Criminal Law

Our firm specializes in state and federal criminal defense. We have represented clients in all types of cases across the state of Louisiana on charges ranging from simple traffic tickets to first- degree murder. The combination of years of trial experience and the ability to work well with all parties involved in the criminal justice system have allowed our firm to develop a unique reputation of excellence amongst our colleagues and the communities where we practice.

The criminal justice system at times can seem overwhelming and unyielding to the untrained eye. In fact Louisiana has one of the highest incarceration rates in the United States and our United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the industrialized world. Plainly put people are getting more jail time now than ever before for lessor offenses. If you have been accused of a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Do not wait another minute. The sooner you hire the lawyer, the sooner your legal rights are protected as early in the process as possible, preferably even before questioning or investigation by the police. A skilled attorney can fight for your legal and constitutional rights.

Personal Injury

When you are injured, whether on the job, while traveling, or by pharmaceutical products, you will have to deal with paperwork, doctors, law enforcement, and insurance companies. There may be more than one person or entity at fault in the accident and liable for damages and compensation.There is a lot to confuse and overwhelm you while you’re trying to recover from injury and loss. You’ll have a lot of questions and need a lot of information, at a time when you are most vulnerable and possibly incapacitated. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you figure out what to do and how to protect your rights.
An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to assess legal claims and can quickly tell you whether it’s worth it to pursue legal action in your case. Legal counsel knows how much you are likely to get in compensation from a lawsuit, and understands the complicated legal procedures, medical terms, and paperwork common to personal injury cases. Attorneys experienced with personal injury cases know how to work with professional investigators to examine all aspects of your situation, and get the legal documentation required to prove fault, negligence, and liability.
Legal counsel during personal injury cases help victims and plaintiffs make good decisions when they are trying to recover from injury and loss, and will help them be more objective, see the facts of their case, and understand their rights to fair compensation, often resulting in better outcomes and bigger settlements. They can recommend appropriate alternative dispute resolution when appropriate to save time and money, are experienced in working with other attorneys to get and receive crucial information, and are used to working with insurance companies, so they’ll help clients get better offers. Personal injury attorneys help injured clients understand the difference between a settlement and a suit and advise which is best in their situation, and work to develop the best legal strategy for every injured client.
When you experience personal injury in Louisiana, contact Unglesby & Williams. We’ll be your strongest advocates and get you the maximum compensation when you are the most vulnerable. We can sort out the facts and details of the case and protect your rights in all types of personal injury cases.

Maritime/Admiralty Injuries
Working at sea, such as operating ships and transporting goods and people, is an occupation that is different from and more dangerous than most other types of work. Suffering injury from offshore accidents is even more complicated than other types of accidents. We understand matters of maritime law and are ready to handle cases involving injury while working on the water or enjoying leisure activities on boats.

Pharmaceutical Injuries
The drugs that are created to help people get better are not always safe. Many are recalled each year because of side effects or contamination. The pharmaceutical industry has liability for injuring people with defective drugs that aren’t tested well enough or that cause undisclosed side effects. We assess these types of injuries to figure out grounds for claims and industry standards for safety and efficacy.

Trust us when you are injured in an accident. We will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve and need to get better, physically and financially. We litigate all types of injuries, those described above and others, including bicycle, burn, industrial, product liability, and catastrophic injuries.

Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are injuries resulting in permanent disability and/or disfigurement with serious long-term effects. These types of injuries affect not only the victims, but also their families who must care for and assist them for the rest of their lives, physically and financially. Expenses for medical and rehabilitative treatment are often devastating to families’ finances and financial futures after catastrophic injuries.

Examples of catastrophic injuries include severe damage to the central nervous system such as spinal cord injuries, severe burn injuries, serious head trauma, loss of vision and/or hearing, severe fall or crush injuries, accidental amputation, eye injuries, brain injuries and neurological damage, and injuries resulting in paralysis and physiological injuries or wrongful death.

