Lake Charles Personal Injury Lawyers

Accident Law Firm Helping the Injured & Bereaved in Calcasieu Parish

Arnold & Itkin represents clients throughout Lake Charles and the surrounding areas who have been seriously injured or who have lost someone they love to wrongful death. We know that no amount of money will ever undo what happened, nor will it help our clients get back their loved ones, but we also know that compensation can be invaluable in helping them put their lives back on track. We also believe in the legal system’s ability to hold the responsible parties accountable. By filing a lawsuit, we can shine a light on dangerous behavior, which can force a policy or procedure change. We can make sure that companies don’t try to hide what they’ve done or try to refuse responsibility. We hold them accountable, fight to help our clients get the truth, and work to get the answers they deserve.

If you need help and have questions that deserve answers, do not hesitate to contact our Lake Charles personal injury firm at (888) 493-1629

We help clients in Lake Charles and surrounding areas, such as Jennings and Anacoco, Louisiana.

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The Very Best Personal Injury Lawyers

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Lake Charles Catastrophic Injury Attorneys

Understanding the Different Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries profoundly affect a survivor's cognitive and physical capabilities, necessitating extensive and costly long-term rehabilitation. Beyond substantial medical expenses, these severe injuries often result in job loss and financial depletion. For instance, survivors facing paralysis or limb loss may require costly prosthetics and specialized equipment. 

Different types of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Acoustic Trauma: A condition involving permanent hearing loss due to exposure to high-decibel noises.
  • Amputations: The surgical or traumatic removal of a limb or extremity.
  • Blunt Force Trauma: An injury where a non-penetrating force impacts the body.
  • Burn Injuries: These injuries involve tissue damage caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation.
  • Head Injuries: Damage to the scalp, skull, or brain from an external force.
  • Neck & Back Injuries: These can range from minor sprains to severe spinal damage.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord that can result in degrees of paralysis and sensory loss.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Brain dysfunction caused by an external force.
  • Vision Loss & Other Eye Injuries: These injuries can range from partial vision loss to complete blindness.

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Lake Charles Wrongful Death Lawyers

Filing Wrongful Death Accident Claims in Lake Charles, LA

Thousands of families lose someone yearly because of another person or company’s negligence or careless behavior. If you lost a loved one because of another party’s careless actions, it is vital that you contact the Lake Charles wrongful death attorneys at Arnold & Itkin as quickly as possible. We know how life becomes challenging after losing a loved one. Not only is loss emotionally devastating, but it increases your stress if your loss impacts you financially. 

Our Lake Charles wrongful death firm works to help grieving people get the compensation they need to pay off accident-related expenses and to provide for their families after the death of a loved one. Compensation may not bring back a loved one or console us, but it does hold responsible parties accountable while allowing families to grieve in peace.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims are civil claims brought directly by the family members of the deceased. For a claim to be successful, the family must prove the death of the victim was caused by negligent actions. 

Common examples of situations that warrant wrongful death claims:

  • Motor vehicle accidents such as those involving cars and motorcycles.
  • Workplace accidents caused by lack of training or supervision.
  • Assaults, attacks, or other criminal actions that led to the death of another.

Even if the person responsible for the wrongful death has been prosecuted in criminal court, there is still a chance to file a civil lawsuit involving a wrongful death claim. If the fatality was caused by a company rather than an individual, the only real accountability the company will face must come from a civil claim.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death laws can vary regarding the eligibility of the person who can file and the time limit they have to file one. In most states, close family members have the right to file a claim. However, children and spouses are given the primary right to file. If a child or a spouse has already brought forward a wrongful death claim, other relatives will not be eligible.

Below are the family members who can file a wrongful death claim:

  • Children over the age of 18 years old
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Parents of unmarried children
  • Spouses or life partners
  • Any dependents

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Contacting a Lake Charles wrongful death attorney is the best way to know if you have a claim. At Arnold & Itkin, we can investigate your claim and determine your options. Remember, there is a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. This means that families only have a year to file a wrongful death claim before it’s too late.

What Can I Recover with the Help of a Lake Charles Wrongful Death Law Firm?

