SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER PARADE ACCIDENT LAWYER
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer for Parade Accidents in Northwest Louisiana
Mardi Gras has undoubtedly played a significant role in Louisiana’s unique history. This time-honored tradition brings communities throughout Shreveport-Bossier together with spectacular parades, including the Krewe of Centaur, Krewe of Gemini, and Krewe of Highland parades. Springhill, Minden, and other areas throughout Northwest Louisiana have their own krewes and parades, partaking in their own carnival celebrations.
While Mardi Gras parades are a happy occasion, accidents can occur amidst the revelry, casting a shadow over these joyous celebrations. Shreveport personal injury attorney Michael J. Vergis is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to ensure the victims of parade accidents receive the justice and support they need to heal.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Shreveport-Bossier Mardi Gras parade, schedule a free consultation with attorney Michael J. Vergis to learn more about filing a personal injury claim and the financial compensation you could be eligible for. Call The Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis at (318) 698-3724 to schedule a free legal consultation today.
What is a Parade Accident?
A parade accident is any unexpected and unfortunate incident that occurs during the course of a parade, potentially resulting in serious injury or harm to participants, spectators, or bystanders. Personal injury cases from parade accidents can range from vehicle collisions, including floats and other parade vehicles, to slip and fall accidents among the crowds, or even structural failures of parade stages or viewing stands.
Given the dense crowds and complex logistics of parades, especially in large-scale events like Mardi Gras, the risk factors for accidents are heightened, making safety precautions and awareness crucial for all involved. Parade accidents can have serious implications, from serious injuries to significant emotional and financial distress.
History of Parade Accidents in Louisiana
It’s no surprise that many accidents have occurred during Mardi Gras parades. In 2020, two New Orleans parades experienced unthinkable tragedies when spectators were killed during the festivities. The first parade victim was killed during the Nyx parade when she attempted to cross between a tandem float. Three days later, another victim fell or was pushed between a tandem float during the Endymion parade. Tandem floats are large floats with two or more segments connected, similar to box cars.
Following the tragedies in 2020, New Orleans now requires protective barriers over the connected parts of tandem floats. Now, every tandem float is equipped with cargo netting to keep spectators from attempting to cross. The material is similar to the netting that keeps large cargo shipping containers in place, which allows floats to make turns while keeping the barriers in place.
While many features are in place to protect both spectators and participants during parades, there’s always the chance of an accident happening. Even though tandem floats are more common in New Orleans, parade accidents can occur anywhere.
Common Causes of Parade Accidents in Louisiana
In the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of Louisiana’s parades, especially during the iconic Mardi Gras celebrations, the common causes of parade accidents emerge from a mix of excitement, large crowds, and the complex dynamics of such large-scale events.
Whether a drunk driver gets too close to the crowd or someone falls from a moving float, you can trust Shreveport-Bossier City personal injury attorney Michael J. Vergis to handle your claim with the utmost care.
Car accidents during parades, particularly those involving floats and other parade vehicles, can lead to serious injuries for anyone involved. Vehicle-related parade accidents can occur for various reasons, including mechanical failures, driver error, or inadequate safety measures for both the vehicles and the surrounding crowd.
The large size and unique designs of parade floats, coupled with the dense crowds, increase the complexity of safely navigating parade routes. To prevent a car accident from occurring, safety protocols like vehicle inspections, driver sobriety checks, and more are in place to keep all participants safe.
If you’re injured in a vehicle-related accident during a parade, contact Bossier City auto accident attorney Michael J. Vergis today to begin filing your claim.
In Louisiana, Mardi Gras parades draw large crowds, packing them tightly along the routes as they anticipate the beautiful floats and fun throws. This often results in tightly packed spaces, leading to falls, trampling, and suffocation. The excitement and energy of these gatherings can also lead to situations where individual safety is compromised in large, moving crowds. Factors such as inadequate crowd control measures, insufficient exit routes, and barriers that may impede the flow of people contribute to the risk.
Poorly Secured Decorations or Equipment
When you consider everything that Mardi Gras floats carry, it’s no surprise that there’s a possibility of injuries related to poorly secured decorations and equipment. Floats typically carry sound systems with multiple speakers, elaborate decorations, riders, and generators to keep the electrical components running. If anything is not properly secured, it can become hazardous in the event of sudden stops or strong winds.
Lack of Safety Barriers
Safety barriers are essential for outlining the parade route, separating vehicles from spectators, and preventing unauthorized access to restricted areas. Without these barriers, there is an increased likelihood of spectators entering the path of moving floats or vehicles, leading to potential injuries or even death.
It’s not uncommon for people, especially children, to try and pick up items that have fallen underneath floats. These accidents can be prevented when proper barricades are used, keeping even the youngest spectators safe.
Alcohol consumption during parades can increase the risk of accidents. While alcohol is often part of the celebratory atmosphere, its consumption can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents for both participants and spectators. Intoxicated individuals may inadvertently wander into unsafe areas, misjudge distances, or engage in risky behavior.
There have also been countless incidents where drunk drivers have driven their cars into parade crowds. In 2017, a man drove his truck into a parade crowd in New Orleans during the Endymion parade, injuring over 30 people. It was reported that his blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
The combination of crowded spaces, littered streets (often with beads, cups, and other parade debris), uneven surfaces, and distractions creates a high risk for slip and fall accidents. These incidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor bruises to more serious fractures or head injuries, especially in older adults or children.