Catastrophic injury law commonly seeks settlements to compensate for lifelong disabilities and the losses that result from them. Unglesby & Williams has experience litigating catastrophic injury cases to win compensation for lost wages and lost future wages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, painful and disfiguring disabilities, and medical bills. We can accurately determine the value of catastrophic injury claims to victims’ future quality of life, which is important to the outcomes needed for lifetime care.

Many victims of catastrophic injury, whether from an auto accident, negligence, defective machinery, or physical violence, suffer further when they are undercompensated by insurance companies. Our experienced team helps clients in catastrophic cases by determining lifetime expenses, documenting fault, and going after all sources of compensation owed to victims.

Maritime/Admiralty Injuries

Unglesby & Williams litigates all forms of maritime and admiralty injury claims and suits, including plant and refinery explosions, chemical accidents, plant and refinery fires, and offshore accidents. When you’re hurt on the water, many laws that you are unfamiliar with may apply, and insurance coverage will have terms you may not have heard before. Our firm knows how to handle cases governed by admiralty and maritime law involving injury on a body of water, in port, or at sea.

Laws about maritime and leisure boating injuries are complicated and based on circumstances including type of boat, how the boat is used, whether there was fatality, and whether the injured person was an employee. Cruise ship injuries, private leisure boating accidents, injuries because of unseaworthiness, and negligence of maritime operations or vessels are common in personal injury on the water. Many transportation and employment scenarios at sea are dangerous to passengers and workers. Ship collisions, drilling barge operations accidents, accidents on barges and offshore stationary platforms in lakes, rivers, ports, and at sea result in injury claims. Leisure activities on the water that cause injury include fishing, cruising on motor boats, jet skiing, and travel and leisure on charter boats and cruise ships.

When you or a family member are injured in a boating accident, whether you are on a charter boat or cruise boat on vacation or working on a tug boat on a big river, our lawyers know how to handle your case for the best outcomes. We will investigate negligence and culpability, find witnesses, determine statute of limitations and legal venues, and explain which maritime laws apply in your case. Trust Unglesby & Williams to help you navigate the unfamiliar territory of maritime and admiralty law when you or someone close to you are injured on the water.

Plant & Refinery Property Contamination

Toxic torts involve litigating after exposure to chemicals such as silica, manganese, asbestos, and other toxic materials. Our firm is experienced in litigating asbestos contamination and incidents with other toxic materials on the work and job site and in the surrounding community.

Plants and refineries are very dangerous work environments because of hazardous chemicals and large machinery. Incidents of injury, death, and property contamination occur because of a range of different circumstances, including negligence, poor management, lack of safety training, and illegal activities. The resulting serious injuries include burns, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and fatalities. Contamination of water and soil from leaks and spills and moving materials improperly can cause explosions, fires, and long-lasting unhealthy and toxic environmental conditions that are exorbitantly expensive to clean up.

These types of accidents are very complicated and difficult to sort out, and require skillful and tireless legal assistance to remedy. We work to sort out the complexities of plant and refinery cases and get maximum compensation for those who’ve been injured or exposed.

Product Liability

One of our fastest growing practice areas is product liability litigation for defects and recalls for a wide range of products including consumer products, pharmaceutical, chemical, and automotive. All types of products are subject to product liability claims, such as medical devices, workplace equipment, and pharmaceuticals. Defendants in product liability claims are commonly manufacturers and distributors, but may also be rebuilders, re-conditioners, and sellers of component parts.

Product liability claims involve defective products that cause personal injury. Defects include a range of issues from design to warnings to safety for intended purpose, and often depend on negligence, liability, breach of warranty, and fraud defined by state laws. State product liability law, ability of the claim to withstand motion to dismiss, defenses such as comparative negligence and assumption of risk are just some of the complex issues in product liability claims.

Unglesby & Williams can complete an analysis of claims like these, investigate all related issues, find scientific and technical experts, research the venue and local judges, and bring extensive trial experience to the case.