We are focused on one thing: helping families find answers. After negligence causes someone to die, we demand accountability from the people who could have prevented the accident. Families shouldn't worry about finances. So, we fight for compensation for losses such as funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and more.

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Lake Charles Work Accident Attorneys

Protecting Injured Workers' Rights in Lake Charles & Across Louisiana

The Occupational Safety and Health Act aims to make workers safe by making employers responsible for workplace safety. While this act was a step toward preventing workplace accidents, employers continue to violate the law.

The number of people who suffer from workplace negligence is staggering:

  • Fall protection regulation was the most violated OSHA rule from 2011-2023.
  • An average of one million employees suffer neck and back injuries every year on the job.
  • An estimated 120,00 workers died from occupational diseases in 2022.
  • Over 5,400 workplace accidents were fatal in 2022, per the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
  • Over 840 of these people were killed in 2022 due to workplace violence.

Common Workplace Accidents in Lake Charles, LA

The most common types of workplace accidents in Louisiana include:

What Causes Workplace Injuries?

According to OSHA, the most common cause of workplace accidents is carelessness, inexperience, or negligence. If companies implemented proper safety procedures, the most common workplace injuries wouldn't occur. 

Some examples of the negligence that leads to work injuries include the following:

  • Failing to Comply with Safety Regulations: Employers who disregard OSHA guidelines put their workers at an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Compliance with safety regulations is essential to protect workers from harm.
  • Falling Objects & Flying Debris: Common in construction sites, logging sites, factories, warehouses, and shipyards, falling objects and flying debris can lead to severe injuries, particularly if they strike workers on their heads or bodies.
  • Inadequate Inspections: Regular inspections are crucial to ensure that equipment and work areas such as ladders, scaffolds, and cranes are safe. Proper inspections help prevent accidents by identifying and mitigating hazards.
  • Improper Maintenance: Regular, thorough maintenance of equipment and machinery is critical to prevent dangerous malfunctions and breakdowns that can lead to workplace accidents.
  • Insufficient Training: Proper training is vital for workplace safety. Employers must ensure all employees are adequately trained to effectively recognize and manage workplace hazards.

If you or a loved one were injured, the employer is likely already devising a plan to prevent a lawsuit or finding a way to limit liability. However, a company should be held accountable if it fails to maintain a safe work environment. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you have the right to file a claim to seek compensation for your losses.

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Lake Charles Construction Accident Lawyers

Construction Site Injury Attorneys Serving Lake Charles & All of Louisiana

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the nation. Construction workers deal with heavy objects, work at great heights, and can be exposed to toxic chemicals. Due to the great dangers present in their job, the employer must abide by federal regulations and make construction sites as safe as possible. OSHA requires construction employers to follow OSHA’s safety procedures to provide safe working conditions for their employees. If employers fail to make employees’ work environment safe, they should be held liable for the injuries caused.

What Are the “Fatal Four” Construction Accidents?

OSHA is responsible for compiling research to determine what additional regulations can be implemented to make work environments safer. The construction industry has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries in the nation. Each year, OSHA finds four types of accidents in the construction industry that are leading causes of fatalities—the “Fatal Four.”

The “Fatal Four” include the following construction accidents:

  • Falls: 39% of total construction fatalities
  • Struck by Object: 8.2% of total construction fatalities
  • Electrocutions: 7.3% of total construction fatalities
  • Caught-in/caught-between: 5.1% of total construction fatalities

These four types account for 60% of all construction deaths. The research also discovered that if sites where fatal accidents occurred had followed OSHA safety procedures, the Fatal Four fatalities could have been entirely prevented.

Construction Site Responsibilities

Accidents occur every day, but there isn’t always someone to blame. This isn’t usually the case for construction accidents. Many of the tragedies on construction sites are due to supervisor negligence or poor judgment.

Acts of employer negligence may include the following:

  • Poor site designs or insufficient inspections
  • Failure to mark hazards, such as holes or trenches
  • Violating safety codes
  • Improperly secured equipment
  • The use of malfunctioning equipment

If a supervisor fails to address the risks listed above—especially obvious dangers in the workplace—they can be held liable. Employee deaths and injuries can occur if employers fail to address these issues.

