Pierce & Shows, APLC

Baton Rouge Personal Injury & Bankruptcy Blog

Deadly motorcycle crashes far too common in Louisiana

It happens all the time. A distracted or otherwise impaired driver drifts into another lane, if only for a moment, and sideswipes a motorcycle. Or they veer into oncoming traffic. The results can be—and often are—disastrous. Even though the state of Louisiana law requires motorcycle drivers to wear a helmet, they’re often no match for other motor vehicles.

On an early morning in August 2019, in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, a westbound vehicle crossed the centerline of Highway 84 and motorcycles. This caused two more motorcycles, which had also been eastbound, to collide, roll and eject their drivers. One of these drivers was then struck by yet another eastbound motor vehicle. This motorcyclist—a 22-year-old Vidalia man—was pronounced dead at the scene.

Boomers and bankruptcy

Residents in Louisiana who are near, at or even after the age of retirement may never have expected to be facing serious debt and financial problems at this stage of their life. However, consumers of all ages can find themselves in this problem, forcing them to file for bankruptcy or seek other means of debt relief. This trend is particularly noticeable in people who are 65 years of age and older.

As reported by Insider, a study referred to as the Consumer Bankruptcy Project has found that the rate of personal bankruptcy filings among people over the age of 65 has jumped anywhere between 200% and 300% since 1991. The variance is based upon the specific age cohort reviewed.

How do secured and unsecured debts differ?

If you are one of the many people in Louisiana who cringes when you open your email or physical mailbox for fear that a new bill may be waiting for you, you might be wondering how you can get out of your negative cycle of debt. One of the things that is important for you to do at this point is to learn about the different types of credit and debt that exist as the type of debt you owe can contribute to choosing the right debt relief option for your situation.

As explained by The Motley Fool, there are two basic forms of debt. One type of debt is called secured and the other is unsecured. Each secured debt is attached to an actual asset like a car, truck or house. The security provided to a lender by having a collateral item reduces their level of risk as they can repossess the item if you do not remain current on your payments. The asset gives them some way of recouping their money.

Protecting one's home with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Those in Baton Rouge who are considering personal bankruptcy might be immediately tempted to file under Chapter 7. This is no doubt due to the benefit that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers of allowing certain debts to be discharged. Indeed, according to data compiled by the American Bankruptcy Institute, over 63 percent of the non-business bankruptcy filings from the second quarter of 2018 were Chapter 7 cases. 

Yet a Chapter 7 may not be the best option for all debtors. Those hoping to protect their homes (which most would likely agree would be a person's most valuable personal asset) might instead want to consider filing under Chapter 13. The Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts shows that with a Chapter 13, one is able to consolidate their debts into a repayment plan that they can repay across a period of three to five years. How does this benefit one trying to keep their home in a bankruptcy case? If a person has missed mortgage payments, they can include those payments in their debt repayment plan. Thus, those arrears will be settled over time, and the added money freed up by not paying on debts individually can help on stay current on their mortgage payments going forward. 

What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

As a parent in Baton Rouge, you know that there are any number of threats to your children's safety in your own neighborhood and throughout your community in general. You might take some solace in knowing that when your kids are invited to areas that contain potential hazards, the awareness of their presence will prompt the owners of the properties to restrict their access to such features (or at the very least, manage it). Yet what happens if your child gains access to a potential hazards without the property owner's knowledge? 

Your first assumption might be that because your child did not have permission to be on the property, you have no legal recourse if the hazard injures them in any way. That, however, many not be correct. According to the Cornell Law School, the attractive nuisance doctrine allows you to hold a property owner responsible if and when a hazardous artificial condition on their land injures your child. This is true even if your child does not have permission to be on the property. 

Louisiana drivers 13th worst in the nation

Residents in Louisiana have a lot to be proud of when it comes to the quality of life in their state. People in the south are known for their hospitality and love of family and friends. Unfortunately, it also seems that people in this part of the country are becoming known for their negligent or unsafe driving habits.

MyArkLaMiss.com provided an overview of the results from a SmartAsset study that evaluated a variety of statistics to rank each state in a list titled, "The States With the Worst Drivers". This is definitely one list in which receiving a high ranking is not a positive thing. Louisiana was given a ranking of 13. Other states in the south came in at even higher, or worse, rankings. Mississippi and Alabama took the top two spots, respectively. Florida and Texas shared the number four spot with Nevada. Tennessee was ranked eighth and Arkansas tied with South Carolina at number 11.

Tangipahoa Parrish crash kills teen

Many in Baton Rouge may not understand the responsibility one assumes when they agree to driver others around in their vehicles. Drivers take on the duty of not only making sure that their own actions do not endanger their passenger, but also that those passengers take advantage of whatever safety measures are available to them (such as wearing their seat belts). An argument might be made that adult passengers should be responsible enough to ensure that they themselves are buckled in, yet when children are involved, it is up to the driver to make sure that they are properly secured. 

A failure to do so (coupled with potentially negligent behavior on the part of a driver) can produce results like those seen in a recent crash that occurred on Interstate 55 in Tangipahoa Parrish. Authorities say that a woman was exiting the freeway in her SUV when she lost control of the vehicle. After leaving the road, the SUV rolled several times before coming to a stop. The three children traveling in the vehicle (none of whom were wearing seat belts) were ejected during the crash. One of them (a 15-year-old boy) died from his injuries, while the other two children are currently listed as being in critical condition. 

Types of debt and credit accounts

People who live in Louisiana and struggle to find ways to avoid drowning in debt should make it a priority to understand the different types of debt and credit accounts they may have. This knowledge might give them insights into the best options for managing and reducing their debt.

As explained by U.S. News and World Report, some debt is associated with tangible goods in the form of collateral like an automobile loan or a home mortgage. These debts are called secured debts because the lenders have the security of knowing they may be able to repossess the asset if the debt is not repaid.

Louisiana crash injures officers participating in motorcade

When a president ventures outside the White House, an extensive motorcade comprising 40 to 50 vehicles usually goes along. Some of these are armored vehicles for which the Secret Service is responsible. Other vehicles belong to local law enforcement, officers of which usually head up the procession for purposes of traffic control. When the current president of the United States made a recent visit to Louisiana, a motorcade escorted him to an export facility for a tour from the airport where he arrived. 

While en route from the airport to the other venue, however, there was an accident in which four police officers involved in the motorcade crashed. The president's vehicle and most of the rest of the motorcade traveled on unimpeded, but the rest of the motorcycle escort stopped to deal with the situation. Some of those who stopped rejoined the motorcade later on. 

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