Commercial Litigation

Commercial litigation handles business disputes involving breach of contract cases, partnership and L.L.C. disputes, class actions, business torts, collections, breach of fiduciary duty allegations, construction, and banking disputes. Plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation must weigh the merits of the case against best possible outcomes for the cost.

Commercial litigation takes place in various ways, including state and federal courts, private arbitrations, and administrative hearings for business-to-business disputes or government agencies. Searching for weak points in the opponent’s case, developing a unique approach to each case, and focusing on key legal and factual matters is necessary to prepare and win these complex legal actions.

In a changing economy with a complicated history in business law, commercial litigators have to keep an eye on costs and fees. Strong management skills and court and trial experience can mean the difference between success or failure in commercial cases that often affect a company’s business reputation and standing in the local community. We will work to resolve commercial, cases as early as possible in the litigation process for the best outcomes at the lowest prices.

Insurance Claims

Insurance claims can quickly get out of control. First party claims, homeowner claims, business insurance claims, and bad faith claims can be confusing and time consuming to understand and resolve. The key to successful handling of insurance claims is to find out what insurance is available when issues arise, and thoroughly investigate all aspects of the policy.

There are three areas of insurance law: insurance coverage, insurance defense litigation, and insurance compliance, involving different actions. Insurance coverage actions are between an insurer and the insured, with the insured seeking compensation from an insurance policy. Disputes can arise when there’s a question of what is covered in the incident. Complex language, facts and occurrences, and policy exclusions all have to be investigated and verified during insurance disputes.

Insurance compliance involves state regulation of insurance issues such as rates, advertising/solicitation, and licensing of adjusters. Insurance companies must comply with insurance regulations and may need legal assistance when under investigation by state regulators.

Insurance defense involves an insurance company hiring legal counsel to defend an insured against a third party under the insured’s insurance policy. The disputes are usually about liability, who did what and who is liable to pay for damages or injury.

Insurance litigation involves diverse situations including construction defects, disability, insurance fraud, reinsurance, catastrophic loss, and bad faith. Unglesby & Williams understand insurance law and gets resolution on insurance issues, reducing the length of time claims are open and in dispute, and the costs to resolve claims.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Diseases

It has been known for decades that asbestos poses serious health threats, causing problems breathing, coughing, and lung irritation called asbestosis which causes scar tissue in the lungs. Symptoms may not show up or be diagnosed until years after exposure to asbestos. There’s no treatment for asbestosis. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease you will have a lot of questions. Who is liable and how do you get compensation? At Unglesby and Williams we will be your advocate and get you the compensation you deserve. We have the two highest survival action verdicts in the state of Louisiana. In these two cases we took both Exxon and Entergy to trial and got our clients settlements of 5 million and 3.8 million, respectively.

Other diseases related to asbestosis include lung cancer and mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the linings of the lungs, chest wall, and sometimes the lining of the abdomen. Asbestos causes other lung problems including growths, blockages, and fluid build-up. Those who have been exposed to asbestos, whether on the job, in housing, or in other ways, have legal rights when diagnosed with diseases caused by asbestos. We can help you understand your rights when diagnosed and get fairly compensated to be able to take care of yourself.

Federal Criminal Defense

Expansion of U.S. government oversight of businesses and financial scandals has led to a rise in the need for white-collar defense, internal investigations, and complex litigation of business dealings. Business regulation often requires sound defense for things such as how businesses win new business, seek payment from government customers, and how they compete with each other. Tax evasion, corruption, fraud, and theft are other areas businesses may need legal counsel to assist with risk management, train businesses about regulatory compliance, and help minimize criminal and civil liability.

Whether you or your business has come under government scrutiny, or you want to learn how to avoid white-collar crime, solid legal counsel can help you understand all your options.