Common Construction Site Accidents in Lake Charles

  • Scaffolding Accidents: Incorrectly erected scaffolding can become unsteady. Research shows that 4,500 scaffolding accidents occur every year. Over 70% of survivors stated their injuries occurred because of a lack of support.
  • Falling from a Height: In 2014, OSHA reported 660 fatalities occurred because workers fell from a height. Fall injuries commonly occur because construction workers must climb without fall protection or harnesses.
  • Ladder & Stairway Accidents: Per OSHA, 24,000 injuries occur annually from workers falling from ladders or stairways. More than 50% of these required workers to take time off to recover.
  • Defective & Dangerous Equipment: Employers must train workers to use equipment properly and maintain it so the machine does not cause injuries to operators or bystanders. When they don't, serious injuries can occur.
  • Harmful Chemicals & Toxic Exposure: When workers are exposed to harmful chemicals, it can cause significant health issues. Toxic chemicals can cause workers to suffer irritation, flammability, corrosion, and more.

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Lake Charles Industrial Injury Lawyers

Factory & Industrial Accident Attorneys Helping the Nation's Hardest Workers

It is imperative for businesses to actively mitigate or eliminate workplace hazards. This includes ensuring all employees and contract workers have access to necessary safety equipment, receive thorough and ongoing training, and benefit from meticulous maintenance of all facilities and machinery.  Our Lake Charles industrial accident attorneys are dedicated to upholding these standards. When businesses neglect these critical safety measures, they must be held accountable for the resulting accidents and their profound impacts on workers' lives. We are committed to fighting for the rights and safety of industrial workers and advocating for the protections they deserve in their workplaces.

Common sites for industrial accidents include:

  • Factories
  • Warehouses
  • Oilfields and oil rigs
  • Refineries
  • Chemical plants
  • Construction sites

The Real Costs of Industrial Workplace Accidents

Industrial settings are inherently risky, with large machinery, toxic chemicals, and heavy materials. Despite the inherent dangers, workers diligently follow safety protocols, wear appropriate gear, and adhere to regulations to prevent accidents. Yet, when employers neglect safety standards or prioritize profits over safety, the consequences can be catastrophic. 

Our Lake Charles industrial injury attorneys have found that most accidents rarely result from worker negligence. Rather, these accidents often stem from equipment failures or lapses in enforcing safety measures. Such oversight can leave workers injured, unable to earn a living, and buried in medical debt—while their employers dodge accountability. 

This situation forces families into financial distress. 

That's why it's crucial to have strong legal help to hold negligent parties accountable and ensure injured workers and their families receive the compensation they deserve. Our team at Arnold & Itkin is dedicated to protecting the rights and futures of industrial workers, fighting tirelessly to secure the resources they need to recover and move forward.

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Lake Charles Plant Explosion Lawyers

Helping Oil Refinery & Plant Explosion Survivors Rebuild Their Lives

Lake Charles has a long history, tracing its roots back to the 1760s. However, it wasn't until after World War II that the region saw an economic boom thanks to the petrochemical industry. Since the 1940s, Lake Charles has been a strategic point for the region's oil and fuel refining operations. Citgo's Lake Charles facility is the sixth-largest refinery in the U.S. 

As Lake Charles plant accident attorneys, that concerns us.

Arnold & Itkin fights for workers who have been through the kinds of disasters that only come about through negligence: explosions, fires, chemical exposure, and more. We've seen it happen over and over: workers will have their careers and livelihoods cut short from life-changing injuries, but the company will do nothing to help them recover. Why? Because some large oil and gas companies would rather cover up their part in an accident than help employees live better lives.

Plant Accidents in Lake Charles & Throughout Louisiana

  • Westlake Chemical Plant Explosion (January 2022): Six people were injured when an ethylene dichloride tank exploded at Westlake Chemical South, a plant located about four miles from Lake Charles.
  • The Williams Olefins Geismar Plant Explosion (June 2013): The company was warned that its reboiler system had a fatal flaw. They ignored it for years until the plant exploded, killing 2 and injuring 167.
  • The Citgo Refinery Explosion (March 1991): The Citgo plant exploded in 1991, killing 3 workers and injuring 12 more. Those killed included a man who had been working at the plant for 22 years.
  • The Citgo Refinery Explosion (2001): Barely 10 years after the first Citgo plant explosion, another explosion severely damaged the refinery. Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident.

