For many people each year, there is nothing better than traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. One of the world’s most famous parties, it is an extravaganza unlike any other. However, since thousands of people are in attendance and quite a few of these individuals have had several drinks along the way, a variety of accidents often take place. Unfortunately, many people are seriously injured in these accidents, with the majority being involved in traffic accidents. If you have visited NOLA for Mardi Gras and found yourself hurt while in attendance, here are some important tips you should keep in mind.
Always Consult an Attorney
Since more than 1,000 people are typically injured in traffic accidents during Mardi Gras, there is a good chance this may happen to you. If it does, one of the first things you should do is consult an attorney. While you may believe you have an open and shut case, that may not be true. In Louisiana, there are many specific laws in place to protect various organizations and businesses during Mardi Gras, such as if you get hurt during a parade. However, even in these situations, if you and your attorney can prove gross negligence occurred, you may be successful in winning your legal fight.
Like any legal matter where you have been injured by others, it is crucial you gather evidence to support your case. In regards to being injured during Mardi Gras, this means having as much photo and video evidence as possible. Since Mardi Gras is such a unique experience for those in attendance, it is highly likely you and any friends or family with you are using smartphones to take photos and videos of the festivities. In these instances, it will be probable that if you are injured during Mardi Gras, you or someone else captured it on their smartphone. If you have this type of evidence, your attorney can use it to plan a legal strategy that could sway the court in your favor.
Since most businesses and organizations in New Orleans rely on Mardi Gras for a bulk of their income each year, they naturally want everyone to have a good time. Because of this, when injuries and accidents do occur, most businesses and organizations will do whatever it takes to make sure these cases do not end up in a courtroom. For you, this means being offered an out of court settlement. If you do receive an offer to reach a settlement, never accept it until you have spoken with an attorney. This is important, since some businesses will attempt to give you as little compensation as possible just to get rid of you. Therefore, before accepting a settlement, always consult with your attorney to make sure the amount is fair and will fully compensate you for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
How to Prove Negligence
In any situation where you are injured while visiting NOLA for Mardi Gras, the key to winning your case will be proving the negligence of others led to your injuries. While this sounds relatively simple, it can be anything but that. For example, New Orleans has a variety of Mardi Gras Immunity Laws in place, which can make it very difficult in certain situations to win a legal case against a business or organization. Since these laws state that Mardi Gras attendees realize they are assuming a certain amount of risk while there, those who cause your injuries will rely on these laws as their defense. However, if you can prove a bar continued to serve a patron drinks after they were clearly drunk, and that patron in turn hit you with their vehicle or assaulted you, your attorney will be able to use this to your advantage.
While it is far more likely you will be able to attend Mardi Gras year after year without any issues, there is always the chance you may be hurt during your experience. If this happens, it will be vital you keep these tips in mind to ensure you are treated fairly. Otherwise, you may find yourself left out in the cold regarding compensation.