Proactive measures like adequate lighting and warning signs around hazardous areas are key to keeping everyone safe during the event. If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, contact Shreveport premises liability attorney Michael J. Vergis to see if you could be eligible for compensation.
Inclement Weather Conditions
Unfortunately, Mardi Gras parade season in Louisiana is often plagued with unpredictable weather. It’s common for the weeks leading up to a parade to experience various weather conditions, like ice storms followed by 70-degree highs. If you plan on attending a parade, it’s best to be prepared for anything.
Weather conditions, like heavy rain, strong winds, or icy weather, can significantly impact the safety of parade events. Such conditions not only make the parade route slippery and hazardous but can also compromise the structural integrity of floats, decorations, and temporary installations, potentially turning them into dangers for participants and spectators alike.
Lack of Adequate Safety Measures
Essential safety protocols, such as crowd control strategies, clear signage, accessible first aid stations, and effective communication systems, are often underestimated in their importance during parades.
Without these measures, the potential for crowd-related incidents, confusion during emergencies, and delayed response to accidents increases dramatically. Ensuring the presence of trained safety personnel, along with the implementation of comprehensive safety plans tailored to the specific challenges of parade environments, is critical.
The combination of large crowds, outdoor settings, and temporary electrical installations can create dangerous conditions if not properly managed. Exposed wires, overloaded circuits, and electrical equipment close to water or during adverse weather conditions can lead to shocks, fires, or other accidents.
Parade organizers must adhere to strict electrical safety standards, including the use of weatherproof equipment, proper grounding, and ensuring that all electrical setups are installed and monitored by qualified professionals.
Animals can become unpredictable in crowded, noisy environments, leading to potential injuries to both the animals and participants or spectators. Factors such as loud music, the cheering of crowds, and the general chaos of parades can startle animals, causing them to bolt or behave erratically.
Ensuring the safety of all involved requires thorough preparation and training for the animals participating, along with experienced handlers who can manage and soothe them effectively. If you’re injured by an animal during a parade, learn more about your legal options by contacting the Shreveport dog bites attorney.
Types of Injuries Commonly Resulting From Parade Accidents
Similar to pedestrian accidents, incidents at parades can lead to severe injuries due to spectators and other participants being minimally protected from dangers. Some parade accidents can result in catastrophic injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, while others can be minor, like bruises or sprains. Some of the most common types of parade injuries include:
- Lacerations and Abrasions: These injuries often occur from falls, encounters with parade floats, or interactions with crowd barriers and can range from minor cuts to deep wounds requiring medical attention.
- Contusions and Bruises: These are common injuries resulting from falls, being struck by thrown objects like beads or toys, or minor collisions with other spectators or parade equipment.
- Sprains and Strains: The crowded and chaotic environment of parades can lead to twisted ankles, pulled muscles, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Fractures: More severe falls or collisions, either with parade vehicles, other spectators, or barriers, can result in broken bones.
- Head Injuries: These include mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries caused by falls, being struck by objects, or collisions with parade floats.
In the most tragic circumstances, parade accidents can lead to wrongful death. These fatalities can result from severe incidents such as vehicle-related accidents involving parade floats, structural collapses, or extreme cases of trampling in overcrowded conditions. The loss experienced profoundly impacts families and communities. A wrongful death claim may be filed to address the negligence or circumstances that led to such losses.
What To Do If You’re Involved in a Parade Accident
A parade accident victim should follow the following steps:
- Call 911 and report any injuries to the authorities.
- Seek medical treatment.
- Take photos of the parade accident scene and talk to witnesses, if possible.
- Consult with personal injury lawyer Michael J. Vergis.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
Who is Liable for a Parade Accident Injury or Death?
In the event of an injury or death resulting from a parade accident, determining liability can be challenging. Possible parties that could be held liable for an accident or death include the parade organizers, local government entities, contractors responsible for parade safety measures, and even participants or third-party vendors.
Victims or their families may pursue personal injury claims to seek compensation for damages incurred. These claims require a thorough investigation to establish negligence, breach of duty, and direct causation of the injuries or fatalities.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney Following a Parade Accident
Securing the services of Shreveport personal injury attorney Michael J. Vergis is critical in the aftermath of a parade accident. For over 25 years, he’s represented clients throughout the area in personal injury cases and has an extensive understanding of the complex Louisiana legal system. Working with a personal injury attorney following your parade accident can improve your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Attorney Michael J. Vergis will fight to ensure you receive damages for medical expenses, lost income, physical therapy costs, and more. Recovering from injuries is already stressful. Alleviate the headache of a personal injury claim and contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis today.
Call Shreveport Personal Injury Lawyer Michael J. Vergis To Set Up a Consultation Today
Parade season is supposed to be a time of fun and festivities, but it can lead to injuries in dangerous circumstances. If you’re injured during a parade, reach out to Shreveport personal injury attorney Michael J. Vergis.
During your consultation, he will evaluate your parade accident and injuries to determine if you’re eligible to file a claim. To schedule a consultation with Shreveport parade accident attorney Michael J. Vergis, call our law firm at (318) 698-3724 or contact us online today.