Oil Refining Companies Operating in Lake Charles

  • Pelican Refining Company
  • Calcasieu Refining Company
  • Chestnut Petroleum Inc.
  • Hilcorp Energy Co.
  • Citgo Petroleum Corp.

The Reason Plant Explosions Keep Happening

In the industrial boom of the last several decades, oil refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities, and other enormous operations were built to accommodate America's thirst for fuel. The boom created tens of thousands of jobs for people throughout the United States and even helped build whole towns. However, those plants are getting older

Companies need to do everything they can to invest in refurbishing, rebuilding, and maintaining these facilities—but instead, they're trying to lobby to get away with even less oversight and maintenance. The result? Increased accidents. This would be preventable if companies were willing to invest in their safety protocols and equipment, but far too few do.

Plant Shutdown & Turnaround Accidents

Plants and refineries need to be maintained to ensure productivity and safety. One way this is accomplished is with turnarounds, where the facility is shut down so equipment can be upgraded, updated, inspected, and repaired. However, these shutdowns are expensive, which can entice some companies to put them off or avoid them. Turnarounds often go over budget and last longer than expected. They are also the site of as many as half of all plant and refinery accidents.

When workers are injured in turnaround accidents, we know what to do. We know how to deal with employers and their insurance companies, helping injured workers get the medical treatment and financial support they need. We even know how to counter efforts made by employers to deny, delay, or underpay plant or refinery shutdown injury claims. Turnarounds must be completed according to current safety standards and policies. We hold corporations to the highest standard regarding refinery turnaround accidents, plant shutdown injuries, explosions, and fires.

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Lake Charles Bus Accident Attorneys

Helping Bus Accident Survivors & Families in Lake Charles, LA

Bus accidents can result in life-changing injuries. Per the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 35,000 people were injured in bus accidents in 2016. According to another study, roughly 50 bus occupants are killed in bus crashes every year, with many more deaths occurring to pedestrians and other motorists. Each injury or death demands compensation. Negligent bus companies must be held accountable for the harm they cause passengers, pedestrians, and drivers.

The Dangers of Bus Accidents & Charter Travel

Statistically, most bus accidents could be prevented through proper driver vetting and training, routine vehicle maintenance, and other basic safety measures. Regular repairs, in particular, are crucial to preventing issues with buses.

Other factors that contribute to bus accidents include:

  • Inadequately trained drivers
  • Bus drivers under the influence
  • Negligent bus drivers
  • Lack of safety restraints

As mentioned, the lack of safety equipment in buses is a significant issue. It is common for buses not to have seatbelts, even though it is a federal requirement for passengers to wear seatbelts in virtually every other vehicle. Bus roofs and windows also lack adequate protection. When a bus is involved in an accident, passengers often suffer severe injuries.

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Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana

Research indicates that motorcyclists face a 35% higher risk of accidents compared to passenger vehicle drivers. In 2016 alone, the NHTSA reported over 5,200 fatalities in motorcycle crashes. This data underscores the heightened danger for motorcyclists, largely attributable to their limited protective barriers, making them more susceptible to serious injuries. Despite the inherent risks, it is important to note that motorcyclists do not cause the majority of motorcycle accidents. 

Below, we explain the most common types of motorcycle accidents that occur in Louisiana:

  • Negligent Drivers: Any time a driver does not obey traffic laws, they drive negligently, putting other drivers in danger. For example, any time a person is distracted or texting and driving, they become a serious hazard on the road. 
  • Blind Spots: Cars on the road often fail to check their blind spots or put on blinkers. It is common for cars to change lanes without warning, causing them to hit motorcycles in the next lane. 
  • Dangerous Roadways: Hazardous roads may include potholes, uneven pavement, and other risks. Unmaintained roads can cause motorcyclists to swerve, lose control, and cause accidents. 
  • Defective Equipment: Faulty equipment is also a common cause of motorcycle accidents. If a motorcycle is defective or not properly maintained, it can cause a severe accident. 

