials recently carried out multi-jurisdictional raids that resulted in more than 110 arrests.

Authorities said that 67 of the arrests were for drug charges and that 45 felony warrants were issued. The task force also conducted more than 400 traffic stops as part of its efforts.

Louisiana legislature rejects big rig safety proposal

As everyone who has ever driven on I-10 knows, the biggest and most dangerous vehicles on the road are 18-wheelers. Some regular readers of our Lake Charles legal blog will undoubtedly recall a recent effort by a Louisiana legislator to slow tractor-trailers and other plus-sized vehicles down.

The Times-Picayune reports that the bill to lower the speed limit by 10 mph on all interstate highways for big rigs, school buses, truck-tractors and other large vehicles did not make it to the governor's desk in the recently concluded legislative session. Rep. Steve Carter said the goal of his proposal had been to reduce the risk of truck accidents and the injuries and deaths in those crashes.

Auto-pedestrian accident claims the life of Louisiana woman

No matter how vigilant and careful Lake Charles pedestrians are, each is still subject to risks at the hands of motorists who may fail to pay attention. This is true both at home in Louisiana and when visiting other states.

Distractions including phone use, eating, talking and even fatigue can cloud a driver's ability to be observant of pedestrians who may be crossing the street. Other factors like poor visibility can also reduce a motorist's awareness of pedestrians.

In a recent tragedy with local ties, a Lake Charles woman was struck and killed in an auto-pedestrian accident as she was crossing a street in the early morning hours while visiting Florida.

The driver who hit her remained on the scene and cooperated with the investigation. The thoroughfare along which the woman was killed is a popular area dotted with restaurants and various entertainment venues. Authorities urged both motorists and pedestrians to be extra cautious when traveling through the area since both vehicle and pedestrian traffic is especially high around the businesses.

What is a shoulder impingement personal injury claim?

Typically, if you are injured by another person or due to another person's actions in Louisiana, you can take them to court under personal injury law. One injury that you may sustain is called shoulder impingement. According to the National Law Review, this condition involves damage to the tendons and muscles in the shoulder. It occurs when the tendons rub causing swelling in the shoulder joint. It can be mild or severe, resulting in constant pain and the inability to use the shoulder properly.

Shoulder impingement may be treatable through using medications or processes to help reduce the swelling. You may also be prescribed massage or therapy to help stretch the area and strengthen the tendons and muscles. Sometimes these actions are enough to stop the pain and discomfort. However, it is not uncommon for more treatment to be needed, which includes cortisone shots and possibly surgery. For some people, though, complete recovery may never occur and the symptoms can be chronic, affecting daily life.

Bill will stop inmates from accruing child support

Child support back payments are often difficult to manage for those newly released from prison. According to KNOE News, a bill has just passed the Louisiana House that will keep child support debts from accruing while a person is in prison. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Marino passed with a 68-30 vote after intense debate, and will now move on to the Senate. 

Those opposed to the bill say that it discounts the children's needs because there will be fewer resources to help make the family's ends meet. The Times-Picayune reports that the bill is championed by supporters of criminal justice reform who say that easing financial burdens on those newly released from prison lowers the rate of recidivism. Louisiana has the highest level of incarceration of any state in the country, so lowering the likelihood of returning to prison could also save the state money. Once released from jail, it can be difficult to find a job, and with back payments due, many find their wages immediately garnished, which makes returning to crime a much more enticing option.  Supporters say that this is in the best interest of the child, so they can have a relationship with the parent outside of prison walls. 

Are breath test results really accurate?

Whether you have been out enjoying some drinks with friends or simply had a few drinks with dinner, you run the risk of getting pulled over by a law enforcement officer if you drink and drive. Officers often use roadside breath tests to determine whether a driver has been drinking. These breath test devices measure the drivers’ blood alcohol content level by evaluating the amount of alcohol that is present in an exhaled breath sample. The problem lies in the fact that when the BAC levels obtained from a breath sample are compared to those from an actual blood test, there are significant differences. According to the State University of New York at Potsdam, these readings may differ by 15 percent.

Researchers found that breath test devices measure more than just the amount of alcohol that is in your blood. Certain substances in the environment and in your body can affect these readings, which may end up in a false DUI charge. These factors include the following:

  •          Fumes from gasoline, cleaners and paints.
  •          Residual blood, food or vomit in a person’s mouth.
  •          Static interference from law enforcement radios and cellphones.
  •          Moisture, dirt and pollution in the air.
  •          Radiant temperature of the air.

Man dies after being run over by pickup

Louisiana residents who are injured in accidents caused by the negligence of others understandably may want to seek compensation and help. The same may be true for the family members of people who are killed in incidents like vehicle accidents. These accidents may take many forms and involve vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.

A man who was only 34 years old was actually killed recently after he was run over by a driver in a full-sized pickup truck. The accident took place along a stretch of U.S. 190 near Fountainbleau State Park in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. The driver of the pickup was tested for alcohol in his system. A breath test revelead that his blood alcohol level was 0.085 percent.

J Est 1980

The Johnson Firm | 910 Ford Street | Lake Charles, LA 70601 | Phone: (337) 433-1414 | Map & Directions