NEW ORLEANS, LA — Texting while driving is illegal in most states, but according to the Center for Disease Control’s statistics, “Each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” In Louisiana, texting while driving is punished with a fine of $175.00; subsequent offenses can cost up to $500.00. Yet even with these penalties, Louisiana motorists run a high risk of being hit by a distracted driver. Car crash statistics from the CDC, along with the Federal Communications Center, demonstrate that drivers continue to text and use social media while driving, regardless of laws prohibiting this risky behavior. Teenage drivers are the most likely to text while driving, but with the widespread popularity of mobile devices, drivers of all ages may succumb to the temptation to respond to that all-important text while behind the wheel. Tragically, making the wrong decision to respond to a text can easily cause a life-altering collision.
It is impossible for the responsible driver to protect himself from a collision caused by a distracted driver. Fortunately, should the unthinkable occur, the penalties for driving while texting offer responsible Louisiana motorists the chance to have to a speedier recovery after a collision with a distracted driver, as insurance companies and their attorneys will be more likely to settle if their insured motorist receives a citation for texting while driving. At The de Boisblanc Law Firm, your attorney will fight for proof that the distracted driver was using his mobile device illegally when he caused the collision that injured you or your passengers. The aftermath of a collision, even if it’s not your fault, generally involves major bills, such as ambulance bills, emergency room care, and car rental and repair expenses. Therefore, it’s important that a driver involved in a car accident call the police, and seek an experienced attorney to assist him in the process of making the responsible party pay for the damages caused.
Drivers should be cautioned by the statistic that it only takes a moment of checking your cell phone or social media, to become involved in a collision. If you’re struck by another motorist when driving, the first thing you should do is call the police, and then allow emergency medical services to assist you. The next step for the responsible driver is to find a competent attorney to recover damages from the distracted driver. Experiencing a motor vehicle collision is traumatic and costly, but the decisions you make in those early moments, will have long-lasting consequences in your ability to make the guilty party pay for the collision he caused.
NEW ORLEANS, LA — Can your child support debt be seized from your personal injury settlement? If you are a non-custodial parent with a pending lawsuit or settlement, it’s important that you are current on all child support obligations. Federal law classifies personal injury settlements as assets subject to seizure in cases of child support delinquency; therefore, if you are behind in your child support, your settlement will be seized to settle your obligations. In the past, custodial parents who are owed support would have to appeal to Child Support Enforcement to collect on a settlement. Today, this process is automatic.
When a non-custodial parent goes into arrears on his or her child support payments, that parent’s name is entered into a statewide database. In Louisiana, this database is known as the Louisiana Insurance Intercept Database. Insurance companies register with the LIID, providing the database access to information on all individuals making claims against the insurance company. LIID computers then scan claimant information against records of child-support debtors, looking for matching social security numbers and other identifying information. When a match is found, the LIID notifies the state Child Support Enforcement Office, the insurance company, and the debtor himself. A Notice of Income Assignment is generated, which transfers the delinquent parent’s right to the settlement income to the beneficiary of the child support order. Finally, the insurance company notifies the debtor’s attorney, who must comply with the Child Support Enforcement Office and the Notice of Income Assignment. After legal fees, medical bills, and property damage claims, the remainder of your settlement will be applied to your child support debt, and you will only receive whatever funds remain after your child support debts are satisfied.
Should a non-custodial parent feel there has been a mistake, and he does not owe child support, he may file a petition to stop the income assignment. He will then be required to go before a judge, so that the court can determine whether or not the debt is valid. If the debt is proven to be valid, the non-custodial parent will also be ordered to pay for the cost of the court proceedings.
Most insurance companies participate in the LIID, and your attorney is bound by law to comply with any child support enforcement orders and liens. Therefore, it’s essential that all non-custodial parents paying child support verify that they are not in arrears on their support payments, before they file a personal injury claim.
If you are in doubt about whether or not child support arrears can affect your recovery after an accident, contact an attorney at The de Boisblanc Law Firm today.