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Lake Charles Offshore Injury Lawyers

Leading Maritime Attorneys Helping Lake Charles, LA Seamen

Our Lake Charles offshore injury attorneys have a long history of fighting for workers injured at sea. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded, nearly a third of the crew trusted us to protect their futures. After the cargo ship El Faro sank and 33 lives were lost, we helped the grieving widows by demanding answers. Our experience has taught us that, after an accident, offshore companies rarely have their workers’ best interests in mind. 

These companies go to great lengths to deny accountability. 

At Arnold & Itkin, we don't stand for this.

Whether you were injured in a dredging accident, vessel collision, fire, explosion, diving accident, oil rig accident, or other, our Lake Charles maritime attorneys will not settle for less than you deserve. We can help you secure compensation for your hospitalization, future medical costs, lost income, and more.

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Lake Charles Aviation Accident Attorneys

Plant & Helicopter Accident Lawyers Handling Cases in Lake Charles & Beyond

Aviation accidents cause unspeakable damage. From accidents that occur in airports to crashes involving private planes, helicopters, and more, these are disasters that often result in severe injuries and fatalities. They can also involve multiple parties, creating legislation that is difficult to navigate and cases that are difficult to win. You need an attorney in your corner who isn’t afraid to stand up to large corporations and isn’t afraid of the hard work to get the answers you need.

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Lake Charles Train Accident Lawyers

Railroad Accident Attorneys in Lake Charles, LA. Over $20 Billion Won.

When accidents involve railroads, the damage is devastating. From derailment to railroad crossing accidents to FELA-related claims, our law firm is prepared to step up and get the answers you need. We've handled these complex cases before. We’re not afraid to help clients in complicated cases, and we’re not afraid to stand up to massive companies—leveling the playing field for our clients to recover the compensation they truly deserve. For example, we once took on a case against Union Pacific for a family who suffered in a grade crossing accident. In the end, we won $10.9 million.

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About Lake Charles

First incorporated in 1857 as Charleston, Lake Charles was renamed and reincorporated in 1867. It is now the fifth most populous city in Louisiana. Its location on Lake Charles, the Calcasieu River, and Prien Lake has led to the metropolitan region being called the Lake Area. Lake Charles is about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern Louisiana and has an elevation of just 13 feet above sea level. As of 2021, it had an estimated population of 81,097 people

The Lake Charles economy is driven primarily by petrochemical refining, manufacturing, and tourism. It is home to several petrochemical plants along the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Some of the city’s biggest industrial employers are Westlake Chemical, Turner Industries, Citgo, and Phillips 66. The top employer in Lake Charles is the Calcasieu Parish School System, followed by L’Auberge Casino Resort, which covers 242 acres and boasts 1,000 guest rooms.

Lake Charles is a culturally rich city with deep Cajun and Creole roots. Every year, the Louisiana Pirate Festival is held at the Lake Charles Civic Center and draws about 200,000 people. The 12-day festival used to be known as Contraband Days and features live entertainment, Cajun food, and lots of fun for everyone. Mardi Gras is another big event in Lake Charles, attracting about 150,000 people. Lake Charles is home to 31 parks and numerous museums and art galleries. Residents and visitors will have no shortage of things to do outdoors, on the water, or inside. Some of the city’s main attractions include its four casinos, the Sam Houston Jones State Park, the Creole Nature Trail All-American, North Beach, the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, and the Charpentier Historic District.

Lake Charles, LA Links & Resources

Call (888) 493-1629 to Schedule a Free Consultation 

If you or a loved one has been injured, the time to act is now. We're ready to help. 

Since there are time limits when it comes to personal injury cases, it is crucial to call our Lake Charles injury attorneys as soon as possible. We offer completely free, confidential consultations. This is a time where you can discuss everything that happened to you, and we can tell you about the different legal options available to you.

At Arnold & Itkin, we have helped countless injured or grieving families nationwide, recovering billions of dollars. We've successfully handled some of the largest disasters in recent U.S. history. For our work, our firm has been repeatedly included in The Best Lawyers in America©, and our partners are members of The Inner Circle of Advocates, one of the world's most prestigious and exclusive legal organizations. Whoever caused your loved one's death, our Lake Charles injury lawyers have the resources and track record to hold them accountable and secure your family's future.

Call us at (888) 493-1629 to take advantage of this free consultation. We are here to help and look forward to answering any questions you have.

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