It’s that time of year again! Jazzfest is upon us, New Orleans!
Who doesn’t love to pass a good time at the Jazzfest, cher? Louisiana’s most famous music festival is also one of the world’s biggest parties; a sunshine-soaked celebration of all of the things we locals just love. There’s dancing in the streets, music everywhere you turn, and everyone’s in a great mood from morning ‘til night. Since we love Jazzfest at The Law Office of Jon Bethune, here are a few pointers to keep as many people as possible in that good mood (and out of the emergency room).
1. Never Drive – or Bike! – Under the Influence.
The CDC reports that, unfortunately, Louisiana drinks and drives at a much higher rate than the national average. We love to lasseiz le bon temps roulez, but we have much room for improvement when it comes to doing so responsibly. If you are under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, do not get behind the wheel of a car, and especially do not get on a bicycle or motorcycle.
If you hurt someone while under the influence, the price you pay in court could be more than it would otherwise be. Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.4 states:
“In addition to general and special damages, exemplary damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries.”
If you drink and drive, you not only risk hurting someone else, you risk hurting yourself.
2. Remain Aware of Your Surroundings, Especially When Coming or Going.
Even if you don’t drink, you need to make sure you are aware of everything around you. Local Louisianians know that when you start to get in the MidCity area, traffic starts to get extremely dense. There are a plethora of travelers all trying to get to The Fairgrounds by car, on foot, and by bicycle.
To a personal injury attorney, this looks like a recipe for disaster. One opened car door, and a bicyclist could go flying; one step off the street, and a pedestrian could get hit by a car. Between this and the alcohol use that goes on during Jazzfest, you cannot be too careful. Staying aware of the people around you may just be enough to keep something terrible from happening to yourself or someone else.
3. Be Hypervigilant of Traffic Laws, Whether Biking, Driving, or Walking.
You only need your eyes to know that there are many more bicyclists and motorists on the road during Jazzfest. This year, with the recent emergence of Blue Bikes in the New Orleans Area, it’s more imperative than ever to know the traffic laws and when to yield.
NOLA.com recently posted an excellent guide, both for bicyclists and for drivers. No matter how you’re getting to Jazzfest, review the rules and stick to them. While it might be tempting to speed or ride against traffic, resist the urge.
If you find yourself harmed due to another’s negligence, seeking legal counsel has never been easier. There are a multitude of options all over the internet for New Orleans alone. While “quantity” certainly seems to be the term for personal injury attorneys in Louisiana, we tend to prefer the term “quality”.