Healthcare Fraud

When there are allegations of health care fraud and abuse, legal assistance helps during investigations and to defend against charges. The new HealthCare Reform Act created many challenges and violations of Stark law and anti-kickback laws can bring serious consequences

Hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and individual physicians can end up in compromised situations requiring legal counsel. Claims of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, home health agency fraud, and durable medical equipment fraud and abuse can quickly affect a company’s reputation, customer base, and bottom line. Prompt, experienced legal help can prevent long court cases and expensive settlements with attention to accusations and suits.

Railroad

Collision cases involving injury or death are often complicated and difficult to sort out facts and details of fault and liability, but railroad accidents are even more so. Train accident litigation has different rules for suing in the case of accident and injury, depending on whether the plaintiff was a train passenger, an employee of a train company, or a driver or passenger in a vehicle that crashed with a train, or a pedestrian who is hit by a train.

Railroads have a duty to use reasonable care to protect their workers from accident and injury. There are special rules for train company responsibility to railroad workers when the injured plaintiff is an employee of the railroad. Conductors and porters can seek compensation for injury under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). This federal law outlines railroads’ responsibilities to maintain their fleets, keep their trains running safely, and address defects. Failure to comply with FELA standards leaves railroads liable for damages. It’s an important law for those who work for the railroad industry and are not covered under state worker’s compensation laws. Common railroad worker injuries include ear and hearing injuries, carpel tunnel syndrome, head trauma and brain injuries, knee injuries, neck injuries, and repetitive stress injuries.

Another area of railroad litigation is crossing litigation, involving accidents at railroad crossings. Punitive damages in crossing suits not only protect victim’s rights, but they also protect the public by providing incentives to railroad companies to pay attention to their obligations during train operations. Crossing equipment must be maintained regularly and properly for safe operation and to prevent defects and malfunctions or the railway has significant liability and can lose millions in negligence suits.

Reflectorization law requires railways to apply reflective sheeting on each side of every railcar and locomotive so that people driving at night and in poor visibility conditions can see moving trains at highway railroad crossings. Failure to comply with reflectorization regulations represents significant negligence in railroad accidents. Bobble problems, or malfunctions with railway crossing gates where the gates go up while the train is still crossing represent another negligence issue. Negligent maintenance and monitoring of crossing equipment and operations that results in injury and death for motorists and pedestrians presents a significant public safety risk.

Aviation

Airplane crashes, unless they are simple runway close calls, are usually dramatic and devastating. Major airline disasters make headline news and can involve suits from families and survivors against airlines, airplane and parts manufacturers, maintenance contractors, or others who may have been responsible for the crash. Legal and scientific issues in aviation litigation are complicated, and experienced legal counsel is needed to bring a join a class action lawsuit or bring a legal claim against an airline after a crash.

Legal claims and defenses in airplane accident lawsuits involve determining the cause of the crash that causes injuries and deaths, such as pilot error, defective equipment, errors by air traffic controllers, faulty maintenance and repair, and fuel problems. Often, it’s difficult for authorities to determine the cause of a plane crash because there are complicated conditions surrounding the incident. Several authorities may be involved, including the federal National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Common legal claims in airplane crash cases include product liability claims, negligence, and the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Defective product claims arise when faulty design, defective equipment, or structural problems cause a plane crash, even if there wasn’t proven negligence. Negligence such as pilot error or carelessness of an FAA employee are other areas of litigation in plane crashes. FAA employees causing airplane accidents are sued under the FTCA because of special rules for suing federal government employees.

Federal regulations and agencies get involved in airplane crashes. Those involved in airplane crashes are eligible for federal assistance under the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is required to assign an independent nonprofit organization to coordinate services to survivors and victims and their families after a crash, such as meeting with families of victims, finding mental health and counseling services, shielding families from the press, identifying victims, keeping families informed of progress of investigations, and translation services. The Act also requires the airline involved in the crash to establish a toll-free hotline for families of victims after a crash, release passenger lists, inform families of deaths of family members, and assisting families to travel to the accident location.